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Chemically Scaffold Your New Brain Through The Use Of Psychedelics.

Okay, so, if you are one of the many people in this world who have ever taken a psychedelic substance, you would have experienced the whole ‘the clouds are smiling and waving at me’ episode, along with the definitive thought that yes, we actually are all aliens, after you’ve peered in your bathroom mirror.

But what if it goes deeper than all of this? Well, it does, and that is exactly what science is now beginning to let us know.

“I connect the psychedelic dimension to the dimension of inspiration and dream”

- Terence McKenna

As a definition, psychedelics are psychoactive substances that possess the ability to alter cognition and perception by triggering neurotransmitter receptors in the brain.

Most recently, psychedelics are being shown to promote the growth of connections between neurones, known as synapses. These novel connections between neurones are in areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, that regulate emotion and mood.

Researchers now suggest that what you will spend months, or even years, trying to achieve with pharmaceutical drugs or even practices such as meditation, you can achieve with a single dose of psychedelics in a matter of hours and days.

Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity (Ly et al., 2018).

It seems to be that psychedelics share a common ability to promote structural and functional neural plasticity in cortical neurones. This mechanism is mediated by activating the major regulator of growth in animals, known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).

The exact mechanism by which psychedelics stimulate mTOR is still not entirely understood, but data suggests that tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors are involved.

Such evidence has birthed a new term that acts to classify the growing number of compounds capable of rapidly promoting induced plasticity, coined “psychoplastogen”.

“In history, psychedelic plants were used by priests and shamans with a desire to discover the interior”

- Alejandro Jodorowsky

Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity (Ly et al., 2018).

However what does this all mean in the context of our mental health?

Well, recent studies have revealed evidence that depression manifests as structural changes in brain circuits or atrophy within the prefrontal cortex. This doesn’t mean that neurones die off during depression, but that neurites retract and tend to shrivel up (a neurite is the section of a neurone that projects out to bridge the gap between two neurones at the synapse).

Thus, as the evidence presented above suggests, psychedelics could very well be the key to growing back those withered neurites and changing our overall sense of clarity and self.

If you are in fact a psychedelic newbie, and you are yet to try out one of the many wacky substances available to you, I hope that after reading this article you feel more ready to take the plunge and get trippy. Who knows, you may grow some extra brain cells in the process!

Key Points:

  • Psychoplastogens promote synaptic growth through a similar signalling pathway involving the protein mTOR

  • Serotonergic psychedelics increase neuritogenesis, spinogenesis, and synaptogenesis

  • Psychedelics promote plasticity via an evolutionary conserved mechanism

  • TrkB, mTOR and 5-HT2A signalling underlie psychedelic-induced plasticity


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Hello there, I'm Jessica Alana.

By trade, I'm a biomedical scientist with a passion for holistic and natural healthcare.

My aim is to bridge the gap between alternative medicine and data-backed science and use this knowledge to help you self-heal and thrive.

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