Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Serotonin

What is myth? Any links among psychedelics and psychosis?

Note: A re-edit of article of 2015 by Zoe Cormier and Nature magazine

A large U.S. survey found that users of LSD and similar drugs were no more likely to have mental-health conditions than other respondents. No Link Found between Psychedelics and Psychosis?
Fears that psychedelics can lead to psychosis date to the 1960s, with widespread reports of “acid casualties” in the mainstream news.
Credit: Chris Murtagh/Flickr
Data from population surveys in the United States challenge public fears that psychedelic drugs such as LSD can lead to psychosis and other mental-health conditions and to increased risk of suicide.
Two studies have found No links.
In the first study, clinical psychologists Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Suzanne Krebs, both at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, scoured data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual random sample of the general population, and analysed answers from more than 135,000 people who took part in surveys from 2008 to 2011.Of those, 14% described themselves as having used at any point in their lives any of the three ‘classic’ psychedelics: LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms) and mescaline (found in the peyote and San Pedro cacti),the researchers found that individuals in this group were Not at increased risk of developing 11 indicators of mental-health problems such as schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders and suicide attempts.Their paper appears in the March issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The findings are likely to raise eyebrows.

Krebs says that because psychotic disorders are relatively prevalent, affecting about one in 50 people, correlations can often be mistaken for causations.

Psychedelics are psychologically intense, and many people will blame anything that happens for the rest of their lives on a psychedelic experience.

The three substances Johansen and Krebs looked at all act through the brain’s serotonin 2A receptor.

The authors did not include ketaminePCP, MDMA, fly agaric mushrooms, DMT or other drugs that fall broadly into the category of hallucinogens, because they act on other receptors and have different modes of biochemical action.

Ketamine and PCP, for example, act on the NMDA receptor and are both known to be addictive and to cause severe physical harms, such as damage to the bladder.

“Absolutely, people can become addicted to drugs like ketamine or PCP, and the effects can be very destructive. We restricted our study to the ‘classic psychedelics’ to clarify the findings,” says Johansen.

The ‘acid casualty’ myth

“This study assures us that there were not widespread ‘acid casualties’ in the 1960s,” says Charles Grob, a paediatric psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has long has advocated the therapeutic use of psychedelics, such as administering psilocybin to treat anxiety in terminal-stage cancer. But he has concerns about Krebs and Johansen’s overall conclusions, he says, because individual cases of adverse effects use can and do occur.

For example, people may develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), a ‘trip’ that never seems to end, involving incessant distortions in the visual field, shimmering lights and coloured dots.

“I’ve seen a number of people with these symptoms following a psychedelic experience, and it can be a very serious condition,” says Grob.

Krebs and Johansen, however, point to studies that have found symptoms of HPPD in people who have never used psychedelics.

The second of the new two studies, also published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at 190,000 NSDUH respondents from 2008 to 2012.

It also found that the classic psychedelics were not associated with adverse mental-health outcomes. In addition, it found that people who had used LSD and psilocybin had lower lifetime rates of suicidal thoughts and attempts.

“We are not claiming that no individuals have ever been harmed by psychedelics,” says author Matthew Johnson, an associate professor in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Anecdotes about acid casualties can be very powerful—but these instances are rare,” he says.

At the population level, he says, the data suggest that the harms of psychedelics “have been overstated”.

This article is reproduced with permission and was first published on March 4, 2015.

8 Hugs a Day per person can go a long way to increase a community life expectancy

Preity posted this Dec. 4, 2013

10 Reasons Why You Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day For Your Health

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still embedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.

9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.

10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it’s synergistic: the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1+ 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

Note 1: I like hugging. I may also mention these same 10 reasons why friendly massages, holding hands… increase community tolerance level, our self-esteem and longevity…

Note 2: I’m handicapped and unable to extend life-expectancy of any modern community:

1. My hands are mostly cold, most of the year, particularly when in the shadow

2. I’m a smoker. Must find a smoker or an ex-smoker who relishes this aphrodisiac smell

3. My circle of friends are very restricted…

4. Must negotiate with a couple of people for multiple hugs a day to make the count of 8 and over…

5. A single beautiful and lovable person can do the trick… I’m searching for this person…

The illusion of knowing is the major obstacle to discovery; (October 4, 2009)

Even a century ago, a scientist would publish a single manuscript after a life time of research and toiling.

Transmission of opinions and suggestions among scientists were sent via long erudite letters by peers.

Translators of these remarkable books didn’t go unnoticed as today, but they were rewarded academically. Nowadays, any “respectable” scientist works for several institutions, private and public, and at various nations.

Even two centuries ago, scientists did not need to refer to Pythagoras or Archimedes.  Modern scientists have no time or need to refer to more recent scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Laplace, Lavoisier, or Kelvin. Soon Einstein and Heisenberg will be outmoded.

The team of the geeks in “Sciences and Future” met in August for brainstorming in “pause mode” to deliberate on the unique question confronting the team:

In the last few decades, what discoveries were true breakthroughs?”  The team reached an understanding on 5 scientific fields: climatology, neuroscience, astronomy, cellular biology, and Internet.

Consequently, I will answer a few of the questions that you might think you know in these fields so that our knowledge is no longer an illusion.

The internet shifts from the virtual to the real

There are 3 generations of internet or Web.

The first generation or Web1.0 was created from 2003 to 2005 and is represented by MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube that gathers people on common interest social aspects or making “friends”.

The second generation or Web 2.0 is represented by Twitter or the microblogging platform for messages restricted to 140 characters. Thus, these micro messages can be regrouped and analyze to constitute a story contributed by many Twitter bloggers.

The third generation of Web 3.0 is ready technologically; this generation is already labeled object oriented intelligence sources.  For example, you record a message on your cell phone and then stick a yellow sticker on a wall or an object. The next visitor will pass his cell phone over the sticker and copy your message of whatever you have seen or appreciated. This generation can zip all kinds of products and gather intelligence and compare with other resources.

Personally, I think that even the Twitter is already a perfect source of information by intelligence agencies; these centers can hire thousands of Twitter users and direct them on specific topic of interests in many countries.

Cells can be rejuvenated to its embryo stage

The lab technician would take samples of your skin. The skin cells can be treated to reach its first born state.

Whatever genetic diseases that cell inherited it will take another 30 years for the disease to emerge.  All the while you are thirty years younger. Better, skin cells can be treated to isolate a specific cell for any body member like liver, heart, brain, or whatever.

The sick tissue in any part of your body can be rejuvenated within a month. This biomedical technique of treating adult cells into embryo state was made possible because many laws prohibited using fetus embryo on the ground that the cell belonged to another person.

Is man’s activity altering nature more than geophysics?

Man feared the return of the ice age; it turned out that the climate is getting hotter and the poles are melting.

The emergence of urban and industrial societies as a geophysical force is altering the environment power for rejuvenation according to human threshold for survival.

Since 1824, Joseph Fourier theorized that gases in the atmosphere have the potential to increase surface temperature.

Even in 1896, John Tyndall predicted that the concentration of CO2 will increase temperature to 5 degrees by the end of the 20th century. Now, this is a fact and each year the casualties in man and nature are increasing by the violence of climatic changes. People are waiting anxiously the international summit on the environment in Copenhagen this December.

Awareness of man effective participation in climatic changes was proven when the ozone layer of O3 in the stratosphere was depleting. Seas level is increasing 3 mm a year since 1993.  So far, only Danemark produces the fourth of its power using eoliens or wind turbines.

Ex-President Bush Junior said in 1992: “The American way of life is not negotiable.”

The philosopher Michelle Serres said in 1990: “This world that we treated as an object is returning as a subject; capable of vengeance.

The humorist Coluche said: “For an ecologist to be elected as President, trees should be allowed to vote.”

The brain is in perpetual re-structuring

There are specialized neurons that can be activated when an action is executed or when an action is also observed (mirror neurons).  These mirror neurons are the biological basis for empathy, imitation, and training; almost every decision is influenced by our emotions.

Neurons have the potential to flow or transfer from one brain to another when recycling cognitive aptitudes such as reading and writing are elevated.  Neurons and connections are modified when training tasks are memorized.

We have 8 varieties of intelligence; mainly the visual, spatial, naturalist, logic-mathematics, corporal, musical, inter-personal, and intra-personal intelligences.

The new battery of experiments for testing cognitive and movements capabilities are designed to account for our eight kinds of intelligences. It is the quantity of synapses (connections) and not the weight of the brain that differentiate among the various intelligences.

There are phases in our sleep when brain activities are most intense while muscular activities are extremely inhibited; this phase is called “paradox sleep”.  We produce new neurons at every stage of growth, especially in the hippocampus and the smell brains.

Almost 10% of our synapses are established when we are born and they increase with our activities and cognitive demands (efforts, mental and physical, mean increase in fresh synapses and neurons).

Hormones or chemical messengers for the brains

Serotonin is a chemical messenger to the brains; it is implicated in sleep, feeding and sexual habits. A decrease in its production is associated to depressive moods. Anti-depressant drugs increase the concentration of serotonin in the blood.

Dopamine is a chemical hormone that controls movements, moods, addiction, and the circuit of pleasure; its deficiency generates rigidity in the muscles which is the symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Adrenaline is a chemical hormone that is secreted at moments of stress and is attached on large numbers of receptors to re-enforce cardiac functions, accelerate the heart beats, elevate arterial pressure, inhibit digestion and increase the level of glycemy.

Cortisol is secreted in moments of stress to increase the rate of glucose in the blood stream and liberating energy to counter dangers.

Insulin enhances the stock of glucose in the tissues and thus decreases glycemy.

Acetylcholine is a neuro-transmitter that excites the targeted brain when acquiring new training and for enhancing memory; its deficiency is the origin of Alzheimer disease.

Erythropoietin stimulates the synthesis of red blood cells; its deficiency results in anemia.  The word “doping” is related to sport competitors abusing of this hormone.


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