Psilocybin effects on brain connectivity – human EEG study
A serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/C receptor agonist psilocybin induces perceptual changes and thought disturbances that mimic psychotic symptoms. According to recent imaging studies psilocybin alters the connectivity and function of brain networks. Frontotemporal disconnection and disconnection of resting state networks (default mode, executive and salient networks) are typically found in psychotic patients. Inappropriate switching between these networks due to dysfunctional salient network is most likely cause of positive psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. In our present study we have examined the effects of psilocybin in a group of 20 volunteers in a placebo controlled double blind clinical trial. Acute effects of psilocybin on brain connectivity within the above mentioned networks and the correlations with neuropsychiatric scales “Altered state of consciousness scale (ASCs)”, brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS) were evaluated using LORETA connectivity analysis.
As a researcher started to work at NIHM, Czech Republic in 2001 in preclinical research of MDMA, LSD, mescaline, psilocin and 2C-B. Meanwhile he was trained in psychiatry and clinical electrophysiology and started to participate on human trials with ketamine as model psychosis and in the treatment of depression. Recently he is a principle investigator of the first project in the Czech Republic that is intended to study the acute effects of cannabis in healthy volunteers and of the first human clinical trial studying the effects of psilocybin on brain connectivity in human volunteers.