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Hallucinogenic Ayahuasca might treat depression

RATE THIS! +54
Posted in Science on 7th Apr, 2015 10:44 PM by AlexMuller

Scientists have been investigating ayahuasca as a treatment for psychological conditions such as PTSD and anxiety. Now a team of Brazilian researchers is testing the potion to treat depression, with promising preliminary results. They published their work recently in the journal Brazilian Review Of Psychiatry.

 

Ayahuasca is made from a jungle vine and shrub leaves and contains the chemical dimethyltryptamine, which makes it illegal in most countries (though many allow its consumption for religious purposes). Consuming the brew is notoriously hard on the system, resulting in excessive vomiting, disorientation, and occasionally death, but that doesn’t stop thousands of “ayahuasca tourists” from seeking it out every year.
 
Though ayahuasca and the rituals surrounding it have been studied by social scientists and anthropologists, study of its medicinal properties has been limited to animal studies and a few with healthy volunteers. But researchers suspected that some of the compounds in ayahuasca change the concentration of mood-altering serotonin in the brain, as do commercial antidepressants.
 
In the study, the researchers gave doses of ayahuasca to six participants with depression for whom commercial antidepressants hadn’t been effective. As they sat in a dimly lit room, the researchers asked them questions from clinical questionnaires to track their symptoms. They found that the symptoms of depression decreased three hours after taking the ayahusaca (a typical trip lasts five hours) and they felt the positive effects for up to three weeks.
 
It’s important to note that there was no control group for this study, and there were very few participants, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the researchers are currently working on a study of similar design with many more participants that will track the symptoms for much longer after the participants take the ayahuasca.

Tags: braindepressionpsychologymental healthdrugmedicine

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-04-08
+1
This is very preliminary and people should be discouraged to try this at home. First, the study is small and different people are likely to respond differently with possible negative side effects and harm - careful!
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-04-08
+1
Depression is very serous burden for people suffering and for society as a whole. So desperate people would try anything Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-04-08
+0
This condition requires better care - there are many antidepressants available and many people already benefit Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-06
+0
we like to honor lots of other world wide web wee-tisbs around the net, even though they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out Reply


 

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