Lifted from ABC News
Scientists Suggest Fresh Look at Psychedelic Drugs
Mind-Altering Drugs Could Be Combined With Psychotherapy to Help People With Depression, Scientists Suggest
By Kate Kelland
August 18, 2010
LONDON (Reuters) - Mind-altering drugs like LSD, ketamine or magic mushrooms could be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain, Swiss scientists suggested on Wednesday.
Research into the effects of psychedelics, used in the past in psychiatry, has been restricted in recent decades because of the negative connotations of drugs, but the scientists said more studies into their clinical potential were now justified.
The researchers said recent brain imaging studies show that psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine and psilocybin -- the psychoactive component in recreational drugs known as magic mushrooms -- act on the brain in ways that could help reduce symptoms of various psychiatric disorders.
The drugs could be used as a kind of catalyst, the scientists said, helping patients to alter their perception of problems or pain levels and then work with behavioral therapists or psychotherapists to tackle them in new ways.
"Psychedelics can give patients a new perspective -- particularly when things like suppressed memories come up -- and then they can work with that experience," said Franz Vollenweider of the Neuropsychopharmacology and brain imaging unit at Zurich's University Hospital of Psychiatry, who published a paper on the issue in Nature Neuroscience journal.
Depending on the type of person taking the drug, the dose and the situation, psychedelics can have a wide range of effects, experts say, from feelings of boundlessness and bliss at one end of the spectrum to anxiety-inducing feelings of loss of control and panic at the other.
Vollenweider and his colleague Michael Kometer, who also worked on the paper, said evidence from previous studies suggests such drugs might help ease mental health problems by acting on the brain circuits and neurotransmitter systems that are known to be altered in people with depression and anxiety.
My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.
I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.
Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.
I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.