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Marcos Tascón, Fernando Benavente, Nora M Vizioli, Leonardo G Gagliardi
The β-carboline alkaloids of the harmala (HAlks) group are compounds widely spread in many natural sources, but found at relatively high levels in some specific plants like Peganum harmala (Syrian rue) or Banisteriopsis caapi. HAlks are a reversible Mono Amino Oxidase type A Inhibitor (MAOI) and, as a consequence, these plants or their extracts can be used to produce psychotropic effects when are combined with psychotropic drugs based on amino groups. Since the occurrence and the levels of the HAlks in natural sources are subject to significant variability, more widespread use is not clinical but recreational or ritual, for example B...
July 5, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
Marta Valle, Ana Elda Maqueda, Mireia Rabella, Aina Rodríguez-Pujadas, Rosa Maria Antonijoan, Sergio Romero, Joan Francesc Alonso, Miquel Àngel Mañanas, Steven Barker, Pablo Friedlander, Amanda Feilding, Jordi Riba
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychotropic plant tea typically obtained from two plants, Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis. It contains the psychedelic 5-HT2A and sigma-1 agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) plus β-carboline alkaloids with monoamine-oxidase (MAO)-inhibiting properties. Although the psychoactive effects of ayahuasca have commonly been attributed solely to agonism at the 5-HT2A receptor, the molecular target of classical psychedelics, this has not been tested experimentally. Here we wished to study the contribution of the 5-HT2A receptor to the neurophysiological and psychological effects of ayahuasca in humans...
July 2016: European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Elisabet Domínguez-Clavé, Joaquim Soler, Matilde Elices, Juan C Pascual, Enrique Álvarez, Mario de la Fuente Revenga, Pablo Friedlander, Amanda Feilding, Jordi Riba
Ayahuasca is the Quechua name for a tea obtained from the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, and used for ritual purposes by the indigenous populations of the Amazon. The use of a variation of the tea that combines B. caapi with the leaves of the shrub Psychotria viridis has experienced unprecedented expansion worldwide for its psychotropic properties. This preparation contains the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from P. viridis, plus β-carboline alkaloids with monoamine-oxidase-inhibiting properties from B...
March 11, 2016: Brain Research Bulletin
Vanessa Manchim Favaro, Maurício Yonamine, Juliana Carlota Kramer Soares, Maria Gabriela Menezes Oliveira
Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic beverage that combines the action of the 5-HT2A/2C agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from Psychotria viridis with the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) induced by beta-carbonyls from Banisteriopsis caapi. Previous investigations have highlighted the involvement of ayahuasca with the activation of brain regions known to be involved with episodic memory, contextual associations and emotional processing after ayahuasca ingestion. Moreover long term users show better performance in neuropsychological tests when tested in off-drug condition...
2015: PloS One
Veronika Kavenská, Hana Simonová
Ayahuasca continues to attract tourists to South America, where there has been a growth in the number of centers offering hallucinogenic ayahuasca experiences. The aims of this study were to (1) discover the reasons foreigners seek this type of experience; (2) define what an ayahuasca experience entails; (3) discover subjective perceptions of ayahuasca's benefits and risks; and (4) describe personality styles of participants using the personality questionnaire (PSSI). Participants (N=77) were persons who had travelled to South America to use ayahuasca...
November 2015: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Attila Szabó, Anita Kazai, Ede Frecska, Zoltán Brys
In lack of professional research and appropriate concepts our scientific knowledge of psychedelic agents is limited. According to the long-held official view these drugs are entirely harmful and have no medical use. However, a recent surge of clinical and pharmacological studies in the field indicates that many psychedelic-like agents have therapeutic potentials under proper circumstances. In this paper, from a biomedical and psychological perspective, we provide a brief review of the general effects and promising treatment uses of medical cannabis, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), salvinorin A, ibogaine and the dimethyltryptamine-(DMT)-containing ayahuasca...
September 2015: Neuropsychopharmacologia Hungarica
Patricia E J Wiltshire, David L Hawksworth, Kevin J Edwards
Light microscopical examination of plant and fungal remains in the post mortem gut may be capable of demonstrating the ingestion of unexpected natural psychotropic materials. This is demonstrated here in a case in which a 'shaman' was accused of causing the death of a young man. The deceased had participated in a ceremony which involved the drinking of ayahuasca in order to induce a psychotropic experience. Ayahuasca is an infusion of Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine), which produces a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and one or more additional tropical plants, generally Psychotria viridis (chacruna) which produces dimethyltryptamine (DMT)...
August 2015: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Aline Pic-Taylor, Luciana Gueiros da Motta, Juliana Alves de Morais, Willian Melo Junior, Alana de Fátima Andrade Santos, Leandro Ambrósio Campos, Marcia Renata Mortari, Marcus Vinicius von Zuben, Eloisa Dutra Caldas
Ayahuasca, a psychoactive beverage used by indigenous and religious groups, is generally prepared by the coction of Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi plants containing N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and β-carboline alkaloids, respectively. To investigate the acute toxicity of ayahuasca, the infusion was administered by gavage to female Wistar rats at doses of 30X and 50X the dose taken during a religious ritual, and the animals observed for 14 days. Behavioural functions were investigated one hour after dosing at 15X and 30X using the open field, elevated plus maze, and forced swimming tests...
September 2015: Behavioural Processes
Rafael Lanaro, Débora Bressanim de Aquino Calemi, Loraine Rezende Togni, José Luiz Costa, Maurício Yonamine, Silvia de Oliveira Santos Cazenave, Alessandra Linardi
The ritualistic use of ayahuasca is becoming a global phenomenon. This beverage contains a combination of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine) and N,N-dimethyltryptamine, the main substance responsible for its visionary effect. The recreational use of similar alkaloids and N,N-dimethyltryptamine has increased in recent years, mainly because of their hallucinogenic effects. In the present study, the concentrations of psychoactive alkaloids in three powder samples seized by the São Paulo State Police and nine ayahuasca aqueous extracts were analyzed by HPLC-DAD in an attempt to distinguish between illicit drugs and the religious beverage...
April 2015: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Joan Francesc Alonso, Sergio Romero, Miquel Àngel Mañanas, Jordi Riba
BACKGROUND: Psychedelics induce intense modifications in the sensorium, the sense of "self," and the experience of reality. Despite advances in our understanding of the molecular and cellular level mechanisms of these drugs, knowledge of their actions on global brain dynamics is still incomplete. Recent imaging studies have found changes in functional coupling between frontal and parietal brain structures, suggesting a modification in information flow between brain regions during acute effects...
June 2015: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Flávia de L Osório, Rafael F Sanches, Ligia R Macedo, Rafael G dos Santos, João P Maia-de-Oliveira, Lauro Wichert-Ana, Draulio B de Araujo, Jordi Riba, José A Crippa, Jaime E Hallak
OBJECTIVES: Ayahuasca (AYA), a natural psychedelic brew prepared from Amazonian plants and rich in dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmine, causes effects of subjective well-being and may therefore have antidepressant actions. This study sought to evaluate the effects of a single dose of AYA in six volunteers with a current depressive episode. METHODS: Open-label trial conducted in an inpatient psychiatric unit. RESULTS: Statistically significant reductions of up to 82% in depressive scores were observed between baseline and 1, 7, and 21 days after AYA administration, as measured on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the Anxious-Depression subscale of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)...
January 2015: Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Dimitrius L Pitol, Selma Siéssere, Rafael G Dos Santos, Maria L N M Rosa, Jaime E C Hallak, Priscilla H Scalize, Bruno F Pereira, Melina M Iyomasa, Marisa Semprini, Jordi Riba, Simone C H Regalo
Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew traditionally used by Northwestern Amazonian indigenous groups for therapeutic purposes. It is prepared by the decoction of Banisteriopsis caapi with the leaves of Psychotria viridis. Banisteriopsis caapi contains β-carbolines that are inhibitors of monoamine oxidase and P. viris is rich in dimethyltryptamine, a 5-HT(1A/2A/2C) agonist. Acute ayahuasca administration produces moderate cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers, but information regarding long-term use is lacking...
July 2015: Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Fernanda Palhano-Fontes, Katia C Andrade, Luis F Tofoli, Antonio C Santos, Jose Alexandre S Crippa, Jaime E C Hallak, Sidarta Ribeiro, Draulio B de Araujo
The experiences induced by psychedelics share a wide variety of subjective features, related to the complex changes in perception and cognition induced by this class of drugs. A remarkable increase in introspection is at the core of these altered states of consciousness. Self-oriented mental activity has been consistently linked to the Default Mode Network (DMN), a set of brain regions more active during rest than during the execution of a goal-directed task. Here we used fMRI technique to inspect the DMN during the psychedelic state induced by Ayahuasca in ten experienced subjects...
2015: PloS One
A J Oliveira-Lima, R Santos, A W Hollais, C A Gerardi-Junior, M A Baldaia, R Wuo-Silva, T S Yokoyama, J L Costa, E L A Malpezzi-Marinho, P C Ribeiro-Barbosa, L F Berro, R Frussa-Filho, E A V Marinho
BACKGROUND: Hallucinogenic drugs were used to treat alcoholic patients in the past, and recent developments in the study of hallucinogens led to a renewal of interest regarding the application of these drugs in the treatment of addiction. In this scenario, accumulating evidence suggests that the hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca (Aya) may have therapeutic effects on substance abuse problems. METHODS: We investigated the effects of Aya on spontaneous locomotor activity and ethanol(Eth)-induced hyperlocomotion and subsequent locomotor sensitization by a two-injection protocol...
April 1, 2015: Physiology & Behavior
José Carlos Bouso, Fernanda Palhano-Fontes, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells, Sidarta Ribeiro, Rafael Sanches, José Alexandre S Crippa, Jaime E C Hallak, Draulio B de Araujo, Jordi Riba
Psychedelic agents have a long history of use by humans for their capacity to induce profound modifications in perception, emotion and cognitive processes. Despite increasing knowledge of the neural mechanisms involved in the acute effects of these drugs, the impact of sustained psychedelic use on the human brain remains largely unknown. Molecular pharmacology studies have shown that psychedelic 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT)2A agonists stimulate neurotrophic and transcription factors associated with synaptic plasticity...
April 2015: European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Kenneth W Tupper, Beatriz C Labate
This article offers critical sociological and philosophical reflections on ayahuasca and other psychedelics as objects of research in medicine, health and human sciences. It situates 21st century scientific inquiry on ayahuasca in the broader context of how early modern European social trends and intellectual pursuits translated into new forms of empiricism and experimental philosophy, but later evolved into a form of dogmatism that convenienced the political suppression of academic inquiry into psychedelics...
2014: Current Drug Abuse Reviews
Michael Winkelman
Substances known as psychedelics, hallucinogens and entheogens have been employed in ethnomedical traditions for thousands of years, but after promising uses in the 1950's and 1960's they were largely prohibited in medical treatment and human research starting in the 1970's as part of the fallout from the war on drugs. Nonetheless, there are a number of studies which suggest that these substances have potential applications in the treatment of addictions. While these substances are generally classified as Schedule I, alleging no established medical uses and a high drug abuse potential, there is nonetheless evidence indicating they might be safe and effective tools for short term interventions in addictions treatment...
2014: Current Drug Abuse Reviews
Rafael Guimarães dos Santos
Ayahuasca is a botanical hallucinogen traditionally used by indigenous groups of the northwest Amazon. In the last decade, the use of ayahuasca has spread from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite acute and long-term evidence of good tolerability and safety for ayahuasca administered in the laboratory or ritually consumed in religious contexts, little is known about the immunological impact of ayahuasca on humans. Since ayahuasca is used by an increasing number of consumers, and considering its therapeutic potential, more information is needed regarding ayahuasca potential risks...
November 2014: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
T A Alvarenga, D N Polesel, G Matos, V A Garcia, J L Costa, S Tufik, M L Andersen
The ingestion of the beverage Ayahuasca usually occurs in religious ceremonies that are performed during the night leading to sleep deprivation. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the acute effects of Ayahuasca upon the sexual response of sleep deprived male rats. One group of sexually experienced male Wistar rats were submitted to a paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) protocol for 96h, while another group spent the same amount of time in the home cage (CTRL). After this period, either saline or Ayahuasca drink (250, 500 and 1000μgmL(-1)) was administered by gavage and sexual behavior and hormonal concentrations were measured...
October 2014: Behavioural Processes
Robert Prue, Richard W Voss
This essay frames an invitation to pastoral counselors and pastoral theologians to examine connections and perhaps interactions between themselves and traditional shamanic healers who use ayahuasca in their healing ceremonies. Indigenous people in South America have used ayahuasca for centuries, and the ritual has become common among the mestizo populations in urban areas of the Amazon, particularly as a curing ritual for drug addiction (Dobkin de Rios, 1970; Moir, 1998). Like peyote in the United States (Calabrese, 1997) ayahuasca use amongst the indigenous people of the Amazon is a form of cultural psychiatry...
March 2014: Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling: JPCC
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