Pioneering LSD Brains Scans

The study of psychedelic drugs is particularly difficult for neuroscientists due to legal restrictions and fears about dangerous side effects. While researchers had some understanding of the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) through analyzing the experiences of people who had taken the drug, the neurological response was still a mystery because scientists were never able to conduct brain scans.


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David Nutt, DM, FRCP, a member of the Dana Alliance and former chairman of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, recently conducted the first brain scans showing the brain on LSD. Nutt, a longtime advocate for the study of psychedelic drugs and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), especially as therapeutic tools to treat psychiatric disorders, talked about the importance of studying these drugs in a 2012 interview with us. Nutt said:

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