Psychedelic Research Around The World
With a few exceptions, only studies in which psychedelics are actually administered to human subjects are included in the following list of projects. Studies in which psychedelic drug users are compared to control groups are generally not included. Animal studies are not included. For comprehensive bibliographies of past psychedelic research, including all therapeutic studies as well as other human and animal studies, see our bibliography section. For more information about psychedelic psychotherapy, see "Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Spirituality: The Ten Lessons of Psychedelics, Rediscovered" by Neal Goldsmith, Ph.D. along with the associated bibliography and viewgraph presentation.

This page is updated by Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D. If you have any questions, or more recent information about any of these studies, please write .

 
MDMA research
See also the MDMA Research Page for more links.
 
MDMA in progress

MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Investigators: Michael Mithoefer, MD
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Sponsor: MAPS
Contact:
The protocol was approved by FDA on November 2, 2001. The protocol was modified in June 2002 when FDA approved the move of the location of the treatment sessions to Dr. Mithoefer's office. In July 2002, the Western IRB approved the protocol, only to revoke approval in September 2002 as a result of internal pressure. In response to an appeal by MAPS, which included 12 letters of support for the protocol from scientists around the world, the Western IRB refused to review the underlying scientific data, decided the study was too controversial, withdrew from the review and returned all fees paid by MAPS. On September 23, 2003, a new IRB approved the protocol after a three month review process. The DEA issued Dr. Mithoefer his Schedule I license on February 24th, 2004, nearly a year and a half after he applied for it. This study is now fully approved and underway. Several subjects have already completed their experimental sessions.

In April 2004, MAPS received a grant of $250,000 from Peter Lewis for MDMA psychotherapy research. As a result, this study is now fully funded. As of May 28, 2004, MAPS is seeking an additional $250,000 for our MDMA psychotherapy research projects in development, primarily the proposed study of MDMA in the treatment of anxiety in patients with advanced stage cancer, hopefully to take place at Harvard, and the Spain and Israeli MDMA/PTSD studies (see below).

Prior donations to the US MDMA/PTSD study that have brought us to this point  have amounted to about $310,000 ($113,000 from John Gilmore, $58,000 from the Joe Barnhart Foundation, $50,000 from an anonymous family foundation, $35,000 from the Overbrook Foundation, $12,800 from Anja Saunders, $10,000 from Shawn Hailey, $10,000 from Richard Wolfe, $10,000 from the Zimmer Family Foundation, $5,000 from Michael Ziegler, $5,000 from Joby Pritzker, $1,780 from the Holland Fund, plus a few smaller donations). For more information about what is needed to develop MDMA-assisted therapy into a treatment for PTSD, see the MDMA Clinical Plan.
Last updated June 1, 2004.

Serotonin and Dopamine system interactions in the reinforcing properties of psychostimulants
Investigators: Manny Tancer, MD and Charles Schuster, PhD
Wayne State University - Detroit, Michigan, USA
Contact:
Sponsor: NIDA
Psychobiological studies approved and in process. An MDMA dose-response study and a comparison of MDMA, d-amphetamine and mCPP are completed. The first paper about this research was published in December, 2001, and a second report was published in November 2003.
Last updated February 23, 2004.

 
MDMA under development

See also the MDMA Research Page for more links.

MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Location: Israel
Contact:
Sponsor: MAPS
The protocol design and approval process for this study is now underway, as a result of MAPS having obtained FDA, IRB and DEA approval of the PTSD study directed by Michael Mithoefer, M.D., in South Carolina (USA). On April 29, 2004, Dr. Moshe Kotler, Israeli Ministry of Health and PI on this study, met with Rick Doblin to discuss design details and the protocol approval process. On May 3, 2004, Dr. Miki Reiter, Israeli Ministry of Health, met in Jerusalem with Rick Doblin for similar discussions. If all goes well, this study will be approved around the end of 2004/early 2005.
Read about the 1999 Israel MDMA Conference
Last updated June 1, 2004


MDMA Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — Spain Study
Investigators: Pedro Sopelana Rodriguez, psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital of Madrid (Hospital Psiquiatrico de Madrid); Jose Carlos Bouso Saiz, Ph.D. candidate
U. de Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
Contact:
Sponsor: MAPS A pilot dose-finding study with the purpose of gathering information to be used to help select the dose for a subsequent study of therapeutic efficacy. The project is the first formal therapy study with MDMA ever conducted. Six of the 29 subjects have now been treated. We have completed treating the patients in the 50 mgs dose group (3 patients received 50 mgs and 1 received a placebo), and have treated two people in the 75 mg dose group (5 patients will receive 75 mgs and 2 will receive a placebo). Unfortunately, this study has been shut down for political reasons due to pressure on the hospital from the Madrid AntiDrug Authority, though we are working to overcome these obstacles. The Ministry of Health has not withdrawn permission, so there is a chance that the study can be resumed, though definitely not until sometime after we obtain permission to start the US MDMA/PTSD study. See the current update, the protocol and the informed consent form.
Last updated February 24, 2004

MDMA Dose Response Study in Cancer Patients with Anxiety
Investigators: John Halpern MD, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, Belmont MA
Contact:
Sponsor: MAPS
Study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with anxiety as a result of advanced stage cancer, with outcome measures to evaluate anxiety, pain and quality of life. On February 23, 2004, MAPS donated $11,000 to McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, for Dr. Halpern's work on the protocol design and approval process ($15,000 was also donated to McLean for this study on June 2003). MAPS had initially worked with Dr. Charles Grob in a much earlier effort to conduct MDMA research in cancer patients prior to Dr. Grob's switching to psilocybin (see entry below). For more information about Dr. Grob's effort. see the details and reference page, the 1995 version of the protocol, and view the video. .Dr. Halpern's study is currently under development and will hopefully commence near the end of 2004.
Last updated June 1, 2004

 
MDMA completed

Behavioral Effects of MDMA Related to Driving Ability
Investigators: C.T.J. Lamers PhD, J.G. Ramaekers PhD, W.J. Riedel
University of Maastricht, the Netherlands
Contact:
Sponsor: Ministry of Transport, the Netherlands
This research examines MDMA effects on driving related task performance, including psychomotor function (such as tracking, movement speed), cognitive function (attention, executive function and planning) and object movement prediction. In addition, mood changes and physiological measures were assessed, and MDMA levels were measured in blood, sweat, urine and saliva. Studies already published were conducted according to a placebo-controlled, cross-over, double-blind design and treatments included placebo, 75 mg MDMA and 0.5 g/kg alcohol.
Last updated April 7, 2004.

Effects of MDMA ("Ecstasy") on the Human Brain
Investigators: Franz Vollenweider, MD, Alex Gamma, PhD
Psychiatric University Hospital - Zürich, Switzerland
Contact:
Sponsors: Swiss National Science Foundation, UBS Science Foundation
Psychobiologic studies including: assessment of possible neurophysiological, psychological and cognitive alterations in chronic MDMA users; evaluation of the role of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine systems in mediating the effect of MDMA on mood, psychomotor behavior and sensorimotor gating in humans, investigating whether regular MDMA users show alterations in 5-HT reuptake site densities indicative of neurotoxic effects after long-term MDMA use. MAPS donated $6,000 to a sub-study in which 10 MDMA-naive subjects will receive a PET scan to measure serotonin reuptake sites before and after a single dose of MDMA (1.5-1.7mg/kg)
Last updated June 18, 2001

For details see the MDMA Research in Switzerland Page

MDMA Pharmacokinetics in Humans
Investigators: John Mendelson, MD and Reese Jones, MD
UC San Francisco - California, USA
Contact person:
Sponsor: NIDA
Drug administration phase completed, eight subjects were given 0.5 and 1.5 mg/kg MDMA HCl. A paper from it is in press at Annals of Internal Medicine.
Data was presented at two conferences.
Last updated September 18, 2000

See also Research in Germany.
See the MDMA Research Page for more links.

Clinical pharmacology of the interaction between alcohol and MDMA
Investigators: Jordi Camí, MD, Magi Farré, MD, et al.
Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica - Barcelona, Spain
Contact:
Sponsor: funded in part by several government grants
Psychobiologic study looking at the interaction of MDMA (100 mg) and alcohol (.8 g/kg). Analysis nearly completed, papers being written. See the current update.
Last updated September 14, 2000

Mood state and brain electric activity in Ecstasy users
Investigators: Alex Gamma, PhD, Edi Frei, Dietrich Lehmann (1), Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui (1), Daniel Hell and Franz Vollenweider, MD
Research Unit and (1) The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zürich
Sponsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter; MAPS.
Contact:
References Neuroreport (2000) 11 (1): 157-162.
Last updated February 9, 2000

Gender Differences in the Subjective Effects of MDMA
Investigators: Liechti ME, Gamma A, Vollenweider, FX
Sponsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter Research Institute
References: Psychopharmacology DOI (2001) 10.1007/s002130000648
Last updated February 16, 2001

Effects of MDMA (Ecstasy) on Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation of Startle in Humans After Pretreatment with Citalopram, Halperidol, or Ketanserin
Investigators: Liechti ME, Geyer MA, Hell D, Vollenweider FX
Sonsors/Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Federal Health Office; Heffter Research Institute
References: Neuropsychopharmacology (2001) 24:240-252
Last updated February 16, 2001

MDMA and Memory
Investigators: Karen Bolla, PhD et al.
Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland
Sponsor: NIH
Neuropsychological memory testing of MDMA users and controls.
Last updated April 9, 1999

Also see Alex Gamma - MDMA and Memory

Acute effects of 3, 4 - methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") on cerebral blood flow (CBF), brain electric activity (EEG), prepulse inhibition (PPI), psychological state and neuropsychological performance in healthy subjects
Investigators: Alex Gamma, PhD, Franz Vollenweider, MD
Psychiatric University Hospital - Zürich, Switzerland
Sponsor: UBS Science Foundation and others
Contact: or
Aim: an integrative characterization of MDMA in terms of its acute neurophysiological, psychological and cognitive effects in healthy, MDMA-naive human subjects. Subjects were given a single oral dose of MDMA (1.7 mg/kg).
Also see the references and details page.
Last updated January 18, 2000

Pharmacological Effects of MDMA in Humans
Investigator: Jordi Camí, MD, Magi Farré, MD, et al.
Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica - Barcelona, Spain
Contact: or
Sponsor: funded in part by several government grants
Studies include: Quantification of MDMA and its metabolites in plasma and urine by gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus detection; Human pharmacology of MDMA, Psychomotor performance and subjective effects.
Also see a list of published papers.
Last updated January 24, 2000

Low-dose MDMA ("Ecstasy") induces vasopressin secretion
Investigator: John Henry, MD
University College London, England
Contact:
This was a neurotoxicity study. Henry is directing additional MDMA studies at this time.
Last updated January 14, 2000

  • Fallon JK, Kicman AT, Henry JA, Milligan PJ, Cowan DA, Hutt AJ.
    Stereospecific analysis and enantiomeric disposition of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) in humans.
    Clin Chem 1999 Jul;45(7):1058-69.
  • Henry JA, Fallon JK, Kicman AT, Hutt AJ, Cowan DA, Forsling M
    Low-dose MDMA ("ecstasy") induces vasopressin secretion.
    Lancet 1998 Jun 13;351(9118):1784.

Psychobiologic Effects of MDMA in Humans
Investigators: Charles S. Grob, MD, and Russell E. Poland, PhD
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center - Torrance, California, USA
Sponsor: MAPS, Harbor/UCLA
Contact: ,
FDA-approved Phase 1 dose-response safety study .25 to 2.25 mg/kg, dose administration phase completed, data for .25 to .75 mg/kg published. Data for 1.00 to 2.25 mg/kg being analysed for publication.
Also see the details and references page, and view the video.
Last updated January 19, 2000

MDMA Pharmacokinetics
Investigator: Rudolf Brenneisen, PhD
University of Bern, Switzerland
Contact:
Sponsor:NIH
PET scan study, MDMA Neurotoxicity, MDMA Users vs. Control Group.
Last updated April 9, 1999

MAPS Commentary on this study
MDMA Neurotoxicity Study Page from Erowid Entheogen Vaults

 
MDE research
 
MDE completed
See also Research in Germany

Differential Cognitive and Brain Activation Effects of the Isomers of MDE
Investigators: Dr. Spitzer, et al.
University of Ulm, Germany
Contact:
This study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the cognitive and brain activation effects of the isomers of MDE. The researchers concluded "The so-called entactogenic effects of MDE are likely to be caused by the (S)-enantiomer, whereas (R)-MDE appears to be responsible for neurotoxic effect."
Last updated January 29, 2002

The Psychological, Neuroendocrine, Cardiovascular and Sleep-EEG Effects of MDE
Investigators: Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, MD et al.
Aachen, Germany
Contact: Sponsor: DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft = German Research Foundation)
Human research on neurobiological and subjective effects of MDE. References and details.

Last updated February 18, 2003
 
Ayahuasca research
 
Ayahuasca in progress
Pharmacological, imaging and immunological studies of Ayahuasca in Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba
Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain
Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP)
Contact:
A study of the urinary excretion of ayahuasca alkaloids in the 22-volunteer, double-blind study (described below) is planned but has not yet been conducted due to lack of funding. The double-blind brain-imaging study using SPECT to study regional cerebral blood flow after ayahuasca administration has been fully approved and is now in progress. As of this date, seventeen volunteers have undergone all experimental sessions. This study will also look for any immunomodulating effects of ayahuasca. These studies are seeking additional information on mechanisms of action underlying the central effects of ayahuasca.
Read the update in the MAPS Bulletin, Summer 2000 issue.
Last updated February 23, 2004

Ayahuasca in the Treatment of Substance Abuse
Investigators: Jacques Mabit, Jaime Torres, Rosa Giove, Javier Zavala, Olga Celis
Takiwasi Center - Tarapoto, Peru
Contact:
Website: www.takiwasi.com
Sponsors: Self-financed, funding sought from the French government, European Union, and United Nations
Takiwasi has been doing research with substance abuse treatment for several years.
Last updated March 5, 2003

A Study of Uniao do Vegetal (UDV) Adolescents
Investigators: Charles Grob, MD, Ailonso Luiza, Claudia Miranda,
Glacus de Souza Brito, MD and Marlene de Rios
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter
Testing and evaluation of adolescents who have used ayahuasca and matched controls have been completed. Data review now in process.
Last updated March 5, 2003

 
Ayahuasca under development

Pharmacological Study of Ayahuasca in Healthy Humans
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba
Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain
Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP), partial funding from Spanish government.
Contact:
A repeated dose study and a neurochemical mechanism study designed to evaluate the capacity of 5HT1A agonists and 5HT2A antagonists to block the effects of ayahuasca will both be conducted soon. These studies are also included as part of the program of research including a SPECT study of regional blood flow after ayahuasca that is already in progress, as described above.
Last updated February 20 2004

 
Ayahuasca completed
EEG of Long-Term Ayahuasca Drinkers vs. Matched Controls
Investigators: Dr. Micheal Hessellink (Holland), Yatra da Silveira Barbosa (Brazil), Dr. Erik Hofmann (Denmark). Co-investigators are: Dr. Glacos Brito and Dr. Dartiu Xavier da Silveira both from Brazil.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Contact:
The protocol has been completed and an article reporting on the results is published in the MAPS Bulletin, Spring 2001.
Last updated March 5, 2003

Pharmacological Study of Ayahuasca in Healthy Volunteers
Investigators: Manel Barbanoj, MD, PhD and Jordi Riba
Institute de Recerca, Hospital de Sant Pau - Barcelona, Spain
Sponsor: Institut de Reserca, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP)
Contact:
The initial pilot study has been completed, including a published report of subjective effects in 6 volunteers. An 18-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of ayahuasca effects is now complete. Included were measures of subjective effects, cardiovascular effects, sensorimotor gating, EEG variables, urinary monoamine metabolite excretion, and pharmacokinetics of ayahuasca alkaloids.
Last updated May 9, 2003

Investigations on the Human Psychopharmacology of Ayahuasca: Phase I
Investigators: Dennis J. McKenna, PhD and Charles S. Grob, MD and Jace Callaway, PhD
Contact: and
Sponsor: Botanical Dimensions, Heffter, MAPS
Psychobiologic study, completed and published, follow-up studies possible.
Last updated March 5, 2003

 
DMT research
 
DMT completed
Human Psychopharmacology of N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Investigator: Rick Strassman, MD
University of New Mexico, USA
Contact:
Sponsor: NIDA
Psychobiological study, finished and published.
Last updated April 9, 1999

MAPS Bulletin - Volume 6 Number 1 Autumn 1995
University of New Mexico Update

 
Ibogaine research
 
Ibogaine in progress

Ibogaine treatment study with addiction
Investigator: Deborah Mash, PhD
St. Kitt, Virgin Islands
Contact:
Sponsor: Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd.
Sponsor: Healing Visions Institute for Addiction Recovery, Ltd. Clinical study of the safety and efficacy of ibogaine in the treatment of addiction, with data gathered from patients treated by Dr. Mash, an expert in the study of ibogaine in human patient volunteers. To date, she has evaluated the effect of ibogaine in over three hundred patients. Due to a lack of funds, most of these data come from treatment conducted off-shore.
Last updated June 18, 2001

  • Mash, D.C., Kovera, C.A. Pablo, J., Tyndale, R. F., Ervin, F.D., Williams, I.C., Singleton, E.G., and Mayor, M.
    Ibogaine: Complex Pharmacokinetics, Concerns for Safety, and Preliminary Efficacy. Neurobiological Mechansisms of Drugs of Abuse, Annals New York Acad. Sci. Vol. 94: 394-401, 2000.
  • Mash DC, Kovera CA, Buck BE, Norenberg MD, Shapshak P, Hearn WL, Sanchez-Ramos J, (1998)
    Medication Development of Ibogaine as a Pharmacotherapy for Drug Dependence, Annals NY Acad Sci, v 844 pp 274-292.
 
Ibogaine under development
Outcome Study of Ibogaine in the Treatment of Addiction
Investigators: Valerie Mojeiko, Sandra Karpetas, Leah Martin, Jill Stammer, Randy Hencken
Sponsor: MAPS
Contact:
This study is in the protocol design stage and will use a similar methodology to evaluate the outcomes of patients treated at both the Iboga Therapy House in Vancouver and the clinic in Mexico run by the Ibogaine Association. For more information about ibogaine treatment, see "Case Studies of Ibogaine Treatment: Implications for Patient Management Strategies" by Lotsof and Alexander, from The Alkaloids series, vol. 56, IBOGAINE: PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, edited by Alper, Glick and Cordel.
Last Updated May 27, 2004

Safety studies in preparation for proposed study of ibogaine therapy in the treatment of cocaine addiction
Investigators: Carlos Singer, MD and Deborah Mash, PhD
Unversity of Miami Medical School - Florida, USA
Contact
Continuation of a Phase 1 dose-response study to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics and dosage effects of ibogaine. The study will include a follow-up and standardized data collection in order to identify relevant parameters of efficacy. The study has stopped at 2 mg/kg, but has been approved for 4, 6 and 8 mg/kg. Research cannot begin until funding of about $500,000 is secured. Currently, there is no funding to continue this study. view video
Last updated April 30, 2003

 
Ibogaine completed

There is additional information about ibogaine research at www.ibogaine.org

Safety studies in preparation for proposed study of ibogaine therapy
in the treatment of cocaine addiction

Investigators: Juan Sanchez-Ramos, MD, PhD and Deborah Mash, PhD
Unversity of Miami Medical School - Florida, USA
Contact:
Sponsor: University of Miami, MAPS
Clinical study Phase I begun (up to 2 mg/kg), funding ceased, published. view video
Last updated April 30, 2003

MAPS Bulletin - Volume 6 Number 3 Summer 1996
Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Ibogaine in Human Patient Volunteers

MAPS Bulletin - Volume 6 Number 1, Autumn 1995
Development of Ibogaine as an Anti-Addictive Drug: A progress report from the University of Miami School of Medicine

MAPS Bulletin - Volume 5 Number 3 Winter 1994-95
Ibogaine in the treatment of chemical dependence disorders: clinical perspectives

 
Ketamine research
 
Ketamine in progress

Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy In The Treatment of Heroin Addiction
In this study, forty patients will be given 3 therapy sessions with ketamine, while another forty patients will be given 3 therapy sessions, one with ketamine and two without ketamine. MAPS and Heffter Research Institute have jointly agreed to donate $9,450 each for five years to this study. MAPS and Heffter have already donated for each of the first four years. Fifty-nine patients have already been treated, and follow-up assessments have been performed on patients already enrolled in this study so far. Unfortunately ketamine has recently been rescheduled in Russia and this study has been shut down. Dr. Krupitsky is trying to reopen the study but isn't sure yet whether this can be accomplished.
Research Protocol for Single vs. Multiple Dose Study
Last updated October 31 2003

Ketamine Research in Russia Page (MAPS)

Krupitsky E, Burakov, A, Romanova, T, Dunaevsky, I, Strassman, R, Grinenko A (2002). Ketamine psychotherapy for heroin addiction: immediate effects and two-year follow-up. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 23, 273-283

 
Ketamine completed

Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy in the Treatment of Heroin Addiction
Investigator: Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD
St. Petersburg, Russia
Contact
Sponsor: MAPS, Heffter
Clinical study, drug administration phase completed, 70 patients treated (35 in the experimental and 35 in the control group). The study is finished, the researchers published the six-month follow-up paper in MAPS. The one-year follow-up analysis has been completed. Two year follow-up data has been analyzed and submitted for publication and is currently in the midst of the peer review process. Results are promising.
Research Protocol for the Therapeutic dose vs. Low Dose Placebo study
Last updated May 6, 2003

Experiments in Altered Perception of 3-D Visual Illusions as a Screening Method for Psychedelic Activity Using Ketamine
Investigators: Torsten Passie, MD; Udo Schneider MD and Hinderk Emrich, MD
Hannover, Germany
Contact:
www.schamanismus-information.de
Sponsor: MAPS, Dept. of Psychiatry Hannover Medical School
Clinical experiment with ketamine to establish a paradigm to use visual 3-D illusions as screening instruments for detecting psychedelic activity in humans below the subjective threshold of experience. Passie's team has recently published a report relating to this research.
Last updated August 11, 2003

Passie T, Karst M, Borsutzky M, Wiese B, Emrich HM, Schneider U (2003)Effects of different subanaesthetic doses of (S)-ketamine on psychopathology and binocular depth inversion in man. J Psychopharmacology 17: (2003) 51-56

Full Text in PDF Format

Antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients
Investigators: Berman RM, Cappiello A, Anand A, Oren DA, Heninger GR, Charney DS, Krystal JH
Abraham Ribicoff Center Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit of theConnecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven 06519, USA
Seven subjects with major depression completed 2 test days that involved intravenous treatment with ketamine hydrochloride (.5 mg/kg) or saline solutions under randomized, double-blind conditions. RESULTS: Subjects with depression evidenced significant improvement indepressive symptoms within 72 hours after ketamine but not placebo infusion. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a potential role for NMDA receptor-modulating drugs in the treatment of depression. Reference: Biol Psychiatry 2000 Feb 15;47(4):351-4.
Last updated April 12, 2000

Psychedelic effects of ketamine in healthy volunteers: relationship to steady-state plasma concentrations
Investigators: Bowdle TA, Radant AD, Cowley DS, Kharasch ED, Strassman RJ, Roy- Byrne PP
Department of Psychiatry, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle
Contact:
Ketamine or saline was administered in a single-blinded crossover protocol to 10 psychiatrically healthy volunteers. Hallucinogen rating scale scores were similar to those found in a previous study with psychedelic doses of DMT. Synopsis of paper in Anesthesiology (1998)
Last updated November 3, 1999

Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy in the Treatment of Alcoholics
Investigator: Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD
St. Petersburg, Russia
Contact:
Sponsor: Leningrad Regional Center for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Therapy, MAPS
Ten years of clinical studies completed and published.
Last updated April 9, 1999

Ketamine Research in Russia Page (MAPS)

 
LSD research
 
LSD in progress

Receptor Profiles of Lysergamides related to LSD
Investigator: David E. Nichols, PhD
Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter, Promind
Laboratory research, no human or animal subjects. It is well known that the nature of the amide function of lysergamides is critical to conferring activity and high potency onto these molecules. The N,N-diethylamide (LSD) is unique among all the known amides, both for the qualitative aspects of its effects and for its extremely high potency.This project is evaluating a series of lysergamides of varying amide structure using radioligand competition studies at cloned human brain neurotransmitter receptors expressed in cell lines. The project seeks to identify in these data the possible reasons for the high degree of variability in activity of the various amides. That is, is there a specific subset of receptors to which LSD binds that less potent lysergamides do not? In addition, intracellular signaling pathways are being examined to determine whether all lysergamides activate the same intracellular biochemical events.

Last updated April 9, 2003

 
LSD under development

Psilocybin and LSD in the treatment and prevention of cluster headaches
Investigators: Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Andrew Sewell
Location: Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA.
Sponsor: MAPS
Contact:
MAPS was approached in early 2004 by Bob Wold, a cluster headache patient advocate (http://www.clusterbusters.com), who has collected more than 50 case reports of people reporting very positive results in breaking cluster headache cycles and delaying the reoccurrance of cluster headaches through using psilocybin or LSD. At present, there are some medications that are used to stop cluster headaches, which are more severe than migraines. but they are not fully effective in many patients, and they do not prevent the cycling course of cluster headaches.

MAPS has recently received a donation of $50,000 to support research into this treatment approach from Marsha and Dave Weil, who hope that their donation will generate matching funds from other donors; potential donors can contact for more information. The effort to design and obtain approval for a study will be led by Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Andrew Sewell, both at Harvard Medical School. Over the summer of 2004, they will write up a case series for publication in a medical journal. Starting in October 2004, they will begin the protocol design and approval process.
Last updated May 18, 2004.

LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Cancer Patients
Investigators: Albert A. Kurland, MD, Richard Yensen, PhD, and Donna A. Dryer, MD
Orenda Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
Contact:
Sponsor: Orenda Institute, MAPS
Psychotherapy study designed to study the use of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety in cancer patients. The protocol was submitted to FDA on July 20, 2001. On August 22, 2001, FDA placed the protocol on Clinical Hold, requesting quite a few changes in the protocol design along with additional background information about prior LSD psychotherapy research. In mid-October 2001, in order to gather requested data for submission to FDA, MAPS staffer Brandy Doyle assisted Richard Yensen and Donna Dryer in reviewing the files of cancer patients treated with LSD in the late 1960s and early 1970s. No date has yet been set for the resubmission of a revised protocol to FDA.
Last updated December 24, 2001.

"B.C.'s Acid Flashback" - R.C., Vancouver Sun

 
LSD completed

Since the discovery of the psychoactive effects of LSD in 1943, over 1000 papers have been published on a huge range of effects of LSD in humans and animals. See the Psychedelic Bibliography for more on these studies. You may also view references from Torsten Passie's psychedelic/psycholytic therapy database, also accessible through the psychedelic bibliography. To view this collection, either search "entire collection," or use "Expert search" and type "passie" as the requested database.

Follow-up study of Bastiaans LSD therapy
Investigators: Nicole Maalste, Hans Ossebaard
Utrecht, Netherlands
Contact:
Sponsor: MAPS, Promind Foundation
Retrospective survey study with former clients who were treated with drug therapy by Dr. Jan Bastiaans. Data collection and analysis for pilot study completed. Funding sought for further research. Final Report: Summer 1999, Progress Report: Winter 1999, Winter 2001.
Last updated March 25, 2002

Follow-up study of Janiger LSD research
Investigators: Rick Doblin, Jerry Beck, PhD, Kate Obata, Maureen Alioto
Los Angeles Area, California
Contact
Sponsor: MAPS
Retrospective survey study with 45 people who participated in the LSD research of Dr. Oscar Janiger between 1954 and 1962. The Janiger LSD Follow-up Study was published by MAPS.
Last updated May 9, 1999

A Critical Review of Theories and Research Concerning
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Mental Health

Investigator: David Abrahart
Contact:
A critical research literature review concerning LSD and mental health. In particular it concentrates on flashbacks, precipitated psychoses and therapeutic uses. Read it
Last updated August 25, 1999

Psycholytic Therapy with MDMA and LSD in Switzerland
Zürich, Switzerland
Investigators: Marianne Bloch, MD, Jurai Styk, MD and Dr. Samuel Widmer, MD
Sponsor: Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy
From 1988 to 1993 therapists with the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy worked with MDMA and LSD as adjuncts to psychotherapy. The findings from this study were published in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 1994- 95. Drs. Juraj and Sonja Styk discussed this work at the 1999 MAPS MDMA symposium in Israel. Read their talk, view video
Last updated January 14, 2000

A Critical Review of Theories and Research Concerning LSD and Mental Health
David Abrahart

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Terminally Ill
Bruce Sewick

 
Mescaline research
 
Mescaline in progress

Mescaline in Healthy Volunteers
Investigator: Dr. Roy Mathew
Duke University Medical School, Durham NC, USA
Sponsor: NIDA
Mescaline and PET scans in healthy normal psychedelic-experienced subjects.
Last updated February 7, 2002

"Tracing the Synapses of Our Spirituality", S. Vedantam, 17 July 2001, Washington Post. Features an interview with Dr. Mathew.
"Time" -- by Dr. Roy Mathew. MAPS - Volume 11, Number 2. Fall 2001.

 
Mescaline completed

Blood flow and cerebral laterality in the mescaline model of psychosis
Investigators: Hermle L, Gouzoulis-Mayfrank E, Spitzer M
Department of Psychiatry, Christophsbad, Goppingen, Germany.
Abstract of published paper
Last updated February 22, 2000

 
Peyote research
 
Peyote in progress

Peyote Neuropsychological Study
Investigator: John Halpern, MD, Harrison Pope, MD
Harvard Medical School - Cambridge, Massachussetts
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter, NIDA, Harvard Medical School, MAPS
Investigators have begun neuropsychological testing with Native American Church members. Pilot data has been analysed. MAPS donated $10,000 towards this study in May, 2001.
Last updated Febrary 7, 2002

MAPS Bulletin -- Volume 11, Number 2 Fall 2001. "Research at Harvard Medical School" -- by Dr. John Halpern
"Interview with John Halpern" -- by Valerie M.

 
Psilocybin research
 
Psilocybin in progress

Psilocybin in the treatment of cancer patients
Investigator: Charles Grob, MD, UCLA-Harbor Medical Center - Torrance, CA
Contact:
Web: www.canceranxietystudy.org
Sponsor: Heffter
Grob has prepared a study investigating whether anxiety in the dying can be significantly reduced by the appropriate administration of psilocybin. Any attendant reduction in pain will also be measured. The study is now fully approved, and Grob is seeking people interested in participating in this study. People interested in participating may learn more about volunteering here or at the study website.
Last updated March 25, 2004

Psilocybin in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Investigator: Francisco Moreno, MD
University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter/MAPS
This is the first FDA-approved study in more than 25 years to examine the use of psilocybin in a patient population. The principal investigators plan to study the use of psilocybin in 10 patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They want to determine if they can replicate in a clinical study several published case reports of patients whose OCD symptoms were reduced after self- experimentation with psilocybin mushrooms. MAPS has paid $12,250 for the synthesis of one gram of psilocybin. Analytical data on this psilocybin has been submitted to FDA in March, 2001, with approval obtained from the FDA on May 9, 2001. DEA licenses received July 2, 2001. First patient was treated on November 27, 2001; eight subjects have been treated thus far, in a total of 29 sessions.  Current news on this study, Study Protocol, Informed Consent Form
Last updated February 10, 2004

Experimental Studies in the Effects of Psilocybin on Binocular Depth Inversion, Binocular Rivalry, Neuropsychology and Synaesthesias
Investigators: Torsten Passie M.D.; Jürgen Seifert M.D., Udo Schneider M.D., Hinderk M. Emrich M.D., Ph.D. Medical School Hannover, Dept. of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover, Germany
Contact:
Web: www.schamanismus-information.de
Sponsor: MAPS/Medical School Hannover, Dept. of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
This is a study in 12 healthy physicians with medium doses of psilocybin examining effects of psilocybin on different neuropsychological measures, and perceptual changes and some subjective effects. These measures include binocular rivalry (different information presented to each eye) and the "hollow mask" paradigm. The study is double-blind and placebo-controlled (active placebo). The process of permission is completed and the study is fully approved. MAPS has donated $3,000 for the purchase of 250 milligrams of psilocybin, insurance, and other expenses. Three of twelve subjects have now been enrolled in this study.
Read more about this study
Last updated August 20, 2003

 
Psilocybin under development

Psilocybin and LSD in the treatment and prevention of cluster headaches
Investigators: Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Andrew Sewell
Location: Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA.
Sponsor: MAPS
Contact:
MAPS was approached in early 2004 by Bob Wold, a cluster headache patient advocate
(http://www.clusterbusters.com), who has collected more than 50 case reports of people reporting very positive results in breaking cluster headache cycles and delaying the reoccurrance of cluster headaches through using psilocybin or LSD. At present, there are some medications that are used to stop cluster headaches, which are more severe than migraines. but they are not fully effective in many patients, and they do not prevent the cycling course of cluster headaches.

MAPS has recently received a donation of $50,000 to support research into this treatment approach from Marsha and Dave Weil, who hope that their donation will generate matching funds from other donors potential donors can contact for more information. The effort to design and obtain approval for a study will be led by Dr. John Halpern and Dr. Andrew Sewell, both at Harvard Medical School. Over the summer of 2004, they will write up a case series for publication in a medical journal. Starting in October 2004, they will begin the protocol design and approval process.
Last updated May 18, 2004.

 
Psilocybin completed

Psilocybin: Basic Dose-Response Safety Studies
Investigator: Franz Vollenweider, MD
Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter
Dr. Vollenweider's team have completed a series of basic research studies into the dose-response effects of psilocybin on physiological and psychological measures, cognition, sensorimotor gating, sequential behaviour, and brain activity in healthy human subjects. Fifty-six individuals were examined after a range of doses of psilocybin. A paper reporting the effects of placebo, very low, low, medium and high doses of psilocybin (45 -315 mcg/kg) in eight individuals has been published on-line in November 2003 and in print in March 2004. The researchers assessed subjective, physiological and neuroendocrine effects of psilocybin, including an assessment of attention.
Last updated March 18, 2004

  • Hasler F , Grimberg U, Benz MA, Huber T, Vollenweider FX (2004) Acute psychological and physiological effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-effect study. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 172: 145-156. Published on-line DOI: 10.1007/s00213-003-1640-6
    View the full text in PDF format.

The Concord Prison Experiment Experiment Follow-Up
Investigator: Rick Doblin, Ph.D.

This study, originally published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs [Oct-Dec 1998] is one in a series of long-term follow-ups to early psychedelic research that MAPS has sponsored. The original 1961-63 Harvard study lead by Dr. Timothy Leary investigated the utility of psilocybin in reducing rates of recidivism for prisoners.
Article from MAPS Bulletin
Leary Riedlinger Report
Last updated Jan 3, 2000

The Good Friday Experiment Follow-Up
Investigator: Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
Contact:
This study, originally published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology [1991 Vol 23(1)] is one in a series of long-term follow-ups to early psychedelic research that MAPS has sponsored. The original 1962 Harvard study lead by Walter Pahnke investigated the utility of psilocybin in triggering a mystical experience.
Article in the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Last updated Jan 3, 2000

Psilocybin's effects on cognition
Investigator: Manfred Spitzer, MD, PhD et al.
Psychiatrische Universitats Klinic, Heidelberg, Germany
Human clinical study, completed and published. More psilocybin research in Germany
Last updated April 9, 1999

  • Spitzer M, et al. (1996)
    Increased activation of indirect semantic associations under psilocybin. Biol Psychiatry. 1996 Jun 15;39(12):1055-7.

Psilocybin's effects on cognition: Recent research and its implications for enhancing creativity -- MAPS Bulletin, Volume 7, Number 1 Winter 1996/97

Human Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin
Investigator: Rick Strassman, MD
University of New Mexico, USA

Psychobiological study. Phase 1 dose-response study
Sponsor: NIDA
Begun, not completed due to personal reasons unrelated to study itself.
Last updated April 9, 1999

University of New Mexico Update -- MAPS Bulletin, Volume 6, Number 1 Autumn 1995

 
Salvia Divinorum research
 
Salvia in progress

Meditation with Salvia Divinorum/Salvinorin A
Investigators: Ian Soutar, Rick Strassman, M.D.
Contact:
Sponsor: MAPS
This project evaluates Salvia divinorum as a tool for enhancing meditation work. Buddhist, Quaker, Sufi and other meditation techniques are used by participants in this double blind evaluation of group meditation combined with low doses of Salvia divinorum. One third of the subjects will receive a placebo, one third will receive a very low dose and one third will receive a low dose.
MAPS has purchased the materials and paid for the chemical analysis. Continuing assistance is being offered at no charge, in the spirit of amateur research, by MAPS (professional) members. Thanks to all who are currently contributing their knowledge to this project.
Details on this study.
Last updated June 18, 2001

 
Multi Drug Studies
 
Multi drug studies in progress

Differential Effects of Hallucinogens, Entactogens, and Psychostimulants
Investigators: Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, MD and Mark Geyer, PhD
Aachen, Germany and UC San Diego - La Jolla, California
Contact:
Sponsor: Heffter
A study with healthy volunteers with two different hallucinogens and placebo in a double- blind, cross-over design. The aim of thestudy is to compare the effects of a classic tryptamine hallucinogen onpsychosis-like psychopathology and measures of early information processing tothe effects of an NMDA-antagonist. References and details
Last updated February 22, 2000

Receptor Mechanisms Contributing to Psychedelic Drug Effects
Investigators: Franz Vollenweider, MD and Mark Geyer, PhD
Psychiatric University Hospital - Zürich, Switzerland and UC San Diego - La Jolla, California
Contact: //-->
Sponsor: Heffter
Last updated April 9, 1999

 
Cross-cultural and Meta-analysis studies
 
Cross-cultural studies n progress

A Biochemical Bridge to the Embodied Psyche:
LSD Research 1945-1965
(doctoral dissertation)
Investigator: Kim Hewitt
Department of American Civilization, University of Texas at Austin
Contact:
Sponsors: MAPS
Exploration of how psychedelics helped facilitate a shift in American ideas about mind- body interaction. In 1999 the investigator traveled to the American Medical Archives in Chicago, and the Rockefeller Institute Archives in Tarrytown, New York to do research for this project, and presented part of her research on LSD at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York for a series called "Visions the Plants Gave Us." Part of my dissertation will be published in an anthology called "The Politics of Healing," to be published in 2002. My essay addresses how psychedelic therapy changed individuals and the cultural mindset during the 1950's-60's. It is entitled "Solvents of Conceptual Sludge: Psychedelic Therapy Confronting the Cold War Mindset." Read about this study in the MAPS Bulletin
Last updated May 24, 2001

Insight, Integration and Implementation: The Personal Psychospiritual
Uses of Entheogens by Mental Health Professionals
(doctoral dissertation)
Investigator: Sean House
University of Idaho, Counselor Education

Qualitative study of the processes by which entheogen use becomes therapeutic. Explores how insights become implemented in daily living. Development of a grounded theory outlining the therapeutic process. Participants all have training in one of the mental health professions.
Last updated February 23, 2000
Sponsor: MAPS
Pilot interview study of adolecents and young adults who've grown up in a psychedelic- friendly households. Read about this study in the MAPS Bulletin
Last updated April 9, 1999 -->

Northwest Amazonian Ayahuasca Shamanism and Near-Death Experience
Investigator: Marcus Lumby, PhD candidate
Contact:
Sponsorship: includes small grant from MAPS
Anthropological investigation, first phase completed. Read Field Reports and MAPS article.
Last updated June 8, 2000

The Role of Bwiti in West Africans' Psychospiritual, Social,
Ecological, Ancestral, and Cosmological Relationships
(doctoral dissertation)
Investigator: Larry Roussel
California Institute of Integral Studies, East-West Psychology
Sponsor: 1998 Kranzke Scholarship
Comparison of the religious use of iboga among the Bwiti with the ritual use of plants in other syncretic religions such as the Native American Church and the Santo Daime Church of Brazil which also use plant entheogens as an integral part of their ceremonies.
Last updated April 9, 1999

Procedural Variables Needed to Achieve Therapeutic Gains
Through the Use of Psychedelics

Investigator: Brad Watkins
California Institute of Integral Studies, Integral Counseling Psychology Program
Sponsor: 1998 Kranzke Scholarship
Analysis of published research studies in which psychedelics were used to treat neurosis and addiction, and will analyze the treatment procedures to discover the relationship between procedural variables and their outcomes.
Last updated April 9, 1999

The Use of Calea Zacatechichi in the Induction of Lucid
Dreams and Enhancement or Alteration of the Lucid Dream State
(doctoral dissertation)
California Institute of Integral Studies, Clinical Psychology
Investigator: David Stuckey
Sponsor: 1998 Kranzke Scholarship
Last updated April 9, 1999

Guided, Structured, Group Use of Entheogenic Substances in Western Culture (doctoral dissertation)
Investigator: Roger Marsden
California Institute of Integral Studies, Clinical Psychology
Contact:
Sponsors: 1998 Kranzke Scholarship; MAPS
What are the different frameworks being employed by entheogenic guides? How are these frameworks different from those used in the research of the 1960s? How do the variations in present day frameworks appear to affect the outcome? Regardless of one's individual assumption of the value of psychedelic work, it is happening in a variety of contexts across the planet. The investigator has completed all interviews in 3 guided, structured entheogen/psychedelic groups. Data anaysis is complete (10 central themes extracted for the basis of discussion, i.e., preparation, integration, relationship of participants to guide, role of relationship of participants to each other, description of the actual sessions, relationship of the work to drug abuse issues, etc.) Read about this study in the MAPS Bulletin
Last updated January 19, 2000

 
Cross-cultural studies completed

Yes, Mom Took Acid: The Sociohistorical Influence of Prior Psychedelic Drug Use (doctoral dissertation)
Investigator: Mariavittoria Mangini, M.S. PhD
Laytonville, California
Contact:
Qualitative study, using focused interviews to obtain narrative data. Data also considered: published contemporary and historic discourses about psychedelic drug use, accounts of the interactions of psychedelic drug users with their social environment; and representations of the psychedelic experience in art, music, film and the electronic media.
Mangini was one of fifty scholars nationwide awarded the American Dissertation Fellowship by the American Association of University Women for the 1999-2000 academic year, a heartening acknowledgement of the relevance of this topic.
Last updated April 11, 2001