October 5, 2022

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Escape from anxiety with LSD? It’s called microdoses (and science tests them) – Corriere.it

from Anna Mildulici

Anecdotal stories say that with a tenth of the dose needed for an old-fashioned trip, it improves mood. It feels more creative and focused. The first large-scale study in London. The result: the physiological benefits are real (but even those who took a placebo experienced it). Cross with traditional psychotherapy

Travel was dope once Hippie things are looking for spiritual heights. Now small doses of LSD (or magic mushrooms) is a carefully planned routine by professionals interested in maintaining high levels of functioning. That’s at least the image that bounced back over the past decade from Silicon Valley. Collaborating with an elderly psychiatrist from California, a theorist of hallucinogenic amounts (James Fadiman), some books signed by unsuspecting writers such as Ayelet Waldman and Michael Pollan, and countless testimonies posted on the Internet. Anecdotal accounts say that with one-tenth of the dose needed for an old-fashioned trip, it is possible to enjoy the positive effects of these psychotropic substances without disturbing one’s life as often happens with hard drugs. Improved mood, feeling more creative, focused and energetic. Get rid of negative thoughts, and even untie the grip of depression. Small risks, huge benefits. But how much is this true?

psychedelic experimentation

Science has not yet been able to provide definitive answers, because obtaining permits to study the effects of banned substances is complicated, and conducting clinical trials with all the trappings has huge costs. But a group of researchers from Imperial College London came up with an innovative solution: they asked regular users of smaller doses to participate in a self-paced trial. Balázs Szigeti, David Erritzoe and colleagues knocked on narcotic communities, presenting their research project and answering questions about the social network most used by educated youth (Reddit). Eventually, they gathered what was available from 1,600 people, many of whom disappeared when they realized they had to buy the banned substances themselves, from the black market. 246 began the experiment, 191 completed it, but enough to make it the largest controlled drug experiment ever conducted..

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“Home set” with LSD and magic mushrooms

practically The researchers chose
Citizen science And A form of scientific research that benefits from the contribution of volunteers interested in advancing knowledge. Usually they are amateurs observing the sky or lovers of nature engaged in botanical censuses. In this case they are practitioners of small doses, who have joined in in the hope of showing that small doses work. For the occasion, a new type of experiment was invented: the self-blind. In classic trials, the efficacy of a candidate drug is compared to that of a placebo, that is, a substance as harmless as sugar. To avoid the influence of expectations on the outcome, the participant does not know whether they are receiving the actual treatment or whether they are in the control group. The standard scheme of this type is called “blind”. On the other hand, researchers at Imperial College speak of “self-blinding”, because it was the volunteers themselves who hid the information about what they were taking and did themselves. They received at home a set of gelatin capsules, opaque and empty, and fill half of it with the preferred substance (LSD or magic mushrooms) in small doses that are usually taken. (Read after the links and the picture)

Benefits for everyone

They took the capsules for four weeks, answered online mood questionnaires and performed cognitive tests remotely. The data published in the scientific journal eLife caused quite a stir: Those who took the smaller doses reported positive effects, such as reducing anxiety and improving mental health, but the same also happened to those who swallowed. placebo; “The psychological benefits are real. They are not caused by the pharmacological effects of microdoses. Simply put, what matters is not what you hired, but what you think you hired. The microdose community is not happy to admit that they have fallen into the trap of self-deception,” Zighetti explained.. But it is the power of reason and beauty and will continue to function as long as people continue to believe. “Think about homeopathy. It has been extensively studied and there is a strong scientific consensus that it is just a placebo effect. However, it is still a profitable business. By comparison, research on micro-dosing is still in its infancy,” Zigiti comments.

mood changes

The results are preliminary and should be confirmed by the following trials (to apply for the 2022 trial, visit selfblinding-microdose.org). But according to the study’s authors, overturning the ruling would be as difficult as restoring a football match from two to zero in the first half. Other researchers are more optimistic: Kim Kuipers of Maastricht University thinks he’s identified a positive effect of mood and attention in some participants in his small experiment, and he has a biological hypothesis to explain it. After taking the partial dose, the level of Bdnf, a neurotoxin similar to that studied by Rita Levi-Montalcini, will increase in the brain. It should be noted that the volunteers in the self-blind study were all healthy habitual users, and the effects are not necessarily the same for people with disorders or people who have never taken prohibited substances..

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new ways

Conventional antidepressants work on the same circuit as psychedelic drugs, namely serotonin, stimulating the brain’s ability to form new connections between neurons. Medications such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) can increase neuroplasticity, helping patients break rigid and diseased thought patterns. Having a more receptive state of mind would facilitate the arrival of new ideas, which can be reinforced with the help of a psychotherapist. However, we do not know what the minimum effective dose is. After decades of stigma around cannabinoids, interest in science has revived and experimentation with higher doses is also on the rise. Ecstasy (OMDMA) led the way, and the scientific community convinced the scientific community of its usefulness in post-traumatic stress.. Now in the United States, various initiatives have been launched to decriminalize psilocybin for recreational or therapeutic purposes, centers for the study of this type of drug have appeared at the most prestigious universities, while startups are beginning to attract venture capital.

Three-eyes psychotherapist

However, psychedelic psychotherapy remains a pioneering practice dedicated to a few carefully selected cases, as Nature recounted when describing a bizarre session conducted by Imperial College Center Director, Robin Carhart-Harris. The idea is to exploit the synergy between the structured use of these substances and classical sessions by the therapist, for different types of disorders. In this case, the patient was depressed, and while trusting Carhartt Harris, he seemed divided and three-eyed.. However, the loss after five years is that depression never returned. crazy things? Probably not, but not even a panacea for all diseases.

Apr 25, 2022 (change on Apr 25, 2022 | 08:21)