The Danish Council for Independent Research - Medical Sciences supports NRU research
- Published: Thursday, 30 June 2016 15:58
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Novel pharmacological treatment development for neuropsychiatric disorders suffers from failed drug trials. We aim to establish proof-of-concept that an experimental medicine approach can overcome this limitation using state-of-the-art neuroimaging to delineate novel effects in humans in vivo. We will evaluate psilocybin, a serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2A) agonist that improves well-being and has antidepressant effects. We will determine brain 5-HT2A dose-occupancy with 11C-Cimbi-36 PET for psilocybin and a 5-HT2A inverse agonist and antagonist, linking brain occupancy with blood concentrations and behavior. We will determine long-term effects of a psilocybin dose on brain 5-HT2A, delineating a mechanism mediating lasting behavioral effects. We will compare drug effects on brain function/connectivity with fMRI, elucidating neural pathways sensitive to 5-HT2A modulation. This cohesive project will generate critical neurobiological insights into psilocybin as a potential novel therapeutic.