Researchers have uncovered the structure of psychedelic compounds when they actively bind to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor on the surface of brain cells. The discovery could lead to the exploration of more precise compounds that offer the therapeutic effects of psychedelics for mental health disorders, but without the hallucinations.
While the effects of hallucinogens to treat mental illnesses are being researched, little is known about the neurobiology of those who dabble in psychedelics for recreational purposes. A new study reports "psychonauts" have distinct behaviors, including taking a scientific approach to documenting their experience with hallucinogens, compared to more recreational users.
As interest in using psychedelics to treat a range of mental health disorders grows, researchers consider the impact and therapeutic benefits of using psychedelics to help alleviate symptoms of depression.