Effects of LSD on Neuroplasticity in Healthy Subjects
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize itself and adapt in response to changing environmental conditions or pathological stimuli. LSD is a potent psychedelic drug which has been able to rapidly stimulate neuroplasticity in animal studies. Various authors have speculated that changes in neuroplasticity may contribute to LSD's long-term effects, but there is still little direct evidence that LSD or other psychedelics enhance neuroplasticity in humans. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of LSD on several measures of neuroplasticity in healthy human subjects.
|Condition or Disease||Intervention/Treatment||Phase|
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize itself and adapt in response to changing environmental conditions or pathological stimuli. Its dysregulation may play a role in the etiology of depression and anxiety disorders, and it is also essential for recovery from neural injury and stroke.
LSD is a potent psychedelic drug and a member of the psychoplastogen family of small molecules, which are able to rapidly stimulate neuroplasticity in cortical neurons following a single dose. Previous research suggests that changes in neuroplasticity may contribute to LSD's long-term effects, which include increases in subjective well-being and life satisfaction, reduced anxiety, and increased openness to experience. Additionally, there is some evidence that LSD and other psychedelics could be viable clinical treatments for depression, anxiety, and addictive disorders, and that changes in neuroplasticity may underlie this clinical potential. However, there is still little direct evidence that LSD or other psychoplastogens enhance cortical plasticity in humans.
The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of LSD on several measures of neuroplasticity in healthy human subjects, as well as other abilities and traits thought to be related to neuroplasticity. Determining whether LSD enhances cortical plasticity, how long this may last, where in the brain it occurs, and what it means for cognition and emotion is essential for understanding LSD's long-term effects, including but not limited to its clinical potential.
Arms and Interventions
|Experimental: High-dose LSD
High dose of lysergic acid diethylamide
Drug: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
100 micrograms LSD base
|Active Comparator: Low-dose LSD
Low dose of lysergic acid diethylamide
Drug: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
Low dose of LSD base
Primary Outcome Measures
- Change in motor evoked potential amplitude after paired associative stimulation (PAS) [Baseline, 8 hours post-treatment, 1 day post-treatment, 1 week post-treatment]
Assessment of capacity for neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex
Secondary Outcome Measures
- Change in auditory event-related potential (ERP) amplitude after tetanic stimulation [Baseline, 8 hours post-treatment, 1 day post-treatment, 1 week post-treatment]
Assessment of capacity for neuroplastic changes in the auditory cortex
- Plasma and serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) [Baseline, 8 hours post-treatment, 1 day post-treatment, 1 week post-treatment]
Marker of neuroplasticity
- Motor learning ability [1 day post-treatment]
Speed and accuracy on a motor learning task
Body mass index 18-29
Right-handed as assessed by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (score > 60)
Fluent understanding of German
Willingness to adhere to study protocol
Willingness to refrain from taking illicit psychoactive substances for the duration of the study
Willingness to refrain from consuming alcohol for 24 hours before each study appointment.
Willingness to not operate a motor vehicle or other heavy machinery 48 hours after each substance administration.
Women of childbearing potential must be willing to use effective birth control during the study (e.g. birth control pill; condoms must be combined with a second reliable method).
Women of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test at the beginning of the study. Pregnancy tests will be repeated before each treatment day and must remain negative.
A friend or relative must be available to accompany the participant home following LSD appointments.
Severe chronic or acute medical condition
History of any seizure disorder, stroke, or cardiovascular illness
History of severe head trauma resulting in loss of consciousness
Personal or family history (first-degree relative) of psychotic disorders
Current or previous major neurological or psychiatric disorder within the last 3 years (e.g. major depression, anorexia, substance use disorder),
History of medically relevant suicide attempts
Current use of psychoactive medications
Lifetime use of hallucinogens, dissociatives, or entheogens more than 10 times, or any time within the previous three months
Regular (daily or near-daily) use of cannabis, alcohol, nicotine, or illicit substances
Pregnant or nursing women
Presence of any implanted, metal or electronic devices (e.g. pacemaker)
Recent or current participation in another clinical trial
Contacts and Locations
|1||University of Fribourg||Fribourg||FR||Switzerland||1752|
Sponsors and Collaborators
- University of Fribourg
Study Documents (Full-Text)None provided.