LSD Might Treat Certain Mental Disorders

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

LSD Might Treat Certain Mental Disorders

Researchers at McGill University discovered that the use of LSD can help increase social interaction of people suffering from mental illness.

For the very first time, researchers at McGill University have found out one of the possible mechanisms that add up to the ability of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to increase social interaction. The research data published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) shows that it could help release potential therapeutic applications for the treatment of certain psychiatric diseases that include alcohol use disorders and anxiety.

LSD and other psychedelic drugs were famous in the 1970s and have been gaining popularity since the past decade. Reports suggest that the youth population regularly use small non-hallucinogenic micro-doses of LSD to kick start their creativity and work, and also, to increase their empathized behavior. The effect LSD has on the brain is still a mystery.

To conduct the research, scientists injected a low dose of LSD in mice for a week. This resulted in increase in sociability in the mice. The increase in sociability is observed, as the LSD activates the serotonin 5-HT2A receptors and the AMPA receptors (these are glutamate receptors, the main brain neurotransmitters), says Danilo De Gregorio, Pharm.D, PhD, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit at McGill.

The researchers state that the result of their experiment is the ability to describe, at least in mice as of now, the feelings of empathy, feeling a greater connection to the world, and the feeling of being a part of a large community. Having found the effects of LSD in mice, the researchers are hoping to make progress in their work and test the ability of LSD to work on mutant mice showing the behavioral symptoms similar to those seen in human pathologies. This includes social anxiety disorders and spectrum disorders. The researchers hope to find whether micro doses of LSD have similar effects on humans and can be used for safe therapeutic use.

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