During the 60’s, psychedelics were very common but we didn’t have the imaging tools required to really take a look at the brain during this phase. An upcoming study however will give us a look into what the brain looks like on LSD. For this study, volunteers took the drug, which was of clinical quality, and had their brains scanned by an MRI and MEG scanner. The study won’t be published until later this year and so the images are not currently available.
Studies such as this require a lot of money so researchers are asking crowd funders to support the cause. Funding can be difficult to come by when scientific research is involved, and it is even more difficult when you consider the controversial subject. LSD, MDMA, cannabis and magic mushrooms are all considered to be Schedule I drugs in the UK which means that they do not offer any therapeutic value.
The crowdfund will start on Walacea, which is a platform in the UK specifically designed for scientific research. They are looking to raise around £25,000 to support the amount of work involved; however there are benefits to this study. One advantage of this study is that the work has already started so it won’t take years on end to get the results. There is also hope that more studies will happen in the future, so scientists can see the effects of LSD on the brain. The test will also help to see which part of the brain functions when on the drug, however brain imaging is just one part of the puzzle and there is a lot more work that needs to be done before we can further understand the drug and its effects on the brain and body.