Friday, July 6, 2018

Brain stimulation decreases intent to assault

Stimulating the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for controlling complex ideas and behaviors, can reduce a person's intention to commit a violent act by more than 50 percent.

Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity

Classical serotonergic psychedelics are known to cause changes in mood and brain function  that persist long after the acute effects of the drugs have subsided. Moreover, several psychedelics elevate glutamate levels in the cortex and increase gene expression in vivo of the neurotrophin BDNF as well as immediate-early genes associated with plasticity. This indirect evidence has led to the reasonable hypothesis that psychedelics promote structural and functional neural plasticity, although this assumption had never been rigorously tested. The data presented here provide direct evidence for this hypothesis, demonstrating that psychedelics cause both structural and functional changes in cortical neurons.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Positive Effects of THC on Older Mice

Cognition and Memory improvement with low dose THC in old mice.

A generally undesired effect of cannabis smoking is a reversible disruption of short‐term memory induced by delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. However, this paradigm has been recently challenged by a group of scientists who have shown that THC is also able to improve neurological function in old animals when chronically administered at low concentrations. Moreover, recent studies demonstrated that THC paradoxically promotes hippocampal neurogenesis, prevents neurodegenerative processes occurring in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, protects from inflammation‐induced cognitive damage and restores memory and cognitive function in old mice.

Antidepressant Effect of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca shows antidepressant effects.

64 percent of the patients who had received ayahuasca still felt that their depression had eased. Just 27 percent of those in the placebo group showed such effects

Psychedelics and Mental Health

Self reported benefits by self medicating users of psychedelics ranked higher than traditional treatments.

Psilocybin effects on Personality

Depressed patients experienced positive changes in personality structure after psilocybin.

Neuroticism scores significantly decreased while Extraversion increased following psilocybin therapy. These changes were in the direction of the normative NEO‐PI‐R data and were both predicted, in an exploratory analysis, by the degree of insightfulness experienced during the psilocybin session. Openness scores also significantly increased following psilocybin, whereas Conscientiousness showed trend‐level increases, and Agreeableness did not change.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Have You Had a Positive Psychological Experience with Psychedelics?

Have you had a psychedelic experience that was psychologically insightful?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins want to know.  30-45 minute survey.