Recently, Mindset Pharma Inc. (CSE: MSET) (OTCQB: MSSTF) a drug discovery company specializing in next-generation psychedelics, announced the filing of two international patent applications for non-hallucinogenic novel non-tryptamine compounds known as “Family 6.” Yes, that’s right – new psychedelic drugs that don’t get the patient “high”.
The use of psychedelics with the hallucinogenic and tryptamine effects (the “high”) removed, is thought of as controversial – like popcorn without the butter. However, new studies are revealing that novel psychedelics could provide similar neurological results, without the high involved. For example, a study published in Nature Neuroscience on June 5th found that the hallucinogenic properties in classic psychedelics may be eliminated, by studying and altering the binding traits of psychedelic chemicals.
The name of the study is Psychedelics promote plasticity by directly binding to BDNF receptor TrkB. I know – if you’re not familiar it looks like someone started writing a sentence and ran out of vowels. Here’s a video from Twitter breaking down the implications of non-hallucinogenic non-tryptamine psychedelic drugs:
— Duane Hope (@DuaneHope5) May 1, 2023
Now let’s take a closer look at what the study means in plain English.
Brain Stuff (BDNF, TrkB and 5-HT2A)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a molecule found in the brain and other parts of the central nervous system that’s involved in the plastic changes related to learning and memory. Changes in BDNF expression are associated with aging and psychiatric diseases like chronic depression and Alzheimer’s. BDNF’s receptor TrkB is also a mediator of plasticity and the therapeutic action of antidepressants.
BDNF and TrkB have also been identified in the action of psychedelics as downstream effectors of 5-HT2A activation. 5-HT2A has been identified as the main receptor in the brain which allows users to experience the hallucinogenic effects of psychedelics. By directly binding psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and LSD to TrkB, scientists may be able to deliver the benefits of psychedelic medications without involving the “high” receptor in the brain.
This is a very brief basic overview, read the study for a more through explanation. I’m not a scientist, nor do I play one on television.
The pressing question is “why do this?” Many believe that not only are the hallucinogenic effects of psychedelics enjoyable, but they are also an integral part of the neuroplasticity benefits of taking the drugs in the first place. The main reason is not everyone is a suitable candidate for the full psychedelic experience. There’s a large demographic of vulnerable patients like children or the elderly, who could benefit from the apparent healing power of psychedelics for their unmet medical needs.
Millions and Millions
This opens the market to millions of potential new patients. What are the implications? By removing or reducing the psychedelic effect; clinical supervision during the administration and use of certain psychedelic medications may be unnecessary. Eliminating clinical supervision during use of the medication would reduce the cost of treatment and make psychedelics-assisted therapy more accessible and convenient for a larger group of patients.
Although the importance and role of the hallucinogenic effect in the efficacy of psychedelics is still debated, the research results are looking very promising. Companies like Mindset Pharma are opening the door to new scientific breakthroughs which may put psychedelic medications in the public’s hands sooner than we think.
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