Johns Hopkins Launches a Pioneering Psychedelic Research Center: Brainstorm Health

September 4, 2019, 10:27 PM UTC

Hello and happy hump day, readers.

One of the world’s most renowned medical institutions is doubling down on psychedelics (yes, those psychedelics). In fact, Johns Hopkins—with the help of a group of private donors who have ponied up some $17 million in cash for the effort—is launching a new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

This center will be dedicated to seeing whether or not mind-altering, psychedelic chemicals such as psilocybin (the thing that puts the “magic” in “magic mushrooms”) can help treat conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to Alzheimer’s to opioid dependence.

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients,” says Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul B. Rothman in a statement. “Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”

Hopkins claims that this is the first such academic institution dedicated to such research. That’s not to say it hasn’t been done before—there have been plenty of preliminary studies suggesting that unconventional (and, in many cases, currently illegal) drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA, and others may be effective in treating a slew of mental and behavioral health problems.

But public funding, even for health research, gets tricky when it comes to substances considered illicit by regulators—which may explain why this new Johns Hopkins project is reliant on private donors.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy,


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