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L F Tófoli, D B de Araujo
Despite reports of apparent benefits, social and political pressure beginning in the late 1960s effectively banned scientific inquiry into psychedelic substances. Covert examination of psychedelics persisted through the 1990s; the turn of the century and especially the past 10 years, however, has seen a resurgent interest in psychedelic substances (eg, LSD, ayahuasca, psilocybin). This chapter outlines relevant EEG and brain imaging studies evaluating the effects of psychedelics on the brain. This chapter also reviews evidence of the use of psychedelics as adjunct therapy for a number of psychiatric and addictive disorders...
2016: International Review of Neurobiology
José Carlos Bouso, Eduardo José Pedrero-Pérez, Sam Gandy, Miguel Ángel Alcázar-Córcoles
OBJECTIVE: In the present study we explored the psychometric properties of three widely used questionnaires to assess the subjective effects of hallucinogens: the Hallucinogen Rating Scale (HRS), the Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ), and the Addiction Research Center Inventory (ARCI). METHODS: These three questionnaires were administered to a sample of 158 subjects (100 men) after taking ayahuasca, a hallucinogen whose main active component is N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)...
September 2016: Human Psychopharmacology
K P C Kuypers, J Riba, M de la Fuente Revenga, S Barker, E L Theunissen, J G Ramaekers
INTRODUCTION: Ayahuasca is a South American psychotropic plant tea traditionally used in Amazonian shamanism. The tea contains the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), plus β-carboline alkaloids with monoamine oxidase-inhibiting properties. Increasing evidence from anecdotal reports and open-label studies indicates that ayahuasca may have therapeutic effects in treatment of substance use disorders and depression. A recent study on the psychological effects of ayahuasca found that the tea reduces judgmental processing and inner reactivity, classic goals of mindfulness psychotherapy...
September 2016: Psychopharmacology
Ede Frecska, Petra Bokor, Gabor Andrassy, Attila Kovacs
Ayahuasca is a decoctum made of admixture plants containing dimethyltryptamine and harmine. For millennia it has been used as a central element of spiritual, religious, initiation, and other - foremost healing - rituals, originally by the indigenous groups of the Amazon basin and later by the mestizo populations of the region. During the last two decades the brew has raised increased scientific and lay interest about its healing potentials within the framework of Western therapeutic settings. The typical ayahuasca effects consist of strong somatic reactions, vivid visions, relived personal memories, cathartic emotions, and insightful, introspective experiences when the emerging mental contents take different context and get deeper perspectives...
June 2016: Neuropsychopharmacologia Hungarica
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
Rafael G Dos Santos, Flávia L Osório, José Alexandre S Crippa, Jordi Riba, Antônio W Zuardi, Jaime E C Hallak
To date, pharmacological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders and for drug dependence show limited efficacy, leaving a large number of patients suffering severe and persistent symptoms. Preliminary studies in animals and humans suggest that ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) may have antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive properties. Thus, we conducted a systematic review of clinical trials published from 1990 until 2015, assessing these therapeutic properties. Electronic searches were performed using the PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases...
June 2016: Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
Ashton D Lesiak, Rabi A Musah
A continuing challenge in analytical chemistry is species-level determination of the constituents of mixtures that are made of a combination of plant species. There is an added urgency to identify components in botanical mixtures that have mind altering properties, due to the increasing global abuse of combinations of such plants. Here we demonstrate the proof of principle that ambient ionization mass spectrometry, namely direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS), and statistical analysis tools can be used to rapidly determine the individual components within a psychoactive brew (Ayahuasca) made from a mixture of botanicals...
September 2016: Forensic Science International
Amanda A Nunes, Rafael G Dos Santos, Flávia L Osório, Rafael F Sanches, José Alexandre S Crippa, Jaime E C Hallak
Recently, the anti-addictive potential of ayahuasca, a dimethyltryptamine(DMT)- and β-carboline-rich hallucinogenic beverage traditionally used by indigenous groups of the Northwest Amazon and currently by syncretic churches worldwide, has received increased attention. To better evaluate this topic, we performed a systematic literature review using the PubMed database to find quantitative studies (using statistical analysis) that assessed the effects of ayahuasca or its components in drug-related symptoms or disorders...
July 2016: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Hongmei Yang, Hongmei Zhang, Caiqiong Yang, Yegao Chen
Psychotria is a genus of ca. 1500 species in the family Rubiaceae. Up to now, 41 species of the Psychotria genus have been chemically investigated, and 159 compounds, including alkaloids of indole, quinoline and benzoquinolizidine type, terpenoids, steroids, phenolics and aliphatic compounds have been isolated. These compounds show potent bioactivities, such as antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiparasitic activities.
July 2016: Chemistry & Biodiversity
Rafael G Dos Santos, Flávia L Osório, José Alexandre S Crippa, Jaime E C Hallak
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic literature review of animal and human studies reporting anxiolytic or antidepressive effects of ayahuasca or some of its isolated alkaloids (dimethyltryptamine, harmine, tetrahydroharmine, and harmaline). METHODS: Papers published until 3 April 2015 were retrieved from the PubMed, LILACS and SciELO databases following a comprehensive search strategy and using a predetermined set of criteria for article selection. RESULTS: Five hundred and fourteen studies were identified, of which 21 met the established criteria...
March 2016: Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
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
Ede Frecska, Petra Bokor, Michael Winkelman
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive brew of two main components. Its active agents are β-carboline and tryptamine derivatives. As a sacrament, ayahuasca is still a central element of many healing ceremonies in the Amazon Basin and its ritual consumption has become common among the mestizo populations of South America. Ayahuasca use amongst the indigenous people of the Amazon is a form of traditional medicine and cultural psychiatry. During the last two decades, the substance has become increasingly known among both scientists and laymen, and currently its use is spreading all over in the Western world...
2016: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Rafael Faria Sanches, Flávia de Lima Osório, Rafael G Dos Santos, Ligia R H Macedo, João Paulo Maia-de-Oliveira, Lauro Wichert-Ana, Draulio Barros de Araujo, Jordi Riba, José Alexandre S Crippa, Jaime E C Hallak
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian botanical hallucinogenic brew which contains dimethyltryptamine, a 5-HT2A receptor agonist, and harmine, a monoamine-oxidase A inhibitor. Our group recently reported that ayahuasca administration was associated with fast-acting antidepressive effects in 6 depressive patients. The objective of the present work was to assess the antidepressive potentials of ayahuasca in a bigger sample and to investigate its effects on regional cerebral blood flow. In an open-label trial conducted in an inpatient psychiatric unit, 17 patients with recurrent depression received an oral dose of ayahuasca (2...
February 2016: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Anna P Kowalczuk, Anna Łozak, Robert Bachliński, Anna Duszyński, Joanna Sakowska, Jordan K Zjawiony
Psychoria viridis (chacruna) is a hallucinogenic plant with psychoactive properties associated with the presence of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). This species is primarily known as an ingredient of the beverage Ayahuasca, but dry leaves are also smoked by recreational users. The plant is controlled in Poland and France and its proper identification poses many challenges due to the fact that genus Psychotria is relatively large and there are other species that are easily confused with chacruna. The aim of the present work was to develop an effective authentication procedure for the dried and shredded leaves of P...
July 2015: Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica
Joaquim Soler, Matilde Elices, Alba Franquesa, Steven Barker, Pablo Friedlander, Amanda Feilding, Juan C Pascual, Jordi Riba
BACKGROUND: Ayahuasca is a psychotropic plant tea used for ritual purposes by the indigenous populations of the Amazon. In the last two decades, its use has expanded worldwide. The tea contains the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), plus β-carboline alkaloids with monoamine-oxidase-inhibiting properties. Acute administration induces an introspective dream-like experience characterized by visions and autobiographic and emotional memories. Studies of long-term users have suggested its therapeutic potential, reporting that its use has helped individuals abandon the consumption of addictive drugs...
March 2016: Psychopharmacology
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
Eduardo Ekman Schenberg, João Felipe Morel Alexandre, Renato Filev, Andre Mascioli Cravo, João Ricardo Sato, Suresh D Muthukumaraswamy, Maurício Yonamine, Marian Waguespack, Izabela Lomnicka, Steven A Barker, Dartiu Xavier da Silveira
Ritual use of ayahuasca, an amazonian Amerindian medicine turned sacrament in syncretic religions in Brazil, is rapidly growing around the world. Because of this internationalization, a comprehensive understanding of the pharmacological mechanisms of action of the brew and the neural correlates of the modified states of consciousness it induces is important. Employing a combination of electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings and quantification of ayahuasca's compounds and their metabolites in the systemic circulation we found ayahuasca to induce a biphasic effect in the brain...
2015: PloS One
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
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