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Does acute stress play a role in the lasting therapeutic effects of psychedelic drugs?
Univ Chicago, IL 60637 USA.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Psykiatricentrum, Psykiatriska kliniken i Linköping. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
Univ Calif Los Angeles, CA USA.
2023 (English)In: Neuropsychopharmacology, ISSN 0893-133X, E-ISSN 1740-634X, Vol. 48, no 10, p. 1422-1424Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Psychedelic drugs, when used in the context of psychotherapy, can produce significant and long-lasting memories with enduring beneficial effects. Yet, the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie these beneficial effects remain a mystery. Here, we suggest that both the quality and durability of memories of the drug-facilitated therapeutic experience may be mediated, in part, by the acute stress responses induced by the drugs. It is known that high doses of psychedelic drugs activate autonomic and hormonal stress responses. For evolutionarily adaptive reasons, acute stress is known to i) instill meaning to the immediate context in which it is experienced, and ii) lead to the formation of salient and lasting memories of the events surrounding the stress. Thus, the stress-inducing effect of psychedelic drugs may contribute to the reported sense of meaning, as well as the durability of the memory of the drug experience. When used in a therapeutic context these actions may i) enhance the salience of insights gained during the experience and ii) strengthen the memories formed by these experiences. Future empirical studies will help to determine whether acute stress contributes to the emotional significance and lasting effects of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGERNATURE , 2023. Vol. 48, no 10, p. 1422-1424
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-196743DOI: 10.1038/s41386-023-01642-zISI: 001020154000003PubMedID: 37391591OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-196743DiVA, id: diva2:1790248
Available from: 2023-08-22 Created: 2023-08-22 Last updated: 2024-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Center for Social and Affective NeuroscienceFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesPsykiatriska kliniken i LinköpingCenter for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV)
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