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Psychedelics Demonstrate Promising Potential in Alzheimer's Disease Management
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Psychedelics Demonstrate Promising Potential in Alzheimer's Disease Management

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
March 09, 2024
2 min

Dementia affects around 55 million individuals globally, with Alzheimer’s disease accounting for 60-70% of these cases. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease-related dementia has been consistently rising, yet despite numerous efforts to create effective treatments for the disease, there is still no definitive cure. As the impact of AD-related dementia becomes more prevalent, the search for effective therapies is more critical than ever. Psychedelics, however, may present a promising new approach for treating and managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, according to research from a recently published scientific review.

Mechanisms involved in psychedelic Alzheimer’s treatment

Psychedelic medicine has once again made its way into mainstream scientific research, with a growing focus on how these substances can be used to alleviate the symptoms of neurological disorders. Previous studies have highlighted the impact of psychedelics on conditions like depression and PTSD, but recent research is expanding this scope to include neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

The therapeutic potential of psychedelics is thought to occur due to their ability to enhance neural plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form new neural connections. Since Alzheimer’s is characterized by the loss of neuronal connections and brain atrophy, psychedelics might offer a way to combat this neural degradation.

Additionally, psychedelics can significantly impact the brain’s serotoninergic and glutamatergic systems, which play a major role in regulating mood, cognition, perception, and memory. Through modulating these vital systems, psychedelics might not only improve cognitive function but also help with the alleviation of the psychological and emotional conflicts that accompany AD-related dementia, enhancing the overall quality of life for patients.

Because psychedelics act as serotonin receptor agonists, the research has indicated that they may also have significant anti-inflammatory effects. Since inflammation is a primary driver for the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the anti-inflammatory effects of psychedelics could be especially beneficial in slowing down the course of the disease (1).

Future directions and clinical implications

While the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for treating AD-related dementia is promising, further research will be needed to fully comprehend the efficacy of this novel treatment. The next steps would involve rigorous clinical trials to confirm these effects in Alcheimer’s patients. These studies would need to determine the safety, optimal dosage, and long-term impacts of psychedelic treatments. The researchers of the study also highlight the importance of ethical considerations of using psychedelics for age-related neurogenerative diseases, as these treatments should prioritize the well-being and autonomy of the patients involved. Nonetheless, if the trials are implemented correctly and yield more conclusive results, it would mark a significant advancement in Alzheimer’s therapy and offer new hope for patients and their families.

References

  1. Jitendra Kumar Sinha, Anchal Trisal, Shampa Ghosh, Saurabh Gupta, Krishna Kumar Singh, Sung Soo Han, Madhumita Mahapatra, et al. 2024. “Psychedelics for Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementia: Unveiling Therapeutic Possibilities and Pathways.” Ageing Research Reviews, February, 102211–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2024.102211.

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science
Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

Table Of Contents

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Mechanisms involved in psychedelic Alzheimer’s treatment
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Future directions and clinical implications
3
References

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