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Roland Griffiths, Ph.D.

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Roland is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

In 1999 he initiated a pioneering research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the psychological and therapeutic effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced in psilocybin mushrooms, known colloquially as magic mushrooms.

His studies have included investigations into psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, and treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients with life threatening prognoses.

In today’s episode we explore the origin and history of psilocybin research, what it looks like to experiment with psychedelics in a clinical setting, the nature of the hallucinations experienced by participants, and the potential for psilocybin to produce long term, clinically significant reductions in depression and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, with just one single dose.

 

Related Links

Roland Griffiths Laboratory at John Hopkins

The science of psilocybin and its use to relieve suffering – Roland’s TEDMED Talk

Book Recommendations

               

Images courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ 

 

Prof. Chris Dowrick

We begin this podcast adventure exploring the topic of Depression. How do we define depression? Is depression the result of a “chemical imbalance”? Can you be genetically predisposed to it? Why are doctors so quick to prescribe medication? And is your GP even trained to spot depression?

My guest for this episode is Professor Chris Dowrick (@cfd1951). Chris is Professor of Primary Medical Care at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool, general practitioner with Aintree Park Group Practice, an honorary consultant in primary care for Liverpool Primary Care Trust, and a non-executive director for Mersey Care NHS Trust.

He’s also a member of the NICE guideline development group for depression and chronic physical disease.

He’s the editor-in-chief of the international journal Chronic Illness, and the author of the book “Beyond Depression: a new approach to understanding and management“, which forms the basis for today’s conversation.

Check out Chris’s blog: wellbecoming.blogspot.co.uk

 

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Paolo De Angelis