A psychedelic compound called DOI (2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine) has shown huge promise in fighting the inflammation that fuels ailments like asthma and arthritis. Scientists at New Orleans’ LSU Health Sciences Center are working to rid this medicine of its psychoactive effects, which are much like those of LSD, but longer-lasting—up to 30 hours, with aftereffects sometimes lingering on for several days.
Professor of pharmacology Charles Nichols, who is leading the team with the help of the life science company Eleusis, has crafted a variant of DOI with significantly reduced psychotropic effects. He expects that within a year’s time, this variant will enter clinical trials for the treatment of ocular inflammation. The use of an eyedropper will lessen the brain’s exposure to this molecule, diminishing the risk of unwanted psychedelic effects.
As well as working to defuse psychedelic compounds for anti-inflammatory use, Nichols and his colleagues are examining the ability of sub-hallucinogenic doses of LSD to treat Alzheimer’s Disease.
“LSD targets nearly all serotonin receptors, and dopamine receptors, among others, for activation,” Nichols told Project CBD. “Activation of several of these receptors have been shown by us and others using different chemicals individually to have benefits such as enhancing memory, maintaining cell health … and reducing stress-related markers. We think that these multiple positive effects from several different receptors may act synergistically together to be able to slow the neurodegeneration and cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.”