Can LSD Treat Anxiety? MindMed's New Topline Data Show Promise, Here's The Research
MindMed (NASDAQ: MNMD) researchers shared topline clinical results for a Phase 2 LSD clinical study at the recent Psych Symposium, which was co-sponsored by University Hospital Basel (UHB).
Prof. Matthias Liechti and Dr. Friederike Holze, MindMed collaborators at UHB, commented that initial results for the trial showed LSD’s significant, rapid and durable effects when mitigating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The placebo-controlled study enrolled 46 people who received 200 micrograms of LSD - considered a large dose. Taking the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) global score, a questionnaire used to assess the severity of anxiety symptoms, it was found that 65% of participants reduced their anxiety levels by at least 30%. The measurement was taken 16 weeks after dosing and greatly exceeded anxiety reduction in patients who took a placebo, of whom only 9% reached the 30% reduction in symptoms.
“These results represent the highest quality research ever conducted with LSD in anxiety disorders and provide contemporary confirmation of the preliminary findings of the anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of LSD in over 500 patients to date,” said Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, executive president of MindMed.
The novelty of this study is not only the reduction in anxiety levels but also that there was no therapy involved. That is, the goal of the trial was to measure what role could LSD play in reducing anxiety symptoms by itself, not in psychedelics-enhanced therapy.
Liechti, one of the primary investigators of the study, explained that “while psychedelics including LSD have shown beneficial effects on reducing anxiety, there has still been a need for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and the long-lasting effects by which psychedelics exert their therapeutic effects. Thus, we designed a robust, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with a long follow-up period to extend the promising findings of previously conducted smaller, open-label trials.”