Summary: A study published in JAMA Psychiatry demonstrates the potential of COMP360 psilocybin treatment for bipolar II depression. Conducted by Dr. Scott Aaronson at Sheppard Pratt, Baltimore, and funded by Compass Pathways, the study investigated the safety and efficacy of a single 25mg dose of psilocybin in participants with treatment-resistant bipolar II. The results showed significant improvement in depression symptoms, with no increase in suicidality or manic symptoms.
Psilocybin as a Potential Treatment for Treatment-Resistant Bipolar II Depression
The new study, involved 15 participants with treatment-resistant bipolar II depression. They received a single 25mg dose of psilocybin treatment, and their depression levels were assessed using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). The primary endpoint was the change in MADRS total score from baseline to week 3.
The findings were promising, with all participants showing lower MADRS scores, indicating a reduction in depression symptoms. The mean change from baseline was -24.0 points at week 3. Additionally, 12 participants met the response criteria, and 11 met the remission criteria. Importantly, there was no increase in suicidality or manic symptoms, and no unexpected adverse events or difficulties with the dosing sessions were reported. The most common adverse event was a headache, reported by 4 out of 15 participants on the day of dosing, with symptoms resolving within 24 hours.
Dr. Scott Aaronson, the lead researcher, expressed satisfaction with the study’s recognition and publication in a respected peer-reviewed journal. He noted the significant relief experienced by a number of patients from their bipolar II depression symptoms after the treatment. Dr. Guy Goodwin, Chief Medical Officer at Compass Pathways, highlighted the difficulty of treating bipolar II and the importance of finding solutions for those with limited treatment options.
Compass Pathways plc, a biotechnology company focused on accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, funded the study. The company is pioneering the development of a new model of psilocybin treatment, where COMP360, a proprietary formulation of synthetic psilocybin, is administered with psychological support.
The study’s results suggest that psilocybin may have the potential to help those living with bipolar II depression, a condition that can be extremely challenging to treat. Further research and larger studies are needed to validate these findings.
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