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Home / Health / Imperial Opens World's First Center for Psychedelics Research | Imperial news

Imperial Opens World's First Center for Psychedelics Research | Imperial news



  A Colored MRI Image of the Brain




The world's first formal center for psychedelic research is inaugurated today at Imperial College London.

Financed by more than three million pounds of five founding donors, the new Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research will build on more than ten years of pioneering work in this area, which was carried out at Imperial. This includes a clinical trial that has begun worldwide to develop psilocybin therapy as an approved treatment for depression. It will also examine its potential for the treatment of other diseases, including anorexia.

Under the direction of dr. Robin Carhart-Harris focuses the center on two main research topics: the use of psychedelics in mental health care; and as a tool to study the minds of the brain.

Psychedelic therapy is very promising for the treatment of some serious mental illnesses and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options. Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris Head of the Center for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London

The newly established center will be located on Imperial's Hammersmith campus and will share space between Imperial College London and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Center also wants to develop a research clinic that could help gather more clinical evidence and become a prototype for the licensed psychedelic care facilities of the future.

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, director of the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research, said, "This new center is a watershed moment for psychedelics. symbolic of his current mainstream recognition. Psychedelics will have a major impact on neuroscience and psychiatry in the coming years. It is a privilege to be at the forefront of one of the most exciting areas of medical science. I am immensely grateful to the donors who have made all this possible.

Dr. Carhart-Harris adds, "It may take several years for psychedelic therapy to be available to patients, but research has been very encouraging so far. Early-stage clinical research has shown that psychedelic therapy, when given safely and professionally, is very promising to treat some very serious mental illnesses and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options.

Pioneering Research

Over the past decade, a number of research groups in Europe and America have conducted research on the safety and efficacy of psychedelics for disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the new imperial center is the first of its kind To reach the level of greatness within a large academic institution.

Imperial's psychedelic research group was the first in the world to study the brain functions of LS using modern brain imaging and the first to study psilocybin ̵

1; the drug in magic mushrooms – for the treatment of major depression. These studies have laid the groundwork for larger trials that are now taking place around the world.

  Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris

Further pioneering work includes groundbreaking neuroimaging research with psilocybin. MDMA and DMT (the psychoactive compounds found in ecstasy and ayahuasca).

Earlier this year, the group started a new study comparing psilocybin therapy directly with a conventional antidepressant in patients with depression – a study they still recruit for volunteers. Building on this, they plan to launch another new study next year to investigate the safety and feasibility of psilocybin in the treatment of patients with anorexia.

Professor Paul Matthews, Head of the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial, said: "This new The Center demonstrates the true commitment of the funders and the college to the rigorous study of what was, until recently, a peripheral area of ​​medical science. Through these and other aspects of our world-leading neuropharmacological research, one day we may be better able to address the widespread and serious mental illnesses that can destroy people's lives and for which there are currently few effective treatments available.

For More Details For the ongoing clinical trial for treatment-resistant depression, contact Ashleigh Murphy: [email protected] and visit the team's website for more information.

Currently at Imperial's "Psilocybin for Major Depression" is a randomized control trial in major depression. The researchers use fMRI to compare the treatment mechanisms of six weeks of daily escitalopram (SSRI antidepressant) with two doses of psilocybin. The trial began in January 2019 and the team is still recruiting for the participants. Further information can be found on the website of the Psychedelic research group.

The current study with psilocybin is being carried out with the financial support of the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.


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