The psychedelic medicine field is growing rapidly, as centers devoted to the study of psychedelic drugs continue to expand across Europe and North America. A new peer-reviewed journal, “Psychedelic Medicine,” will focus on publishing articles on the status of investigational psychedelic drugs in clinical trials and advances made in psychedelic research.
The journal’s editorial board members agreed that the board would mainly center on serotonergic agonists and proposed that the term “psychedelic” be used in a broader sense scientifically. At the moment, the term “psychedelic” is normally used to describe psychoactive drugs that possess a primary mechanism of action which activates 5-HT2A receptors in the brain.
The board, which collaborated on the article proposing a consensus statement that would define psychedelic drugs, also revealed that the journal would include studies on compounds which affect individuals’ consciousness, even if this wasn’t achieved through direct stimulation of 5-HT2A receptors.
The premier issue of the journal also included a discussion on the present, past and future of psychedelics. The roundtable discussion was moderated by the journal’s editors-in-chief, Professor Charles Nichols of Pharmacology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Professor Peter Hendricks, who is also the director of research at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health, Birmingham.
The panel was made up of experts who explored the history of research on psychedelics and lessons learned. They also assessed the strategies currently used for research on psychedelics and future priorities.
This issue of “Psychedelic Medicine” also featured an article on the Bayesian reanalysis of a trial of psilocybin vs. escitalopram for depression. Escitalopram is a drug prescribed for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Sandeep Nayak from the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, the study’s corresponding author, along with colleagues reported on a trial that used psilocybin to treat major depressive disorder. The researchers also compared this to escitalopram’s performance, concluding that while the psychedelic drug did perform better than escitalopram, the results weren’t to an extent that could be deemed to be clinically meaningful.
In their report, the researchers stated that this did not mean that psilocybin was inferior to escitalopram and noted that their findings justified the need for more studies into the effectiveness of psilocybin therapy for depression.
“Psychedelic Medicine” will be the first peer-reviewed journal to publish original papers on various aspects of psychedelic medicine. It will be an important resource for patients and clinicians interested in the potential effectiveness of psychedelic drugs currently being studied in preclinical and clinical trials by various entities such as Silo Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: SILO) as alternatives to manufactured drugs, for the treatment of a range of mental health conditions.
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