Psychedelic drug DMT to be trialled in UK to treat depression
Exclusive: UK regulators give go-ahead for drug to be trialled ahead of possible treatment alongside psychotherapy
UK regulators have given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial of the use of the psychedelic drug dimethyltriptamine (DMT) to treat depression.
The trial will initially give the drug – known as the “spirit molecule” for the powerful hallucinogenic trips it induces – to healthy individuals, but it is expected to be followed by a second trial in patients with depression, where DMT will be given alongside psychotherapy.
Taking the drug before therapy is akin to shaking up a snow globe and letting the flakes settle, said Carol Routledge, chief scientific and medical officer at Small Pharma, the company running the trial in collaboration with Imperial College London.
Then the [psychotherapy] session afterwards is the letting-things-settle piece of things – it helps you to make sense of those thoughts and puts you back on the right track. We think this could be a treatment for a number of depressive disorders besides major depression, including PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly some types of substance abuse
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