Ongoing Psychedelics Research Could Yield Novel Treatments for Mental Disorders

December 9, 2021 09:31:41

Data from the National Alliance of Mental Health suggests that one in five adults will suffer from a mental health condition in their lifetime. Traditional treatments cause various side effects and can take time to work, which has prompted researchers to seek alternative treatment options for these conditions.

Chang Lu, a researcher from Virginia Tech, has been conducting research on psychedelics that could be used in the treatment of different mental health conditions. Lu, who is a Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering, is using a process developed in his laboratory to help collaborators at Virginia Commonwealth University carry out research on the epigenomic effects of psychedelic substances. Their study’s findings may give researchers insight into how substances such as LSD, mescaline and psilocybin can help manage symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and addiction. It has been observed that the drugs last longer and work faster than current drugs, all while causing fewer side effects.

The process, known as genomic analysis, will enable researchers to use small samples of tissue and draw relevant conclusions from those samples. Unlike other approaches that require larger sample sizes, this particular process allows studies to use a small sample size extracted from certain regions of a mouse’s brain.

For their study, the researchers used a drug similar to LSD known as DOI, which they administered to mice which had been trained to fear particular triggers. They then analyzed brain samples for changes in gene expression and the epigenome, discovering that epigenomic variations lasted longer in comparison to gene expression changes, which increased the likelihood of them linking to the long term effects of psychedelics.

The researchers also found that after they had administered one dose of DOI, mice that had reacted to triggers didn’t respond to those triggers anxiously anymore. In addition, the brains of the mice also demonstrated effects, even after the drug could no longer be detected in their tissues.

The researchers believe that observing the effects of psychedelic substances on brain tissues is important because it allows them to learn why the substances work in a certain way.

Lu states that observing molecular changes in animal models, such as mice, will allow researchers to understand the biological processes at work. The researchers note that while the brains of mice are different from the brains of humans, the similarities are enough to make well-founded comparisons between the two.

The study’s findings were reported in the “Cell Reports” journal.

Many companies are also conducting R&D activities aimed at commercializing psychedelic treatments for mental health conditions and other indications. Those companies include Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF).

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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