A new study that looked into the relationship between an individual’s response to fear and the use of MDMA has found that combining this drug with recall therapy and fear extinction learning substantially decreased the fear felt by individuals involved in the study. This comes after MAPS recently released promising results from its phase III clinical trial, which found that MDMA-assisted therapy could be beneficial to patients with PTSD.
The MindMed-linked research was carried out by scientists based at the University Hospital of Basel, which is located in Switzerland. Their objective was to test whether the use of MDMA could improve the fear-extinction learning and recall therapy.
For their placebo-controlled study, the researchers recruited 30 healthy participants. Each of the participants underwent fear conditioning, which would condition them to react with fear to any stimulus, even if it wasn’t fearful. Once this was done, the researchers divided the participants into two groups. One of these groups received a placebo while the other group received a dose of MDMA. The participants in the placebo group also received a dose of MDMA in order to undergo MDMA therapy, which involved fear-extinction learning.
The researchers measured decreases in levels of fear using a pair of different methods: the Fear Potentiated Startle (FPS) test and the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) test. They discovered that the SCR test could demonstrate that the drug facilitated extinction of fear in participants in comparison to the placebo while the FPS test recorded no considerable differences between those who received a placebo and those who received MDMA.
The study, which is yet to be published, will include explanations from the researchers as to why these different measurement methods produced different results.
However, one can assume that one technique may not be measuring what the researchers would like to, especially since fear and a decrease in fear isn’t easy to measure. Additionally, the use of different reactions from participants as fear proxies may have produced the different results. One may also theorize that the techniques are measuring different fear aspects or that one of the techniques is a better indicator of a reduction of fear in comparison to the other.
James Kent, who authored a book on psychedelic theory, hypothesizes that fear extinction using MDMA decreases an individual’s emotional response to fear while their behavioral response remains unchanged.
Despite the conflicting results, one thing is clear: individuals with PTSD may gain relief from MDMA-assisted therapy, and companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) are investing every effort possible to bring these needed psychedelic treatments to market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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