A growing body of evidence suggests psychedelics including psilocybin and LSD show promise in providing lasting relief from symptoms for those suffering some mental health disorders. Researchers found DOI, a similar drug to LSD, reduced negative behavioral responses following fear triggers in mouse models of anxiety.
LSD increases social behaviors by activating 5-HTPA serotonin receptors and AMPA receptors in the prefrontal cortex, and the mTORC1 protein. Activating all three factors promoted social interactions. The findings suggest supervised LSD microdosing may help alleviate some of the social problems associated with ASD and other mental health disorders that impact social behaviors.
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.
Psilocybin reduces activity in the claustrum, an area of the brain believed to contribute to consciousness and sense of self. Researchers say the reduced activity may tie in with the reduced sense of self and ego often associated with psychedelic drug use. The study also reports psilocybin alters the way the claustrum communicates with brain areas involved in attention, decision making, auditory processing, and memory.
DMT alters electrical activity in the brain. The compound significantly decreases alpha wave activity, the dominant rhythm associated with wakefulness, and increases theta waves, associated with dreaming. Overall brain activity becomes more chaotic and less predictable. The findings advance the understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of immersive states of consciousness.