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Could LSD treat schizophrenia and depression?

| | April 2, 2018

A small new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience seems to offer some insight into what’s happening in the brain while we’re on a LSD trip. And it might even provide a hint as to how certain mental disorders develop. German researchers asked 24 healthy volunteers to lay down in a MRI machine and play a little game. They were told to interact, via eye movements, with a virtual human avatar on a computer screen.

The researchers found that when the volunteers were on LSD (as opposed to a placebo), they were less able to pay attention to the avatar and recognize it as another person.

[Researcher Katrin] Preller and her team used the experiment to try to better understand mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. The same sort of alterations we see with LSD can be found in these disorders.

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[W]hen the volunteers were given both LSD and a drug that blocks serotonin 2A receptors, they performed just as well on the game and had similar brain activity as they did on placebos. That finding in particular highlights the potential applications of drugs that directly interact with and stabilize a person’s level of serotonin 2A.

[A]s some researchers and adventurous volunteers have speculated, both in the past and even today, these treatments could even include LSD.

Read full, original post: New LSD Research May Help Explain the Brain Chemistry of Depression and Schizophrenia

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