Abstract

Research has shown that psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), have profound anti-inflammatory properties mediated by 5-HT2A receptor signaling, supporting their evaluation as a therapeutic for neuroinflammation associated with neurodegenerative disease.

OBJECTIVE:

This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of orally repeated administration of 5 μg, 10 μg, and 20 μg LSD in older healthy individuals. In the current paper, we present safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic measures that relate to safety, tolerability, and dose response.

METHODS:

This was a phase 1 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. Volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 dose groups (5 μg, 10 μg, 20 μg LSD, and placebo), and received their assigned dose on six occasions (i.e., every 4 days).

RESULTS:

Forty-eight older healthy volunteers (mean age = 62.9 years) received placebo (n = 12), 5 μg (n = 12), 10 μg (n = 12), or 20 μg (n = 12) LSD. LSD plasma levels were undetectable for the 5 μg group and peak blood plasma levels for the 10 μg and 20 μg groups occurred at 30 min. LSD was well tolerated, and the frequency of adverse events was no higher than for placebo. Assessments of cognition, balance, and proprioception revealed no impairment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest safety and tolerability of orally administered 5 μg, 10 μg, and 20 μg LSD every fourth day over a 21-day period and support further clinical development of LSD for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Family, N., Maillet, E. L., Williams, L. T., Krediet, E., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Williams, T. M., … & Raz, S. (2019). Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of low dose lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in healthy older volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 1-13., https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-019-05417-7

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