Eating Disorders

Proposal to Treat Eating Disorders with Psychedelic Psychotherapy

MAPS Canada and MAPS USA are proposing a multisite, proof of concept study to examine the effect of psychedelic psychotherapy on eating disorders. Specifically, we would offer MDMA assisted psychotherapy for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. This proposal has three sites, two in Canada and one in the USA (Vancouver, Canada – Toronto, Canada – Denver, U.S). 

This would be initial, exploratory, treatment development research which could lay the foundations for subsequent clinical trial research which would be required to develop MDMA and/or psilocybin assisted therapy to become approved prescription treatments. We are starting Phase 3 research for FDA (in the US) and Health Canada to evaluate MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with prescription approval anticipated in 2021. This eating disorder proposal builds on preexisting PTSD research and is part of our larger strategy to conduct smaller Phase 2 studies looking into other areas where psychedelic psychotherapy could be applicable.

"Traditional treatments for eating disorders are relatively ineffective and there is growing evidence that psychedelic assisted therapy could be effective in treating this population."

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Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses and are associated with numerous medical complications. They are among the most challenging mental disorders to treat and patients frequently drop out of treatment. When people do complete treatment, relapse rates are high, especially for anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, mortality rates for anorexia nervosa are the highest of any psychiatric disorder. Traditional treatments for eating disorders are relatively ineffective and there is growing evidence that psychedelic assisted therapy could be effective in treating this population. The costs of Phase 3 drug development research into MDMA and/or psilocybin for eating disorders will be considerably less than for the first indications (MDMA for PTSD and psilocybin for depression) as the toxicity and much of the other safety data does not need to be replicated.
We currently have an offer to partially fund this psychedelic assisted therapy for eating disorder research, which will be led by Dr. Adelle LeFrance and we are looking for other generous individuals who would like to support this important initiative. For more information please contact mark@mapscanada.org.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding this Eating Disorder Study

As of now, recruiting has not started yet for this study as we are still in the funding phase. We unfortunately do not have a waitlist either.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please check back to this page for updates on recruiting.

This particular study is going to focus on anorexia nervosa and bulimia. It should be noted that our Vancouver site is not going to be recruiting anorexia participants; only our Toronto and Denver sites will be.