The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is preparing to launch a new psychedelic research center with a sizable endowment, sources familiar with the situation tell this news outlet. The project will reportedly be a collaboration between the school and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a group which exists to develop “medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.”
According to our sources, the new project will come online within the next eighteen months and will be spearheaded by Dr. Michael Mithoefer, who works in MUSC’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Mithoefer has previously researched the use of MDMA (a.k.a. “ecstasy” or “molly”) in concert with psychotherapy to treat individuals suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Last May, MUSC featured his work in a blog post entitled “The ecstasy of PTSD relief.”
“MDMA, the way we see it, is acting as a catalyst for psychotherapy,” Mithoefer said in the post. “It allows people to feel they can process their trauma without being overwhelmed by their anxiety. What we know from imaging data is that, very interestingly, MDMA decreases activity in the amygdala, the fear center of the brain, and it increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is kind of the higher processing center.”
Mithoefer’s research group was comprised of 26 participants: Twenty-two military veterans, three firefighters and one police officer. The participants were given MDMA “in a clinical setting along with psychotherapy for their trauma.”
According to Mithoefer, “almost 70 percent of the people who got the full dose of MDMA … fared so well that they no longer met the criteria for post-traumatic disorder.”
Additional trials are planned …
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(Via: Getty Images)
Of course, MUSC made sure to point out that Mithoefer and his wife – nurse Ann Mithoefer – led the study from “their Mount Pleasant psychiatric clinic.”
“None of the research was conducted on the MUSC campus,” the post noted.
Looks like that is now about to change …
We are also told the new research center will expand the list of psychedelic drugs being tested to include naturally occurring mushrooms.
We reached out to the MUSC media relations office for a comment on the new research center. We will update our post in the event we receive additional information.
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