(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

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

Langley police seek new leads in hit and run cold case

Six years ago, someone struck a young woman with a car and drove off

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read