A researcher at the University of Lethbridge received national recognition for her work to understand how chronic intestinal distension drives changes in brain structure and behavior.
Dr. Chelsea Matisz was recently awarded the L’Oréal Canada for Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowship and one of the Royal Society of Canada Alice Wilson Awards.
She says she’s excited about the therapeutic potential of her research, as it now focuses on how cannabinoids and psilocybin can help repair chronic inflammatory-induced changes in the brain.
“Research institutions recognize the importance of the gut-brain axis in all aspects of human health, not just neurodegenerative and intestinal diseases, but arthritis, aging, and pregnancy.” We recognize that understanding relationships may open up a whole new world of treatment options for different types of disease.”
She adds that some research has already been done with cannabinoids, with interesting results. The evidence that a single dose of psilocybin can have significant therapeutic benefit in people with refractive depression is very impressive.”
Breaking the cycle is key for people who suffer from chronic inflammation, she said, and those dealing with chronic inflammation experience functional and structural changes in the brain, leading to more depression and anxiety as the disease progresses. She says she discovered that Your body responds to stress, causing more inflammation.
“That’s why we’re so excited about this research because psilocybin may help repair structural and functional inflammatory changes. I think you’re excited about the potential for something fast-acting, too. Evidence suggests that combined with behavioral therapy, it can be really effective.