New LSD study shows potential use for treating mental illnesses

Post-graduate level researchers at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany and University College London released results from an experiment involving lysergic acid diethylamide’s (LSD-25) effect on cognitive semantics in a study published Aug. 11, the first of its kind since the 1960s.

Entitled, “Semantic activation in LSD: evidence from picture meaning,” seven psychology, psycholinguistic and neuropharmacology specialists observed 10 participants who had to identify the subject in a series of images shown to them while under the influence of the drug, and then after taking a placebo one week later.

While the experts found that “LSD does not effect reaction times,” the drug does cause users to mistake the perceived subject for another object which is “similar in meaning to the pictures they saw.”  For example, if a person on acid saw a picture of a luxury hotel, he or she would be more likely to call it a mansion or a house.

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courtesy tandfonline.com

Researchers interpreted this finding as evidence that LSD promotes increased semantic activity in the brain, causing more associated words to come to mind when images are perceived by an individual.

This finding is encouraging because it signals a potential to use psychedelic drugs in combination with psychotherapy for the treatment of mental illnesses.  Lead researcher, Dr. Neiloufar Family says that LSD’s effect can help patients suffering from depression, addiction, anxiety and other afflictions “quicker access to (abstract/repressed) concepts stored in the mind.”

LSD-25 was discovered in 1938 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann who was attempting to develop a blood stimulant for a pharmaceutical company. Hofmann was also the first person who ever reported using the drug in 1943.

In the early 1950s, the CIA’s Scientific Intelligence Division created Project MKUltra to study LSD’s potential for human mind control, experimenting on Canadian and American citizens who didn’t know what they were being subjected to.  The program was officially closed in 1973 after passage of the Controlled Substances Act (1970), which outlawed acid in America after a decade of popular recreational use.

 

[Medical Daily] [Time] [Erowid] [Black Vault] [Photo courtesy TYT/YouTube]