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Can Psychedelic Drugs Like LSD Be Used In Medicine?

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Super Brain Fuel LSD and the Brain

Here is an interesting curated post on LSD and it’s effect on brain health. Using brain scanning and other techniques, scientists from Imperial College London have for the first time visualised the interesting effects of LSD on the human brain.

LSD is the popular (and illegal) psychedelic and goes by the scientific name Lysergic acid diethylamide. The findings may indicate how the drug produces the complex visual hallucinations often associated with its use.“Under normal conditions, information from our eyes is processed in a part of the brain at the back of the head called the visual cortex,” the researchers said in a statement. “However, when the volunteers took LSD, many additional brain areas — not just the visual cortex — contributed to visual processing.”

LSD was first manufactured in Switzerland in 1938 and used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, LSD’s subsequent popularity as a recreational psychedelic saw it criminalised in much of the world. In recent years, many scientists and others have advocated for a rethink of the LSD’s status, particularly its use for treating psychiatric disorders, alcoholism and depression.

Professor David Nutt, former chairman of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and senior researcher on the study, has long argued for more research into how psychedelics affect the brain and how they could be put to medical uses. “Scientists have waited 50 years for this moment — the revealing of how LSD alters our brain biology,” Nutt said.

“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 help patients overcome conditions such as depression.” Amanda Feilding, Director of the Beckley Foundation, which took part in the study, said: “We are finally unveiling the brain mechanisms underlying the potential of LSD, not only to heal but also to deepen our understanding of consciousness itself.”

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