Grant winner Dr Chiranth Bhagavan and his research Psilocybin, psychiatric care and physiotherapy for FND

Dr Chiranth Bhagavan is a RANZCP Fellow and a PhD Student at The University of Melbourne and one of the recipients of the 2023 Beverly Raphael New Investigator Grant recipients for his project Pilot study of Psilocybin-assisted Psychiatric care and specialist Physiotherapy for refractory motor Functional Neurological Disorder. 

About the project

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a disabling illness associated with profound disability. Individuals with FND have neurological symptoms without directly related abnormalities in brain structure. Instead, it is thought that these symptoms arise from abnormalities with how the brain functions, including how the brain and body send and receive signals. Despite available treatments, these altered functional brain processes are often resistant to change, and many suffer long-term disability. In these individuals, psychedelic-assisted therapy may help reorganise these functional processes to enable symptom resolution and improve care and recovery. This study will assess the safety and potential efficacy of psilocybin assisted Psychiatric care and specialist Physiotherapy in refractory motor FND. This project will involve analysing brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in these individuals before and after their intervention. This will enable a deeper understanding of the neuroscientific mechanisms involved in FND and biomarkers mediating potential therapeutic outcomes following this treatment. 

"I am incredibly grateful for the support and recognition from the RANZCP Foundation towards this meaningful research."

Dr Chiranth Bhagavan


The Beverly Raphael New Investigator Grant is designed to encourage those who are new to research and require a small amount of funding to conduct a small-scale study.


The program provides a number of small grants of between A$500 and A$6000 annually.

The RANZCP Foundation funds clinical research in psychiatry
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