Study Finds Genetic Link to Effects of Psychedelic Drugs

Common genetic variations in certain serotonin receptors may account for the different effects psychedelic drugs have on different individuals, according to a recently published study by researchers at the University of North Carolina. The study comes at a time when research into the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs is being reinvigorated, and the drug can dramatically affect some patients with serious mental health conditions. While appearing to have a positive effect, it may explain why the drug shows little therapeutic value in other patients. .

Bryan Roth, MD, PhD led a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) to complete this study. The purpose of this study was to investigate how this change in his one serotonin receptor altered the activity of his four psychedelic therapies. In laboratory cell studies, seven mutants showed responses to his four hallucinogens: thyrosine, LSD, 5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), and mescaline. have been shown to have unique and different effects. Researchers believe that in vitro studies may help determine the appropriate mental health therapy for patients.

“Based on our study, we would expect patients with different genetic variants to respond differently to psychedelic-assisted treatment.” Ross saidLeads the National Institutes of Health’s psychotropic drug screening program. “We believe physicians should consider a patient’s serotonin receptor genetics to identify which psychedelic compounds are likely to be the most effective treatments in future clinical trials.”

psychedelics and mental health

research Published in the magazine in 2020 JAMA Psychiatry We found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy was a fast-acting and effective treatment for a group of 24 participants with major depressive disorder. another study Psilocybin treatment, announced in 2016, was determined to significantly and sustainably reduce depression and anxiety in life-threatening cancer patients. determined to be less stressful during the lockdowns put in place to control

Previous studies have also found that psychedelics stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain. The 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor, also known as 5-HT2A, plays a role in mediating how people respond to hallucinogens. However, there are some naturally occurring random genetic mutations that may affect 5-HT2A receptor function and structure. Much of the research into the effects of psychedelics on mental health is inspired by the drug’s effects on serotonin receptors. Serotonin receptors bind to the neurotransmitter serotonin and other similar molecules to help regulate mood, emotions, and appetite.

Hallucinogens hold great promise, but they don’t seem to work for everyone. Dustin Hines, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said he wasn’t involved in the UNC study, but the study could help explain why psychedelic therapy works for some patients and why it works for others. It is possible that the reason for this may be clarified. Drug treatment is rarely effective.

“Genetic mutations in this receptor have been shown to affect how patients respond to other drugs.” Hines told Healthline“While psychedelic therapy can provide rapid and lasting therapeutic benefits for multiple mental health problems, there is a proportion of patients who do not respond.”

Hines also noted that individual differences in mental health status may contribute to how well patients respond to both psychedelic and more traditional treatments.

“Some people with depression may have a genetic predisposition that makes them more likely to experience depression in their lives,” Hines said. Other individuals may have more situational or environmental contributions.”

The UNC researchers called for further investigation, noting that the study could help provide insights to clinicians who view psychedelics as a treatment for their patients.

“This is another piece of the puzzle that we need to be aware of when deciding to prescribe treatments that have dramatic effects apart from their therapeutic effects,” said Roth. helps us continue to find the best ways to help individual patients.”

research result was published in a magazine last week ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

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