- A recent medical study found that psychedelic drugs showed promise as a treatment alternative for hard-to-treat depression
- Psychedelics were found to activate a greater number of serotonin 2A receptors then traditional antidepressant drugs, largely because of their ability to penetrated through cells’ fatty outer membranes
- The study reinforces the potential use of psychedelic drugs, and psilocybin in particular, as a treatment methodology for a variety of mental health related conditions
- Silo Pharma, a developmental stage biopharmaceutical company has long focused around merging traditional therapeutics with psychedelic research
In a study carried out between 2013 to 2016, researchers found that 8.1% of American adults aged 20 and over suffered from depression during any given 2-week period, with women nearly twice as likely than men to have had acute depression (https://ibn.fm/ygq4x). Whilst depression has long been treated with a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicines, studies have previously found anti-depressant drug therapy to not be as effective as traditionally assumed. As a result, a recent study which found that psychedelic drugs could show promise as a therapeutic alternative in treating drug-resistant depression was greeted with some optimism within the sector (https://ibn.fm/cXz8A).
Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety skyrocketed, with many Americans turning to antidepressant medication to help them cope. Whilst 1 in 8 American adults were taking antidepressant drugs prior to the emergence of Covid (https://ibn.fm/FCKnZ), the figure rose by 18.6 percent in 2020 alone. However, a number of research papers have challenged the efficacy of these drugs as well as their assumed actions in the brain. Dr. David Hellerstein, professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center addressed the query of whether anti-depressants worked during a recent interview with the New York Times:
“I think they do,” he said. “The best clinical trials and meta-analyses, most of them indicate that there’s some medication effect. [However] I would say it’s less than we would like it to be.”
Alternative treatments for depression have emerged that attempted to help the brain create new connections more efficiently – most notably ketamine and psychedelic therapy; initial findings have found these alternative treatments to be about as effective as antidepressants, improving depression in roughly 60 percent of the people who try them. It is precisely this issue which Silo Pharma (NASDAQ: SILO), a developmental stage biopharmaceutical company focused around merging traditional therapeutics with psychedelic research, has set out to tackle.
Silo Pharma has distinguished itself amongst peers for its ground-breaking research into conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease and other rare neurological disorders. The company has recently entered into a number of studies designed to develop innovative solutions for previously underserved conditions. In doing so, the company recently entered into an agreement with Columbia University, granting it an option to license a number of assets under development including a prophylactic treatment for stress-induced disorders and PTSD.
Psychedelics such as psilocybin, the active compound found in magic mushrooms, have been known to plug into a structure called the serotonin 2 receptor, which bids the chemical messenger serotonin. Traditionally, antidepressants are designed to increase the levels of serotonin, so that when more of the serotonin neurotransmitters is sent to other parts of the brain, the person feels relief from depression. What the study found was that psychedelics were increasingly able to access receptors inside cells which standard antidepressants could not normally affect, thereby increasing the level of serotonin secreted within the brain – largely because of their ability to pass through cells’ fatty outer membranes to reach the additional receptors within.
The study now provides medical substance to a theory which has long been held by indigenous populations around the world – that the use of psychedelics, and psilocybin in particular could have beneficial effects for a variety of mental health related conditions. Although psilocybin was classified as a “breakthrough therapy” in treatment for severe depression by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as far back as 2018 (https://ibn.fm/tXJM5), findings within the recent research report may now serve to support the development of psychedelics as a more mainstream medical treatment alternative for drug-resistant depression.
With psilocybin and psychedelic-based therapeutic treatment increasingly gaining favour amongst the medical community and with a rising prevalence of depression and mental disorders within modern society, forecasts have now projected the psychedelic drugs market to swell to a value of $6.8 billion annual by 2027, representing a CAGR of 16.3% within the forecast period of 2020 to 2027 (https://ibn.fm/mQJTH). As a frontrunner in the sector and with a number of research and drug developmental initiatives under way, Silo Pharma find themselves well positioned to capitalize on the growth of the sector going forward.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SiloPharma.com.
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