MindBio Therapeutics (CSE:MBIO) says microdoses of LSD could help improve mood and treat mental health conditions such as depression.
The Melbourne-based pharmaceutical company announced Tuesday that a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that small, regulated doses of LSD led to “substantial improvements in mood” for participants, including increased energy, social connectivity, creativity and well-being.
Microdosing involves taking small doses of a psychedelic drug in a controlled manner. In the study, 80 male volunteers took 14 microdoses of either LSD or a placebo over six weeks. They started by taking the initial doses under supervision in a lab, then continued at home.
There were no serious side effects, the company said.
MindBio CEO Justin Hanka said the results were better than expected and show promise for using microdosed LSD to treat conditions like depression and anxiety.
“The data we have collected in our clinical trials has exceeded our expectations and shows much promise for treating patients with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety where diminished mood, compromised well-being and low energy are experienced,” Hanka said in a statement.
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MindBio is dedicated to researching microdosing of psychedelics and using digital technology and therapies to treat conditions like depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, the company said.
It has two more clinical trials planned to study the effects of at-home LSD microdosing on people with major depressive disorder and late-stage cancer patients with emotional distress.
Depression affects 300 million people worldwide, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In the U.S., 3.1 million youth have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans aged 10 to 34.
The results show promise for a new approach to mental health treatment, but further research is still needed, the study authors said. The initial findings provide a rationale for more extensive clinical trials on LSD microdosing.