Psychedelics interact with the immune system

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The abrupt prohibition of psychedelic research lasted decades. What did we miss? Are there direct pharmacological effects of psychedelics on autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, chronic low-grade infections?

The recent paper originated from the University of Oslo, Norway, and published in Immunology Letters Journal discussed the validity of adding psychedelics to the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. “Contradictory to this scheduling decision, research currently suggests that class psychedelic compounds do not show evidence of addiction potential and exhibit anti-addiction properties while also appearing to be generally physiologically safe, non-toxic, and exhibiting minimal individual and societal harms,” postulated the research team from…


Empathy as a genetic variable

Narcissist, Narcissism, Empathy, Prosocial, Brain, Genetics
Narcissist, Narcissism, Empathy, Prosocial, Brain, Genetics
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Scientists now understand how empathy works. Can you talk someone out of narcissism? Does elusive childhood trauma cause a lack of empathy? Most probably, the answer is no. Narcissist. Will. Never. Change.

Why? Genetics.

Empathy is a reaction of an individual to the observed experience of others. Empathy can be measured; it is called a multifaceted empathy test. With a maximum score of 84 and a minimum score of 28, the self-reported questionnaire underlines the full spectrum of human empathy. The opposite of empathy is schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is a complex emotion when one takes pleasure from observing someone’s suffering.

Genetics

One…


A single dose of psilocybin “couples” “uncoupled” brain networks

Art by @andeveaux

If consciousness is a state of being awake and aware, does it mean you are unconscious in your sleep?

For many years the majority of researchers considered dreamless sleep being equal to an unconscious state. Consciousness, however, is not a binary on/off state. Many states of consciousness are well known — dreamless sleep, REM sleep, sleepwalking, waking consciousness, vegetative state, and finally, a state of coma. More precisely, sleep is a state of reduced consciousness, and coma is the state of unconsciousness. …


Psilocybin may soon be legally available for young and old

Art by Anna Deveaux

Did you know that psychedelics acceptance is just around the corner? Robust and durable beneficial mind-altering properties of single or few-doses psilocybin can be used respectfully by carefully selected young and old individuals.

Let's be clear. Some botanicals including cannabis are currently still listed on Schedule 1 of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971). Scheduled substances may or may not lack therapeutic effects or may have a high potential for abuse/dependence, and may cause serious adverse effects. Psilocybe mushrooms, on the other hand, are not scheduled under the UN Convention, but many countries introduced specific laws to control…


Science is one step closer to reverse the damage of chronic stress

Canva

Stress is inevitable and suffering is universal, but victimhood is optional. The choice is yours, says Dr.Eger, who survived a concentration camp during World War II and reflected on life in her book. However, it is not easy to change the brain by using the brain itself. Stress causes maladaptive plasticity within the brain’s reward circuit. The mood and anxiety disorders affect one out of every six people in their lifetime and cost the United States economy an excess of $50 billion per year.

The recent good news stemmed from new studies attempting to tune the brain’s plasticity back to…


Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

I have known her for a very long time. Until her eighties, she would go to bed hungry almost every night to preserve the slimmer younger-looking figure. An avid swimmer, she firmly believed that one needs to move daily and leave the table hungry. I could see a constant obsession with self-image and self-appearance. She would despise sick, old, or overweight people. Underneath the apparent narcissism, there was a deeply seated self-preservation. She succeeded the race against the time — she looked much younger than her peers, and she was free of chronic or acute health conditions.

Narcissism was her…


Origin and gender bias of narcissistic personality disorder

Photo by Fatih Kılıç on Unsplash

A neurotypical person falls prey to a narcissist. Why? It’s evolution. A narcissistic personality disorder is an evolutionary adaptation that serves some humans.

Historically, a tendency prevailed to underemphasize feminine narcissism and describe narcissism as a male syndrome. A constant search for prey is not a male syndrome as previously thought. New research from the University of London found gender differences in Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are not so male-centered. Narcissism is a pathology (of self). That particular psychotype is centered around four main personality features:

  • interpersonal exploitativeness
  • arrogance
  • the belief of…

The dictionary of change

Anna Deveaux, M.Sc.

Psychedelics may be the oldest class of pharmacological agents known to man that was neglected in the last fifty years. Are you ready for the psychedelic-assisted therapy renaissance? The FDA did not yet approve hallucinogens for treating mood disorders, but a broader acceptance is soon expected. Clinical and recreational use of psychedelics is not at all the same. Clinical use equates quality of the drugs, clinical monitoring, and the therapeutic paradigm. There is a need to train not only psychologists, psychiatrists but also nurses to understand the medical language of psychedelics.

According to a recent publication


Real-life aristocrats

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Viruses and bacterias are at the top of the worry list. The tiny invaders are hiding in plain sight. Biomedical research centered around irradicating human diseases needs many crabs and, to be more precise, blue crabs. Horseshoe crabs’ blood is essential for vaccine production. The blood is rich in copper, and it clots in the presence of the bacterial toxin. Horseshoe crabs’ blood uniqueness has helped the species to survive for 450 million years. Blood is now drained from live crabs, to be used as an essential production raw material. …


I ordered a Harvard-backed health tool, and here is what happened

Modern medicine frequently disappoints individuals by giving broadly generalized guidance. The conventional guidelines are often based on yesterday’s scientific knowledge; consumers are enthusiastic about taking charge of their health and advocating for themselves.

Empowering individuals to make health decisions is a significant global trend.

No two people are the same. The opportunity to look “under the genetic hood” — raw genetic data from 23andMe (or similar) is genuinely fascinating. I ordered an InsideTracker analysis, a so-called DIY report. I uploaded my raw DNA data to the InsideTracker website. I received a 36-page report that promised ultra-personalized science-driven recommendations tailored to…

Anna Deveaux, M.Sc.

learner, writer, biotech investor, research translation, drug development, genetics. 4-lingual.

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