UC San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative received the donation to increase understanding of what DMT does to the brain and how the psychedelic drug can positively impact health.
N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is known as a very potent psychedelic drug which can evoke imaginative images, best compared to vivid images from a dream. This drug is usually consumed on its own or in ayahuasca.
Anecdotal evidence of DMT
Many people have said that the drug helped address psychological conditions such as depression and addiction, promoting emotional well-being. However, the way it affects the brain, body and health is largely unknown. A $1,5 million gift from Eugene Jhong will help launch a new research program within the UC San Diego Psychedelic and Health Research Initiative to learn more about its biological and psychological effects in humans.
Led by principal investigators Fadel Zeidan, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Jon Dean, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego and director of the Department of DMT Research, the study will attempt to map the phenomenological, neurological and physiological responses to DMT.
Interestingly, it is naturally (endogenously) present in human bodily fluids. In Dean's earlier research, he found that endogenous DMT also occurs in rat brains at levels similar to those of serotonin, a neurotransmitter vital to brain function.
Research into effectiveness
Fadel Zeidan, PhD: “We are beyond grateful to Eugene Jhong for his visionary support of this new research effort. We will learn more about how DMT's unique effects on consciousness interact with human physiology to understand how the profound psychedelic effects evoked by DMT affect our well-being. Our long-term goal is to gain a better understanding of how DMT and other psychedelics can be used therapeutically to address pain, trauma and various medical conditions related to the brain.”
UC San Diego is currently the only university in the US to have a dedicated department to conduct comprehensive DMT research. The study is part of the UC San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative, which will soon be renamed the Center for Psychedelic Research, a newly accredited academic center at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Eugene Jhong stated, “I am delighted to support this innovative effort to explore DMT and am confident that it will provide new and important insights.”
Source: today.ucsd.edu (EN)