(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

Agassiz Community Health Centre welcomes its newest doctor

Nikki Cohen is one of three doctors practicing at the local health clinic

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

Most Read