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Johns Hopkins is donating more than $17 million to a research center to study psychedelic drugs.
According to FierceBiotech, Johns Hopkin’s new Center for Consciousness and Psychedelic Research is the first of its kind in the US and the biggest in the world.
The information being collected on the entheogens — including MDMA, ketamine LSD, and psilocybin, along with other lesser-known compounds — has been showing promise in many applications—best known for the psychological benefits of psychedelic trips.
Potentials of Psychedelic Research
Even though psychedelic research is not anything new, the research center has set high expectations for further advancements and insights.
Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Charles Grob said, “The most exhilarating part is the psychedelic treatment model’s potential, mainly when treating medical issues that there isn’t an effective treatment for.”
These conditions are things such as addiction and treatment-resistant depression. Furthermore, Grob had recently co-authored a pilot study that used MDMA to treat social anxiety in adults with autism.
Psychedelics Drastically Reduce Inflammation
Interestingly, psychedelics also have impacts outside of the central nervous system and the brain.
A professor of the Experimental Therapeutics at LSU Health Medical Center, and the Department of Pharmacology, Charles Nichols, discovered that the psychedelic drug compound DOI (anatomically like mescaline) also has anti-inflammatory effects. Nichols tested it in mouse and rat cell models, and it showed that a minimum dose of the drug drastically impacts inflammation.
“The interesting thing about it,” Nichols says, “is that some of the psychedelics we studied were very potent at creating these anti-inflammatory effects,” which means they work well at doses far below the threshold that causes the patient to trip.
Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research
Psychedelic research is up-and-coming, although it still has a long way to make up for decades of lost time because of the culture war of the 1960s.
Nevertheless, Nichols and Grob point out the respect and credibility that Johns Hopkins commands as critical for evolving the field, even outside of research that the psychedelic center will soon publish and support.