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Psilocybin: extraction, characterization and evaluation of the potential microbiota-intestine-brain axis

Grant number: 22/08498-7
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2022 - November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Convênio/Acordo: CONFAP - National Council of State Research Support Foundations
Principal Investigator:Katia Sivieri
Grantee:Katia Sivieri
Host Institution: Universidade de Araraquara (UNIARA). Associação São Bento de Ensino. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Cesar da Camara Segre ; Hernane da Silva Barud ; Márcio Luiz dos Santos ; Matheus Augusto de Bittencourt Pasquali ; Regina Mara Silva Pereira ; Rosana Araújo Rosendo


Mental health refers to the well-being of people in relation to their emotional, psychological, social state and how this individual performs their tasks, copes with the normal stress of life, makes decisions and relates to their community. Recent studies have shown that the incidence of diseases linked to people's mental health condition has increased worldwide due to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, generating the risk of mental health impairment (for example, anxiety, depression, stress, sleep problems, post-traumatic stress disorder) due to restrictions placed on people's lifestyles, social disconnection, loneliness and fear. Research has shown that "innovative therapies" can be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, holding great promise for treating anxiety, depression, and many other disorders. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapies can alleviate some of the challenges that conventional psychiatric medicine faces with regard to mental health. Psilocybin is one of the most studied active psychedelic components, which is extracted from mushrooms. Psilocybin activates serotonin receptors and produces hallucinogenic and antidepressant effects with a favorable safety profile. The Northeast Biomaterials Evaluation and Development Laboratory (CERTBIO), at the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG) received authorization from Anvisa, Simplified Special Authorization for Teaching and Research Institution N. 17/2022, to develop research with psilocybin. Therefore, this will be the first Brazilian project dedicated to psicylocybin research. This project will be developed in 3 stages. In step 1, the objective will be to standardize a method for extracting psicillocybin, the main chemical compound found in mushrooms, to later conduct the identification and quantification steps. In step 2, the compounds obtained from Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, and the psilocybin, psilocin patterns will be encapsulated by the Spray Dryer technique starting from different natural polymers (such as starch, maltodextrin and hydroxyethylcellulose). The new formulations containing the compounds will be characterized regarding their micrometric, morphological, physical and thermal stability properties, in addition to their structural characteristics. In step 3, we will evaluate the compounds obtained from Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms (steps 1 and 2) on the intestinal microbiota and metabolism of the microbial population using the Human Microbial Ecosystem Simulator (SEMH®). (AU)

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