The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) published a notice of information last week, providing additional information about research criteria and priorities for psychedelic studies.
Notice of Information on NIMH's Considerations for Research Involving Psychedelics and Related Compounds https://t.co/Srf03EYpIZ
— NIH Funding (@NIHFunding) November 15, 2022
“Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline, and related compounds are being evaluated by the pharmaceutical industry for their therapeutic potential in treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses,” NIMH said.
pecifically, NIMH said it wanted to explain what it considers to be a “reasonable premise for pursuing basic mechanistic research on psychedelics and related compounds, and clarifies guidelines for reproducible and rigorous clinical research involving these agents.”
For grant applications that propose using an animal model, the agency noted that such studies “are not well suited to assess the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics.” Rather, they should be used “to link mechanisms downstream of receptor activation to adaptive changes in the function of circuits relevant to mental health.”
“When determining funding priorities for animal studies investigating psychedelic actions, NIMH considers 1) whether the scientific question addresses a hypothesis generated from clinical research to test therapeutically relevant mechanistic hypotheses, and 2) whether the proposed research addresses intermediate circuit biology questions, with the goal of bridging the gaps between molecular, cellular, circuit, and network levels of analysis. Lower priority is assigned to animal studies comparing the effects of psychedelics to those of currently approved antidepressant treatments, unless there is a clear mechanistic hypothesis making such a comparison critical.”
NIMH said it prioritizes proposals for animal models that “utilize a reverse translational approach to test mechanistic hypotheses informed by observations made in human subjects.”
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