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Psilocybin in Bipolar II: New Study

Updated: Jan 29

A study led by Dr. Scott T. Aaronson, published in JAMA Psychiatry, offers new insights into treating treatment-resistant bipolar type II depression with synthetic psilocybin combined with psychotherapy. The study involved 15 participants, aged 18 to 65, who received a single 25mg dose of synthetic COMP360 psilocybin and psychotherapy sessions.

Significantly, 80% of the participants met the remission criteria 12 weeks post-treatment without experiencing an increase in bipolar II symptoms. These results indicate psilocybin's potential efficacy in treating bipolar II depression in a clinical setting. A controlled environment and the guidance of mental health professionals are important factors. They distinguish clinical applications from recreational scenarios.

"Individuals in this study displayed strong and persistent antidepressant effects with no signal of worsening mood instability or increased suicidality."​

The study indicates that psilocybin exhibits potential in treating specific mental health disorders within clinical settings. This research is hopeful about novel avenues in mental health treatment, particularly for conditions that have been difficult to manage with conventional therapies.

This study specifically excluded individuals with Bipolar I Disorder, widely recognized as a contraindication for the use of psychedelic medicines. However, if an individual with Bipolar I is not currently experiencing a manic phase, some researchers and clinicians believe that the use of such treatments may be acceptable under some conditions.

About Bipolar II

Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, distinguishing it from other depressive disorders. Unlike Bipolar I, which involves more severe manic episodes, Bipolar II features milder hypomanic episodes that do not cause significant social or occupational impairment. This contrasts with Major Depressive Disorder, which involves depressive episodes without the accompanying manic or hypomanic phases seen in bipolar disorders.

For more detailed insights, you can access the full study here.

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