About the PsiDeR Trial

Psilocybin in Depression Resistant to Standard Treatments

The Centre for Affective Disorders has recently been awarded a large grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to investigate the safety, feasibility and efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for clinical Depression Resistant that has not improved with standard treatments, using the gold standard design of a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. This study will be led by Dr James Rucker and, subject to trial approvals, will recruit up to 60 participants with current depression unresponsive to the usual treatments.

The aim of the UK research is to determine whether psilocybin delivered with psychological support and medical supervision is a safe treatment for people with difficult to treat depression. To determine this, the trial will collect detailed data on adverse events as well as comparing participant’s ratings of their depression symptoms before and after treatment and between different doses of psilocybin.

We will also investigate which form of psychological support best meets the needs of those receiving psilocybin and whether we can use cognitive tests, blood tests and brain scans to understand how psilocybin works in the brain and who it might suit best.

The Centre has also been awarded funding from a commercial life sciences company, COMPASS Pathways Ltd., to undertake a study of the effects of psilocybin on cognitive and emotional processing in healthy volunteers. The Centre is also participating in COMPASS’ international randomised controlled trial of psilocybin for difficult-to-treat depression that is taking place in multiple centres throughout Europe. Recruitment has started in Spring 2021. Both studies will be led by Prof. Allan Young.