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Four Yale Psychiatry Researchers Awarded Grants to Study Alcohol Use Disorder

August 16, 2023

Four Yale Department of Psychiatry researchers have received grants for two investigatos related to the study of alcohol use disorder.

Anahita Bassir Nia, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, and Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, are the co-principal investigators of the study, “The Potential Therapeutic Effects of N, N- dimethyltryptamine (DMT) on Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).”

Funded with a $343,613 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, this is the first study on the effects of psychedelic DMT on desire to drink alcohol and alcohol drinking behaviors in individuals with AUD.

DMT is unique among the psychedelics because it is administered intravenously and its acute subjective psychedelic phase is brief, which makes it suitable to be used in clinical settings.

The second grant is a pilot study in the amount of $34,000 from the Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcohol. The study is titled, "The Effects of N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) on Neuroplasticity in Individuals With Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)."

The co-principal investigators are Bassir Nia; D’Souza; Kelly Cosgrove, PhD, professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience and of radiology and biomedical imaging; and Gustavo A. Angarita, MD, MHS, assistant professor of psychiatry. They will measure changes in the synaptic density in individuals with AUD using positron emission tomography scans and [11C]UCB-J ligand after administration of a single dose of intravenous N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on August 16, 2023