You’ve surely seen the hyped news stories. Psychedelic drugs are no longer just for hippies and attendees at raves: they’re the new frontier of mental health treatment, revolutionising how we think about conditions like depression and PTSD and showing major promise in clinical trials.
In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart look into psychedelics and mental illness. They start by talking about why scientists think psychedelics might be relevant here - and it’s to do with the theory of the “Bayesian Brain”. Then they get into the studies, and point to some serious hurdles on the way to getting good evidence on this question.
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Announcement that Australia has legalised psychedelics for some kinds of psychotherapy
A long, highly technical exposition of the Bayesian Brain theory with reference to psychedelics
Criticism of the Bayesian Brain theory more generally
Stuart’s Substack post on psychedelics
The Phase II randomised trial of psilocybin versus escitalopram
The Phase III randomised trial of MDMA for PTSD
Eiko Fried’s Twitter thread on a very bad study of psychedelics and mental illness
The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.