A collaboration between the Beckley Foundation and Imperial College London is pioneering research into the neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive substances. Important results on brain imaging studies using psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) were published earlier this year.
A new study in collaboration with University College London is using fMRI brain imaging to investigate the changes in brain activity brought about by MDMA. The drug is already being trialled in the USA (in research also supported by the Beckley Foundation) as an adjunct to psychotherapy for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Early results from the MDMA brain imaging studies lend support to the therapeutic trial by showing that MDMA heightens the brain’s response to positive memories and lessens the response to negative memories, thereby making it easier for patients to access traumatic memories. The study is to be featured in a two-part Channel 4 documentary Drugs Live on 26/7 September.