Psychedelics and the Neurobiology of Fast-acting Antidepressants
Depression is debilitating, yet treatment options are limited. Psychedelics have emerged as potentially impactful drugs with promise of long-lasting beneficial actions. As a result, there are growing efforts to optimize their use in the clinic and to develop next-generation psychedelics with improved pharmacological profiles. One major challenge, however, is that we still do not have a full understanding of how psychedelics work in the brain.
In this seminar, I will describe my lab’s work on fast-acting antidepressants. I will talk about experiments in animal models that have identified cell types and neural plasticity processes involved in ketamine and psilocybin’s actions. I will discuss how the biological insights may lead to novel circuit-level biomarkers, which are crucially needed to accelerate the search for new psychiatric drugs.