A study finds just how good LSD can be for your brain

Brazil - Many drugs are still socially frowned upon, and in most cases rightfully so. But there are more and more scientific studies proving the positive health effects some substances can have on the human body – like LSD!

The use of hallucinogens like LSD remains controversial despite the scientific studies proving its usefulness.
The use of hallucinogens like LSD remains controversial despite the scientific studies proving its usefulness.  © 123RF/etonastenka

Lysergic acid diethylamide, the tongue-twisting name of the psychotropic substance, is very popular in research.

In particular, the positive effect of the psychedelic in the fight against depression and anxiety disorders has been thoroughly investigated in recent years, including in a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Although there have been no known deaths from an LSD overdose, the reputation of the drug – often colloquially referred to as acid – has remained largely poor. But that may now be changing.

A new study, which was published in the scientific magazine Experimental Neurology, is to prove meanwhile that LSD improves the human memory as well as the cognitive abilities!

According to the study, this is due to increased neuronal plasticity, which is the ability of parts of the brain to change their function and anatomy.

To put it simply, the brain works like a muscle, which can be strengthened by training – or by taking substances!

Is LSD the drug of the future?

The brain is in a state of flux throughout life.
The brain is in a state of flux throughout life.  © 123RF/yodiyim

"Our results show that LSD pretreatment can significantly increase novelty preference in rats several days after [LSD] administration, with a significant single-dose effect," wrote the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte researchers.

"The results imply that LSD-induced plasticity enhanced novelty seeking." Most surprisingly, the test was repeated in a study of 25 human participants and came up with similar results!

The subjects who had taken LSD the day before several memory tests performed better than those who received only a placebo.

"Even a single dose of LSD can promote neuronal plasticity and improve cognition in healthy adults, even several days after LSD administration," lead study author and professor of neuroscience Sidarta Ribeiro told PsyPost.

As to why LSD has this effect, the study attempts to explain the "analysis of human brain organoids showed that LSD affects metabolic pathways associated with neural plasticity."

So it seems almost only a matter of time before LSD and other hallucinogens are moved from the dark corner of "dangerous drugs" into the light of medical treatment.

Cover photo: 123RF/etonastenka

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