Psychedelics have ‘extraordinarily potent’ anti-inflammatory power. Is there a place for them in mainstream medicine?

psychonauts
Image: Medium

Research on psychedelics, which have been profoundly stigmatized, highly restricted, and tragically undeveloped for more than half a century, is stirring back to life and rekindling scientific, medical, and cultural interest in these compounds.

In 2008, a psychedelic compound related to the primary psychoactive alkaloid in peyote was discovered to exert “extraordinarily potent” anti-inflammatory effects at very low drug concentrations in vitro and in vivo. Additional studies have confirmed the capacity of psychedelics to modulate processes that perpetuate chronic low-grade inflammation and thus exert significant therapeutic effects in a diverse array of preclinical disease models, including asthmaatherosclerosisinflammatory bowel disease, and retinal disease.

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently acknowledged the potential of subperceptual psychedelics. To address the high rate of mental illness among active duty military personnel, DARPA aims to discover new compounds that can exert the rapid and robust antidepressant effects of psychedelics without the associated “trip.”

In the private sector, Compass Pathways is conducting Phase 2 trials of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.

The time has come to make psychedelics, once seen as “out there” substances, mainstream and boring again.

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Read full, original post: Transforming psychedelics into mainstream medicines

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