It may seem a bit backward, using a controlled drug to fight controlled drugs, but the truth is stranger than fiction sometimes; researchers are trying to use the hallucinogen LSD to combat the effects of addiction and depression on the human mind. The chemical is one of several psychedelics that was tested in a study to see their effect on animal brain cells. One discovery made in the study was that the psychedelics improved brain plasticity (the interconnections and usage of existing neurons in the brain, a sign of brain health), and might possibly be a key in a new method of dealing with the aforementioned mental disorders and open a new path to sober living in New Jersey.
Psychedelic drugs are able to prompt brain cells in rats and flies to grow and better connect with one another. This finding further upholds the drugs’ potential use in treating a number of mental health conditions such as depression and addiction, according to a new study.
The study, published online Tuesday in Cell Reports, studied the effects of psychedelic drugs on animal brain cells both in test tubes and in live models. The specific drugs used in the study were from the amphetamine, tryptamine and ergoline drug classes, and included LSD. When the brain cells were exposed to these drugs, they induced changes in the cells. For example, the brain cells grew more dendritic spines and synapses. These structural changes are known as neural plasticity.
This finding is important as past research suggests that depression may be associated with structural changes in the brain, Medical Xpress reported. Click Here to Continue Reading