Tech

Hallucinations are emerging and women may be the beneficiaries


“We started our company knowing that women over 40 were prescribed antidepressants three to four times more often than men,” said Juan Pablo Cappello, co-founder. and CEO of ketamine therapy platform Nue Life, which got FDA approval and raised $23 million in April.

Through platforms like Nue Life or at one of the hundreds of ketamine clinics across the United States, patients can take controlled amounts of psychoactive substances under the careful guidance of a clinician. trained to induce an altered state of consciousness (a trip). Having received a lot of airtime in recent years for its alleged ability to treat PTSD, anxiety, and substance abuse, ketamine is currently being studied as an effective way to alleviate symptoms. postpartum depression.

One recent research in the Journal of Psychological Disorders suggests that in patients at high risk for postpartum depression, a single dose of ketamine administered prior to anesthesia during a cesarean section may be effective in preventing it. . Another ketamine therapy startup, Field Trip, is also about to begin direct phase I clinical trials for FT-104, a psychedelic molecule similar to psilocybin but with a much shorter duration of action. (Nikhita Singhal’s father, Sanjay Singhal, an entrepreneur who founded audiobooks.com, is a consultant for Field Trip.) “The FT-104 has all the characteristics that make psilocybin so interesting and appealing from a therapeutic perspective. material — safe and effective — but with Ronan Levy, co-founder and executive chairman of Field Trip, told me. According to Levy, Field Trip’s existing preclinical studies signal that FT-104 leaves the body after 12 hours, meaning breastfeeding could hypothetically resume for up to 24 hours – this will ultimately need to be confirmed in human trials and undergo scientific evaluation.

Kelsey Ramsden, former CEO of Vancouver-based psychedelic psychotherapy company Mindcure (who is working on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to help women with no sexual desire until it’s done). discontinued earlier this year due to lack of funds), also said the postnatal depression market is attractive to develop hallucinogens as there is currently only one drug for the condition (Zulresso). Ramsden is a believer in part because hallucinations worked to relieve her own symptoms after she had her first child. “The change in my life experience leads to repeated cycles of depression, and it’s not necessarily a matter of hormones,” she said. “It’s just a change in my experience as a mother in a society that expects me to be a certain way.” She said that she initially tried SSRIs and traditional therapy, but she eventually settled down after trying psychotherapy.

Ramsden believes that the entire psychedelic industry is still in its early days. But she can envision a culture where it’s normal for women to openly take hallucinogens. When something related to health do For women, she believes, good news spreads like wildfire.

Allison Feduccia, who holds a doctorate in neurology, believes that the best evidence we have about hallucinations affecting women remains mostly anecdotal. For example, there are accounts suggesting that peyote promotes milk productionan idea supported by Preliminary studies from the 1970s. For years, people have reported ways hallucinations changed their menstrual cycle, linking them to heavier cycles, an early cycle or — alternatively — a more regular cycle. Research has shown that estrogen enhances the brain’s dopamine reward pathway, so it’s also possible that a woman’s response to a particular drug will be more pleasant depending on the phase of her menstrual cycle.

Feduccia suggests that hallucinations can be especially helpful for the “birth rituals” that most women go through. She said: ‘Halllucinations can provide a better perspective of when you have your first period, have your first child and then go through menopause. “I just hope that women can benefit [from psychedelics] without having to drop $20,000 for a guided approach. ”

That guided approach is not only costly, but also fraught with ethical concerns. Many well-known cases of abuse in psychedelics have caused a stir in recent years. Richard Yensen, an unlicensed therapist who served as a MAPS sub-investigator, was accused of sexually assaulting a PTSD patient during a MAPS clinical trial on MDMA. Sexual abuse allegations were also brought against Aharon Grossbard and his wife, Françoise Bourzat, leaders of a prominent Bay Area group that has practiced psychedelics for more than 30 years.



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