Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and education based organization with the primary goal of providing evidence and support for the legalization and appropriate scheduling for psychedelic drugs, including cannabis, as medically relevant legend (prescription) drugs.
Organization Profile for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic StudiesMAPS, based in Santa Cruz, California, helps scientists design, fund, and obtain regulatory approval for studies of the safety and effectiveness of a number of controlled substances. MAPS works closely with government regulatory authorities worldwide such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) to ensure that all of its sponsored research protocols conform to ethical and procedural guidelines for clinical drug research.
Included in MAPS’ research efforts are MDMA (Ecstasy) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), LSD and psilocybin for the treatment of anxiety, cluster headaches, and depression associated with end-of-life issues, ibogaine for the treatment of opiate addiction, and alternative delivery systems for medical marijuana such as vaporizers and water pipes.
MAPS states that their ultimate goal is to establish a network of clinics where these and other treatments can be provided together with other therapies under the guidance of licensed physicians and therapists. 
In addition to its sponsorship of scientific research, MAPS organizes continuing medical education (CME) conferences, sponsors and gives lectures and seminars on the current state of psychedelic and medical marijuana research, participates in community events like music festivals and Burning Man, and publishes a quarterly Bulletin with updates about its ongoing research efforts, legal struggles, and educational initiatives. MAPS has also published a number of books dealing with the history and culture of psychedelic medicine and psychedelic therapy.
MAPS furthers its mission by:
Holds to the following standards of Values to ensure meeting its goals
- Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines
- Training therapists and working to establish a network of treatment centers
- Supporting scientific research into spirituality, creativity, and neuroscience
- Educating the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.
- Envisions a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.
- Transparency — Information is shared openly and clearly. Communications are respectful, honest, and forthright.
- Passion and Perseverance — we persist in the face of challenges. We have a sense of urgency about our work, and know that it's a long-term effort.
- Intelligent Risk — our decisions are informed by research. We try new things and learn from our mistakes.
- Trust and Accountability — we value integrity and honesty, and embrace high standards.
Concluded Research StudiesU.S. Proof of Principle
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Principal Investigator: Michael Mithoefer, M.D., with co-therapist Ann Mithoefer, B.S.N.
Location: Charleston, SC (USA) /Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, July 19, 2010
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - A Prospective long-term follow-up
On July 27, 2010, data collection was completed for the long-term follow-up to this study.
Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, November 20, 2012
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Relapse Study
An Open-Label Proof-of-Principle Study Testing the Use of an Additional MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Session in People who Relapsed after Participating in a Phase 2 Clinical Trial of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy to Treat Chronic, Treatment-Resistant Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Clinical Investigator: Michael Mithoefer, M.D. / Location: Charleston, SC
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Secondary to Advanced Stage Cancer
Sponsor/Principal Investigator: John Halpern, M.D. / Location: McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA (USA) / Dr. Halpern is the Sponsor/Investigator. In his FDA IND application, he cross-referenced MAPS’ IND for MDMA and MAPS will have full access to the data generated from his study. MAPS conducted the design and protocol approval process for this study through a direct gift to McLean Hospital. This study of twelve subjects was also being conducted under US FDA IND and has received IRB approval and DEA registration.
Protocol submitted to FDA on November 26, 2004
Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Anxiety Secondary to Advanced Stage Cancer
Principal Investigator: Sameet Kumar, PhD / Location: TBD, USA / MAPS has developed a protocol for a study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. We are currently seeking an institution to host this study.
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Principal Investigator: Nasser Shuriquie, M.D. and TBD / Location: Amman, Jordan /This study has been rejected by the Jordanian Food and Drug Administration (JFDA). MAPS will work with researchers to obtain government approval for this study when we begin planning for Phase 3 of our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD development program. We hope to enroll Iraqi refugees living in Jordan who have PTSD, along with other Jordanians suffering from PTSD.
Spanish Study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
The world's first clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Principal Investigator: José Carlos Bouso, PhD / Location: Madrid, Spain / May 23, 2002: Study concluded
Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology September 2008
MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Principal Investigator: Peter Oehen, MD, with co-therapist Verena Widmer, RN / Location: Solothurn, Switzerland / Our Swiss MDMA/PTSD pilot study had full approval from an Ethics Committee (Swiss IRB equivalent) and SwissMedic (FDA equivalent). The protocol had also been submitted to, and accepted by, the FDA under MAPS’ Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MDMA. The study is a part of MAPS’ clinical plan to develop MDMA into a prescription medicine approved by both the FDA and the European Medicines’ Agency (EMEA).
Published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology October 31, 2012
Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics of Two Doses of MDMA
Investigators: Marilyn Huestis PhD, Melanie Mueller PhD, Erin Kolbrich-Spargo BS/PhD [E. Kolbrich]
This project includes randomized, blinded within-subjects comparisons of the metabolism, subjective and physiological effects of 1 and 1.6 mg/kg MDMA with inactive placebo in healthy volunteers. Blood and urine sample are used to gain information about MDMA pharmacokinetics. Comparison between human and primate metabolism of MDMA are also examined.
Acute Effects of MDMA on Impulsivity, Memory, and Actual Car Driving
Sponsors: European Commission; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research / Investigators: Johannes G. Ramaekers PhD; Kim P.C. Kuypers PhD / Randomized, double-blind within-subjects studies compared MDMA with placebo, methylphenidate (Ritalin) or ethanol in performance tests of impulsivity, visual and verbal memory, skills related to driving a car and actual driving acutely and 24 hours after drug administration.
Effects of MDMA Alone and Combined with THC or Ethanol
Sponsor: The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development / Investigators: Glenn Dumont PhD, RJ Verkes PhD / Studies examined the physiological, subjective, acute cognitive and neuroendocrine effects of MDMA given alone and in combination with the THC (the active compound in cannabis) or ethanol in healthy volunteers reporting some experience with "ecstasy." This project included the first report of elevated serum oxytocin after MDMA in a randomized, placebo controlled study.
Is Ecstasy An Empathogen? Determinants of Drug Preference in Humans
Investigators: Harriet de Wit PhD, Gillinder Bedi Psych, David Hyman / Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) / Social neuroscience studies examined how MDMA affected identification of and response to facial emotional expressions, including imaging brain activity after viewing different emotions.
Serotonin and Dopamine System Interactions in the Reinforcing Properties of Psychostimulants
Investigators: Manny Tancer, MD and Charles Schuster, PhD / Wayne State University - Detroit, Michigan, USA / Sponsor: NIDA / Psychobiological studies approved and in process. An MDMA dose-response study and a comparison of MDMA, d-amphetamine and mCPP are completed. The first paper about this research was published in December, 2001, and a second report was published in November 2003.
Behavioral Effects of MDMA Related to Driving Ability
Investigators: C.T.J. Lamers PhD, J.G. Ramaekers PhD, W.J. Riedel / University of Maastricht, the Netherlands / Sponsor: Ministry of Transport, the Netherlands / This research examines MDMA effects on driving related task performance, including psychomotor function (such as tracking, movement speed), cognitive function (attention, executive function and planning) and object movement prediction. In addition, mood changes and physiological measures were assessed, and MDMA levels were measured in blood, sweat, urine and saliva. Studies already published were conducted according to a placebo-controlled, cross-over, double-blind design and treatments included placebo, 75 mg MDMA and 0.5 g/kg alcohol.
Effects of MDMA
Investigators: Franz Vollenweider, MD, Alex Gamma, PhD / Psychiatric University Hospital - Zrich, Switzerland / Sponsors: Swiss National Science Foundation, UBS Science Foundation / Psychobiologic studies including: assessment of possible neurophysiological, psychological and cognitive alterations in chronic MDMA users; evaluation of the role of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine systems in mediating the effect of MDMA on mood, psychomotor behavior and sensorimotor gating in humans, investigating whether regular MDMA users show alterations in 5-HT reuptake site densities indicative of neurotoxic effects after long-term MDMA use.
Gender Differences in the Subjective Effects of MDMA
Investigators: Liechti ME, Gamma A, Vollenweider, FX / Sponsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter Research Institute
References: Psychopharmacology DOI (2001) 10.1007/s002130000648
Effects of MDMA (Ecstasy) on Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation
Investigators: Liechti ME, Geyer MA, Hell D, Vollenweider FX / Sonsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter Research Institute
References: Neuropsychopharmacology (2001) 24:240-252
MDMA Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in Humans
Investigators: John Mendelson, MD and Reese Jones, MD / UC San Francisco - California, USA
Sponsor: NIDA / Drug administration phase completed, eight subjects were given 0.5 and 1.5 mg/kg MDMA HCl. A paper from it is in press at Annals of Internal Medicine.
Clinical Pharmacology of the Interaction between Alcohol and MDMA
Investigators: Jordi Cam, MD, Magi Farr, MD, et al. / Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica - Barcelona, Spain / Sponsor: Funded in part by several government grants / Psychobiologic study looking at the interaction of MDMA (100 mg) and alcohol (.8 g/kg).
Mood State and Brain Electric Activity in Ecstasy Users
Investigators: Alex Gamma, PhD, Edi Frei, Dietrich Lehmann, Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui, Daniel Hell and Franz Vollenweider, MD / Research Unit and The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich / Sponsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter; MAPS. / Contact: Alex Gamma, PhD
References: Neuroreport (2000) 11 (1): 157-162.
Pharmacological Effects of MDMA in Humans
Investigator: Jordi Cam, MD, Magi Farr, MD, et al. / Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica - Barcelona, Spain / Contact: Jordi Camí, MD or Magi Farré, MD / Sponsor: Funded in part by several government grants / Studies include: Quantification of MDMA and its metabolites in plasma and urine by gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus detection; Human pharmacology of MDMA, Psychomotor performance and subjective effects.
Investigator: John Henry, MD / University College London, England / Contact:Valerie Curran, PhD
This was a neurotoxicity study. Henry is directing additional MDMA studies at this time.
Psycholytic Therapy with MDMA and LSD in Switzerland
Investigators: Marianne Bloch, MD, Jurai Styk, MD and Dr. Samuel Widmer, MD / Sponsor: Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy / From 1988 to 1993 therapists with the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy worked with MDMA and LSD as adjuncts to psychotherapy. The findings from this study were published in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 1994-95 issue.
Acute effects of 3, 4 - methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
Investigators: Alex Gamma, PhD, Franz Vollenweider, MD /Psychiatric University Hospital - Zrich, Switzerland / Sponsor: UBS Science Foundation and others / Contact: Alex Gamma PhD or Franz Vollenweider MD / Aim: an integrative characterization of MDMA in terms of its acute neurophysiological, psychological and cognitive effects in healthy, MDMA-naive human subjects. Subjects were given a single oral dose of MDMA (1.7 mg/kg).
Residual Neurocognitive Features of Long-Term Ecstasy Users With Minimal Exposure to Other Drugs.
Investigators: John H. Halpern, Andrea R. Sherwood, James I. Hudson, Staci Gruber, David Kozin, Harrison G. Pope.
Sponsored: NIH, $1.8M grant to determine if earlier studies on MDMA damage were accurate in their analysis and methodologies. This was done in conjunction to determine safety of using MDMA as a therapeutic drug. Their conclusions basically overturn the study by Ricaurte.
Published: Addiction, 2010
MDMA Neurotoxicity Study
Investigators: Una McCann, MD, George Ricaurte, MD, PhD / Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland / Contact: George Ricaurte, MD / Sponsor:NIH / PET scan study, MDMA Neurotoxicity, MDMA Users vs. Control Group.
The Positive Effects of MDMA
Sponsor: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research / Investigators: Johannes G Ramaekers PhD, Kim PC Kuypers PhD / This program of research is examining the psychopharmacology and genetic contributions to the positive effects of MDMA in healthy volunteers and includes examinations of the role played by specific human gene variants and the neuropeptide oxytocin on the positive effects of MDMA.
Physiological Correlates of PTSD Before and After MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
Investigators: Dominique Holstein MS / Location: University Psychiatric Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
Sponsor: HMF Zurich, HRC Zurich / This study is taking place in conjunction with a randomized, double-blind comparison of low versus experimental doses of MDMA. Dr. Oehen's study offers a unique opportunity to investigate further possible links between changes in physiological measures associated with the symptomatology of PTSD and improvement in patients undergoing treatment and symptom relief. All will be assessed at baseline, before undergoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and three weeks after the third MDMA-assisted session. On the long run, the assessment of multiple physiological measures in PTSD patients shall further our understanding of the pathophysiology of this illness and increases the possibility to identify subgroups of PTSD patients, and help to identify more specific treatments.
The Psychological, Neuroendocrine, Cardiovascular and Sleep-EEG Effects of MDE
Investigators: Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, MD et al. / Aachen, Germany / Contact: Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, MD Sponsor: DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft = German Research Foundation) / Human research on neurobiological and subjective effects of MDE
Differential Cognitive and Brain Activation Effects of the Isomers of MDE
Investigators: Dr. Spitzer, et al. / University of Ulm, Germany / Contact: Manfred Spitzer, MD / This study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the cognitive and brain activation effects of the isomers of MDE. The researchers concluded "The so-called entactogenic effects of MDE are likely to be caused by the (S)-enantiomer, whereas (R)-MDE appears to be responsible for neurotoxic effect."
Psychobiologic Effects of MDMA in Humans
Investigators: Charles S. Grob, MD, and Russell E. Poland, PhD / Harbor-UCLA Medical Center - Torrance, California, USA / Sponsor: MAPS, Harbor/UCLA / Contact: Charles Grob, MD, Russell Poldand, PhD
FDA-approved Phase 1 dose-response safety study .25 to 2.25 mg/kg, dose administration phase completed, data for .25 to .75 mg/kg published. Data for 1.00 to 2.25 mg/kg being analyzed for publication.
MDMA and Memory
Investigators: Karen Bolla, PhD et al. / Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland / Sponsor: NIH
Neuropsychological memory testing of MDMA users and controls.
Effects of ayahuasca on brain activity
Sponsors: Brazilian federal agencies (CNPq, CAPES; FINEP; The Sao Paulo State financial agency (FAPESP). Investigators: Draulio de Araujo, Jose Alexandre Crippa, Jaime Hallak and Sidarta Ribeiro Summary: This project examined the effects of ayahuasca on visual perception and imagery using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The first publication reports that the researchers found that ayahuasca strongly increased activity several occipital, temporal, and frontal areas. There are plans to publish more research findings.
Pharmacological Study of Ayahuasca in Healthy Humans
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP), partial funding from Spanish government. /A repeated dose study and a neurochemical mechanism study designed to evaluate the capacity of 5HT1A agonists and 5HT2A antagonists to block the effects of ayahuasca will both be conducted soon. These studies are also included as part of the program of research including a SPECT study of regional blood flow after ayahuasca that is already in progress, as described above. The investigators are seeking funding to support this study.
Study of neurofunctional changes after ayahuasca intake
Investigator(s): J. P. Pinto MA, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak MD, PhD; Jose Alexandre de Souza Crippa MD, PhD; Draulio Barros de Araújo PhD; Thiago Ferrari Borduqui MSc; Lauro Wicher-Ana MD, PhD; Tiago Arruda Sanchez PhD; Fabiana Mesquita de Carvalho MSc and Sidarta Tollendal Gomes Ribeiro PhD. / Sponsor: None, access to imaging machines allowed by clinic at University of São / This research examined brain activity after administration of ayahuasca. The first study examined brain activity using single-proton emission computed tomography (SPECT) after 200 mL ayahuasca in ten individuals with no prior experience with the material, and a second study examined brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in ten individuals with prior religious/spiritual use of ayahuasca. SPECT imaging found activation of the frontal and temporal cortex and limbic areas, and reduced CBF in part of the right cerebellar region. fMRI detected decreased activation of language processing areas, and reduced physiological hemisphere lateralization during the word-generating task.
Exploring Personality, Phenomenological, and EEG Correlates of the Ayahuasca Journey Experience
Investigators: Frank G. Echenhofer Ph.D., Katee Wynia MA, Jay Gunkelman QEEGD, Luis Eduardo Luna Ph.D., Wayne G. Whitehouse Ph.D, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco CA. / Sponsor: Currently self-funded; MAPS providing publicity and serving as conduit for tax-deductible donations.
Contact: Frank G Echenhofer, Ph.D. / The purpose of this proposed research is to further study the patterning and dynamics of enhanced EEG gamma coherence during ayahuasca to develop biofeedback protocols, which, in turn, might be used to enable individuals to voluntarily access states of heightened awareness without using an entheogen.
Ayahuasca in the Treatment of Substance Abuse
Investigators: Jacques Mabit, Jaime Torres, Rosa Giove, Javier Zavala, Olga Celis / Takiwasi Center - Tarapoto, Peru / Contact: Takiwasi Center / Sponsors: Self-financed, funding sought from the French government, European Union, and United Nations
Takiwasi has been doing research with substance abuse treatment for several years.
A Study of Uniao do Vegetal (UDV) Adolescents
Investigators: Charles Grob, MD, Ailonso Luiza, Claudia Miranda, / Glacus de Souza Brito, MD and Marlene de Rios / Sao Paulo, Brazil / Sponsor: Heffter / Testing and evaluation of adolescents who have used ayahuasca and matched controls have been completed. Data review now in process.
Effects of ayahuasca on psychometric measures of anxiety, panic-like and hopelessness in Santo Daime
Investigator: Rafael G. dos Santos / Departamento de Processos Psicologicos Basicos, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia-DF, Brazil / Current address: Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain / Sponsor: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq) / The use of the hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca, obtained from infusing the shredded stalk of the malpighiaceous plant Banisteriopsis caapi with the leaves of other plants such as Psychotria viridis, is growing in urban centers of Europe, South and North America in the last several decades. Despite this diffusion, little is known about its effects on emotional states. The present study investigated the effects of ayahuasca on psychometric measures of anxiety, panic-like and hopelessness in members of the Santo Daime, an ayahuasca-using religion. The results are discussed in terms of the possible use of ayahuasca in alleviating signs of hopelessness and panic-like related symptoms.
The therapeutic potential of substance abuse treatment with Ayahuasca-a qualitative study
Investigator: Dipl. Psych Anya Loizaga-Velder, University of Heidelberg, Germany / Contact: Anya Loizaga Velder / This qualitative study will involve interviewing 10 health professionals who work with ayahuasca as an adjunct for substance abuse treatment in order to gain a deeper understanding about the therapeutic process of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for addiction, as well as identifying major differences in conceptualization and practice of the addiction treatments. The research seeks to examine how ayahuasca is used in different contexts of addiction treatment and the institutional, psychological and social conditions that provide for a successful treatment outcome for ayahuasca-assisted therapy for addiction. This research is part of the Ritual Dynamics and Salutogenesis project
Pharmacological, imaging and immunological studies of Ayahuasca in Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba / Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain / Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP)
A study of the urinary excretion of ayahuasca alkaloids in the 22-volunteer, double-blind study (described below) is planned but has not yet been conducted due to lack of funding. The double-blind brain-imaging study using SPECT to study regional cerebral blood flow after ayahuasca administration has been fully approved and is now in progress. As of this date, seventeen volunteers have undergone all experimental sessions. This study will also look for any immunomodulating effects of ayahuasca. These studies are seeking additional information on mechanisms of action underlying the central effects of ayahuasca.
Pharmacological Study of Ayahuasca in Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba / Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain / Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP) / The initial pilot study has been completed, including a published report of subjective effects in 6 volunteers. An 18-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of ayahuasca effects is now complete. Included were measures of subjective effects, cardiovascular effects, sensorimotor gating, EEG variables, urinary monoamine metabolite excretion, and pharmacokinetics of ayahuasca alkaloids.
EEG of Long-Term Ayahuasca Drinkers vs. Matched Controls
Investigators: Dr. Micheal Hessellink (Holland), Yatra da Silveira Barbosa (Brazil), Dr. Erik Hofmann (Denmark). / Co-investigators are: Dr. Glacos Brito and Dr. Dartiu Xavier da Silveira both from Brazil.
Sao Paulo, Brazil /Contact: Dr. Erik Hoffmann / The protocol has been completed and an article reporting on the results is published in the MAPS Bulletin, Spring 2001.
Investigations on the Human Psychopharmacology of Ayahuasca: Phase I
Investigators: Dennis J. McKenna, PhD and Charles S. Grob, MD and Jace Callaway, PhD / Contact: Dennis J McKenna, PhD and Jace Calloway / Sponsor: Botanical Dimensions, Heffter, MAPS
Psychobiologic study, completed and published, follow-up studies possible.
Human Psychopharmacology of N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Investigator: Rick Strassman, MD / University of New Mexico, USA / Contact:Rick Strassman, MD /
Sponsor: NIDA / Psychobiological study, finished and published.
MAPS Bulletin - Volume 6 Number 1 Autumn 1995
University of New Mexico Update
Ibogaine treatment study with addiction
Investigator: Deborah Mash, PhD / St. Kitt, Virgin Islands /Contact: Deborah Mash, PhD / Sponsor: Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd. Clinical st udy of the safety and efficacy of ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, with data gathered from patients treated by Dr. Mash, an expert in the study of ibogaine in human patient volunteers. To date, she has evaluated the effect of ibogaine in over three hundred patients. Due to a lack of funds, most of these data come from treatment conducted off-shore. This study is now completed, and Dr. Mash submitted data to FDA in 2007.
Safety studies in preparation for proposed study of ibogaine therapy in the treatment of cocaine add
Investigators: Juan Sanchez-Ramos, MD, PhD and Deborah Mash, PhD / University of Miami Medical School - Florida, USA / Contact: Deborah Mash, PhD / Sponsor: University of Miami, MAPS
Clinical study Phase I begun (up to 2 mg/kg), funding ceased,
Meditation with Salvia Divinorum/Salvinorin A
Investigators: Ian Soutar, Rick Strassman, M.D.
Experiments in Altered Perception of 3-D Visual Illusions as a Screening Method for Psychedelic
Investigators: Torsten Passie, MD; Udo Schneider MD and Hinderk Emrich, MD / Hannover, Germany
Contact: Torsten Passie, MD / Sponsor: MAPS, Dept. of Psychiatry Hannover Medical School / Clinical experiment with ketamine to establish a paradigm to use visual 3-D illusions as screening instruments for detecting psychedelic activity in humans below the subjective threshold of experience. Passie's team has recently published a report relating to this research. A second report on data from this MAPS-supported study will soon appear in the journal "Neuropsychobiology" in early 2005.
Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy in the Treatment of Heroin Addiction
Investigator: Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD / St. Petersburg, Russia / Contact Evgeny Krupitsky, MD / Sponsor: MAPS, Heffter /Clinical study, drug administration phase completed, 70 patients treated (35 in the experimental and 35 in the control group). The study is finished, the researchers published the six-month follow-up paper in MAPS. The one-year follow-up analysis has been completed. Two year follow-up data has been analyzed and submitted for publication and is currently in the midst of the peer review process. Results are promising.
Psychedelic Effects of Ketamine in Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Bowdle TA, Radant AD, Cowley DS, Kharasch ED, Strassman RJ, Roy- Byrne PP / Department of Psychiatry, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle / Contact: TA Bowdle, MD / Ketamine or saline was administered in a single-blinded crossover protocol to 10 psychiatrically healthy volunteers. Hallucinogen rating scale scores were similar to those found in a previous study with psychedelic doses of DMT. Synopsis of paper in Anesthesiology (1998)
Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy in the Treatment of Alcoholics
Investigator: Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD / St. Petersburg, Russia / Contact: Evgeny Krupitsky MD / Sponsor: Leningrad Regional Center for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Therapy, MAPS
Ten years of clinical studies completed and published.
Human Psychopharmacology of N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Investigator: Rick Strassman, MD / University of New Mexico, USA / Contact: Rick Strassman, MD / Sponsor: NIDA / Psychobiological study, finished and published.
Ibogaine treatment study with addiction
Investigator: Deborah Mash, PhD / St. Kitt, Virgin Islands / Contact: Deborah Mash, PhD / Sponsor: Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd. / Sponsor: Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd. Clinical study of the safety and efficacy of ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, with data gathered from patients treated by Dr. Mash, an expert in the study of ibogaine in human patient volunteers. To date, she has evaluated the effect of ibogaine in over three hundred patients. Due to a lack of funds, most of these data come from treatment conducted off-shore. This study is now completed, and Dr. Mash submitted data to FDA in 2007.
Safety studies in preparation for proposed study of ibogaine therapy in the treatment of cocaine add
Investigators: Juan Sanchez-Ramos, MD, PhD and Deborah Mash, PhD / Unversity of Miami Medical School - Florida, USA / Contact: Deborah Mash, PhD Sponsor: University of Miami, MAPS
Clinical study Phase I begun (up to 2 mg/kg), funding ceased
Swiss LSD/End-of-Life Anxiety Study Annual Report
On November 25, 2008, Dr. Peter Gasser, the Principal Investigator (PI) for the MAPS-sponsored LSD/end-of-life anxiety study, issued the first Annual Report discussing the progress we’ve made in this last year. We’re making gradual progress in what will become the first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in almost 40 years.
Receptor Profiles of Lysergamides related to LSD
Investigator: David E. Nichols, PhD / Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN / Contact: David E. Nichols PhD / Sponsor: Heffter, Promind / Laboratory research, no human or animal subjects. It is well known that the nature of the amide function of lysergamides is critical to conferring activity and high potency onto these molecules. The N,N-diethylamide (LSD) is unique among all the known amides, both for the qualitative aspects of its effects and for its extremely high potency. This project is evaluating a series of lysergamides of varying amide structure using radioligand competition studies at cloned human brain neurotransmitter receptors expressed in cell lines. The project seeks to identify in these data the possible reasons for the high degree of variability in activity of the various amides. That is, is there a specific subset of receptors to which LSD binds that less potent lysergamides do not? In addition, intracellular signaling pathways are being examined to determine whether all lysergamides activate the same intracellular biochemical events.
Follow-up study of Bastiaans LSD therapy
Investigators: Nicole Maalste, Hans Ossebaard / Utrecht, Netherlands / Contact: Nicole Maalste, PhD / Sponsor: MAPS, Promind Foundation / Retrospective survey study with former clients who were treated with drug therapy by Dr. Jan Bastiaans. Data collection and analysis for pilot study completed. Funding sought for further research.
Psycholytic Therapy with MDMA and LSD in Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland / Investigators: Marianne Bloch, MD, Jurai Styk, MD and Dr. Samuel Widmer, MD / Sponsor: Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy / From 1988 to 1993 therapists with the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy worked with MDMA and LSD as adjuncts to psychotherapy. The findings from this study were published in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 1994- 95. Drs. Juraj and Sonja Styk discussed this work at the 1999 MAPS MDMA symposium in Israel.
A Critical Review of Theories and Research Concerning LSD
Investigator: David Abrahart / Contact: David Abrahart / A critical research literature review concerning LSD and mental health. In particular it concentrates on flashbacks, precipitated psychoses and therapeutic uses
Follow-up Study of Janiger LSD Research
Investigators: Rick Doblin, Jerry Beck, PhD, Kate Obata, Maureen Alioto / Los Angeles Area, California / Contact MAPS Information / Sponsor: MAPS / Retrospective survey study with 45 people who participated in the LSD research of Dr. Oscar Janiger between 1954 and 1962. The Janiger LSD Follow-up Study was published by MAPS.
Blood flow and cerebral laterality in the mescaline model of psychosis
Investigators: Hermle L, Gouzoulis-Mayfrank E, Spitzer M / Department of Psychiatry, Christophsbad, Goppingen, Germany.
Peyote Neuropsychological Study
Investigator: John Halpern, MD, Harrison Pope, MD / Harvard Medical School - Cambridge, Massachussetts / Contact: John Halpern, MD / Sponsor: Heffter, NIDA, Harvard Medical School, MAPS
Investigators have begun neuropsychological testing with Native American Church members. The investigators did not find any signs of impaired cognition in NAC members. MAPS donated $10,000 towards this study in May, 2001.
Psilocybin in the treatment of cancer patients
Investigator: Charles Grob, MD, UCLA-Harbor Medical Center - Torrance, CA / Contact: Marycie Hagerty / Sponsor: Heffter / Grob has prepared a study investigating whether anxiety in the dying can be significantly reduced by the appropriate administration of psilocybin. Any attendant reduction in pain will also be measured. This study has enrolled 12 participants and is now complete. The researchers have published their results.
Psilocybin in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Investigator: Francisco Moreno, MD / University of Arizona, Tucson, USA / Contact: Francisco Moreno, MD / Sponsor: Heffter/MAPS / This is the first FDA-approved study in more than 25 years to examine the use of psilocybin in a patient population. The principal investigators plan to study the use of psilocybin in patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They want to determine if they can replicate in a clinical study several published case reports of patients whose OCD symptoms were reduced after self- experimentation with psilocybin mushrooms. Analytical data on this psilocybin has been submitted to FDA in March, 2001, with approval obtained from the FDA on May 9, 2001. DEA licenses received July 2, 2001. The study is now complete
Psilocybin: Basic Dose-Response Safety Studies
Investigator: Franz Vollenweider, MD / Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland / Contact: Franz Vollenweider, MD / Sponsor: Heffter / Dr. Vollenweider's team have completed a series of basic research studies into the dose-response effects of psilocybin on physiological and psychological measures, cognition, sensorimotor gating, sequential behavior, and brain activity in healthy human subjects. The researchers assessed subjective, physiological and neuroendocrine effects of psilocybin, including an assessment of attention and visual perception, and previous investigations have examined the contribution of serotonin and dopamine transmitter systems to producing the subjective effects of psilocybin.
The Concord Prison Experiment Follow-Up
Investigator: Rick Doblin, Ph.D. / Rick Doblin, PhD. / This study, originally published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs [Oct-Dec 1998] is one in a series of long-term follow-ups to early psychedelic research that MAPS has sponsored. The original 1961-63 Harvard study lead by Dr. Timothy Leary investigated the utility of psilocybin in reducing rates of recidivism for prisoners.
The Good Friday Experiment Follow-Up
Investigator: Rick Doblin, Ph.D. / Contact: Rick Doblin, PhD / This study, originally published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology [1991 Vol 23(1)] is one in a series of long-term follow-ups to early psychedelic research that MAPS has sponsored. The original 1962 Harvard study lead by Walter Pahnke investigated the utility of psilocybin in triggering a mystical experience.
Psilocybin’s Effects on Cognition
Investigator: Manfred Spitzer, MD, PhD et al.
Psychiatrische Universitats Klinic, Heidelberg, Germany / Human clinical study, completed and published. More psilocybin research in Germany / Psilocybin's effects on cognition: Recent research and its implications for enhancing creativity
Human Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin
Investigator: Rick Strassman, MD / University of New Mexico, USA / Rick Strassman, MD / Psychobiological study. Phase 1 dose-response study / Sponsor: NIDA / Begun, not completed due to personal reasons unrelated to study itself.
Studies of salvinorin and salvia divinorum use
Investigators: John E. Mendelson, Jeremy R. Coyle, Juan Carlos Lopez, Matthew J. Baggott, Keith Flower, E. Thomas Everhart, Thomas A. Munro, Gantt P. Galloway & Bruce M. Cohen / Sponsor: Beckley Foundation, anonymous donor / Contact: John E Mendelson / This study was a placebo-controlled, ascending dose examination of the effects of sublingually administered salvinorin A in eight individuals experienced with salvia divinorum. The study was double blind with respect to placebo. Heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation were monitored for up to 4 hours post-drug, and subjective effects were measured with multiple self-report scales. Results are presented in an in-press paper in Psychopharmacology.
Differential Effects of Hallucinogens, Entactogens, and Psychostimulants
Investigators: Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, MD and Mark Geyer, PhD / Aachen, Germany and UC San Diego - La Jolla, California / Contact: Mark Geyer, PhD. / Sponsor: Heffter / A study with healthy volunteers with two different hallucinogens and placebo in a double- blind, cross-over design. The aim of the study is to compare the effects of a classic tryptamine hallucinogen on psychosis-like psychopathology and measures of early information processing to the effects of an NMDA-antagonist. References and details
Receptor Mechanisms Contributing to Psychedelic Drug Effects
Investigators: Franz Vollenweider, MD and Mark Geyer, PhD / Sponsor: Heffter / Psychiatric University Hospital - Zrich, Switzerland and UC San Diego - La Jolla, California / Contact: Franz Vollenweider, MD, Mark Geyer, PhD.
A Biochemical Bridge to the Embodied Psyche
(doctoral dissertation) / Investigator: Kim Hewitt / Department of American Civilization, University of Texas at Austin / Contact: Kim Hewitt / Sponsors: MAPS / Exploration of how psychedelics helped facilitate a shift in American ideas about mind- body interaction. In 1999 the investigator traveled to the American Medical Archives in Chicago, and the Rockefeller Institute Archives in Tarrytown, New York to do research for this project, and presented part of her research on LSD at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York for a series called "Visions the Plants Gave Us." Part of my dissertation will be published in an anthology called "The Politics of Healing," to be published in 2002. My essay addresses how psychedelic therapy changed individuals and the cultural mindset during the 1950's-60's.
Yes, Mom Took Acid: The Sociohistorical Influence of Prior Psychedelic Drug
(doctoral dissertation) / Investigator: Mariavittoria Mangini, M.S. PhD / Laytonville, California / Contact: Mariavitoria Mangini, M.S., PhD /Qualitative study, using focused interviews to obtain narrative data. Data also considered: published contemporary and historic discourses about psychedelic drug use, accounts of the interactions of psychedelic drug users with their social environment; and representations of the psychedelic experience in art, music, film and the electronic media.
Mangini was one of fifty scholars nationwide awarded the American Dissertation Fellowship by the American Association of University Women for the 1999-2000 academic year, a heartening acknowledgement of the relevance of this topic.
Northwest Amazonian Ayahuasca Shamanism and Near-Death Experience
Investigator: Marcus Lumby, PhD candidate / Contact: Jeff Simmons / Sponsorship: includes small grant from MAPS / Anthropological investigation, first phase completed.
Guided, Structured, Group Use of Entheogenic Substances in Western Culture
(Doctoral dissertation) / Investigator: Roger Marsden / California Institute of Integral Studies, Clinical Psychology / Contact: Roger Marsden / Sponsors: 1998 Kranzke Scholarship; MAPS / What are the different frameworks being employed by entheogenic guides? How are these frameworks different from those used in the research of the 1960s? How do the variations in present day frameworks appear to affect the outcome? Regardless of one's individual assumption of the value of psychedelic work, it is happening in a variety of contexts across the planet. The investigator has completed all interviews in 3 guided, structured entheogen/psychedelic groups. Data analysis is complete (10 central themes extracted for the basis of discussion, i.e., preparation, integration, relationship of participants to guide, role of relationship of participants to each other, description of the actual sessions, relationship of the work to drug abuse issues, etc.)
Ongoing and Open Research StudiesU.S. Veterans
A Randomized Triple-Blind, Phase 2 Pilot Study Comparing 3 Different Doses of MDMA in Conjunction with Manualized Psychotherapy in 24 Veterans with Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Principal Investigator: Michael Mithoefer, M.D., with co-therapist Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N.
Location: Charleston, SC (USA) / This pilot Phase 2 study is examining the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 24 veterans, firefighter, and police officers with service-related PTSD.
U.S. Boulder, Colorado
The next phase (Phase 3) of our clinical development plan for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD will require many more male/female co-therapist teams than are currently available. Finding a cost-effective and sustainable way to recruit effective therapists is therefore a top priority.
Principal Investigator: Marcela Ot'alora, M.A., L.P.C. / Location: Boulder, CO
Study Protocol (Amendment 1, Version 1: March 26, 2013)
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for the Treatment of Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
There are currently no FDA-approved pharmacological treatments for autistic adults with social anxiety, and conventional anti-anxiety medications lack clinical effectiveness in this population. Based on anecdotal reports, MDMA-assisted therapy may be a suitable intervention for the treatment of social anxiety in autistic adults and warrants further investigation in a randomized controlled clinical trial.
Charles Grob, M.D., and Alicia Danforth, Ph.D.(c), will be co-investigators for this study.
US Marijuana PTSD Study
Placebo-Controlled, Triple-Blind, Randomized Crossover Pilot Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Five Different Potencies of Smoked or Vaporized Marijuana in 50 Veterans with Chronic, Treatment-Resistant Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Clinical Investigator: Sue Sisley, M.D. / This study will look at whether smoking or vaporizing marijuana can help reduce PTSD symptoms in fifty veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants can be men or women aged 18 or older with a diagnosis of PTSD that has not improved after they have tried either medication or psychotherapy.
Australia (Under Development)
Australian Study of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
This study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 12 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. This study is in the protocol approval stage.
Can MDMA combined with psychotherapy help people suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD?
Principal Investigators: Ingrid Pacey, MD, and Andrew Feldmár / Location: Vancouver, BC (Canada)
This study has full approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), Health Canada, and the U.S. FDA. Data will also be submitted to the FDA under IND #63,384. / This will be the first clinical psychedelic study in Canada since the mid-1970s. / An amended protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board on July 12, 2013, and by Health Canada on September 6, 2013. This study is now screening subjects.
Principal Investigator: Moshe Kotler, M.D. / Study Site: Beer Ya’akov Mental Hospital, Israel / This study has the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Health, an independent Ethics Committee, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This study has been initiated, and is monitored by local Clinical Research Associate Mimi Peleg. This study is currently ongoing.
LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Anxiety Secondary to Life Threatening Illness
Location: Solothurn, Switzerland / MAPS is proud to sponsor the first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in humans in over 35 years. This study, based in Switzerland, investigates the safety and effectiveness of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with life-threatening illnesses and who are experiencing associated anxiety.
Observational Study of the Long-Term Efficacy of Ibogaine-Assisted Therapy (Mexico)
Principal Investigator: Thomas Brown, Ph.D.
This observational case study is examining changes in substance use in individuals seeking ibogaine-based addiction treatment for opiate dependence at two independent ibogaine clinics in Mexico. This study is intended to gather information to evaluate whether ibogaine-assisted therapy helps opiate-dependent people to implement positive changes in their drug use patterns and in their lives. Twelve-month follow-up data will be collected from participants in the study to examine whether ibogaine-assisted therapy facilitates improvements in quality of life that result in decreased harms associated with chronic or mismanaged opiate use. The study is fully approved and began enrollment on August 23, 2010.
Observational Study of the Long-Term Efficacy of Ibogaine-Assisted Therapy (New Zealand)
Principal Investigator: Geoff Noller, Ph.D. / This study is taking place at an independent ibogaine clinic in New Zealand. Its purpose is to examine the safety and long-term effectiveness of ibogaine treatment for opioid addiction severity and quality of life in 20 to 30 patients. This is an observational study (meaning that researchers do not administer the drug in the study but only survey people who have already been treated).The study was approved by the Ethics Committee on February 22, 2012. This study has all necessary approvals and is now enrolling subjects
Ayahuasca-Assisted Treatment for Addiction (British Columbia, Canada)
Principal Investigator: Gerald Thomas, Ph.D. / Study Site: British Columbia, Canada / Sponsored in part by MAPS Canada, this observational study investigated the safety and long-term effectiveness of ayahuasca treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and dependence. Combining Western psychotherapeutic techniques with South American shamanic (Vegetalista) healing practices, this study successfully gathered preliminary evidence about the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted therapy.
The paper describing the results of the study was published in June 2013 in Current Drug Abuse Reviews.
MDMA and the Noradrenergic System
Investigators: Matthias Liechti MD, Cedric Hysek PhD / Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Basel. / A series of studies investigating the role of the noradrenergic (norepinephrine) system plays in producing the physiological, neuroendocrine and subjective effects of MDMA, including an examination of the effects of noradrenergic drugs on the effects of MDMA on emotion perception. The studies have also considered potential use of specific noradrenergic drugs as means of ameliorating cardiovascular and thermoregulatory effects of MDMA in humans.
Case Series: Response of Cluster Headache to Self-Administered Lysergic-Acid-Amide-Containing Seeds
Investigator: R. Andrew Sewell MD / Contact: R. Andrew Sewell MD / Sponsor: MAPS
Inspired by reports from the cluster headache community that ingestion of seeds containing LSA (Hawaiian baby woodrose, morning glory, Rivea corymbosa) terminates cluster periods in the same way that LSD and psilocybin do, this study will examine the effects of LSA on cluster headache by collecting accounts from patients who have used these seeds to control their symptoms, and will also analyze the seeds that they used in order to determine the LSA content.
LSD-assisted psychotherapy for 12 people with anxiety related to life-threatening illness
Investigator: Peter Gasser MD / Sponsor: MAPS / Contact: Peter Gasser, MD / This research will study the safety and efficacy of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in reducing anxiety arising from diagnosis with a serious illness and limited life expectancy, to be conducted in 12 subjects in Switzerland by Dr. Peter Gasser. The protocol was reviewed and approved by the ethics board and was reviewed and cleared by Swissmedic, the Swiss Food and Drug Agency, and has been reviewed and cleared by BAG, the agency akin to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Dr. Gasser sent in his first annual report on November 25, 2008 and has enrolled four subjects.
Johns Hopkins Study of Psilocybin in Cancer Patients
Investigators: Roland Griffiths PhD, William Richards PhD, Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., Una McCann, M.D. / Sponsor: Heffter Research Institute, Riverstyx Foundation / Contact: Roland Griffiths, PhD
This study is being done to find out if psilocybin can produce personally and spiritually meaningful experiences in cancer patients, thereby extending findings from an earlier study in our laboratory with healthy volunteers. The study will enroll about 44 people, who will receive careful preparation and 2 sessions in which they will receive psilocybin. Structured guidance will be provided during the session and afterward to facilitate integration of the experiences.
New York University Psilocybin and Cancer Study
Investigators: Stephen Ross MD; Anthony Bossis PhD; Jeffrey Guss MD / Sponsor: Heffter Research Institute / Contact: Gabrielle Agin-Liebes or Tara Malone / This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study that will assess the efficacy of psilocybin on psychosocial distress, with the specific primary outcome variable being anxiety associated with cancer. Secondary outcome measures will look at the effect of psilocybin on symptoms of pain perception, depression, and existential/psychospiritual distress, attitudes toward disease progression, quality of life, and spiritual/mystical states of consciousness.
Using BOLD fMRI to measure the effects of psilocin on brain activity and connectivity
Investigators: Robin Carhart-Harris PhD, Richard Wise, Amanda Feilding, David Nutt PhD. / Sponsor: Beckley Foundation / Supporting sponsor: MAPS and Heffter Research Institute / Contact: Robin Carhart Harris / This study is part of the Beckley Foundation/Imperial College Psychedelic Research Programme. It aims to discover how psilocin works in the brain by measuring increases and decreases in activity in different regions of the brain induced by the drug. Using analyses of functional and effective connectivity it will reveal network relationships between different regions of the brain and will show whether activity in certain brain regions is exerting a causal or driving influence over activity in other brain regions. These analyses may be very important for understanding the mechanism of action of psilocin. Based on the rationale of psychotherapeutic work with LSD and psilocybin/psilocin in the 1950s and 60s we will also address the hypothesis that psilocin lowers repression and facilitates autobiographical recollection. If this hypothesis is supported it will: 1) indicate that psilocin can facilitate the recollection of autobiographical memories 2) offer a biological explanation for how this occurs and 3) indicate how psilocin might be useful as an adjunct to dynamic psychotherapy.
A Pilot Study of Psilocybin-Facilitated Addiction Treatment
Investigators. Roland Griffiths PhD, Matt Johnson PhD, / Sponsor: Beckley Foundation / Contact: Roland Griffiths, PhD / This study focuses on overcoming nicotine addiction in cigarette smokers. Psilocybin will be administered under highly supportive conditions to individuals who suffer drug dependence that has been resistant to treatment by conventional means. Participants will undergo several preparation meetings with session guides before two, day-long psilocybin sessions with a week's gap between them. Participants will meet with session guides the day after each session and weekly for 3 weeks after the last psilocybin session. To maximize the benefits of this research, we will also be looking to test the proposal that hallucinogen-induced mystical experiences may boost the immune system and thereby have important implications for health and well-being, by measuring cytokine markers of immune function before the first and after the last psilocybin session.
Effects of Psilocybin on Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Roland Griffiths PhD, William Richards PhD, Una McCann MD, Robert Jesse / Sponsor: NIDA, Council for Spiritual Practices, Heffter Research Institute / Contact: Roland Griffiths, PhD / A series of studies is planned to investigate the effects of psilocybin in healthy volunteers. The first was a double-blind study evaluating the psychological effects of psilocybin relative to methylphenidate administered under comfortable, supportive conditions. After psilocybin, 61% of subjects met pre-established criteria, for a full mystical experience, and 31% reported significant fears during their psilocybin session. Two months after sessions, 71% of subjects rated their psilocybin experience as among the five most "spiritually significant" experiences of their lifetimes. 79% rated that it had increased their current sense of personal wellbeing or life satisfaction. Fourteen month follow-up data is being analyzed.
Continuing support for this research program is uncertain and the investigators are attempting to network with individuals or foundations that could help provide support.
Psilocybin Effects on Attention, Perception and Cognition
Investigators: Franz Vollenweider MD, Olivia Carter PhD, Felix Hasler MD / Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. / Contact: Franz Vollenweider, MD / Sponsor: Heffter / Dr. Vollenweider and colleagues continue to study the neural correlates of consciousness and the effects of psilocybin on visual perception, attention, working memory, and time perception. Other studies will use EEG or positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.. Several published reports describe research findings, and other reports are forthcoming, or studies are underway at present.
Experimental Studies on the Effects of Psilocybin on Binocular Depth Inversion, Binocular Rivalry, N
Investigators: Torsten Passie M.D., Jrgen Seifert M.D., Udo Schneider M.D., Hinderk M. Emrich M.D., Ph.D. / Medical School Hannover, Dept. of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover, Germany / Contact: Torsten Passie, MD / Sponsor: MAPS/Medical School Hannover, Dept. of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy / This is a randomized, double-blind, active placebo-controlled study of the effects of medium doses of psilocybin in 12 healthy physicians, examining the effects of psilocybin on different neuropsychological measures, perceptual changes, synaesthesias and some subjective effects. These measures include binocular rivalry (different, or conflicting, information presented to each eye) and the "hollow mask" paradigm, measures examining changes in central processing of visual perception. The study is fully approved. The study was completed in 2010 and will be published soon.
Human psychopharmacology of salvinorin A
Investigators: Matthew W Johnson Ph.D and Roland R. Griffiths Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University / Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) / Examination of subjective, physiological, and persisting effects of vaporized salvinorin A, the active component in Salvia divinorum, in people using ascending doses across a wide dose range.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Key Personnel and Notable IndividualsMAPS Board Members and Department Heads
- Rick Doblin, Ph.D., - - Executive Director
- Valerie Mojeiko - Deputy Director
- Robert Barnhart - BA in comparative religion from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
- David Bronner - President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.
- John Gilmore - an entrepreneur and civil libertarian
- Joby Pritzker - a trustee of The Libra Foundation.
- Michael Mithoefer, M.D., Clinical Investigator for MDMA/PTSD Studies
- Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N. - Co-Investigator MDMA/PTSD Studies
- Brad Burge, M.A. - Director of Communications
- Amy Emerson, Director of Clinical Research
- L (Ilsa) Jerome Ph.D., Clinical Research and Information Specialist
- Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist
- Linnae Ponté, Executive and Clinical Research Assistant / Harm Reduction Coordinator
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Controversy
LawsuitsMAPS is seeking to develop the plant form of marijuana into a prescription medicine for the purpose of making medical marijuana legally available on a federal level. If marijuana were a U.S. FDA-approved prescription medicine, it would no longer be up to individual states to decide on the legal status of medical marijuana.
Nationwide, any person with a doctor’s prescription would be legally allowed to use the medicine.
To date, the FDA has not evaluated marijuana as part of a prescription drug-development process. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s monopoly on the supply of marijuana for federally approved research is in the way.
Prior to initiating a full drug development research program for medical marijuana, MAPS must obtain an independent source of marijuana that is legal for clinical research.
NIDA does not have a monopoly on any other Schedule I drug, such as MDMA, LSD, or psilocybin. NIDA only makes its marijuana available to projects it approves.
MAPS, in association with Professor Lyle Craker of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Department of Plant and Soil Sciences has been locked in a decade-long struggle to obtain DEA permission to establish a marijuana-growing facility for FDA-approved research, and to end NIDA’s monopoly.
On April 15, 2013, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the DEA’s rejection of the 2009 DEA Administrative Law Judge recommendation that it would be in the public interest for the DEA to license Prof. Craker to grow marijuana under license to MAPS for federally regulated research, thereby ending the NIDA monopoly on marijuana for research.
Following the First Circuit decision, Prof. Craker’s legal team decided that the Court acted within its jurisdiction and that there was no point in appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
ReferencesWikipedia: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
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