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Johns Hopkins Launches Research Center To Study Whether Psychedelics Can Help With Anorexia, Depression

Johns Hopkins Launches Research Center To Study Whether Psychedelics Can Help With Anorexia, Depression

Johns Hopkins Medicine has been exploring the healing potential of psychedelic drugs for the last 19 years. When it started in 2000, it was the first medical research institution to obtain federal approval for the research.

The research has produced many studies published in peer-reviewed journals. The research was mainly focused on psilocybin, the chemical found in psychedelic mushrooms, which has been shown to be successful in reducing anxiety and depression in cancer patients and also in nicotine addiction, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Taking its research to the next level on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins Medicine launched the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. It's thought to be the first such research center in the U.S. and the biggest of its type in the world.

“Psychedelics are a class of drugs that produce unique and profound changes of consciousness over the course of several hours. The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research will focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, brain function, learning and memory, the brain's biology and mood,” Johns Hopkins announced.

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The Center’s launching was supported by private donors, who provided the University with $17 million. Those donors include the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and four philanthropists: Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress; Tim Ferriss, author and technology investor; Blake Mycoskie, founder of the shoe and accessory brand TOMS; and investor Craig Nerenberg.

"The center's establishment reflects a new era of research in therapeutics and the mind through studying this unique and remarkable class of pharmacological compounds," Roland Griffiths, the center's director and professor of behavioral biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement.

 "In addition to studies on new therapeutics, we plan to investigate creativity and well-being in healthy volunteers that we hope will open up new ways to support human thriving."

The Center will first research psilocybin’s potential in helping people who suffer from anorexia nervosa and early Alzheimer’s disease, according to Green Rush Daily. Later on, it plans to develop clinical trials to test psilocybin’s power to treat opioid-use disorder, PTSD and chronic depression.

"Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients," Paul Rothman, dean of the medical faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement. 

"Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential."

The center will form a team of six faculty neuroscientists, experimental psychologists and clinicians with a specialty in psychedelic science and five postdoctoral scientists. Furthermore, the center’s faculty will offer a training option to medical students who are interested in studying psychedelic science.

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Photo by Alan Rockefeller/Wikimedia

Posted-In: Green Rush Daily Johns Hopkins Medicine psychedelics The Baltimore SunCannabis News Markets Media Best of Benzinga


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