Now, with the help of new technologies that allowed the researchers to effectively see and map the brain’s transformations under the influence of LSD, they are able to better understand what actually happens in brains on this potent psychedelic.
“It has taken over 50 years and technical advances in brain imaging and molecular neuroscience to enable us to build on the earlier work in mechanistic clinical research,” said John Krystal, Yale professor and chair of psychiatry, in a statement on the paper.
Psychiatry is full of these promising discoveries and new hope for patients, which make a lot of noise and then disappear," said Weiser.
However, at least one expert had concerns about the study results, including the magnitude of improvement.
In previous studies, use of the estradiol patch led to improvement in measures of positive symptoms and in scores on the general psychopathology subscale and total Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) in women.
In the largest of these studies, a higher dose (200 μg) had greater effects than a lower dose (100 μg).
"Things can be statistically different but clinically meaningless," Dolores Malaspina, MD, professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, genetics, and genomic sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, told Medscape Medical News.
The study was published online July 31 in JAMA Psychiatry.
25 study in the journal e Life, explain that these effects are similar to transformations in the thinking and perception of people with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
Thus, knowing how LSD works in the brain could illuminate the mechanisms underlying these conditions, help in the development of LSD as a treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, and inform understanding human consciousness more generally.