Study Finds Genetic Link to Effects of Psychedelic Drugs

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Although they show great promise, psychedelic drugs do not seem to be effective as a treatment for everyone. Common genetic variations in a particular serotonin receptor could be responsible for the varying effects psychedelic drugs have on different individuals, according to a recently published study from researchers at the University of North Carolina. The 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor, also known as 5-HT2A, is responsible for mediating how a person reacts to psychedelic drugs. Prior research has also determined that psychedelic drugs stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain. The goal of the research was to explore how variations in this one serotonin receptor changes the activity of four psychedelic therapies.

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Common genetic variations in a particular serotonin receptor could be responsible for the varying effects psychedelic drugs have on different individuals, according to a recently published study from researchers at the University of North Carolina. The study, which comes at a time of reinvigorated research into the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs, could shed light on why the substances seem to have dramatically positive effects for some patients with serious mental health conditions while others find little therapeutic value in the drugs.

Bryan Roth, MD, PhD, led a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) to...

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