On the Acute, Subacute and Antidepressant Effects of Ayahuasca
Draulio Barros de Araujo
This talk will focus at our own previous and ongoing research on the acute, subacute and antidepressant effects of ayahuasca. We will present previous fMRI studies that evaluated the acute impact of ayahuasca on mental imagery system, Default Mode Network and the thalamus. We will also show evidences from an open label study showing that ayahuasca is well tolerated by patients with depression, and its suggestive antidepressant effects. These studies did not control for the placebo effect, which can reach up to 55 % in clinical trials for depression. Therefore, we will also present results from a randomized placebo controlled study designed to investigate physical, mental and antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, during its acute and subacute phases.
Draulio Barros de Araujo is a professor of neuroimaging at the Brain Institute (UFRN), Natal, Brazil. In recent years, his research has focused on using functional neuroimaging methods (EEG and fMRI) to investigate the acute and lasting effects of ayahuasca. His research group has also been studying the antidepressant potential of ayahuasca.