Channel 4 To Televise The Beckley Foundation Imperial College MDMA Trials


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Channel 4 To Televise The Beckley Foundation Imperial College MDMA Trials

Photograph Courtesey of Channel 4 Renegade Pictures

‘It is thought to have 500,000 users in the UK, yet research into MDMA – the main ingredient in ecstasy – has been minimal. 

The programme will show several volunteers (including actor Keith Allen and writer Lionel Shriver) taking MDMA, or ‘ecstasy’, while undergoing fMRI brain scanning and other tests as part of an ongoing research collaboration between the Beckley Foundation and Imperial College. The research investigates the possible therapeutic benefits of MDMA as an aid to psychotherapy – particularly for PTSD – and also as a potential treatment for depression.

The programme will be broadcast on Channel 4 on the 26th/27th September at 10PM.

The MDMA research follows on from the ground-breaking Beckley-Imperial psilocybin studies, the results of which were published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of America (PNAS) and the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Can MDMA help to cure depression?

Excerpt from Article in the Guardian

The patient sits on a hospital gurney. The doctor asks how she feels, takes her blood pressure and gives her a capsule to swallow. She is then led to a brain scanner that resembles a giant washing machine, and she lies in front of it before it sucks her in. Doctors study a series of vivid images of her head and brain, looking for activity before she is allowed to leave the scanner. The patient is asked who she would like to have with her at this moment. She replies: “My husband.”

When asked how she feels, she replies: “Light. It’s pleasant. There’s an airiness and openness to the senses. A slight heightening of sensory perception, which I liked. The visual feeling is vivid. The colours are lush, which I enjoy. I might be a bit more alert to sounds. I feel physically relaxed and that is a pleasure.”

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