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MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Young Adults with Major Depressive Disorder

Project initiator

Norrsken Mind has granted partial funding to a study under planning at Umeå University to investigate MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for depression in young adults (aged 18-25). Eva Henje, Associate Professor at Umeå University’s Department of Clinical Science, Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry, will lead the study. The study could become the first of its kind in Sweden to investigate MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. 

Major depressive disorder (MDD) constitutes a world-leading cause of disability in young people. With early onset depression there is a significant increase in the lifetime risk of adult depressive episodes as recurrence rates remain high. Many young patients with MDD do not benefit from available treatments, including psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. There is consequently a great need for new effective treatment options.

A novel methodology is MDMA-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted MDMA-AT for PTSD “breakthrough therapy designation”. However, it has not yet been investigated in the treatment of MDD in young adults specifically. MDMA-AT holds promise as a potent catalyst to the therapeutic process and enhancer of the therapeutic alliance.