Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for People with Eating Disorders
Purpose of Review
A growing body of research suggests psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) may be safe and effective for a variety of mental health conditions. Among these, eating disorders have been a recent target of interest. This review provides an up-to-date summary of the potential mechanisms and use of PAT in people diagnosed with eating disorders, with a focus on anorexia nervosa.
Classic psychedelics may have transdiagnostic efficacy through several mechanisms relevant to eating disorder pathology. Interest in, and efforts to increase access to PAT are both high. Early clinical trials are focused on establishing the safety and utility of this treatment in eating disorders, and efficacy remains unclear.
High-quality published data to support the use of PAT for people with eating disorders remains lacking. Recent studies however suggest PAT has the potential to augment the efficacy of current interventions for these difficult-to-treat conditions.