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Support our campaign to study psilocybin as a treatment for OCD

The mental health benefits of psychedelics are increasingly well known. Prof David Nutt’s research group at Imperial College has shown how psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – is a strong and fast-acting anti-depressant.

We at Orchard seek to accelerate the development of new and better treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Our aim is to raise £80,000 for Prof David Nutt and his team to run a clinical study to test whether psilocybin can help treat OCD.

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About Orchard and OCD
Orchard is a charity focusing on developing treatments for patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a serious mental illness. We work with academia, clinicians, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, patients and other charities to fast-track the development of new and innovative treatments for OCD.

OCD is a common, chronic and severely disabling mental illness that affects at least a million people in the UK alone. It is characterised by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and accompanying rituals (compulsions) aimed at reducing anxiety and distress. A significant proportion have what is informally known as Pure O, where the obsessions and compulsions are completely internalised and cause considerable distress.

Sixty per cent of OCD patients are also depressed and many are suicidal. The lifetime prevalence of OCD is 2-3 %. It affects all population groups regardless of gender and culture.

Treatment options for OCD consist of anti-depressant medications developed primarily for other mental disorders, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy. Both of these treatments take several months to start to have any effect, and medications have significant side effects. Moreover, up to 40% of patients do not respond and 50% need further treatment.

The economic impact of OCD on the individual, family and society is significant in terms of the direct cost of extensive treatments as well as the indirect cost related to lost productivity.

There is an urgent need for the development of new and better treatments, yet the field is severely underfunded. No research is carried out by the pharmaceutical industry, and funding for academic research is scarce and difficult to obtain. This is why we have set up Orchard in order to raise much-needed funding for OCD research.

Watch a video about Orchard:

Registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. Charity number 1174480.

"Orchard will accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments for OCD patients through its international partnerships with academia, industry, patients/families, and advocates. I strongly support Orchard's vision and commitment to help individuals suffering from OCD; I am delighted to contribute to their efforts." Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Translational OCD Research Program. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine.
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