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Thread: Psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies

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    Psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies 
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    pofacedhoe's Avatar
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    interesting

    Psychedelic drugs may have mind-altering powers in the physical sense, too. A new study, published June 12 in the journal Cell Reports, found psychedelics, specifically DOI, DMT, and LSD, can change brain cells in rats and flies, making neurons more likely to branch out and connect with one another. The work supports the theory that psychedelics could help to fight depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    "These are some of the most powerful compounds known to affect brain function, it's very obvious to me that we should understand how they work," says senior author David E. Olson, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

    The idea that depression stems from imbalanced brain chemistry remains popular, but recent studies have revealed evidence that depression manifests as structural changes in brain circuits or atrophy in parts of the brain. This doesn't mean neurons die off during depression, but that neurites retract. Neurites are the sections -- either axons or dendrites -- of a neuron that project out to bridge the gap between two neurons at the synapse to facilitate communication.

    "One of the hallmarks of depression is that the neurites in the prefrontal cortex -- a key brain region that regulates emotion, mood, and anxiety -- those neurites tend to shrivel up," says Olson. These brain changes also appear in cases of anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    In their paper, Olson and colleagues tested psychedelics from the amphetamine, tryptamine, and ergoline drug classes. In both test tube and animal experiments, the psychedelics showed functional and structural changes like those promoted by ketamine in cortical neurons. Psychedelics increased both the density of dendritic spines and the density of synapses. Some psychedelics tested, including LSD, proved to be more potent and efficacious than ketamine in promoting neurite growth....

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0612185207.htm
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    Not could help to fight depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They do.

    At least when used safely and appropriately (which also means not using them when they aren't appropriate for someone).

    Great article! Thanks po
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    it just confirms what we all knew from years gone by
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