Low Doses of LSD Acutely Increase BDNF Blood Plasma Levels in Healthy Volunteers

Nadia R.P.W. Hutten, Natasha L. Mason, Patrick C. Dolder, Eef L. Theunissen, Friederike Holze, Matthias E Liechti, Nimmy Varghese, Anne Eckert, Amanda Feilding, Johannes G. Ramaekers, Kim P.C. Kuypers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Despite preclinical evidence for psychedelic-induced neuroplasticity, confirmation in humans is grossly lacking. Given the increased interest in using low doses of psychedelics for psychiatric indications and the importance of neuroplasticity in the therapeutic response, this placebo-controlled within-subject study investigated the effect of single low doses of LSD (5, 10, and 20 μg) on circulating BDNF levels in healthy volunteers. Blood samples were collected every 2 h over 6 h, and BDNF levels were determined afterward in blood plasma using ELISA. The findings demonstrated an increase in BDNF blood plasma levels at 4 h (5 μg) and 6 h (5 and 20 μg) compared to that for the placebo. The finding that LSD acutely increases BDNF levels warrants studies in patient populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
JournalACS Pharmacology & Translational Science
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • psychedelics
  • LSD
  • neuroplasticity
  • BDNF
  • microdosing
  • placebo-controlled clinical trial
  • NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR
  • BRAIN
  • KETAMINE
  • PSYCHEDELICS

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