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Psilocybin with psychological support improves emotional face recognition in treatment-resistant depression

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Title: Psilocybin with psychological support improves emotional face recognition in treatment-resistant depression
Authors: Stroud, JB
Freeman, TP
Leech, R
Hindocha, C
Lawn, W
Nutt, DJ
Curran, HV
Carhart-Harris, RL
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: RATIONALE: Depressed patients robustly exhibit affective biases in emotional processing which are altered by SSRIs and predict clinical outcome. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to investigate whether psilocybin, recently shown to rapidly improve mood in treatment-resistant depression (TRD), alters patients' emotional processing biases. METHODS: Seventeen patients with treatment-resistant depression completed a dynamic emotional face recognition task at baseline and 1 month later after two doses of psilocybin with psychological support. Sixteen controls completed the emotional recognition task over the same time frame but did not receive psilocybin. RESULTS: We found evidence for a group × time interaction on speed of emotion recognition (p = .035). At baseline, patients were slower at recognising facial emotions compared with controls (p < .001). After psilocybin, this difference was remediated (p = .208). Emotion recognition was faster at follow-up compared with baseline in patients (p = .004, d = .876) but not controls (p = .263, d = .302). In patients, this change was significantly correlated with a reduction in anhedonia over the same time period (r = .640, p = .010). CONCLUSIONS: Psilocybin with psychological support appears to improve processing of emotional faces in treatment-resistant depression, and this correlates with reduced anhedonia. Placebo-controlled studies are warranted to follow up these preliminary findings.
Issue Date: 30-Oct-2017
Date of Acceptance: 26-Sep-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/53273
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-017-4754-y
ISSN: 0033-3158
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Start Page: 459
End Page: 466
Journal / Book Title: Psychopharmacology
Volume: 235
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Anhedonia
Emotional face recognition
Psilocybin
Treatment-resistant depression
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Psychiatry
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine (up to 2019)