We're building a better ClinicalTrials.gov. Check it out and tell us what you think!
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

The Role of 5-HT2A Receptor in the Perception of Self and Personal Meaning in Healthy Volunteers

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02451072
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 21, 2015
Last Update Posted : February 1, 2016
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Franz X. Vollenweider, Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich

Brief Summary:
Aim of the present study is to investigate the neuronal correlates of self and of personal meaning as well as the role of the serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor system in these processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychometric and cognitive measures.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Healthy Drug: Placebo Drug: LSD Drug: Ketanserin Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The present study aims at identifying the contribution of the 5-HT2A receptor system to the formation of self and personal meaning in normal and altered states of consciousness. Specifically, the effect of the 5-HT2/1/6/7 receptor agonist lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on self-consciousness, perception and the making of meaning will be assessed in 25 healthy subjects using a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind, cross-over design. Furthermore, the contribution of the 5-HT2A receptor to these functions shall be assessed by pretreatment with the specific 5-HT2A antagonist ketanserin.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 25 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: The Role of 5-HT2A Receptor on Perception of the Self and Perception of Meaning in Healthy Volunteers
Study Start Date : March 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2016

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Placebo, LSD, Ketanserin/LSD
Cross-over within-subjects design with all treatment conditions tested in the same subject. This design has 1 arm but three treatment conditions in the same subject
Drug: Placebo
Capsules containing mannitol looking identical to LSD per os

Drug: LSD
100µg per os, single dose
Other Name: Lysergic acid diethylamide

Drug: Ketanserin
40mg per os, single dose looking identical to LSD per os
Other Name: Sufrexal

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. fMRI brain activity (BOLD signal) [ Time Frame: two MRI acquisitions separated by a break of 160 minutes ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. associations between personality traits, subjective experiences, and mood changes and the changes in BOLD signal [ Time Frame: 14 hours ]
  2. repeated assessment of subjective effects with validated questionnaires [ Time Frame: 14 hours ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy male and female volunteers at the age of 20-40
  • Willing and capable to give informed consent for study participation as documented by signature after the nature of the study has been thoroughly explained
  • Willing to refrain from drinking alcohol the day before testing session, from drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks at the testing days and from consuming psychoactive substances 2 weeks before testing days and for the duration of the study
  • Able and willing to comply with all study requirements
  • MRI-compatible body shape and size (Body mass index [BMI] 17-30)
  • Right-handedness

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Poor knowledge of the German language
  • Previous significant adverse response to a hallucinogenic drug
  • Participation in another study where pharmaceutical compounds are given within the 30 days preceding and during the present study
  • Self or first-degree relatives with present or antecedent psychiatric disorders
  • Present or antecedent alcohol/drug dependence or present alcohol/drug abuse
  • History of head trauma, fainting, seizures, or electroconvulsive therapy
  • Recent cardiac or brain surgery
  • Current use of medication known to affect brain function (e.g. benzodiazepines, antihistamines, aspirin, beta blockers, theophylline, acetazolamide, etc.)
  • Concomitant therapy with potent inhibitors of cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme 3A4 (HIV protease inhibitors, macrolide antibiotics, acylderivative anti-infective agents)
  • Presence of major internal or neurological disorders (including sepsis, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis, drug-induced fibrosis, familiar or basilar artery migraine)
  • Presence of psychiatric disorder
  • Cardiovascular disease (hypertonia, coronary artery disease, heart insufficiency, myocardial infarction within the past 6 months, coronary spastic angina)
  • Peripheral vascular disease (thromboangiitis obliterans, luetic arteritis, severe arteriosclerosis, thrombophlebitis, Raynaud's disease)
  • Liver or renal disease
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women (a urine pregnancy test will be done before each session for all women capable of bearing children)
  • Inability to lie still for about 60 minutes (e.g. because of sneezing, itching, tremor, pain)
  • Metal parts in the body (piercings, brain aneurysm clip, implanted neural stimulator/cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator/Swan Ganz catheter/insulin pump, cochlear implant); metal shrapnel or bullet, ocular foreign body (e.g. metal shavings); current or previous job in metalworking industry
  • Claustrophobia

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02451072

Layout table for location information
Center for Psychiatric Research, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland, 8032
Sponsors and Collaborators
Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Franz X. Vollenweider, Prof. Dr. Center for Psychiatric Research, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Franz X. Vollenweider, Prof. Dr. med., Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02451072    
Other Study ID Numbers: LSDPUK-126
First Posted: May 21, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 1, 2016
Last Verified: January 2016
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Antagonists
Serotonin Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Serotonin Receptor Agonists
Antihypertensive Agents
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors