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McLean researchers

Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry

The Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry was founded in 2008. Our clinician-scientists focus on the use, abuse, and effects of these drugs. Research on hallucinogens may unlock important new treatments.

Our studies include:

  • The cognitive and general health of religious users of naturally-occurring psychoactive substances. We completed the only such study with members of the Native American Church, whose peyote sacrament contains mescaline. We also published the only evaluation to-date of American members of the Santo Daime Church, whose ayahuasca (“Daime”) sacrament contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine). Our research found no long term harms.
  • The use of psilocybin and LSD in treating cluster headache, the most painful headache disorder. Our work includes the discovery (and patent) of the use of non-hallucinogenic 2-bromo-LSD for cluster headache.
  • The absence of functional neurocognitive impairments in almost-completely exclusive users of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, “ecstasy”).
  • Combinations of medication and therapy: for example, the evaluation of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety associated with advanced stage cancer.

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