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Prediction of psilocybin response in healthy volunteers


Studerus, E; Gamma, A; Kometer, M; Vollenweider, F X (2012). Prediction of psilocybin response in healthy volunteers. PLoS ONE, 7(2):e30800.

Abstract

Responses to hallucinogenic drugs, such as psilocybin, are believed to be critically dependent on the user's personality, current mood state, drug pre-experiences, expectancies, and social and environmental variables. However, little is known about the order of importance of these variables and their effect sizes in comparison to drug dose. Hence, this study investigated the effects of 24 predictor variables, including age, sex, education, personality traits, drug pre-experience, mental state before drug intake, experimental setting, and drug dose on the acute response to psilocybin. The analysis was based on the pooled data of 23 controlled experimental studies involving 409 psilocybin administrations to 261 healthy volunteers. Multiple linear mixed effects models were fitted for each of 15 response variables. Although drug dose was clearly the most important predictor for all measured response variables, several non-pharmacological variables significantly contributed to the effects of psilocybin. Specifically, having a high score in the personality trait of Absorption, being in an emotionally excitable and active state immediately before drug intake, and having experienced few psychological problems in past weeks were most strongly associated with pleasant and mystical-type experiences, whereas high Emotional Excitability, low age, and an experimental setting involving positron emission tomography most strongly predicted unpleasant and/or anxious reactions to psilocybin. The results confirm that non-pharmacological variables play an important role in the effects of psilocybin.

Responses to hallucinogenic drugs, such as psilocybin, are believed to be critically dependent on the user's personality, current mood state, drug pre-experiences, expectancies, and social and environmental variables. However, little is known about the order of importance of these variables and their effect sizes in comparison to drug dose. Hence, this study investigated the effects of 24 predictor variables, including age, sex, education, personality traits, drug pre-experience, mental state before drug intake, experimental setting, and drug dose on the acute response to psilocybin. The analysis was based on the pooled data of 23 controlled experimental studies involving 409 psilocybin administrations to 261 healthy volunteers. Multiple linear mixed effects models were fitted for each of 15 response variables. Although drug dose was clearly the most important predictor for all measured response variables, several non-pharmacological variables significantly contributed to the effects of psilocybin. Specifically, having a high score in the personality trait of Absorption, being in an emotionally excitable and active state immediately before drug intake, and having experienced few psychological problems in past weeks were most strongly associated with pleasant and mystical-type experiences, whereas high Emotional Excitability, low age, and an experimental setting involving positron emission tomography most strongly predicted unpleasant and/or anxious reactions to psilocybin. The results confirm that non-pharmacological variables play an important role in the effects of psilocybin.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:17 February 2012
Deposited On:21 Feb 2012 19:20
Last Modified:03 Jul 2016 09:32
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Funders:Heffter Research Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States of America (http://www.heffter.org), Swiss Neuromatrix Foundation, Switzerland
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0030800
PubMed ID:22363492
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-59652

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