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      Increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarian political views after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression

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          Abstract

          Rationale:

          Previous research suggests that classical psychedelic compounds can induce lasting changes in personality traits, attitudes and beliefs in both healthy subjects and patient populations.

          Aim:

          Here we sought to investigate the effects of psilocybin on nature relatedness and libertarian–authoritarian political perspective in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

          Methods:

          This open-label pilot study with a mixed-model design studied the effects of psilocybin on measures of nature relatedness and libertarian–authoritarian political perspective in patients with moderate to severe TRD ( n=7) versus age-matched non-treated healthy control subjects ( n=7). Psilocybin was administered in two oral dosing sessions (10 mg and 25 mg) 1 week apart. Main outcome measures were collected 1 week and 7–12 months after the second dosing session. Nature relatedness and libertarian–authoritarian political perspective were assessed using the Nature Relatedness Scale (NR-6) and Political Perspective Questionnaire (PPQ-5), respectively.

          Results:

          Nature relatedness significantly increased ( t(6)=−4.242, p=0.003) and authoritarianism significantly decreased ( t(6)=2.120, p=0.039) for the patients 1 week after the dosing sessions. At 7–12 months post-dosing, nature relatedness remained significantly increased ( t(5)=−2.707, p=0.021) and authoritarianism remained decreased at trend level ( t(5)=−1.811, p=0.065). No differences were found on either measure for the non-treated healthy control subjects.

          Conclusions:

          This pilot study suggests that psilocybin with psychological support might produce lasting changes in attitudes and beliefs. Although it would be premature to infer causality from this small study, the possibility of drug-induced changes in belief systems seems sufficiently intriguing and timely to deserve further investigation.

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          Most cited references50

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          Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: a proof-of-concept study.

          Several lines of evidence suggest that classic (5HT2A agonist) hallucinogens have clinically relevant effects in alcohol and drug addiction. Although recent studies have investigated the effects of psilocybin in various populations, there have been no studies on the efficacy of psilocybin for alcohol dependence. We conducted a single-group proof-of-concept study to quantify acute effects of psilocybin in alcohol-dependent participants and to provide preliminary outcome and safety data. Ten volunteers with DSM-IV alcohol dependence received orally administered psilocybin in one or two supervised sessions in addition to Motivational Enhancement Therapy and therapy sessions devoted to preparation for and debriefing from the psilocybin sessions. Participants' responses to psilocybin were qualitatively similar to those described in other populations. Abstinence did not increase significantly in the first 4 weeks of treatment (when participants had not yet received psilocybin), but increased significantly following psilocybin administration (p < 0.05). Gains were largely maintained at follow-up to 36 weeks. The intensity of effects in the first psilocybin session (at week 4) strongly predicted change in drinking during weeks 5-8 (r = 0.76 to r = 0.89) and also predicted decreases in craving and increases in abstinence self-efficacy during week 5. There were no significant treatment-related adverse events. These preliminary findings provide a strong rationale for controlled trials with larger samples to investigate efficacy and mechanisms.
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            Pilot study of the 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction.

            Despite suggestive early findings on the therapeutic use of hallucinogens in the treatment of substance use disorders, rigorous follow-up has not been conducted. To determine the safety and feasibility of psilocybin as an adjunct to tobacco smoking cessation treatment we conducted an open-label pilot study administering moderate (20 mg/70 kg) and high (30 mg/70 kg) doses of psilocybin within a structured 15-week smoking cessation treatment protocol. Participants were 15 psychiatrically healthy nicotine-dependent smokers (10 males; mean age of 51 years), with a mean of six previous lifetime quit attempts, and smoking a mean of 19 cigarettes per day for a mean of 31 years at intake. Biomarkers assessing smoking status, and self-report measures of smoking behavior demonstrated that 12 of 15 participants (80%) showed seven-day point prevalence abstinence at 6-month follow-up. The observed smoking cessation rate substantially exceeds rates commonly reported for other behavioral and/or pharmacological therapies (typically <35%). Although the open-label design does not allow for definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of psilocybin, these findings suggest psilocybin may be a potentially efficacious adjunct to current smoking cessation treatment models. The present study illustrates a framework for future research on the efficacy and mechanisms of hallucinogen-facilitated treatment of addiction.
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              The Secret Lives of Liberals and Conservatives: Personality Profiles, Interaction Styles, and the Things They Leave Behind

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Psychopharmacol
                J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
                JOP
                spjop
                Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                0269-8811
                1461-7285
                17 January 2018
                July 2018
                : 32
                : 7
                : 811-819
                Affiliations
                [1-0269881117748902]Psychedelic Research Group, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK
                Author notes
                [*]Taylor Lyons, Psychedelic Research Group, Centre for Psychiatry, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, W12 0NN, London, UK. Email: t.lyons15@ 123456imperial.ac.uk
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3118-7344
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6062-7150
                Article
                10.1177_0269881117748902
                10.1177/0269881117748902
                6047302
                29338538
                41f896f4-741c-42fe-960e-77a2dc81d75d
                © The Author(s) 2018

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                History
                Funding
                Funded by: Medical Research Council, FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/501100000265;
                Award ID: MR/J00460X/1
                Categories
                Short Report

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                psilocybin,nature relatedness,authoritarianism,depression,political perspective

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