Depersonalization Support Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The brain on LSD revealed: first scans show how the drug affects the brain

by Kate Wighton

11 April 2016

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_11-4-2016-17-21-2

The areas that contributed to vision were more active
under LSD (right), which was linked to hallucinations

Researchers from Imperial College London, working with the Beckley Foundation, have for the first time visualised the effects of LSD on the brain.

In a series of experiments, scientists have gained a glimpse into how the psychedelic compound affects brain activity. The team administered LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) to 20 healthy volunteers in a specialist research centre and used various leading-edge and complementary brain scanning techniques to visualise how LSD alters the way the brain works.

The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveal what happens in the brain when people experience the complex visual hallucinations that are often associated with LSD state. They also shed light on the brain changes that underlie the profound altered state of consciousness the drug can produce.

Scientists have waited 50 years for this moment - the revealing of how LSD alters our brain biology

- Professor David Nutt Study author

A major finding of the research is the discovery of what happens in the brain when people experience complex dreamlike hallucinations under LSD. Under normal conditions, information from our eyes is processed in a part of the brain at the back of the head called the visual cortex. However, when the volunteers took LSD, many additional brain areas - not just the visual cortex - contributed to visual processing.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, who led the research, explained: "We observed brain changes under LSD that suggested our volunteers were 'seeing with their eyes shut' - albeit they were seeing things from their imagination rather than from the outside world. We saw that many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD - even though the volunteers' eyes were closed. Furthermore, the size of this effect correlated with volunteers' ratings of complex, dreamlike visions. "

The study also revealed what happens in the brain when people report a fundamental change in the quality of their consciousness under LSD.

Dr Carhart-Harris explained: "Normally our brain consists of independent networks that perform separate specialised functions, such as vision, movement and hearing - as well as more complex things like attention. However, under LSD the separateness of these networks breaks down and instead you see a more integrated or unified brain.

"Our results suggest that this effect underlies the profound altered state of consciousness that people often describe during an LSD experience. It is also related to what people sometimes call 'ego-dissolution', which means the normal sense of self is broken down and replaced by a sense of reconnection with themselves, others and the natural world. This experience is sometimes framed in a religious or spiritual way - and seems to be associated with improvements in well-being after the drug's effects have subsided."

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_11-4-2016-17-21-2

This image shows how, with eyes-closed,much more of the brain contributes to the visual experience under
LSD than under placebo. The magnitude of this effect correlated with participants reports of complex,
dreamlike visions.

Dr Carhart-Harris added: "Our brains become more constrained and compartmentalised as we develop from infancy into adulthood, and we may become more focused and rigid in our thinking as we mature. In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained. This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant's mind."

In addition to these findings, research from the same group, part of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme, revealed that listening to music while taking LSD triggered interesting changes in brain signalling that were associated with eyes-closed visions.

In a study published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, the researchers found altered visual cortex activity under the drug, and that the combination of LSD and music caused this region to receive more information from an area of the brain called the parahippocampus. The parahippocampus is involved in mental imagery and personal memory, and the more it communicated with the visual cortex, the more people reported experiencing complex visions, such as seeing scenes from their lives.

PhD student Mendel Kaelen from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, who was lead author of the music paper, said: "This is the first time we have witnessed the interaction of a psychedelic compound and music with the brain's biology.

The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme hope these collective findings may pave the way for these compounds being one day used to treat psychiatric disorders. They could be particularly useful in conditions where negative thought patterns have become entrenched, say the scientists, such as in depression or addiction.

Mendel Kaelen added: "A major focus for future research is how we can use the knowledge gained from our current research to develop more effective therapeutic approaches for treatments such as depression; for example, music-listening and LSD may be a powerful therapeutic combination if provided in the right way."

Professor David Nutt, the senior researcher on the study and Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial, said: "Scientists have waited 50 years for this moment - the revealing of how LSD alters our brain biology. For the first time we can really see what's happening in the brain during the psychedelic state, and can better understand why LSD had such a profound impact on self-awareness in users and on music and art. This could have great implications for psychiatry, and helping patients overcome conditions such as depression."

Amanda Feilding, Director of the Beckley Foundation, said: "We are finally unveiling the brain mechanisms underlying the potential of LSD, not only to heal, but also to deepen our understanding of consciousness itself."

The research involved 20 healthy volunteers - each of whom received both LSD and placebo - and all of whom were deemed psychologically and physically healthy. All the volunteers had previously taken some type of psychedelic drug. During carefully controlled and supervised experiments in a specialist research centre, each volunteer received an injection of either 75 micrograms of LSD, or placebo. Their brains were then scanned using various techniques including fMRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG). These enabled the researchers to study activity within the whole of the brain by monitoring blood flow and electrical activity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people are, LSD is a known trigger in those predisposed to DPD & HPPD! It's beyond belief that there are still psuedo sceintific morons out there that mindlessly think it has any kind of theraputic value at all. I thought that such archaic thinking died out in the 1960's.

That said it is interesting to see its effects on the brain, especially for a guy like me who got DP/DR/HPPD after taking LSD & still hasn't recovered.
Have to disagree here. Some people do fine with these drugs, personally I had about 9 amazing experiences under the influence until my 10th one where, due to set and setting and budding depression/anxiety I went totally psychotic. I recovered from that trip but it opened me up to strange new ways of thinking that in around 3 years resulted in dp/dr.

My point is, these things are a major risk but there are two sides to everything. If you are prone to mental illness, don't play with fire is how I see it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Have to disagree here. Some people do fine with these drugs, personally I had about 9 amazing experiences under the influence until my 10th one where, due to set and setting and budding depression/anxiety I went totally psychotic. I recovered from that trip but it opened me up to strange new ways of thinking that in around 3 years resulted in dp/dr.

My point is, these things are a major risk but there are two sides to everything. If you are prone to mental illness, don't play with fire is how I see it.
The problem is that the reporting isn't balanced. We hear time and time again about people who took hallucinogens and had epiphanies and incredible spiritual awakenings but never about the people like us who end up mentally disabled for years and sometimes lifetimes after taking even a single hit of acid. I had a few awesome experienced on acid prior to getting HPPD-DP, so I understand how beneficial it can be. The problem is that the other side of the story -- ours -- isn't being brought to the attention of the general public because we're up against an entire generation of baby boomers who've worshiped drugs their whole lives. Eventually the tide will turn but it may take a while.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people are, LSD is a known trigger in those predisposed to DPD & HPPD! It's beyond belief that there are still psuedo sceintific morons out there that mindlessly think it has any kind of theraputic value at all. I thought that such archaic thinking died out in the 1960's.
I wouldn't necessarily see it this way. As the development of new psychiatric drugs is extremely slow and many pharma companies abandoned this field, we should not rule out that even illegal drugs might be useful, because we need to use every chance we can get. Remember that Ketamine has been shown to be very effective for treatment-resistant depression which has lead to new drugs like Rapastinel which might have the same effect, without the downsides. Maybe LSD could work in other mental disorders and a good understanding how it does could lead to better new treatments.

But I think you're right in saying that the research should not be carried out in a pseudo-scientific way, like it was in the 1960's where psychoanalysts used it as an adjunct for their "therapy". It should be used in a controlled research setting with a strict patient selection to maximize the safety for the participants. Unfortunately the lack of research in DP-disorder and HPPD might make it impossible to identify the people who are predisposed to develop both disorders in response to LSD. So this research would yield some "casualties".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I wouldn't necessarily see it this way. As the development of new psychiatric drugs is extremely slow and many pharma companies abandoned this field, we should not rule out that even illegal drugs might be useful, because we need to use every chance we can get. Remember that Ketamine has been shown to be very effective for treatment-resistant depression which has lead to new drugs like Rapastinel which might have the same effect, without the downsides. Maybe LSD could work in other mental disorders and a good understanding how it does could lead to better new treatments.

But I think you're right in saying that the research should not be carried out in a pseudo-scientific way, like it was in the 1960's where psychoanalysts used it as an adjunct for their "therapy". It should be used in a controlled research setting with a strict patient selection to maximize the safety for the participants. Unfortunately the lack of research in DP-disorder and HPPD might make it impossible to identify the people who are predisposed to develop both disorders in response to LSD. So this research would yield some "casualties".
The difference between therapeutic drugs and recreational drugs is the intent, which, besides motive, comes down to dosage. There are people here sick from "proper" use of prescription drugs as well, including antibiotics and antidepressants.

As for scientific research, the red-tape for banned drugs is enormous, so little is done. As for people getting 'cured' by these drugs ... just how many stories here are there about these actually curing the person? There would have to be a significant number here to perk interest in proper research.

Have to disagree here. Some people do fine with these drugs, personally I had about 9 amazing experiences under the influence until my 10th one where, due to set and setting and budding depression/anxiety I went totally psychotic. I recovered from that trip but it opened me up to strange new ways of thinking that in around 3 years resulted in dp/dr.

My point is, these things are a major risk but there are two sides to everything. If you are prone to mental illness, don't play with fire is how I see it.
Everyone is 'prone' to mental illness under the right circumstances.

Members need to be careful about the attitude that they are ill because they were somehow defective. There is enough 'guilt' for those who actually got DP/DR/HPPD from willingly taking a drug. Guilt's purpose is to modify future behavior. After that, it serves no useful purpose ... but many feel stuck with it further beating themselves with a stick. That is not productive or helpful.

...

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, who led the research, explained: "We observed brain changes under LSD that suggested our volunteers were 'seeing with their eyes shut' - albeit they were seeing things from their imagination rather than from the outside world. We saw that many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD - even though the volunteers' eyes were closed. Furthermore, the size of this effect correlated with volunteers' ratings of complex, dreamlike visions. "

Dr Carhart-Harris explained: "Normally our brain consists of independent networks that perform separate specialised functions, such as vision, movement and hearing - as well as more complex things like attention. However, under LSD the separateness of these networks breaks down and instead you see a more integrated or unified brain.

"Our results suggest that this effect underlies the profound altered state of consciousness that people often describe during an LSD experience. It is also related to what people sometimes call 'ego-dissolution', which means the normal sense of self is broken down and replaced by a sense of reconnection with themselves, others and the natural world. This experience is sometimes framed in a religious or spiritual way - and seems to be associated with improvements in well-being after the drug's effects have subsided."

Dr Carhart-Harris added: "Our brains become more constrained and compartmentalised as we develop from infancy into adulthood, and we may become more focused and rigid in our thinking as we mature. In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained. This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant's mind."

In addition to these findings, research from the same group, part of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme, revealed that listening to music while taking LSD triggered interesting changes in brain signalling that were associated with eyes-closed visions.

The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme hope these collective findings may pave the way for these compounds being one day used to treat psychiatric disorders. They could be particularly useful in conditions where negative thought patterns have become entrenched, say the scientists, such as in depression or addiction.

Mendel Kaelen added: "A major focus for future research is how we can use the knowledge gained from our current research to develop more effective therapeutic approaches for treatments such as depression; for example, music-listening and LSD may be a powerful therapeutic combination if provided in the right way."
All for understanding brain function better. The Nutty professor has permission and volunteers. But even in this simple text, there are errors. Typical of motive ... baby-boomer-drug-worship?

Let's have a little fun with some statements

  • "they were seeing things from their imagination" Nope, they are seeing distortions from visual processing breakdown/malfuctioning ... and the brain's attempt to make sense of it.
  • "separateness of these networks breaks down and instead you see a more integrated or unified brain" Separation is the foundation of structure. Pour hot coffee into your computer and see the benefits of 'integration' and 'unity' !
  • "...the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained..." Babies have to learn how to see, control their limbs, walk, ... is this 'free and unconstrained' state in the least desirable? Babies are often and easily frustrated, and adults have to provide a very protected environment for this 'state'.
  • "revealed that listening to music while taking LSD triggered interesting changes in brain signalling that were associated with eyes-closed visions." MTV invented music videos decades ago ... big deal
  • "self is broken down and replaced by a sense of reconnection with themselves, others and the natural world" This site is full of broken 'selfs'. Most express desire to reconnect to where they were.
  • "treat psychiatric disorders ... such as in depression or addiction." Addiction is already a 'unified brain' where self-will is 'integrated' into impulse, etc...
  • "music-listening and LSD" Charles Manson (actually a pre-baby-boomer ... maybe that was his problem)

Well, enough said. It is probably beneficial that Dr Nutt is doing research. Hopefully no one will come to harm. Depression and many other disorders can become so entrenched that the more options there are, the better the outcome - - - However, with what is already available, doctors hardly seem to have a productive course. It is usually trial-n-error going down a checklist while the patient suffers. Adding LSD, etc, to the list could also be harmful as many drugs already on the list have made some worse in the attempt to heal.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
The difference between therapeutic drugs and recreational drugs is the intent, which, besides motive, comes down to dosage. There are people here sick from "proper" use of prescription drugs as well, including antibiotics and antidepressants.
True, but it's much more rare then DPD induced by illegal drugs.

Well, enough said. It is probably beneficial that Dr Nutt is doing research. Hopefully no one will come to harm.
Of course this is how it should NOT be done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Visual

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people are, LSD is a known trigger in those predisposed to DPD & HPPD! It's beyond belief that there are still psuedo sceintific morons out there that mindlessly think it has any kind of theraputic value at all. I thought that such archaic thinking died out in the 1960's.

That said it is interesting to see its effects on the brain, especially for a guy like me who got DP/DR/HPPD after taking LSD & still hasn't recovered.
I took LSD 13 times, never got DP, then got it one day unrelated to LSD, recovered completely, ate shrooms, didn't get them ever again. Don't blame it on LSD. LSD probably opened new doors for you which you are obviously not ready to enter just yet.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
I took LSD 13 times, never got DP, then got it one day unrelated to LSD, recovered completely, ate shrooms, didn't get them ever again. Don't blame it on LSD. LSD probably opened new doors for you which you are obviously not ready to enter just yet.
I wouldn't discount his experience just so easily.

Reason: I smoked marijuana 3-5 times daily for 2 years without getting DP/DR. Then I got DP/DR unrelated to weed. Yet many have been triggered through pot.

Who knows what each person's trigger is? Even our individual symptoms of DP/DR varies from person to person. E.G. Some can still continue getting high, whereas it makes my own dissociation many times worse.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
My point is this; how do these scientists know which people in their studies are prone to depersonalize or get HPPD with just one hit of acid? Obviously they don't, so experimenting with a substance that will give approximately 5% of people HPPD, & 2 to 3% of people DP/DR is incredibly irresponsible. If however, they exclusively tested it on people who are regular users of LSD & who've never had any adverse side effects, that would be a different matter entirely. But randomly recruiting people for studies like this is grossly ignorant at best.
I agree with you. That's why I said research like this would yield some "casualties". It might be possible to reduce the risk, by selecting people without a prehistory of mental disorders or even better people who used LSD without problems before, but if it they want to use it to treat mental disorders both assumptions cannot be made. This might also be a problem with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy which is being used experimentally. I wonder if they tell their participants about the risk of MDMA-induced HPPD and DPD.

But on the other hand, maybe it's like with Ketamine in depression. Maybe LSD could really be useful to treat some mental disorders and maybe they could make something like Rapastinel out of it. The real problem is that there is no research on DPD and HPPD to detect who is at risk and who not. Until this is not done, it's ethically questionable to carry out research of LSD to treat mental disorders.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
234 Posts
Visual is right, here. I am -mg from hppdonline. We have had many many discussions together since 2012.

A dose of 75 mcg is standard. I have personally taken doses such as this as well a doses exceeding 1000 mcg or 1mg. This article rehashes 50 years of knowledge, prospect, and speculation about the drug. Nothing in this article is something I have not heard 6 zillion times.

While you can sooner od on water than klonopin, a heroic dose of lsd can seriously drop your iq a solid 15 points. Plus after such a heroic dose, yes, your executive functioning and skills will probably be that of a baby. LSD is a great drug but so is heroin. Don't take a chance. Save yourself before you end up like my poor friend who has been in a psychiatric institution the last 15 years, catatonic.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
234 Posts
LSD seems to be a drug no one ever follows the rule to. You take 50-100 mcg 2x in your life can change your life and open your mind for the better. Eventually, most people tend to not be able to get to that enlightened state sans LSD and they continue taking it and it fries them: they keep chasing the high. It is sort of like sex. Somehow it gets very difficult to do it 2x only. Then people start mixing it with more stupifying drugs such as weed, alcohol, and you've really become a body without a brain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,400 Posts
They understand so little of how the brain normally functions, yet they wish to understand how the brain malfunctions on LSD? I believe in entropy. Things tend to disorder. Humpty didn't fall up the wall and find himself unified, integrated, and enlightened. Putting fake hydrocarbons in your DeLorean's tank will not take you to the future. Dummy neurotransmitters don't transmit the truth. The brain is a very sophisticated and complex organ. If putting chemicals into your brain only caused odd thought associations and giggling, then you probably dodged a bullet. I've never taken LSD, but I certainly would not expect it to "expand" my mind or bring enlightenment. I'm not sure that anyone making that claim is very convincing. Here is a web site that lists 20 "Notables" who are famous for using LSD. I'm not convinced that LSD was a critical factor in their success. Many others have surpassed their achievements without the use of LSD. http://coed.com/2011/05/14/20-most-notable-lsd-users-of-all-time/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I took LSD 13 times, never got DP, then got it one day unrelated to LSD, recovered completely, ate shrooms, didn't get them ever again. Don't blame it on LSD. LSD probably opened new doors for you which you are obviously not ready to enter just yet.
What doors were opened to you that were not otherwise available outside LSD?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
I took LSD 13 times, never got DP, then got it one day unrelated to LSD, recovered completely, ate shrooms, didn't get them ever again. Don't blame it on LSD. LSD probably opened new doors for you which you are obviously not ready to enter just yet.
"Opened new doors for you which you are obviously not ready to enter just yet" -- like the doors of psychosis, schizophrenia and other mental disorders? I don't think I'm ready either.

ASM is right -- and people like you are the problem. LSD is not good for people with psychiatric illnesses. Just because you got lucky doesn't mean LSD is good. Your argument is like saying "I've gotten wasted and drove home 13 times and I'm fine -- obviously the reason you crashed and are now a quadriplegic is because you weren't psychologically prepared to be drinking and driving."
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top