Psychedelic drug shows promise as a new treatment for allergic asthma

Over the last few years, testing psychedelic drugs against depression and other diseases of the brain has once again grown fashionable in some drug research groups. But now a team from Louisiana State University says that they have preclinical evidence to suggest that one of those drugs in the neurosciences spotlight--(R)-DOI (2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine)--could work against allergic asthma.

(R)-DOI often surfaces as a substitute for LSD in party circles, even though there are some troubling side effects that LSD is known to steer clear of.

Charles Nichols

Charles Nichols, an associate professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, says that triggering the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A had a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Specifically using (R)-DOI, they were able to prevent "pulmonary inflammation, mucus hyperproduction, airways hyperresponsiveness and turned off certain key genes in the lung involved in immune response that together blocked the development of allergic asthma in their mouse model."

"Overall, given the recent interest and success using these drugs for psychiatric therapies in the clinic, our research at LSU Health New Orleans is the first to show that they have potential to heal the body as well as the mind," concludes Nichols.

- here's the release

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