“People have long assumed that psychedelics are capable of altering neuronal structure, but this is the first study that clearly and unambiguously supports that hypothesis. What is really exciting is that psychedelics seem to mirror the effects produced by ketamine,” says David Olson, assistant professor in the departments of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular medicine at the University of California, Davis, who leads the research team.
In the study, tryptamines such as DMT and psilocin, amphetamines such as MDMA, and ergolines such as LSD, showed activity similar to ketamine, promoting neuritogenesis, the growth of neurites, however ibogaine did not. Fruit fly larvae and zebrafish were studied.
Therefore, the identification of non-hallucinogenic analogs capable of promoting plasticity in the PFC could facilitate a paradigm shift in our approach to treating neuropsychiatric diseases.