Microdosing reverses the effects of stress on the brain

Repeated lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) reverses stress-induced anxiety-like behavior, cortical synaptogenesis deficits and serotonergic neurotransmission decline

A study published yesterday suggests that microdosing LSD reduces stress-induced anxiety and promotes neuroplasticity.

McGill University researchers found that giving rats a microdose 7 days in a row was able to prevent anxiety-like behaviour when exposed to chronic stress conditions, but a single dose had no behavioural effect.

They also found that repeated microdoses prevented two neurobiological changes that occur with stress: the loss of dendritic spines (the branches on neurons that conduct electrical signals) and the decrease in serotonin transmission.

“We have shown that LSD can rebuild these branches that are ‘dismantled’ due to stress. This is a sign of brain plasticity,” explains one of the researchers.

Interestingly, a single microdose actually decreased serotonin neurotransmission – it was only the repeated regimen that increased the firing of serotonin neurons. So if you’re going to microdose, you may want to try it multiple days in a row 😉

If you’re looking to start microdosing, follow @chloedeutscher on TikTok for advice from an industry expert.

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A push for equity + global rescheduling of psilocybin

Global Wellness Institute Announces New Initiative on Psychedelics & Healing

Major non-profit Global Wellness Institute just launched a Psychedelics & Healing Initiative with the goal of establishing evidence-based best practices, equity, and accessibility within the psychedelics industry.

The initiative brings together physicians, business innovators, research scientists, impact investors, and policy makers, including high-profile members like Rick Doblin, founder of MAPS.

The group will also advocate for the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative, a recent movement to suspend psilocybin’s Schedule I status through the United Nations to remove research barriers across the globe.

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The shift toward nature-based psychedelic therapy 🌲

The potential synergistic effects between psychedelic administration and nature contact for the improvement of mental health

Experts from Imperial College London predict that combining psychedelics and contact with nature could have a beneficial synergy, as both are known to decrease rumination, increase mindfulness, and elicit feelings of awe and transcendence.

Combining the two could also restore the disconnect and fear of nature that more and more people are feeling as technology takes over.

In their review, the researchers note that it may be beneficial to incorporate natural elements into treatment rooms and include contact with nature in the therapy sessions leading up to and following the psychedelic session.

While a fully outdoor session has drawbacks, the researchers explain that a hybrid indoor/outdoor with large skylights and windows and nature-based design elements would be the ideal setting for psychedelic therapy.

Organizations like Usona Institute and Synthesis Institute are already working to incorporate nature into treatment programs – let’s hope this trend continues!

SAGE Journals

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Treat pain and mental health simultaneously

Tasmanian ketamine study to treat chronic pain patients

About 60% of patients with chronic pain also suffer from a second condition like depression or anxiety.

A University of Tasmania researcher predicts that ketamine therapy will have a “dual beneficial effect” on both pain and mental health.

Other chronic pain experts share this belief. “The domains of pain, anxiety and depression are all connected. If you treat one, another often gets better,” according to researcher Dr. David Borsook.

The hypothesis will be put to the test in an upcoming study of 30 chronic pain patients, which received a $80K grant from the Clifford Craig Foundation.

The Examiner

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