WVXU: Researchers look to variations of psychedelic drugs as the future of mental health treatment

UC expert says research shows promise for improving treatment for mental health disorders

University of Cincinnati researchers are collaborating with researchers at Miami University to explore ways that psychedelic drugs could be used as treatments for a variety of mental illnesses. Andrew Jones, assistant professor of chemical, paper and biomedical engineering at Miami University, has successfully manufactured psilocybin in the lab. He is sharing those compounds with Eric Wohleb, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology at the UC College of Medicine the compounds to test in Wholeb's lab.

WVXU produced a story on the research in which Wohleb will soon expand his research to study new compounds in lab-manufactured magic mushroomsto test their effectiveness in treating mental illness in animal models.

Eric Wohleb, PhD, and Christina Singh working together in Wohleb's lab for the summer mentorship program, RISE UP.

Eric Wohleb, PhD, and Christina Singh, research fellow/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

“That would kind of be the first pass at whether we see any beneficial effects of some of the compounds,” Wohleb said. “There are a few hurdles to jump through as far as DEA regulations and those types of things that we’re going to have to take care of but it’s a nice way because we’re relatively close and we have the capacity to collaborate.”

WVXU reported that one in four people in the U.S. are affected by mental disorders. Psychedelics could potentially help treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, anorexia, bulimia, and more, according to Wohleb.

“An individual suffering from PTSD might also have a lot of depressive symptoms or anxiety symptoms and so finding these compounds that can change or alleviate symptoms across multiple disorders I think is really profound.”

Wohleb says there has been a fundamental shift in how psychiatry operates and it’s exciting to be working in this space.

Access the entire story here

Lead photo of Eric Wohleb, Andrew Jones and UC graduate student Alex Kuhn/Ann Thompson/WVXU

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