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LSD "kills" a sense of fear

 
17 April 2017, 09:00

Scientists from Switzerland found that the narcotic substance LSD relieves of a sense of fear and anxiety.

LSD - the same lysergic acid diethylamide - is a narcotic drug with a psychoactive effect showing hallucinogenic, psychedelic and psychomimetic activity. Studies of this substance began in the thirties of the last century. But, after the drug was banned for use, the interest of scientists to it somewhat subsided. Only recently, studies on LSD have resumed, as there have been no scientific descriptions of the properties of this drug. Experts have scanned the activity of brain structures in people after taking LSD, and also described the process of binding the drug to neuronal receptors in order to further explain the duration of the psychedelic effect.

As it was already described earlier, the use of the drug provoked profound disturbances of perception, and cardinally influenced the psycho-emotional state of a person. There is information that the drug inhibits a sense of fear and anxiety, replacing them with other feelings - for example, euphoria. Microbiologists representing the University of Basel, decided to understand the mechanism of action of the drug in detail.

Why did scientists choose LSD? Because this drug is considered a potent cure for the treatment of deep depressive conditions, even in almost hopeless patients.

Twenty volunteers participated in the experiment, aged 25-58 years. They were asked to take an average amount of LSD, or a "dummy" preparation. After two and a half hours - at the time of the most pronounced action of the drug - participants were placed in a magnetic resonance tomograph to monitor changes in brain activity. At the same time, for a certain time, participants were shown pictures depicting the faces of people who expressed fear. In order to make sure that the volunteers really consider the images, rather than ignore them, they were asked to determine aloud the sex of the characters drawn.

As a result, scientists found that under the influence of the LSD narcotic substance, the brain structures of the participants in the study only reacted insignificantly to the frightening images. When conducting magnetic resonance imaging, specialists paid special attention to the brain amygdala, the medial and fusiform gyrus. Strengthening the activity of the amygdala is often fixed with increased anxiety, and at the gyrations in the normal sense of fear causes the process of excitation.

At one time, LSD was banned, since after taking this substance, often a condition resembling deep schizophrenia occurs. The drug gradually accumulates in the body, which leads to a loss of sensitivity and requires a regular increase in dosage. By the way, recently scientists have stated that  LSD can get rid of addiction.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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