The Kernel Flow device slips on the head like a bicycle helmet, using pulsed light instead of continuous wave light to increase measured brain information.
We're only three weeks into 2022, and it's already shaping up to be a very exciting year for psychedelic research.
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved a Cybin-sponsored feasibility study using Kernel’s quantitative neuroimaging technology, Kernel Flow, to measure ketamine’s psychedelic effect on cerebral cortex hemodynamics.
As Psychedelic Spotlight previously reported, the Canadian biotechnology company believes that Kernel Flow can enable the acquisition of information about longitudinal brain activity before, during, and after a psychedelic experience. This would quantify the effects of psychedelics—data that was previously only available as subjective patient reporting.
The study, which was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration last October, is expected to begin enrollment in the early months of this year. Cybin will retain an exclusive interest in any innovations that are discovered or developed through its independent analysis of the study findings, while Kernel will hold the same rights relating to its Kernel technology.
“We believe the results of this study will lead to future studies that will test the effectiveness of psychedelic treatments and will further support our mission to develop psychedelics into therapeutics,” says Doug Drysdale, Cybin’s Chief Executive Officer.
The Technology Behind Kernel Flow
Kernel Flow is revolutionary brain imaging technology (pictured above). Unlike electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes that usually require gel on the head or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that require a participant to lie in a scanner, the device easily slips on a subject's head, fitting much like a bicycle helmet. Kernel Flow uses pulsed light instead of continuous wave light to increase measured brain information, and may be more broadly used in the future for neuroscientific or physiological studies of brain activity during psychedelic use.
Kernel x Cybin Working Towards Additional FDA Approval for Kernel Flow
In 2021, the FDA authorized the Kernel x Cybin ketamine study that focuses on progressing psychedelic therapeutics, announcing Cybin’s sponsorship of Kernel’s feasibility study of its Kernel Flow technology to measure Ketamine’s psychedelic effect on cerebral cortex hemodynamics.
Ketamine as of right now is one of the few psychedelics that is legally accessible in the United States, with clinics across the country offering psychedelic-assisted therapy with the drug that is proving to be very effective to treat depression, anxiety, and addiction. It is not, however, the only psychedelic that can be studied using the Kernel Flow device.
“With Kernel Flow, Cybin's researchers can start putting numbers and quantification to subjective states of mind, including altered ones,” says Bryan Johnson, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kernel.
Cybin expects the technology to lead to new frontiers in psychedelic therapeutics because of its ability to quantitatively measure brain activity within the context of a psychedelic experience. Drysdale says the goal of the feasibility study is to “bridge the gap of real-time quantitative data collection during psychedelic treatments to further understand the correlation of effects from these powerful molecules.”
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