Psychedelics could be ‘next generation’ of safer treatments for mental health
“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 Dr David Olson, who lead the research team.
These brain changes also appear in cases of anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder and stimulating them to reconnect could help to address this.
The research, published in the journal Cell Reports today, looked at drugs in several classes including tryptamines, DMT and magic mushrooms; amphetamines, including MDMA; and ergolines, like LSD.
In tests on human brain cells in the lab, flies and rats, it found these substances consistently boosted brain connections.