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Metabolomic studies of depression patients treated with ayahuasca

Grant number: 18/01525-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2018 - March 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Sussulini
Grantee:Alessandra Sussulini
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Draulio Barros de Araujo ; Luís Fernando Farah de Tófoli ; Nicole Leite Galvão Coelho


Neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, are extremely complex in terms of clinical and biochemical aspects and present a multifactorial etiology. Moreover, there are two critical questions related to those illnesses, the first concerns the diagnostic, which is performed with basis in clinical observations, and the second is related to the treatment, which is empirically adjusted for each patient, according to their clinical response. Therefore, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of these diseases, as well as the mechanism of action and efficacy of the employed treatment becomes important. In this context, metabolomics strategy can provide relevant information in order to indicate the alterations caused by psychiatric diseases and/or their treatments in the metabolic profile of the patients, thus revealing potential biomarkers that can help in the diagnosis and in the treatment evaluation, inside the personalized medicine perspective. Ayahuasca is a brew made out of two Amazonian plants used in indigenous religious rituals, which is being recently explored in Neurosciences, due to its potential in the alternative treatment of depression. Therefore, in the present project, a systematic evaluation of the metabolites contained in blood serum samples of treatment-resistant depression patients, treated either with ayahuasca or placebo, is proposed, aiming at identify potential biomarkers related to this disease and/or to its treatment with ayahuasca using metabolomic strategies based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SOUZA, RITA C. Z.; ZANDONADI, FLAVIA S.; FREITAS, DONIZETE P.; TOFOLI, LUIS F. F.; SUSSULINI, ALESSANDRA. Validation of an analytical method for the determination of the main ayahuasca active compounds and application to real ayahuasca samples from Brazil. JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY B-ANALYTICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN THE BIOMEDICAL AND LIFE SCIENCES, v. 1124, p. 197-203, AUG 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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