The Neurobiology of Psychedelic Drugs

An excellent review paper has appeared in Nature Reviews: Neuroscience entitled “The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders”. Here’s the abstract:

After a pause of nearly 40 years in research into the effects of psychedelic drugs, recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin and ketamine have led to renewed interest in the clinical potential of psychedelics in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Recent behavioural and neuroimaging data show that psychedelics modulate neural circuits that have been implicated in mood and affective disorders, and can reduce the clinical symptoms of these disorders. These findings raise the possibility that research into psychedelics might identify novel therapeutic mechanisms and approaches that are based on glutamate-driven neuroplasticity.

As a result, Nature has decided to highlight some related reading in their Blog Focus: Hallucinogenic drugs in Modern Medicine and Mental Health with four great articles.

The secret history of psychedelic psychiatry Highlighting the early advances of Dr. Humphrey Osmond and other pioneers of psychedelic psychotherapy.
Serotonin, Psychedelics and Depression
Investigates the relationship between the action of psychedelics and current theories of depression, both which rely on the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Ketamine for Depression: Yea or Neigh?
Investigating the potential of the NMDA antagonist ketamine as a breakthrough treatment for depression.
Visions of a psychedelic future
A Western scientist’s experience with the psychedelic brew ayahuasca.

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