Scientists have discovered that psychedelic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) could harmonize the brain and help treat mental disorders such as depression, substance use disorder, and post-traumatic disorders.
The findings of the study, published in Scientific Reports, indicate that the drug could help patients’ brains reset connections. Selen Atasoy from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and other colleagues conducted the research. They utilized a mathematical method to evaluate the connectome-harmonic decomposition of brain activity, according to IFL Science.
LSD is a psychedelic drug that has psychological effects. These involve changing awareness of an individual’s surroundings, perceptions, and feelings, including sensations and images that could seem real, but they are not. This drug is used as a recreational drug, often related to spiritual purposes. It is not addictive and can be swallowed, put under the tongue, or injected.
It is known that the connectome is the general map of all the connections in the brain. Meanwhile, mental illness is rooted from unusual patterns of connectivity. With the influence and use of psychedelic drugs, those connections or links can be changed, according to the Inverse.
In the study, the researchers examined that fMRI data of 12 participants under the influence of LSD and a placebo. They used a technique called “connectome-harmonic decomposition” to identify how this psychedelic drug changes the connections in the areas of the brain.
LSD study reveals unprecedented ‘harmonic’ reorganization of the brain. https://t.co/e2Om0Ej0LL
— Daily Grail (@DailyGrail) March 5, 2018
Atasoy said that they applied a new analysis; a harmonic decoding of fMRI data that looks at neural activity as a combination of harmonic waves in the brain that they call “connectome harmonics.” She further explained that the connectome harmonics they used to decode brain activity are universal harmonic waves. These include sound waves that occur within a musical instrument. However, they are adapted to the anatomy of the brain such as to the human connectome, according to Atasoy.
The results of the study showed that the participants’ brain showed a harmony of functional waves in different regions that were not at random. They became connected to the other areas that usually do not relate. The brain also experienced a reorganizational process that relieved the symptoms of mental illness.