Tag Archives: Alternative Treatments

Psychedelics Show Promise in Treating Mental Illness

Summary: A growing body of evidence suggests psychedelics including psilocybin and LSD show promise in providing lasting relief from symptoms for those suffering some mental health disorders. Researchers found DOI, a similar drug to LSD, reduced negative behavioral responses following fear triggers in mouse models of anxiety.

Source: Virginia Tech

One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. But standard treatments can be slow to work and cause side effects.

To find better solutions, a Virginia Tech researcher has joined a renaissance of research on a long-banned class of drugs that could combat several forms of mental illness and, in mice, have achieved long-lasting results from just one dose.

Using a process his lab developed in 2015, Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is helping his Virginia Commonwealth University collaborators study the epigenomic effects of psychedelics.

Their findings give insight into how psychedelic substances like psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, and similar drugs may relieve symptoms of addiction, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The drugs appear to work faster and last longer than current medications—all with fewer side effects.

The project hinged on Lu’s genomic analysis. His process allows researchers to use very small samples of tissue, down to hundreds to thousands of cells, and draw meaningful conclusions from them. Older processes require much larger sample sizes, so Lu’s approach enables the studies using just a small quantity of material from a specific region of a mouse brain.

And looking at the effects of psychedelics on brain tissues is especially important.

Researchers can do human clinical trials with the substances, taking blood and urine samples and observing behaviors, Lu said. “But the thing is, the behavioral data will tell you the result, but it doesn’t tell you why it works in a certain way,” he said.

But looking at molecular changes in animal models, such as the brains of mice, allows scientists to peer into what Lu calls the black box of neuroscience to understand the biological processes at work. While the brains of mice are very different from human brains, Lu said there are enough similarities to make valid comparisons between the two.

VCU pharmacologist Javier González-Maeso has made a career of studying psychedelics, which had been banned after recreational use of the drugs was popularized in the 1960s. But in recent years, regulators have begun allowing research on the drugs to proceed.

In work by other researchers, primarily on psilocybin, a substance found in more than 200 species of fungi, González-Maeso said psychedelics have shown promise in alleviating major depression and anxiety disorders. “They induce profound effects in perception,” he said. “But I was interested in how these drugs actually induce behavioral effects in mice.”

To explore the genomic basis of those effects, he teamed up with Lu.

This shows a psychedelic brain
The drugs appear to work faster and last longer than current medications—all with fewer side effects. Image is in the public domain

In the joint Virginia Tech—VCU study, González-Maeso’s team used 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, or DOI, a drug similar to LSD, administering it to mice that had been trained to fear certain triggers. Lu’s lab then analyzed brain samples for changes in the epigenome and the gene expression. They discovered that the epigenomic variations were generally more long-lasting than the changes in gene expression, thus more likely to link with the long-term effects of a psychedelic.

After one dose of DOI, the mice that had reacted to fear triggers no longer responded to them with anxious behaviors. Their brains also showed effects, even after the substance was no longer detectable in the tissues, Lu said. The findings were published in the October issue of Cell Reports.

It’s a hopeful development for those who suffer from mental illness and the people who love them. In fact, it wasn’t just the science that drew Lu to the project.

For him, it’s also personal.

“My older brother has had schizophrenia for the last 30 years, basically. So I’ve always been intrigued by mental health,” Lu said. “And then once I found that our approach can be applied to look at processes like that—that’s why I decided to do research in the field of brain neuroscience.”

González-Maeso said research on psychedelics is still in its early stages, and there’s much work to be done before treatments derived from them could be widely available.

Abstract

Prolonged epigenomic and synaptic plasticity alterations following single exposure to a psychedelic in mice

Highlights

  • Exposure to the psychedelic drug DOI results in enduring molecular adaptations
  • Post-acute DOI unveils phenotypes akin to antidepressant adaptations
  • Concurrent occurrence of synaptic plasticity mediated via 5-HT2AR

Summary

Clinical evidence suggests that rapid and sustained antidepressant action can be attained with a single exposure to psychedelics. However, the biological substrates and key mediators of psychedelics’ enduring action remain unknown.

Here, we show that a single administration of the psychedelic DOI produces fast-acting effects on frontal cortex dendritic spine structure and acceleration of fear extinction via the 5-HT2A receptor.

Additionally, a single dose of DOI leads to changes in chromatin organization, particularly at enhancer regions of genes involved in synaptic assembly that stretch for days after the psychedelic exposure. These DOI-induced alterations in the neuronal epigenome overlap with genetic loci associated with schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Together, these data support that epigenomic-driven changes in synaptic plasticity sustain psychedelics’ long-lasting antidepressant action but also warn about potential substrate overlap with genetic risks for certain psychiatric conditions.

SOURCE: https://neurosciencenews.com/psychedelics-doi-lsd-anxiety-19682/

Researchers Demonstrate How Cancer Cells Are Obliterated By Resonant Frequencies

Source Collective Evolution
ByJeffrey Roberts

A new cancer treatment is using resonant frequencies to shatter various types of cancer cells.

In his Tedx Talk, “Shattering Cancer with Resonant Frequencies,” Associate Professor and Director of Music at Skidmore College, Anthony Holland, tells the audience that he has a dream. That dream is to see a future where children no longer have to suffer from the effects of toxic cancer drugs or radiation treatment, and today he and his team believe they have found the answer.

Many of us have likely seen or heard of people shattering glass with the sound of their voice. This amazing feat, Holland explains, is due to a phenomenon called resonant frequency. When someone taps a glass, it emits a natural resonant frequency. To induce shattering, a person must match the resonant frequency of the glass with the vibration of their voice, getting louder and louder until the glass finally breaks.

Taking this phenomenon into account, Holland and a team of researchers wondered if they could induce the same effect in a living microorganism or cell. They came across the work of a Chinese researcher, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, who conjectured that live cells exhibit similar properties much like liquid crystals do. With this in mind, Holland and his team wondered if they could affect a cell by sending a specific electric signal, much like we do with LCD technology.

After searching the patent database for a device that could accomplish the latter, they came across a therapeutic device invented by a New Mexico physician by the name of Dr. James Bare. The device uses a plasma antenna that pulses on and off, which, as Holland explains, is important because a constant pulse of electricity would produce too much heat and therefore destroy the cell.

For the next 15 months, Holland and his team searched for the exact frequency that would directly shatter a living microorganism. The magic number finally came in the form of two inputs, one high frequency and one low. The high frequency had to be exactly eleven times higher than the low, which in music is known as the 11th harmonic. At this 11th harmonic, micro organisms begin to shatter like crystal glass. advertisement

After practicing until they got efficient at the procedure, Holland began working with a team of cancer researchers in an attempt to destroy targeted cancer cells. First they looked at pancreatic cancer cells, eventually discovering these cells were specifically vulnerable between 100,000 – 300,000 Hz.

Next they moved onto leukemia cells, and were able to shatter the leukemia cells before they could divide. But, as Holland explains in his talk, he needed bigger stats in order to make the treatment a viable option for cancer patients. So what kind of numbers did they produce?

Oscillating pulsed electric field (OPEF) technology is literally shattering targeted cancer cells like crystal glass.

Oscillating pulsed electric field (OPEF) technology is literally shattering targeted cancer cells like crystal glass.

In repeated and controlled experiments, the frequencies, known as oscillating pulsed electric field (OPEF) technology, killed an average of 25% to 40% of leukemia cells, going as high as 60% in some cases. Furthermore, the intervention even slowed cancer cell growth rates up to 65%. It was a double whammy.

The team also found success attacking ovarian cancer cells. Most recently, they tested the treatment against the deadly super bug MRSA, an organism that is resistant to many common antibiotics. Thousands of people die every year from MRSA, Holland explains, and the drugs normally used against the pathogen are known to have toxic side effects. Incredibly, the frequency therapy eliminated antibiotic resistance, and researchers were able to introduce a small amount of antibiotic to kill the bug.

Holland hopes that one day the treatment will override the toxic conventional treatments currently available for patients. At the end of his speech, he describes his vision for the future of cancer clinics:

I believe the future of children’s cancer hospitals will be a different place. They will be a place where children gather and make new friends, they probably wont even know they are sick. They’ll draw pictures, colour in their books, and play with their toys, all the while unaware that above them, a beautiful, blue plasma light is emanating healing, pulsing fields, shattering their cancer, painlessly, and non-toxically, one cell at a time. Thank you.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that in 1920 that Royal Rife first identified the human cancer virus using the world’s most powerful microscope. After identifying and isolating the virus, he decided to culture it on salted pork. At the time this was a very good method for culturing a virus. He then took the culture and injected it into 400 rats which as you might expect, created cancer in all 400 rats very quickly. The next step for Rife is where things took an interesting turn. He later found a frequency of electromagnetic energy that would cause the cancer virus to diminish completely when entered into the energy field. The great discovery led Rife to create a device that could be tuned to output the frequency that would destroy the cancer. He was then able to treat the cancer within both rats and patients who were within close proximity of the device. You can read more of that here.

See Holland’s Tedx Talk below.