A new psychedelic-like ‘wonder drug’ could be able to treat depression and PTSD without inducing hallucinogenic ‘tripping.’
Psychedelics have long been touted as a promising treatment for a variety of mental disorders, and now scientists have discovered a drug that only has the advantages.
According to the US researchers, AAZ-A-154 has the ability to restore chemical pathways in the brain.
Dr. David Olson, a chemist at the University of California, Davis, who was a study co-author, explained: “One of the problems with psychedelic therapies is they require close guidance and supervision from a medical team… A drug that doesn’t cause hallucinations could be taken at home.”
Experiments with the psychLight fluorescent sensor revealed that the new drug stimulates a gene that produces serotonin, the body’s “feel good” hormone.
The serotonin 2A receptor is also triggered by the most common antidepressants, such as Prozac.
The study, published in Cell journal, found there is no hallucinogenic impact of AAZ-A-154—and therefore no nasty comedown.
One of the benefits of psychedelic drugs, according to experts, is that they encourage synaptic plasticity, which allows the brain to rewire itself. It paves the way for a drug that can be administered in a single dose or a limited number of doses rather than being taken indefinitely.
Globally, an estimated billion people are affected by mental illness, with depression being the most prevalent form, affecting 250 million people. However, requiring patients to go on a “psychedelic journey” poses ethical and health questions.
Previous research has shown that psilocybin, a component of psychedelic ‘magic mushrooms,’ decreases symptoms rapidly but also has negative side effects.
The fact that AAZ-A-154 doesn’t have a “trip” is encouraging, and we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes accessible.Follow Us