Why do you need my help?
In 2012, Imperial College London were awarded a research grant from the UK government’s Medical Research Council (MRC) to set-up a clinical trial to investigate the antidepressant potential of psilocybin. The study is sponsored by Imperial College London and has ethical approval. The UK Home Office have licensed the importation and storage of the psilocybin that we will use. We have purchased the psilocybin and are currently organising its encapsulation so that it conforms to the required standards for investigatory medicines. However, although we now have ethics approval for the study, obtaining this was a very lengthy and difficult process, as was obtaining medicinal-standard psilocybin and because of the associated delays, the MRC funds are now running low. Despite the MRC being supportive of our situation, we are concerned that the trial may not happen unless we can raise additional funds. It’s for this reason that we are reaching out to you for your help!
Winning funding from a government agency for scientific research with a psychedelic was a major boon, not just for us, but for psychedelic science worldwide and in many ways it typified the current progress that is being made in this field. However, it would be a tragedy if this project were to run out of funds and not take place because of costly delays enforced on it by excessively heavy bureaucracy. So many people seem to want this research to happen, and you may be one of these. If you are, we are appealing to you directly to help us make this study happen!
I have been inspired to set up this campaign because of the many people who have contacted David Nutt and me expressing their support and enthusiasm for the research that we’ve been doing. It is important that everyone be aware that the renaissance in psychedelic science has not occurred because scientists and psychiatrists have started to reconsider the scientific and therapeutic potential of these drugs but because inspiring individuals, such as Amanda Feilding, have put forward the funds to actually make this research happen. All research depends on funding and if the funds aren’t there, the research simply can’t happen. The public should know that the current renaissance in psychedelic science has been driven more by bodies like the Beckley Foundation, MAPS and the Heffter research Institute and the inspirational people that support them, than by any scientist or clinician.
Psychedelicscience.org.uk is intended to complement these foundations but with a special focus on a specific project. So, if you believe in our vision and conviction to try and improve the lives of patients suffering from depression, then please give us your support! This is an incredibly worthwhile cause and we are perfectly placed to deliver on it. There are two ways in which you can donate to us: 1) By donating to the Beckley Foundation or drugscience.org.uk and stating your support for the depression trial, or 2) by contacting the administrator of this site via email.
Why should I donate to psychedelicscience.org.uk? Can I trust you to deliver on this project?
I’d like to end by providing some reassurance about why a donation to psychedelicscience.org.uk will be put to good use. About our track record: Over the last 5 or 6 years, with the support of the Beckley Foundation and a dedicated team of collaborators, we have completed the world’s first functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies with psilocybin. fMRI and MEG provide the best spatial and temporal resolution respectively of any functional human brain imaging technology that is available today, and we have utilised these facilities to provide the most detailed account to-date on how psychedelics works on the human brain to produce their special psychological effects. We’ve also completed the world’s first resting-state fMRI study of MDMA and are about to complete the world’s first fMRI and MEG study with LSD (September, 2014). Thus, as part of the Beckley Foundation/Imperial College Psychopharmacological Research Programme, over the last few years, it’s fair to say we have emerged as one of the foremost research teams in the domain of psychedelic science, with research reports in major scientific journals such as Biological Psychiatry, the Journal of Neuroscience, Human Brain Mapping and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Nutt has a vast amount of experience leading clinical trials with investigational medicines, so our team are ideally placed to deliver on this project. We have already done much of the leg-work setting up the trial and, pending funding, anticipate treating our first patients in Spring 2015.
So you should feel reassured that a donation to psychedelicscience.org.uk will be a donation to a passionate, dedicated, experienced and expert team that can deliver on a truly pioneering project for an incredibly worthwhile cause. In a forthcoming video I will talk more about the details of the clinical trial itself, including comments on the study design and what the sort of funds we need to raise to make this project a success.
Please donate to psychedelicscience.org.uk and help us to work towards the development of a new treatment for depression. Thank you very much for listening.