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Psychedelic Agents as Potential Therapeutics for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Institution: Claremont Mckenna College, Claremont, California 91711

Published onJan 28, 2022
Psychedelic Agents as Potential Therapeutics for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic psychiatric anxiety disorder distinguished by obsessive thoughts and repetitious actions. Current therapies for OCD are not very effective and have many possible side-effects. Psychedelics are a class of Schedule I substances that are re-emerging as novel therapeutics for a variety of psychiatric conditions. These substances cause a variety of psychological and physical effects, most notably, hallucinations and out-of-body experiences. Serotonergic psychedelics may provide a novel mechanism for alleviation of OCD symptomology through anti-inflammatory effects, modulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and oxytocin, and downstream systemic neural changes. Clinical studies have demonstrated lasting remission and a decrease in symptom severity in patients suffering from OCD after three doses of psilocybin. While they may provide symptom relief, psychedelics have risks. These include cardiovascular complications, psychosis in predisposed patients, and Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. Psychedelic substances remain under tight control by the Federal government, creating a barrier for clinical research.

Keywords: OCD; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Psychedelics; CSTC; DMN; Neurotransmitter Modulation; Psychedelic Treatment

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