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Can MDMA Be Used For Eating Disorders?

The post Can MDMA Be Used For Eating Disorders? appeared first on Microdose.

The modern psychedelic renaissance has shed the limelight on psychedelic…

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The post Can MDMA Be Used For Eating Disorders? appeared first on Microdose.
The modern psychedelic renaissance has shed the limelight on psychedelic compounds like MDMA and their incredible efficacy in the treatment of severe mental illnesses, such as PTSD. Designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA, MDMA is making incredible progress as a therapeutic tool for the treatment of PTSD. Indeed, the landmark MAPS trials that are currently taking place are demonstrating exactly that. However, these trials are also spawning new studies exploring the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of other important conditions, such as eating disorders. Phase 2 Study of MDMA for Eating Disorders

Phase 2 Study of MDMA for Eating Disorders

To better understand how MDMA can help treat eating disorders, MAPS will conduct an open-label, multi-site phase 2 study of the safety and feasibility of MDMA-assisted therapy for eating disorders. The study will investigate MDMA as an adjunct to therapy for anorexia nervosa restricting subtype (AN-R) and binge-eating disorder (BED). The study will also investigate caregiver involvement in the treatment of individuals with AN-R and BED.

Indeed, based on the world-renowned MDMA PTSD trials MAPS just completed, it is clear that the therapy component (and not just the drug) proved critical in the treatment of these patients who had been diagnosed with PTSD. The addition of a supportive caregiver as a treatment ally with every participant reflects this most recent development in science and practice. Supportive caregivers enrolled in the study will receive non-drug therapy support. The study will enroll 12 participants who meet the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders Edition 5 (DSM-5) criteria for AN-R, and 6 participants who meet DSM-5 criteria for BED, for a total of 36 participants (12 AN-R, 6 BED, and 18 caregivers).

Insights From Dr. Robison, Chief Medical Officer at Novamind

Our content editor, Gaurav Dubey, had the pleasure of speaking with the lead researcher conducting this study in this curious episode of the PsyFi podcast. In it, Dr. Robison spoke extensively about the upcoming phase 2 study into eating disorders MAPS will be conducting. It was particularly interesting to hear Dr. Robison explains how MDMA potentially works to treat serious mental health conditions, such as eating disorders. “A lot of it has to do with breaking down the default mode network and those patterns that bind us,” said Dr. Reid Robison. Indeed, much of the psychedelic science and research taking place during this renaissance revolves around the default mode network (DNM). Dr. Robison specifically spotlights the groundbreaking psychedelic research by Dr. Robin Carhart Harris and his team, who are world-renowned for their work involving psychedelics and the DNM. And perhaps most importantly, Dr. Robison points out that psychedelics are filling significant unmet medical needs.
“There are no FDA approved medicines for anorexia, which is one of the deadliest mental health conditions.” ~Dr. Robison
MDMA could truly be filling an important unmet need in medicine and mental healthcare.

Could MDMA Become a Staple in the Future of Therapy for Eating Disorders?

While we don’t yet know exactly how MDMA will work for the treatment of eating disorders, researchers are actively determined to find out how. Dr. Robison expertly points out that psychedelics can help us break old patterns and establish new, healthier ones. He insightfully describes how current treatments, such as SSRIs, are “emotionally blunting”, whereas psychedelics enhance sensitivity to emotion. He goes on to mention that when psychedelics are combined with therapy, the results are much more potent and effective. Indeed, this is a sentiment some of the most influential people in the space share, such as MAPS Founder Rick Doblin. With the future of therapy looking brighter and more successful, we look forward to seeing psychedelics, such as MDMA, becoming key therapeutic tools.

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