Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak's research while affiliated with National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil and other places

Publications (447)

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Rationale Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as a group of neurodevelopmental disorders whose symptoms include impaired communication and social interaction, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, and varying levels of intellectual disability. ASD is observed in early childhood and is one of the most severe chronic childhood disorde...
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Although results are still preliminary, ketamine and classical hallucinogens have shown promise in recent years as novel, fast-acting antidepressants, especially for the treatment of unipolar treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Depression also seems to be related to abnormal levels of peripheral inflammatory and neurotrophic biomarkers, which m...
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Background: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main nonpsychoactive components of Cannabis sativa and may represent an alternative treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome/Willis-Ekbom Disease (RLS/WED) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Objective: Our purpose was a post hoc exploratory a...
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Context Ibogaine is the main alkaloid of the African shrub Tabernanthe iboga. It produces hallucinogenic and psychostimulant effects, but it is currently known for the anti-addictive properties. Despite the potential therapeutic effects, several cases of fatalities and serious adverse events related to ibogaine/noribogaine use can be found in the l...
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Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic/psychedelic traditionally used for ritual and therapeutic purposes. One such therapeutic use is related to Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). A previous systematic review of preclinical and human studies published until 2016 suggested that ayahuasca and its alkaloids have therapeutic effects in the treatment of SUDs. To c...
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Ayahuasca is a plant decoction in traditional Amazonian medicine. Its ritual use has been internationalized, leading to policy challenges that countries should address. This study evaluates the impact of regular ayahuasca ceremony participation on health by assessing the health status of 377 participants in ayahuasca ceremonies in the Netherlands u...
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Cannabinoid signaling, mainly via CB1 and CB2 receptors, plays an essential role in oligodendrocyte health and functions. However, the specific molecular signals associated with the activation or blockade of CB1 and CB2 receptors in this glial cell have yet to be elucidated. Mass spectrometry-based shotgun proteomics and in silico biology tools wer...
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Studies with cannabidiol (CBD) suggest that this compound has anxiolytic properties and may mediate the reconsolidation and extinction of aversive memories. The objective of this study was to test whether the administration of CBD 300 mg before the recall of traumatic events attenuated symptoms usually induced by recall in subjects diagnosed with p...
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic constituent of the Cannabis plant, with potential therapeutic properties for many physical and neuropsychiatric conditions. Isolated CBD has been suggested to have favorable safety and tolerability. Although CBD-related rash is described, few case reports are well documented in the literature, and usually,...
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Introduction: A limited number of preliminary open-label (n = 3) and placebo-controlled clinical trials (n = 5) have suggested psilocybin and LSD as potential rapid antidepressants. In this context, there is a growing need to verify and document their safety and tolerability as therapeutic agents, discuss the challenges associated with their admin...
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This study aimed to assess the ultrapure cannabidiol (CBD) antibacterial activity and to investigate the antibacterial activity of the combination CBD + polymyxin B (PB) against Gram-negative (GN) bacteria, including PB-resistant Gram-negative bacilli (GNB). We used the standard broth microdilution method, checkerboard assay, and time-kill assay. C...
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Health care workers from low- and middle-income countries have been playing a critical role in overcoming the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic; yet little is known about the relationship between workplace protections and wellbeing of Brazilian health care workers during the pandemic. This study aimed to evaluate whether Brazilian health...
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Few longitudinal studies assessed the less immediate consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on health workers' mental health, especially in less developed countries. The objective was to assess the evolution of mental health indicators of Brazilian health workers providing care to COVID-19 patients, considering the beginning and first wave of the pa...
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Introduction: Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew originally used by indigenous tribes from the Amazon Rainforest and in religious rituals. Pre-clinical and observational studies have demonstrated its possible potential as an antidepressant, and open and placebo-controlled clinical trials corroborated these results. For it to become an approved treatm...
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Objectives: We assessed whether administering cannabidiol (CBD) before recalling the traumatic event that triggered their disorder attenuates anxiety in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As an exploratory pilot analysis, we also investigated whether this effect depends on the nature of the event (sexual vs. nonsexual trauma). M...
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Objective: To assess endocannabinoid (anandamide, AEA; 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2-AG) plasma levels in healthy volunteers and in volunteers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) after a single oral dose of ayahuasca or placebo. Methods: Post hoc analysis of endocannabinoid plasma levels (baseline, 90 and 240 min after drug intake) from two parallel-...
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The synaptic balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) is a fundamental principle of cortical circuits, and disruptions in E/I balance are commonly linked to cognitive deficits such as impaired decision making. Explanatory gaps remain in a mechanistic understanding of how E/I balance contributes to cognitive computations, and how E/I...
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Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity is expressed as a dose-limiting peripheral sensory neuropathy (PSN). Cannabinoid substances have been investigated for the analgesic effect. This study aimed to investigate the role of cannabinoid receptors in oxaliplatin-associated PSN. Swiss male mice received nine oxaliplatin injections (2 mg/kg, i.v.). Mechanic...
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The interest in psychedelic substances as potential treatments for psychiatric disorders is increasing. The β-carboline harmine, an Ayahuasca component, presents hallucinogenic and antidepressant effects. Although Ayuahuasca-and consequently harmine-is usually consumed in rituals, the role of social contexts in the behavioral effects of harmine has...
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Importance: Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties and antiviral "in vitro" effect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), cannabidiol (CBD) has been proposed as a potential treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of CBD for treating patients with mild to...
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Background Brain magnetic resonance imaging studies have not investigated the cortical surface comprehensively in schizophrenia subjects by assessing thickness, surface area and gyrification separately during the first-episode of psychosis (FEP) or chronic schizophrenia (ChSch). Methods We investigated cortical surface abnormalities in 137 FEP pat...
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the stomatognathic system of individuals with controlled systemic hypertension through comparison with a disease-free control group. Seventy individuals (44 female and 26 male) were divided into two groups: a controlled systemic hypertension (n=35) and a disease-free control (n=35). The individuals were evaluat...
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Background Molecular biomarkers are promising tools to be routinely used in clinical psychiatry. Among psychiatric diseases, major depression disorder (MDD) has gotten attention due to its growing prevalence and morbidity. Methods We tested some peripheral molecular parameters such as serum mature Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (mBDNF), plasma...
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Rationale: Previous studies with the serotonergic hallucinogens LSD and psilocybin showed that these drugs induced changes in personality traits, such as increases in Openness. However, results are inconsistent, and the effects of ayahuasca on personality were never investigated in a controlled trial. Objectives: To assess the effects of ayahuasca...
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The comprehension of the pathophysiology of the major depressive disorder (MDD) is essential to the strengthening of precision psychiatry. In order to determine the relationship between the pathophysiology of the MDD and its clinical progression, analyzed by severity of the depressive symptoms and sleep quality, we conducted a study assessing diffe...
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Clinical and preclinical evidence has indicated that estrogen depletion leads to memory impairments and increases the susceptibility to neural damage. Here, we have sought to investigate the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa, on memory deficits induced by estrogen depletion in rats, and its underlying...
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The incidence of chronic pain is high in the general population and it is closely related to anxiety disorders, which promote negative effects on the quality of life. The cannabinoid system has essential participation in the pain sensitivity circuit. In this perspective, cannabidiol (CBD) is considered a promising strategy for treating neuropathic...
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The objective was to compare the mental health indicators of health workers providing care to individuals with COVID-19 in Brazil, considering sociodemographic and occupational variables and the risk perception of contamination by the Sars-CoV-2 of workers from different professions, identifying risk and protective factors. A sample of 916 health w...
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Background: Ayahuasca is a classic hallucinogen with anxiolytic and antidepressive properties. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that it improves performance (eg, singing, speech). This controlled trial assessed the effects of ayahuasca on speech performance and anxiety in individuals with social anxiety disorder. Methods: Seventeen volunteers wi...
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Background: One of the main public health strategies adopted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic consisted of implementing strict lockdowns to stop the transmission of the virus. Despite being an effective measure, the confinement and the associated social isolation create a stressful, potentially lengthy situations that has been proven to ha...
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Objective: To compare plasma concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) following oral administration of two formulations of the drug (powder and dissolved in oil), and to evaluate the effects of these distinct formulations on responses to emotional stimuli in healthy human volunteers. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, paralle...
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Cannabidiol, a compound of Cannabis sativa , has been proposed as an alternative treatment of schizophrenia. Preclinical and clinical data have suggested that cannabidiol shares more similarity with atypical antipsychotics than typical, both of which are customarily used to manage schizophrenia symptoms. While oligodendrocytes are known to be relev...
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Background: Schizophrenia is a complex disabling mental disorder, and many patients present poor response to available treatments. Accumulating evidence about the role of the glutamate/nitric oxide pathway in mediating the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia suggests potential benefits of drugs that modulate this system. The aim of thi...
Preprint
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Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) bacteria are a major worldwide public health problem. In the last decades, resistance to last-resort antibiotics such as polymyxin B (PB) have been increasingly observed among these superbugs, compromising the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy. The present study aimed (i) to assess...
Chapter
The volume of research on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs has been increasing during the last decades. Partly because of the need of innovative treatments in psychiatry, several studies have assessed the safety and efficacy of drugs like psilocybin or ayahuasca for a wide range of mental disorders, including major depression. The first sec...
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most prevalent mental health disorders worldwide, and it is associated with a reduced quality of life and enormous costs to health care systems. Available drug treatments show low-to-moderate response in most patients, with almost a third of patients being non-responders (treatment-resistant). Furthermor...
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Autophagy is a lysosomal catabolic process essential to cell homeostasis and is related to the neuroprotection of the central nervous system. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa. Many therapeutic actions have been linked to this compound, including autophagy activation. However, the precise underlying...
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Psychedelics or serotonergic hallucinogens are a group of substances that share the agonism of serotonergic 5-HT 2A receptors as their main mechanism of action. Its main effects include changes in perception, cognitive process, and mood. Despite being used for centuries by different cultures in ritual contexts, these substances have currently arous...
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Mutations in ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated-protein 1 (GDAP1) are associated with several subtypes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, including autosomal recessive and demyelinating (CMT4A); autosomal recessive and axonal (AR-CMT2K); autosomal dominant and axonal (CMT2K); and an intermediate and recessive form (CMTRIA). To date,...
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Background: REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is a common non-motor feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main non-psychoactive components of Cannabis sativa and may represent an alternative route for treating RBD. Objective: This study assessed the efficacy and safety of CBD for RBD in PD. Methods: We conducted...
Article
Background: In recent decades, ritualistic use of ayahuasca has spread throughout the world. Retrospective studies have suggested a good psychological safety profile, but prospective studies involving ceremony ayahuasca-naive participants are lacking. Methods: We conducted the study using a subsample from a previous study, for which first-time c...
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Objective: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is related to glutamatergic dysfunction. Antagonists of glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), such as ketamine, have antidepressant properties. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is also a NMDAR antagonist. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of augmenting antidepressant treatment with N2O. Met...
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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has a significant adjunctive effect in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), however its use as monotherapy in group-based approaches is less explored. We assessed the responses of distinct psychophysiological domains after a group-based CBT (gCBT, 16 weeks) intervention in drug-free patients with mild...
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Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are psychiatric neurodevelopmental disorders that cause high levels of functional disabilities. Also, the currently available therapies for these disorders are limited. Therefore, the search for treatments that could be beneficial for the altered course of the neurodevelopment associated with these...
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Rationale Suicidality is a major public health concern with limited treatment options. Accordingly, there is a need for innovative interventions for suicidality. Preliminary evidence indicates that treatment with the psychedelic ayahuasca may lead to decreases in depressive symptoms among individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, t...
Article
Essential tremor (ET) is a common clinical syndrome characterized by action tremors affecting both upper limbs that can compromise manual tasks' execution and impair functional and social performance. The primary pharmacological treatment is symptomatic, but effective medicines are somewhat limited. There is a clear need to find new effective thera...
Chapter
Cannabis can synthetize more than 400 compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, and more than 100 phytocannabinoids. The main phytocannabinoids are Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis-based products are used as medicines in several countries. In this text, we present an overview of the main neurochemical mechanisms of ac...
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Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) affect physical and mental health and may appear as risk factors for the development of different conditions in adult life. Objective: To perform a literature review and meta-analysis on risk indicators for the development of chronic lung diseases in adulthood associated with ACE. Method: We conducted...
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The maintenance of postural balance can be influenced by the lifestyle of a population. This study aimed to determine the electromyographic activity of the masseter and temporalis muscles during mandibular tasks and habitual and non-habitual chewing in indigenous individuals to reveal the differences among white Brazilian individuals. Sixty Brazili...
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Objective: The aim of the present study was to analyze the body sway response in specific phobia (SP) patients and healthy controls while viewing neutral, phobic, and disgusting images. Methods: The participants’ heart rate (HR) and skin conductance were also recorded during the procedure. Nineteen patients with arachnophobia and 19 healthy volunt...
Article
The present study describes the development of a novel solvent-free vortex-assisted dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction alternative based on a natural essential oil as extracting solvent (VA-EO-DLLME) for the determination of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), harmine (HRM), harmaline (HRL) and tetrahydroarmine (THH) (compounds found in the ayahuas...
Preprint
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Background: CrossFit is a regular high-intensity physical conditioning exercise for skeletal striated muscles, which promotes functional changes in the human body. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of CrossFit exercise on the electromyographic activity of the masseter and temporalis muscles. Methods: Forty participants were divide...
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Objective: To assess the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) in the management of crack-cocaine craving and the treatment of frequent withdrawal symptoms. Methods: Thirty-one men with a diagnosis of crack-cocaine dependence were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. We applied neuropsychological tests and assessed craving int...
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Research with psychedelic drugs has mainly focused on isolated compounds. However, this approach is challenged by the "polypharmacology" paradigm. In this Viewpoint, we suggest that we may be missing something if we do not use the whole product in the case of ayahuasca or Psilocybe mushrooms. After describing how research on psychedelic drugs can b...
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Introduction The Internet Gaming Disorder Scale – Short Form (IGDS9-SF) assesses the severity, harmful effects and/or consequences of excessive online and offline gaming. Its conciseness and theoretical foundations on current diagnostic criteria of gaming disorders make it a useful resource for clinical and screening settings. Objective To describ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has a significant adjunctive effect in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), however its uses as monotherapy is less explored, mainly the group-based approaches.Methods We assessed the responses of distinct psychophysiological domains after a intervention using group-based CBT (gCBT, 16 week...
Article
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are phytocannabinoids being linked with modulation of anxiety and depression. The recognition of emotions in facial expressions (REFE) is impaired in these disorders. Both drugs could modulate anxiety and mood by interfering with REFE. Thus, a systematic review of controlled trials assessing the effe...