The effect of psilocybin on personality in patients with major depression
Over the last few years, a number of clinical pilot studies have examined the therapeutic potential of the non-selective serotonin receptor agonist, psilocybin, for a variety of mental health conditions; including anxiety, OCD, as well as smoking and alcohol dependence, and we have recently completed a similar feasibility study in treatment-resistant major depression. Based on previous observations in healthy psychedelic naïve volunteers of long-lasting increases in the personality trait “openness” after a single high-dose of psilocybin, we speculated that similar changes in personality may occur in patients with major depression after their treatment with psilocybin. This talk will report on a clinical trial involving 19 patients with treatment-resistant depression who received two doses of psilocybin in an open label pilot study. Significant changes in personality traits, as assessed with pre- and post-treatment personality measurements using the full 240-item NEO-PI R, were observed. These data and their relationships with treatment response will be presented in this talk.
David Erritzoe is a medical doctor and clinical psychiatrist. In the years after finishing medical school at Copenhagen University in 2001, he trained under Professor Marc Laruelle at Columbia University in New York City and later under Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen in the Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (CIMBI) in Copenhagen in molecular and functional brain imaging. In 2009 he completed his PhD on serotonergic neurotransmission and subsequently moved to Imperial College London to conduct post-doc addiction research under the mentorship of Professors Anne Lingford-Hughes and David Nutt. At Imperial, David has been involved in psychopharmacological and brain imaging research mainly investigating dopaminergic and opioid neurotransmission in addiction. In addition he is part of a research programme together with Professor Nutt and Dr Carhart-Harris conducting research in the neurobiology and the treatment potential of MDMA and classic psychedelics.