Norrsken Mind

Grant: Investigating the neurobiological mechanisms behind psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy

Norrsken Mind supports researchers at Karolinska Institutet to investigate the cognitive and neurobiological changes associated with psilocybin-assisted therapy, which may offer insights into the neurobiology of major depressive disorder and the therapeutic mechanisms of psilocybin. The project is led by Predrag Petrovic, Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) remains a serious global health issue, with conventional treatment options often showing limited efficacy. Recent clinical trials indicate that psilocybin, a classical psychedelic compound, when coupled with psychotherapy, is a highly promising novel treatment of MDD, even in treatment resistant cases. However, the specific neurobiological mechanisms underpinning psilocybin's therapeutic effects remain under-investigated. In addition, and importantly for the clinical outcome, the nature of the psychotherapeutic intervention and how it interacts with psilocybin is not well understood. This project will seek to address these knowledge gaps using a dataset from PSIPET, a clinical trial conducted at Karolinska Institutet, comparing psilocybin against placebo as a treatment in patients with MDD.

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