Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent cognitive diseases in the world with more than 30 million global cases. It affects your motor skills and function, memory and attention span, and self-control, causing a gradual cognitive decline.
Currently, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or the subtypes of dementia. In recent years, however, research has indicated that psychedelic therapy may be effective in reducing the symptoms of the disease and slowing its progression. Psychedelics such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), in particular, have been found to have an important role in treating this neurological condition.
How can psychedelic therapy help people cope with Alzheimer’s disease? Let’s take a closer look.
Individuals struggling with or vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have a high concentration of the 5HT-2A receptor in their hippocampus or prefrontal cortex regions. Psychedelics contain components that act as 5HT-2A receptor agonists and produce a biological response.
These receptor agonists bind to the receptors and produce a potent anti-inflammatory effect that reduces cellular stress. The anti-inflammatory effect also modulates the activity of the pro-inflammatory molecules present in the brain. In doing so, psychedelics help reduce the inflammation in the brain.
Neuroplasticity & Neurogenesis
Psychedelics also induce neuroplasticity and enhance neural connectivity. Research has shown that when cultured human cells were treated with varying psychedelic compounds, they experienced growth. The projections that received signals from neighboring neurons and connective junctions demonstrated significant enhancement.
Since the loss of neurons and connective junctions is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s believed that psychedelics can help with neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.
Mood & Mental Health
Plenty of studies have been conducted on the effects of the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic medicine, especially their efficacy in alleviating anxiety, depression, and stress. Researchers have found that using psychedelics can help improve patients’ moods and mental wellbeing.
When a person is diagnosed with or is experiencing mild cognitive impairment, their mood is likely to be adversely affected. Controlled doses of psilocybin and other psychedelics can create an improvement in their mood and anxiety.
At The Conscious Fund, we fund psychedelic medicine startups with their early-stage psychedelic medicine investments.