New Study to Assess Psychedelics as Treatment for PTSD in Veterans

September 15, 2020 14:39:48

Recently, NeuroPharm Inc., a developer for psychedelic-based treatments announced that they would be collaborating with the Netherlands Leiden University Medical Center, on clinical trials centered on the treatment of PTSD in veterans.

Psilocybin will be the first compound that will be studied. For those who may not have heard of psilocybin, it is a psychedelic substance found in about 200 mushroom species. This trial will involve 3 doses administered over a 12-week period and is said to be the first of its kind.

Dr. Rakesh Jetly, NeuroPharm’s scientific advisor, explained that the trial primarily focused on veterans as PTSD impacted the veteran and military populations at a significantly higher rate as compared to the society at large.

Usually, PTSD is treated using a combination of medication and exposure therapies. However, a considerable number of veterans who suffer from PTSD admit that these treatments are either partially effective or completely ineffective. This explains the continuous efforts to find better PTSD treatments that are effective as well as safe.

How do Psychedelics Factor in?

Dr. Jetly explains that psychedelic medications have been used for a long time, mostly to help address issues that are mind-related. He added that in the past, there have been numerous studies involving prestigious universities and academicians that were published in journals. He cited examples of such, like the research study that used MDMA to help treat PTSD as well as the psilocybin study to help treat depression.

He pointed to these trials having been the deciding factor that resulted in the FDA designating psilocybin and MDMA as “breakthrough therapies” for depression and PTSD respectively.

However, no published studies explicitly look into the treatment of PTSD in veterans using psilocybin.

It should be noted that Leiden University Medical Center and NeuroPharm will not be conducting drug trials. They will be facilitating healing in their subjects through psychotherapy by administering psilocybin in an environment that is both safe as well as controlled.

In the long run, the researchers hope that the results of the trial will assist veterans who suffer from PTSD.

To ensure that safety and efficacy are the top priorities and that the clinical study is done right, the trials will begin in Leiden University Medical Center, under Prof. Eric Vermetten’s guidance, after which it will extend into Europe, the Caribbean and North America.

The trial is expected to begin later this year. It wouldn’t be surprising if entities like Cybin Corp. followed this research keenly as the findings could accelerate the progress of the psychedelics industry.

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