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LSD Addiction Brain Science
The biochemical process through which LSD changes brain function is not yet fully understood. However, research has begun to offer clues to what’s going on in the brains of LSD users. In a recent study, researchers used imaging technology to get a look at brain activity in subjects who were under the influence of the drug, and the results suggested areas that are ripe for further study.
Scientists had previously suspected that a brain chemical called serotonin, which helps brain nerve cells communicate with one another, was involved in the LSD experience. The imaging study had some subjects take only LSD, while other subjects took both LSD and a drug that blocks the effects of serotonin. Those who took the serotonin-blocking drug did not experience the same effects as those who took LSD alone, a result that seems to confirm the hypothesis that serotonin is key to the LSD experience.
In the brains of subjects who took LSD, the drug seemed to disrupt the function of the thalamus, a part of the brain that controls information flow to other parts. This disruption allowed more information to flow to the part of the brain that controls sensory perception and limited the flow of information to the part that controls cognitive thought processes. This unusual pattern of brain activity may begin to explain the strange effects that LSD has on the user’s perception.
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