Unfortunately, this will be the last issue of the Daily Mushroom Newsletter 💔
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Here’s what’s in store for you in today’s issue:
🍄 Ketamine heals teen depression
🍄 MDMA for PTSD + eating disorders
🍄 Ibogaine prevents alcohol relapse
🍄 2021 financial results from 5 major companies 👀
🍄 And more.
In this episode of the Daily Mushroom podcast, we have Dr. Pam Kryskow, a psychedelic researcher, medical doctor, and the medical lead for ketamine-assisted therapy for the Roots to Thrive program. Pam shares the benefits of psychedelic therapy in group settings and how her hiking “trips” helped her cope with daily trauma experienced in her previous job as a firefighter.
One in four young adults contemplated suicide last year.
Clearly, something needs to change. Could ketamine be the solution?
A study last month found that ketamine was well-tolerated in adolescents aged 13-17 and significantly reduced their depression symptoms.
76% of participants had at least a 50% reduction in depression scores within 3 days of receiving a ketamine infusion, compared to 35% of the placebo group.
The teens had tried between 1 and 7 antidepressants without success prior to the treatment. They all remained on their medications during the trial (SSRIs, non-SSRI antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or lithium) with no serious adverse side effects.
Ketamine therapy for depression seems promising, but how do you know if it’s right for you?
About 30% of people have a genetic variant that impairs the secretion of BDNF, a protein that promotes the growth of neurons.
Since ketamine works by increasing the release of BDNF, people with this gene variant may have a decreased response to the antidepressant effects of ketamine therapy. (Maybe this explains why 24% of teens didn’t see a significant reduction in depression scores 🤔)
HaluGen just expanded its Psychedelics Genetic Test Kit to test for the gene variant! It also tells you how sensitive you’re to classical psychedelics and if you are at risk for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.
Patients with PTSD often have eating disorders too. MDMA is known to improve self acceptance and emotional processing, so it may be the perfect treatment for both!
In MAPS’ Phase 3 trial on MDMA for PTSD, 42%* of patients scored in the “clinical” or “at-risk” range on an eating disorder scale prior to the treatment.
MDMA therapy was found to significantly reduce eating disorder symptoms in comparison to a placebo.
MAPS is commencing a multi-site Phase 2 trial this May to further examine MDMA therapy on both anorexia and binge eating.
*Patients with active purging were excluded as a precaution to avoid cardiac arrhythmias.
A common model of addiction involves conditioning rats to associate a drug with a certain area. The amount of time the rat spends in that area indicates how addictive the stimuli is.
In a recent study, rats showed a preference to the area associated with ethanol (alcohol) over the placebo area, which was expected since alcohol is addictive.
After a dose of ibogaine, they no longer expressed a preference for alcohol.
Additionally, rats showed no preference between an area associated with ibogaine and the placebo area, suggesting that ibogaine is non-addictive.
“We found that ibogaine did not have rewarding effects itself, but it did block the expression of ethanol reward in a model that can commonly be referred to as a pre-clinical model of relapse,” explains the study author, Lais F. Berro.
MindMed (MNMD) reported a $92.3M net loss and $133.5M in cash. This year, MindMed will commence trials on LSD for anxiety and chronic pain, ibogaine for opioid withdrawals, and a comparative study of two forms of MDMA.
atai Life Sciences (ATAI) reported a $167.8M net loss and a $362.3M cash position. atai is preparing for several clinical trials this year for treatment resistant depression, PTSD, opioid addiction, anxiety, and Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS).
Mydecine (MYCO) reported a $28.9M net loss and a $1.5M cash balance. The company is working to earn a Breakthrough Designation for psilocybin for smoking cessation through a 5-year research agreement with Johns Hopkins University.
GH Research (GHRS) reported a $9.2M net loss and a $276.8M cash balance. Researchers are submitting clinical trial applications in several European countries to study 5-MeO-DMT for treatment-resistant depression, bipolar II disorder, and postpartum depression.
A bill was introduced in Illinois that would decriminalize natural psychedelics and establish an advisory board to make recommendations on how to implement psilocybin services.