LSD could help treat depression and anxiety, researchers hopeRaw Story/Medical Daily
April 6, 2017
Scientists are looking to use LSD to help patients cope during stressful times. A new study from the University of Basel in Switzerland found that the drug reduces activity in the part of your brain that deals with negative emotions, according to ScienceDaily.
In the very small study, researchers used functional MRI to measure brain activity in 20 healthy people who took 100 micrograms of LSD. Each person looked at images portraying various emotions like anger, joy and fear. The team found that after taking LSD, people reacted to fear differently, showing less activity in the amygdala. This part of the brain is essential in processing emotions. The team believes that the lower amygdala activity is actually associated with the effects of taking LSD.
"This 'de-frightening' effect could be an important factor for positive therapeutic effects," explains Doctor Felix Müller, lead author of the study, in the release on ScienceDaily. However, this is just the beginning of the research and much more is needed before drawing any conclusions. However, scientists are hopeful that this could open up the possibility of new treatments for depression and anxiety.
It may seem unorthodox now, but psychedelic drugs were once used for therapeutic purposes. The Guardian looked into the history of psychedelic psychiatry, started by British therapist Humphry Osmond. Osmond actually created the term psychedelic and looked at how hallucinogens could treat alcoholism. According to The Guardian, LSD therapy was the hot new trend and was even touted by Hollywood elite like Cary Grant. However, the growing counterculture movement and negative bias against hippies, proved detrimental to his cause, and Osmond's research was stopped in the 1960s due to new regulations for scientific experiments.