Leor Roseman – Amygdala Reactivity & Symptom Improvement After Psilocybin Treatment For Depression
In this open-label study, 19 subjects, diagnosed with treatment resistant depression, underwent psilocybin-assisted therapy with psychological support. Subjects underwent fMRI scans before the first session and one day after second session. Neutral, fearful and happy faces were presented during the fMRI session and changes were measured in the amygdala. Right amygdala showed increased response to fearful and happy faces. The increased response for fearful compared to neutral faces was related to the improved therapeutic outcome 1-week after therapy. While treatment- response was robust, the effect on right amygdala responsivity was in the opposite direction to effects of SSRI in the literature. Long-term antidepressant treatment leads to blunting of amygdala responses in the same emotional recognition task, where our psilocybin-assisted therapy enhanced amygdala responsivity. This difference might be related to the difference in the approach of both treatments: while the former attempts to ease negative emotions, the later attempts to confront and work through them.
Filmed at Breaking Convention 2017
4th International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness
University of Greenwich London – June 30th – July 2nd 2017