In recent years, there has been a re-emergence in the study of psychedelic drugs as a form of therapeutic treatment. After their height in popularity during the 1950s to early 1970s, psychedelics are now re-entering the medical field. Currently, psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA among others are being studied for their effectiveness in treating patients diagnosed with anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries.
While recent research on psychedelics as a form of therapeutic treatment is still under development, research centers such as the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine (alongside multiple others) are allocating resources towards the study of psychedelics in medicine.
For example, the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine is currently studying the use of psilocybin to treat alcohol use disorder as well as major depressive disorder, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD.
However, looking particularly at psychedelics potential to treat traumatic brain injuries, multiple therapeutic and psychedelics companies such as Mind Cure Health Inc (OTCQB: MCURF), Revive Therapeutics Ltd (OTC: RVVTF) and Champignon Brands Inc (OTC: SHRMF) are currently dedicating resources towards this research effort.
What Is A TBI?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a disruption in the normal function of the brain, typically caused by a jolt, bump or blow to the head. The severity of a TBI ranges from a mild case such as a concussion to severe, a coma.
For milder cases, side effects from a TBI-related injury can last up to a few days or for the rest of a patient’s life. Some of these side effects include issues related to emotional functioning and impairments related to memory, vision or hearing.
Some of the leading causes for traumatic brain injuries include falls, motor vehicle accidents, being struck by or against an object, and intentional self-harm.
According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries are currently one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. as an estimated 1.5 million Americans sustain a TBI every year — and this number is only expected to rise.
The CDC found that the number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. increased by 53% from 2006 to 2014. In the last reported year, an average of 155 people died each day from a TBI-related injury.
A Potential Treatment Opportunity
Mental health and wellness company MINDCURE recently announced its efforts towards researching psychedelics for the treatment of TBIs.
The company will be using its bioinformatics platform, Psycollage, to help aid them in their research.
Through Psycollage, the company identified opportunities for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries using a psychoactive substance called ibogaine.
MINDCURE believes that ibogaine could be crucial for the treatment of brain trauma and neuropathic pain, noting that the substance has been thought to stimulate the growth of new dopamine neurons and repair and reset the brain's reward system.
Ibogaine, which is extracted from the iboga shrub, has been used by West African communities for centuries in both rituals and healing ceremonies. Yet, this psychedelic did not make its way into the western world until 1864.
In 1970, the FDA classified ibogaine as a Schedule I drug alongside other psychoactive drugs such as psilocybin and LSD. However, in recent years — with the resurgence of psychedelics in therapeutic research — the regulatory landscape is once again becoming more favorable.
To help facilitate this research, the company has brought on Dr. Dan Engle who is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, as the company’s Primary Investigator Consultant.
"MINDCURE is fortunate that Dr. Engle has chosen to bring his expertise and clinical experience with trauma and head injury to lead MINCURE's research efforts," said President and CEO Kelsey Ramsden. "Dr. Engle is a trusted resource whose guidance will be pivotal in leading this transformative research program. TBI issues not only affect individuals but also can have lasting effects on families and communities."
For additional national statistics and to learn more about traumatic brain injuries, visit https://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/index.html.
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