Five Scientific Discoveries about Psychedelic Substances, Their Effects

Interest in psychedelics has increased significantly in recent years, with numerous studies being conducted on DMT, MDMA, LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. These substances are known to alter cognition, perception and mood when consumed, with researchers finding that they also possess therapeutic benefits that may be useful in the treatment of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, addiction and PTSD.

Today, we look at some of the discoveries related to psychedelic drugs and their therapeutic potential.

Psychedelics may help manage alcohol abuse.

One study has determined that a combination of 5-MeO-DMT and ibogaine treatments may help reduce symptoms of PTSD and alcohol misuse in military veterans. The researchers involved found that the veterans who underwent the psychedelic treatment recorded a substantial reduction in alcohol misuse. The study did note that, despite the overall improvement, some participants continued engaging in risky drinking.

The study’s findings were reported in “Military Psychology.”

LSD may help individuals learn more quickly.

A study was recently published in “Psychological Medicine” which determined that people receiving feedback while under the influence of LSD learn faster. The objective of the study was to look into LSD’s effects on decision-making and learning in humans.

Researchers reported that, in addition to learning quicker, participants under the influence of LSD exhibited more exploratory behaviors. This, they hypothesize, meant that the participants were more likely to try new options when it came to decision making.

Psilocybin therapy helps manage thought suppression, rumination symptoms.

Depression is a serious mental disorder that negatively affects how an individual thinks, feels and acts. Conventional treatments for this mental condition sometimes cause unpleasant side effects. Psilocybin-assisted therapy is an alternative therapy option that uses psilocybin administered along with talk therapy to manage depression.

One study compared psilocybin’s effects with those of escitalopram on symptoms of depression associated with negative thought suppression and rumination. The researchers found that participants who underwent psilocybin therapy demonstrated considerably greater improvements in both thought suppression and rumination symptoms.

LSD has positive, negative effect on cognitive function.

Research recently published in “European Neuropsychopharmacology” has determined that LSD may be linked to impaired cognitive flexibility as well as improvements in verbal fluency and visuospatial memory.

MDMA therapy may change how the human brain responds to traumatic memories.

A recent study has found that administering MDMA together with therapy may reduce the fear response linked to traumatic experiences. This, researchers posit, may assist patients with post-traumatic stress disorder to process their traumatic recollections. The study’s findings were reported in “Frontiers in Psychiatry.”

Many enterprises, such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL), are actively involved in conducting clinical and preclinical trials on psychedelic substances. The results of such efforts could bring more information to the forefront regarding the therapeutic benefits of these compounds.

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