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Great scientific news on ayahuasca’s therapeutic potentials

According to Jordi Riba’s presentation at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelics Research ‪that was held this weekend in Amsterdam harmine and tetrahydroharmine potently stimulates the formation of new neurons from stem cells in vitro. This data has not been published yet but opens a whole new avenue of research. Ayahuasca harmala alkaloids could potentially be used in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, This is a revolutionary finding in the field!

This is the summary of his presentation:

Recent advances in the study of the neural mechanisms and therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca

Background: Ayahuasca induces an introspective experience characterized by emotion, visions and autobiographic memories. Increasing evidence suggests that ayahuasca has therapeutic potential. However, the mechanisms underlying these benefits are poorly understood. Objectives: Here we present data on the neural and psychological mechanisms associated with ayahuasca. Methods: Studies of brain oscillations, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and psychological facets. Results: Ayahuasca disinhibits posterior sensory processing areas, sub-acutely decreases neurometabolic markers of functional activity in the posterior cingulate cortex, and reduces judgmental processing of experiences. Conclusions: Ayahuasca modifies ordinary neural hierarchies, decreases activity of key areas of the default mode network and allows an accepting and detached view of one’s own thoughts and emotions. We argue that these mechanisms may be useful in the treatment of several psychiatric conditions.

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Beatriz Caiuby Labate or Bia Labate was born in São Paulo in 1971. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in 1996. In 2000 she obtained a master’s degree in social anthropology from the same university, receiving the Prize for Best Master’s Thesis from the National Association for Graduate Studies in Social Science (ANPOCS). Her doctoral research in social anthropology at UNICAMP focuses on the internationalization of Peruvian ayahuasca “vegetalismo.” She is co-editor of the books O uso ritual da ayahuasca (Mercado de Letras 2002) and O uso ritual das plantas de poder (Mercado de Letras, 2005) and author of the book A reinvenção do uso da ayahuasca nos centros urbanos (Mercado de Letras, 2004). She is a researcher with the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP). In February 2005 she founded Alto das Estrelas, a private institute which promotes political activism, anthropological research and public events, in addition to researching the cultivation and preparation of vegetal species.

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