Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy & DMT Research

Monday, October 16th, 18:15 - 19:45, University of Zurich, KOL-F-118

Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy – Increased amygdala reactivity after therapy; and the relationship between the acute peak experience and clinical outcomes

Leor Roseman
, PhD (cand.), Imperial College London, UK

fMRI was measured before and 1-day after psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment resistant depression (n=20) and increases in the amygdala were observed in response to emotional stimuli 1-day after psilocybin session - a result that is opposite to the effect of anti-depressants. Furthermore, our study revealed that strong peak-experience and low anxiety during the psilocybin session, predicted a positive clinical outcome, while the strength of the visual imagery did not. This result strengthen the theoretical framework that peak/mystical/transcendental experience mediates positive changes.

Dynamics of the experience and brain activity induced by DMT

Christopher Timmermann, PhD (cand.), Imperial College London, UK

Studies using classic psychedelics on brain activity are reliably captured in a safe manner in modern research contexts. However, the slow onset and long duration these drugs have, render the study of transitions between the normal waking to the psychedelic state a difficult challenge. In this study a potent and short-acting psychedelic drug, N, N, Dimethyltriptamine (DMT) was used to capture the dynamics induced by the intravenous administration of this compound to healthy participants. The results from the neural and subjective effects will be discussed.