Motivation

While psychoactive drugs such as ketamine and psilocybin have been researched extensively in the past 30 years, scientific interest in ayahuasca just started to raise due to its potential therapeutic benefits. Beyond its traditional indigenous use in the Amazon, ayahuasca is currently spreading all over the world as an alternative plant medicine in various ritualistic contexts. This rapid dissemination coincides with the observational evidence that ayahuasca facilitates transformational processes with beneficial health outcomes.

pilz_pYcDHXI-thumbnail-900x900

Bildschirmfoto 2017-10-11 um 20.03.19

Psychedelic medicines and their role in shifting the paradigm from pharmacological substitution towards transformation-based psychiatry

However, solid empirical research is needed to move beyond anecdotal evidence and further verify therapeutic efficacy and biomechanisms of ayahuasca under controlled laboratory settings. In contrast to currently established pharmaceutical drugs that need to be taken on a daily basis to alleviate clinical symptoms, psychedelic medicines show considerable promise for more rapid-acting and sustainable therapeutic efficacy within only a limited number of administrations. By targeting modules of consciousness that are affected by specific disease processes, psychedelics such as ayahuasca may enhance therapeutic transformation through adaptive neuroplasticity and resetting of neurocircuitries that underlie maladaptive behaviours.



As “
adaptogens” psychedelic medicines facilitate symptom resolution through attenuation of ego-centric drives, enhanced emotion regulation capacity, cognitive flexibility, mindfulness as well as nature-relatedness in order to restore a more flexible balance between the self and the environment. Future therapeutic applications of ayahuasca and other psychedelic medicines may therefore shift the current treatment paradigm from pharmacological substitution towards more transformation-based therapies.


Integrating ayahuasca into western healthcare: an interview with Milan Scheidegger


In the first part of our interview, we compared western psychedelic lab research to American indigenous use of psychedelics: read interview (part 1)

Here is part 2, in which we discuss translating specific aspects of indigenous psychedelic ritual into the context of western healthcare:
read interview (part 2)

download

image


Publications

ResearchID

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-1313-2208

Transformations_Therapie


Positive psychology in the investigation of psychedelics and entactogens: A critical review.
Jungaberle H, Thal S, Zeuch A, Rougemont-Bücking A, Heyden von M, Aicher H, Scheidegger M.
Neuropharmacology. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.06.034.

Bewusstseinserweiternde Substanzen als neue Mo╠łglichkeit der Therapie (PDF)
Scheidegger M.
Info Neurologie & Psychiatrie, Volume 1, 2018.

Cerebral mGluR5 availability contributes to elevated sleep need and behavioral adjustment after sleep deprivation.
Holst SC, Sousek A, Hefti K, Saberi-Moghadam S, Buck A, Ametamey SM, Scheidegger M, Franken P, Henning A, Seifritz E, Tafti M, Landolt HP.
Elife. 2017 Oct 5;6. pii: e28751. doi: 10.7554/eLife.28751. [Epub ahead of print]

Neural underpinnings of prosexual effects induced by gamma-hydroxybutyrate in healthy male humans.
Bosch OG, Havranek MM, Baumberger A, Preller KH, von Rotz R, Herdener M, Kraehenmann R, Staempfli P, Scheidegger M, Klucken T, Seifritz E, Quednow BB.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Apr;27(4):372-382. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.02.006. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Effects of serotonin 2A/1A receptor stimulation on social exclusion processing.
Preller KH, Pokorny T, Hock A, Kraehenmann R, Stämpfli P, Seifritz E, Scheidegger M, Vollenweider FX.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 May 3;113(18):5119-24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524187113. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Differential effects of rumination and distraction on ketamine induced modulation of resting state functional connectivity and reactivity of regions within the default-mode network.
Lehmann M, Seifritz E, Henning A, Walter M, Böker H, Scheidegger M*, Grimm S*.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016 Aug;11(8):1227-35. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsw034. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Ketamine administration reduces amygdalo-hippocampal reactivity to emotional stimulation.
Scheidegger M, Henning A, Walter M, Lehmann M, Kraehenmann R, Boeker H, Seifritz E, Grimm S.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 May;37(5):1941-52. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23148. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Effects of ketamine on cognition-emotion interaction in the brain.
Scheidegger M, Henning A, Walter M, Boeker H, Weigand A, Seifritz E, Grimm S.
Neuroimage. 2016 Jan 1;124(Pt A):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.08.070. Epub 2015 Sep 5.

Fast iterative pre-emphasis calibration method enabling third-order dynamic shim updated fMRI.
Fillmer A, Vannesjo SJ, Pavan M, Scheidegger M, Pruessmann KP, Henning A.
Magn Reson Med. 2016 Mar;75(3):1119-31. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25695. Epub 2015 May 7.

Glutamatergic and neurometabolic alterations in chronic cocaine users measured with (1) H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Hulka LM, Scheidegger M, Vonmoos M, Preller KH, Baumgartner MR, Herdener M, Seifritz E, Henning A, Quednow BB.
Addict Biol. 2016 Jan;21(1):205-17. doi: 10.1111/adb.12217. Epub 2014 Dec 30.

Psilocybin-Induced Decrease in Amygdala Reactivity Correlates with Enhanced Positive Mood in Healthy Volunteers.
Kraehenmann R, Preller KH, Scheidegger M, Pokorny T, Bosch OG, Seifritz E, Vollenweider FX.
Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Oct 15;78(8):572-81. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.04.010. Epub 2014 Apr 26.

Exploring the antidepressant effects of ketamine: Insights from multimodal neuroimaging
A thesis submitted to attain the degree of Dr. sc. ETH Zurich
Scheidegger M, DISS. ETH NO. 22922, 2015.

Sleep deprivation increases dorsal nexus connectivity to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in humans.
Bosch OG, Rihm JS, Scheidegger M, Landolt HP, Stämpfli P, Brakowski J, Esposito F, Rasch B, Seifritz E.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26;110(48):19597-602. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1317010110. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Smoking but not cocaine use is associated with lower cerebral metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 density in humans.
Hulka LM, Treyer V, Scheidegger M, Preller KH, Vonmoos M, Baumgartner MR, Johayem A, Ametamey SM, Buck A, Seifritz E, Quednow BB.
Mol Psychiatry. 2014 May;19(5):625-32. doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.51. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Ketamine decreases resting state functional network connectivity in healthy subjects: implications for antidepressant drug action.
Scheidegger M*, Walter M*, Lehmann M, Metzger C, Grimm S, Boeker H, Boesiger P, Henning A, Seifritz E.
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044799. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Increased metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 availability in human brain after one night without sleep.
Hefti K, Holst SC, Sovago J, Bachmann V, Buck A, Ametamey SM, Scheidegger M, Berthold T, Gomez-Mancilla B, Seifritz E, Landolt HP.
Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 15;73(2):161-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.07.030. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to encourage the use of ethnobotanicals or psychoactive substances. Transformational Psychotherapy specifically cautions against the use of psychedelics in violation of the law, without appropriate professional guidance and monitoring, or without careful personal evaluation of potential risks and hazards.