Clinical Trial Treating Anxiety with Psilocybin Approved in Australia

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Clinical trial investigating psilocybin assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of severe anxiety receives ethics approval.

A clinical trial investigating psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of severe Generalised Anxiety Disorder has received ethics approval, according to BioSpectrum Asia.

Monash University in Australia, in partnership with Incannex Healthcare, will conduct the randomised triple-blinded clinical active-placebo-controlled trial. Hoping to recruit 72 participants at the start of 2022, this study will be the largest psychedelic research project in Australia.

The study’s second-phase clinical trial was greenlit last week by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee, amidst mounting evidence of psilocybin’s effectiveness in triggering changes in perception, mood and thought.

Led by Dr Paul Liknaitzky, Head of Clinical Psychedelic Research, the study will assess the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. The trial will treat patients using psilocybin sessions alongside an integrative programme of specialised psychotherapy, with the aim of exploring how the treatment works in practise.

Dr Liknaitzky tells reporters that the positive early findings from other psilocybin trials are very promising, with innovations developed throughout this trial potentially resulting in substantial advancements in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition characterized by excessive worry, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. The constant intensity of this anxiety is highly invasive and can be very detrimental to the sufferer’s quality of life. According to Mind, 6% of people will experience GAD in their lifetime, with current treatments providing inadequate outcomes, troublesome side-effects and high relapse rates.

This trial is a timely and welcome development in the field of psychedelic medicine, as evidence shows the significant and lasting therapeutic potential of psychedelics in treating a range of mental health and addiction disorders. Previous studies show the effectiveness of psychedelics in treating PTSD, depression and social disconnection.

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