Psychedelic research center launched at New York’s Mount Sinai
Surfing the wave of novel research into medical uses for psychedelic compounds, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has launched a dedicated psychedelic center focusing initially on the study of MDMA and psilocybin for PTSD and other stress-related conditions.
Named the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research the institution is first focusing on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a promising treatment currently in advanced stages of Phase 3 trials with FDA approval expected over the next one to two years. The Center will be led by professor of psychiatry and neuroscience Rachel Yehuda whose field of expertise encompasses traumatic stress and the neurobiology of PTSD.
“People taking MDMA report feelings of introspection, connectedness, compassion towards self and others, empathy, and increased interpersonal trust, which are optimal conditions for engaging in the processing of difficult or traumatic material,” says Yehuda. “It is important that we listen to people’s subjective experiences with these compounds and then study therapeutic possibilities through rigorous clinical trials.”
Alongside MDMA the Center will also investigate psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with compounds such as psilocybin. As evidenced in the Center’s name the research will primarily focus on psychedelics as adjunct to psychotherapy for trauma-related disturbances.
The Mount Sinai Center is among the first formal research facilities in the world dedicated to the study of psychedelic medicine. In April 2019 Imperial College London launched its Centre for Psychedelics Research becoming the first academic institution to create this kind of focused psychedelic science facility. Later in 2019 Johns Hopkins University launched the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, the first research hub of its kind in the United States.
Unlike the Imperial College and John Hopkins centers, Mount Sinai’s Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research seems initially to have a much more narrow research focus. However, despite the primary focus on PTSD and psychotherapy its activity encompasses more than mere clinical trial and research. The Center will also train clinicians in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and serve as an education facility to help inform the public as these new treatment modalities begin to be clinically deployed over the coming years.
Source: Mount Sinai