(Unsplash)

PTSD patients sought in B.C. for MDMA-assisted therapy trial

Treatment is so far 2-3 times more effective than conventional therapy

Medical trials for a promising new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder are coming to Vancouver.

The trials are the third phase of tests for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD survivors, conducted by the Canadian arm of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, based in Santa Cruz, Calif.

MDMA, more commonly known as the party drug ecstasy, was shown to be upwards of 67 per cent effective in earlier phases of the clinical trials.

Executive director Mark Haden said results like those are remarkable, given that PTSD has been “relatively untreatable,” with most remedies being only 10-25-per-cent effective.

“PTSD is an unconscious tape-loop. It is an emotional response that somebody … will have in an repetitive way,” said Haden. “Their life is difficult to manage because the flashbacks are strong, intrusive and disturbing.”

When conventional therapy tries to dig into their memories, Haden said patients flinch away from tackling the trauma.

MDMA breaks down the mental barriers and fears that stop many sufferers from getting to the root cause of their illness, Haden said. This allows patients to “access the tape-loop,” or the traumatic memories, at the root of their PTSD.

The drug also allows for a stronger link between the therapist and the patient – something that’s key in all successful therapies.

Haden said MDMA is simply another tool in a complex clinical process.

“It’s a supported psychotherapeutic treatment that starts with an assessment and an alliance with a therapist. Nobody is dancing.”

Researchers are currently looking for patients with severe PTSD for the phase-three trials. Haden said researchers hope to begin work this year, and if the trials are successful, have the treatment approved in Canada by 2021.

Anyone interested in participating can email the association.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Coastal GasLink violates terms of permit

Tree clearing took place outside Kitimat

Doctor recruiting drive showing results

Crisis point has now passed

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Most Read