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Psilocybin Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa - Exploring New Avenues for Treatment

July 13, 2022, 9-10:30a

There has been minimal advancement in clinical treatments for AN over the past several decades. The current treatment landscape and its weak evidence base have resulted in a “crisis in care” for AN where both treatment access and efficacy are problematic. This is particularly concerning given the high relapse rates for currently
available treatments and the high lethality rate associated with AN.


Additionally, there are currently no approved medications for the treatment of AN. Considerable evidence suggests that altered brain serotonin (5-HT) function contributes to dysregulation of appetite, mood, motivation, and impulse control in AN. Psilocybin is a psychedelic whose mechanism of action is mediated by serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonism, supporting the possibility that this drug might reverse AN symptoms.


Furthermore, AN is characterized by elevated trait anxiety and related temperament features including harm avoidance, excessive inhibition, and obsessiveness, and past studies have demonstrated persistent reductions in anxiety with psilocybin treatment. The present study is an open-label pilot study evaluating the safety, tolerability, acceptability, and initial efficacy of a single dose of synthetic psilocybin (25mg) delivered with psychological support.


Participants (n=10) are adults who meet current criteria for AN. In this presentation we will describe, the treatment model, and present qualitative feedback from 10 participants who participated in treatment, including emerging themes, and changes in eating disorder pathology. Additionally, we will describe an upcoming randomized controlled trial and orient clinicians to how to refer adult patients with anorexia who may meet criteria.

Therapy session

Get to Know Our Presenter


Dr. Peck is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). She serves as Director of the Intensive Family Treatment Programs (IFT), which is a program for adolescents and young adults and their family members. Dr. Knatz Peck is also Co-Investigator and Lead Therapist for a study evaluating psilocybin for Anorexia Nervosa. In this capacity, she has developed and delivered a model of psilocybin therapy for adults with anorexia alongside Dr. Walter Kaye.

Dr. Stephanie Knatz-Peck

Join Zoom Meeting:


Meeting ID: 898 5514 4988


Passcode: 734507

How Genetics & Malnutrition Impact Pyschopharmacologic Treatment Response in Eating Disorders

Katherine Godwin, MD

October 12, 2022 9-10:30a


December 7, 2022 6-9p Gala TBD

Want to Be an IAEDP Presenter?

Speaker proposals are now being considered for our 2022 schedule. We are looking for speakers to educate and inspire our members. If you have expertise to share with your fellow eating disorder professionals, follow this link for instructions on how to to submit your proposal.