This Week in Psychedelics

Chronic pain and depression and neuroplasticity (Oh my!). New studies reveal the breadth and depth of psychedelics' therapeutic potential.

August 11, 2023

This Week...

Filament Health, a clinical‐stage natural psychedelic drug development company, announced that the company received approval from the FDA for two clinical trials at the University of Washington and the University of California, Los Angeles, to study the effects of Filament’s botanical psilocybin drug candidate (PEX010) on mental health conditions including cancer-related anxiety and depression.

The clinical trial at the University of Washington School of Medicine is studying PEX010 for the treatment of cancer-related anxiety in patients with metastatic cancer. And the clinical trial at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior will examine the effects of joining psilocybin treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with depression. Here’s more:

Neuroscience News published a piece that investigated a new research method that can simultaneously measure electrical signals from 128 brain regions. Using this technique, researchers have been able to observe the effects of LSD and ketamine on the brain’s neural oscillations. It’s absolutely fascinating and definitely worth a read. Check it out:

Algernon Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, announced that its subsidiary, Algernon NeuroScience (AGN Neuro), completed a feasibility study and finalized its clinical trial design for a Phase 2 DMT stroke study. AGN Neuro is the world’s first company to investigate DMT for treating strokes and promoting neuroplasticity in the healing of brain injuries.

The Phase 2 human stroke trial will study an intravenous sub-psychedelic dose of DMT in patients who are hospitalized after having suffered an acute ischemic stroke. Here’s more:

Did You Know?

Did you know that psychedelics may be able to simultaneously treat chronic pain and depression?

Ongoing clinical trials have demonstrated that psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD can have rapid and long-term antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. A related clinical problem is chronic pain, which is notoriously difficult to treat and often associated with depression and anxiety.

This summer, Ahmad Hammo, a third-year bioengineering student at the University of Pennsylvania, is conducting a pilot study to explore psilocybin’s potential as a therapy for chronic pain and the depression that often accompanies it. Here’s what he’s found: