Psychedelics and the Neurobiology of Fast-acting Antidepressants

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March 22, 2022

Speaking at an Analytical Cannabis and Technology Networks webinar back in December 2021, Alex Kwan, Associate Professor at Yale University presented his talk on psychedelics and the neurobiology of fast-acting antidepressants. Abstract: Depression is debilitating, yet treatment options are limited. Psychedelics have emerged as potentially impactful drugs with promise of long-lasting beneficial actions. As a result, there are growing efforts to optimize their use in the clinic and to develop next-generation psychedelics with improved pharmacological profiles. One major challenge, however, is that we still do not have a full understanding of how psychedelics work in the brain. In this seminar, I will describe my lab’s work on fast-acting antidepressants. I will talk about experiments in animal models that have identified cell types and neural plasticity processes involved in ketamine and psilocybin’s actions. I will discuss how the biological insights may lead to novel circuit-level biomarkers, which are crucially needed to accelerate the search for new psychiatric drugs.

BiopharmaCannabis ScienceDrug DiscoveryNeuroscience

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