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UC Davis Launches Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics

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University of California, Davis announced This week, “Advancing basic knowledge of the mechanisms of psychedelics and translating them into safe and effective treatments for diseases such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We are launching a new laboratory aimed at other people.

Called “The Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics,” it “brings together scientists from different disciplines and partners with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that important discoveries lead to new drugs for patients,” the university said in a statement. said the institute was “specially designed to foster collaboration across the campus.”

The institute will be “partially funded by donations of approximately $5 million from the Deans of the Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine, the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the President’s Office,” the school said, adding that the funding will be in the same areas of study. Be distinguished from other centers involved.

“It’s also notable that the UC Davis Institute is supported by a large amount of the university’s funding, while other psychedelic science centers have formed around the country with donations from philanthropists,” the university said. says.

“Another unique feature of the UC Davis Institute is its focus on chemistry and the development of new neurotherapeutics,” the university said.

David E. Olson, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, Davis, was appointed as the founder of the new laboratory.

“There are many therapeutic possibilities for psychedelics, but we can do better,” Olson said. The group published a paper three years ago. according to the university.

In Olson’s view, the university believes that “novel molecules tailored to specific disease indications will overcome many of the challenges traditional psychedelics currently face in terms of safety, scalability, and intellectual property.” By solving the problem, we could offer substantial benefits and open the door to industry partnerships.”

“Psychedelics have the unique ability to bring about long-lasting changes in the brain that are relevant to treatment of various conditions,” said Olson. “If we can take advantage of these beneficial properties while designing molecules that are safer and more scalable, we can help a lot of people.”

John A. Gray, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology, will serve as Associate Director. Olson and Gray authored a study in 2018 that “demonstrates that psychedelics promote neural plasticity, the growth of new neurons and the formation of neural connections.”

“Neural atrophy is an important factor underlying many diseases, and the ability of hallucinogens to promote neuronal growth and new connections in the brain may have broad therapeutic implications.

The university said the institute “will draw on the extraordinary breadth of expertise of the UC Davis neuroscience community, which includes approximately 300 faculty members in centers, laboratories, and departments across the Davis and Sacramento campuses.” “is working on all aspects of psychedelic science, from molecules and cells to human clinical trials.”

“Combining the pioneering basic research team at the University of California, Davis, world-class neuroscientists, and the considerable expertise of a nationally recognized medical center is a breakthrough in helping patients locally and around the world. It’s a formula of success that we believe will lead to significant discoveries,” said Susan Mullin, dean of the School of Medicine, in a statement this week.



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Press Release: PsychedelicNewsWire Named Official Media Sponsor of the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference

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LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PsychedelicNewsWire (“PNW”), a specialized communications platform for the psychedelics sector and one of the 60+ brands powered by IBN (“InvestorBrandNetwork”), is pleased to announce that it will be the Official Media Sponsor for the 4th Annual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference (“the conference”), an industry flagship event dedicated to research and development of psychedelics in the healthcare space hosted by Arrowhead SciTech Conferences & Events (“Arrowhead”). The event will be held at the iconic Revere Hotel Boston Common, 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116 on 23-24 May 2024



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Risks of Psychedelics for People with Personality Disorders

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While psychedelics have shown promise in treating certain mental health conditions, a recent study suggests they may pose risks for individuals with personality disorders. The findings underscore the importance of careful screening and personalized approaches in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Navigating the Psychedelic Landscape: Potential Risks for Individuals with Personality Disorders

Psychedelics, including substances like psilocybin and LSD, have gained significant traction in recent years for their potential therapeutic benefits in treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. However, a recent publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has raised concerns about the suitability of these substances for individuals with personality disorders.

The study surveyed individuals who had used psychedelics and who were also diagnosed with personality disorders. A considerable number of respondents reported negative and persistent psychological impacts following their psychedelic experiences. Notably, these included heightened anxiety, paranoia, mood instability, and an exacerbation of existing personality disorder symptoms.

Researchers suggest that the vulnerability of individuals with personality disorders to the adverse effects of psychedelics may stem from pre-existing challenges in emotional regulation, self-identity, and interpersonal relationships. The profound and introspective nature of psychedelic experiences can intensify these issues, potentially leading to psychological distress and symptom aggravation.

This research highlights the critical need for thorough screening and assessment in the context of psychedelic-assisted therapy. It suggests that individuals with personality disorders might require tailored therapeutic approaches and robust support systems to navigate potential risks and to secure safe and positive outcomes.

Why It Matters

The burgeoning interest in psychedelic therapy underscores the necessity to discern both the potential benefits and risks across different demographic groups. This study contributes valuable insights, particularly for clinicians and researchers, stressing the importance of personalized treatment plans and the cautious consideration of individual vulnerabilities when administering psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Potential Implications

The findings from this study emphasize the need for ethical and responsible practices within the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. There is a pressing requirement for the development of detailed screening protocols that can identify individuals who may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of psychedelics. Furthermore, crafting specialized therapeutic strategies that cater specifically to the needs of individuals with personality disorders is essential for ensuring their safety and overall well-being during and after undergoing psychedelic experiences.

The Bigger Picture

The debate surrounding the therapeutic use of psychedelics is complex, with various factors influencing the suitability of these treatments for different individuals. While there are promising results in general populations, the nuanced needs and potential vulnerabilities of those with personality disorders require careful consideration to prevent harm and maximize therapeutic outcomes. This necessitates ongoing research, improved clinical protocols, and a commitment to patient-centered care in the burgeoning field of psychedelic medicine.

Source: Science Alert



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Treating Depression: Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants

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Recent research suggests that psychedelics and traditional antidepressants, while both potentially effective in treating depression, work through distinct mechanisms. Understanding these differences could lead to more personalized and effective treatment approaches. Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants: What are the key differences?

Unlocking the Mysteries of Depression Treatment: Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants

The quest for effective depression treatments continues to be a significant focus in mental health research. Traditional antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been a mainstay in treatment, prescribed widely despite varying efficacy among individuals and often accompanying unwanted side effects. In contrast, psychedelics have recently garnered attention for their rapid and enduring antidepressant effects observed in clinical trials.

A recent study has delved into the distinct mechanisms of action of SSRIs and psychedelics, illuminating how they uniquely influence the brain and potentially alleviate symptoms of depression. SSRIs primarily increase serotonin levels in the brain, which is believed to enhance mood and diminish depressive symptoms. However, this process can require several weeks to manifest noticeable effects, and not all patients respond favorably to SSRIs.

Conversely, psychedelics such as psilocybin, found in “magic mushrooms,” operate through a different mechanism. Research indicates that psilocybin’s antidepressant effects are not directly due to elevated serotonin levels. Instead, psilocybin is thought to promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s capacity to reorganize and form new neuronal connections. This heightened neuroplasticity may facilitate more adaptable thought patterns and an improved ability to process emotions, contributing to the rapid and sustained antidepressant effects seen in clinical trials.

Moreover, the study examined the role of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, a primary target for both SSRIs and psychedelics. While SSRIs inhibit this receptor’s activity, psychedelics activate it. Intriguingly, blocking the 5-HT2A receptor did not reduce psilocybin’s antidepressant effects, suggesting that its therapeutic benefits originate from other pathways.

Psychedelics vs. Antidepressants: Why It Matters?

Understanding the distinct mechanisms by which psychedelics and antidepressants affect the brain is crucial for the development of more personalized and effective treatment strategies for depression. This knowledge could lead to enhanced patient selection for specific treatments, reducing trial and error while optimizing outcomes. Furthermore, exploring the unique properties of psychedelics may pave the way for novel antidepressant medications that are quicker acting and have fewer side effects.

Potential Implications

This research could catalyze a shift in depression treatment paradigms, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to more targeted therapies. By pinpointing the specific mechanisms that underlie different antidepressant interventions, clinicians can customize treatment plans based on individual patient profiles and needs. This personalized approach could improve treatment success rates and enhance the quality of life for individuals battling depression.

What Next?

While the study of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes is still in its nascent stages, the initial findings are promising and suggest that psychedelics may offer a valuable addition to the arsenal of tools for combating depression and other mental health conditions.

Source: Neuroscience News



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