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      MDMA—aka ecstasy—submitted to FDA as part of PTSD therapy

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 14 December - 22:57

    Girl with an ecstasy tablet on her tongue.

    Enlarge / Girl with an ecstasy tablet on her tongue. (credit: Getty | UniversalImagesGroup )

    A corporation dedicated to studying the benefits of psychedelic drugs filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration this week for approval to use MDMA—aka ecstasy or molly—in combination with talk therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

    If approved, it would be the first-of-its-kind combination treatment—a psychedelic-assisted therapy. An approval would also require the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify MDMA, which is currently in the DEA's most restricted category, Schedule I, which is defined as drugs "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." The category also includes LSD, heroin, and marijuana.

    The public benefit corporation (PBC) that filed the FDA application was created by MAPS, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which has been supporting this type of work since 1986. The application is based on positive data from two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III studies, which were funded and organized by MAPS and MAPS PBC.

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      Psychedelics plus psychotherapy can trigger rapid changes in the brain

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 2 October - 21:11

    Psychedelic drug or psychedelics hallucinogenic drugs and hallucinogens representing states of consciousness and psychology or psychological hallucinating by taking mind altering substances in a 3D illustration style.

    Enlarge / New research hints at how psychedelics can trigger rapid, lasting change. (credit: wildpixel/Getty Images )

    The human brain can change —but usually only slowly and with great effort, such as when learning a new sport or foreign language, or recovering from a stroke. Learning new skills correlates with changes in the brain , as evidenced by neuroscience research with animals and functional brain scans in people. Presumably, if you master Calculus 1, something is now different in your brain. Furthermore, motor neurons in the brain expand and contract depending on how often they are exercised— a neuronal reflection of “use it or lose it.”

    People may wish their brains could change faster—not just when learning new skills, but also when overcoming problems like anxiety, depression, and addictions.

    Clinicians and scientists know there are times the brain can make rapid, enduring changes. Most often, these occur in the context of traumatic experiences , leaving an indelible imprint on the brain.

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      New mechanism proposed for why some psychedelics act as antidepressants

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 17 February, 2023 - 16:11

    Image of a multi-color, iridescent mushroom.

    Enlarge (credit: VICTOR de SCHWANBERG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY )

    Psychedelic drugs are often used for entertainment purposes. But there have been some recent indications that they can be effective against PTSD and treatment-resistant depression. Figuring out whether these substances work as medicinal drugs can be challenging because (as one researcher helpfully pointed out) it's difficult to do a controlled experiment when it's easy to figure out who's in the treatment group. Still, we've made some progress in understanding what's happening with psychedelics at the molecular level.

    Many psychedelics seem to bind to a specific receptor for the neural signaling molecule serotonin, activating it. That would seem to make sense for antidepressive effects, given that many popular antidepressants also alter serotonin signaling (such as in SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). But SSRIs don't produce any of the mind-altering effects that drive non-medical interest in psychedelics, so things remain a bit confusing.

    New data suggests that psychedelics may activate serotonin signaling in a very different way than serotonin itself can, reaching the receptors in parts of the cell that serotonin can't get to.

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