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Trippy New Study Shows LSD May Have Therapeutic Application

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Helping to dispel the dangerous notion that tripping on LSD is nothing more than a cruel and stupid pastime, a group of scientists from the Imperial College London have discovered areas of the brain linked to the drug’s associated hallucinations – and have identified some potential therapeutic uses.

With results from the vibrant research in hand, scientists have gained a greater understanding of how the psychedelic compound alters and enhances human brain activity.

For their research, scientists gave 20 volunteers LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) in a state-of-the-art research center, then performed an MRI on their well-dosed grey matter to gain greater insight on how LSD modifies the brain’s normal functionality.

When the volunteer’s cerebral cortexes were viewed via MRI images while high on acid, the images showed almost the entire organ fired up with activity.

Image courtesy of Imperial College London

Image courtesy of Imperial College London

Scientists have waited 50 years for this moment – the revealing of how LSD alters our brain biology. For the first time we can really see what’s happening in the brain during the psychedelic state, and can better understand why LSD had such a profound impact on self-awareness in users and on music and art. This could have great implications for psychiatry, and helping patients overcome conditions such as depression,” said Professor David Nutt, the senior researcher on the study and Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.

Learn more about the effects of LSD on the human brain


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