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Psychedelics may alter structure of the brain

Posted by Hugh on July 4, 2018, at 9:56:56

One hallmark of depression and similar disorders is that tiny structures called neurites in the prefrontal cortex -- a critical brain region responsible for regulating fear response and reward -- shrivel up. These neurites play an important role in brain function as they span the junctions -- or synapses -- between individual neurons, enabling them to communicate with each other.

In their experiments, the scientists found that psychedelics increased both the growth of neurites and the number of connections between neurons. Some compounds, such as LSD, even proved to be more potent than ketamine in promoting neurite growth. This suggests that psychedelics have the potential to reverse some of the structural changes seen in the brains of people with mood disorders.

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