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    rain water leaf psychedelic depression ICEERS study

    Psychedelic Medicines in Major Depression


    Psychedelic medicines in major depression: progress and future challenges

    Jose Carlos Bouso, Genís Ona, Rafael G. Dos Santos, and Jaime E. C. Hallak.

    Major Depressive Disorder



    About the study

    The book Major Depressive Disorder: Rethinking and Understanding Recent Discoveries, edited by Yong-Ku Kim forms part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series, with scientific contributions in the main disciplines of the biomedicine and the life sciences.

    In the chapter 26 of this volume, we review the research being done regarding psychedelic medicines and their potential to treat major depression, from a historical overview to the recently published clinical trials on this field.

    After describing the main neurobiological mechanisms of these substances, we end up this study by suggesting what will be the future challenges for this kind of therapies and research.



    Rationale: The volume of research on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs has been increasing during the last decades. Partly because of the need of innovative treatments in psychiatry, several studies have assessed the safety and efficacy of drugs like psilocybin or ayahuasca for a wide range of mental disorders, including major depression. 

    Methods: The first section of this chapter will offer an introduction to psychedelic research, including a brief historical overview and discussions about appropriate terminology. In the second section, the recently published clinical trials in which psychedelic drugs were administered to patients will be analysed in detail. Then, in the third section, the main neurobiological mechanisms of these drugs will be described, noting that while some of these mechanisms could be potentially associated with their therapeutic properties, they are commonly used as adjuvants in psychotherapeutic processes. The last section suggests future challenges for this groundbreaking field of research and therapy.


    Link to the article


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    Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: ayahuasca , scientific research , study , psilocybin , psychoactive , psychedelics , depression , hallucinogens , mental health , book chapter