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Acute and subacute effects of a single Ayahuasca dose in the recognition of facial expressions

Grant number: 17/24791-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak
Grantee:Juliana Mendes Rocha
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Several psychiatric disorders are associated with deficits in social cognition and in the recognition of facial expressions. Moreover, the available pharmacological treatments are not effective for many patients and may produce significant adverse effects. Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage traditionally used by indigenous groups from the Amazon for therapeutic purposes. Animal and human studies suggest that ayahuasca has anxiolytic and antidepressant effects and good tolerability. Therefore, the objective of the present project is to evaluate the effects of a single ayahuasca dose in facial expression recognition. 30 healthy volunteers will participate in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The assessment of the acute effects (0-6 h) will be conducted by means of scales, questionnaires and tests (VAMS, ESS, BAI, Facial Emotion Recognition Task). Scales and questionnaires will also be administered to the volunteers 1, 7, 14 and 21 days after the administration of ayahuasca or placebo for the assessment of possible subacute effects. (AU)