Study Finds Ayahuasca Affects Epigenetic Gene Expression
In this Gaia News special investigation, we take a look at groundbreaking new research being done on ayahuasca, an ancient psychedelic plant medicine showing great promise in addressing the most difficult to treat mental health conditions, and may even change our DNA.
Dr. Simon Ruffle is a psychiatrist and researcher who led this study conducted in the Peruvian Amazon.
“Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew that is used in the Amazon rainforest. It’s been used for at least hundreds of years and there’s some evidence that suggests that it may have been used for thousands of years,” Ruffell said.
“It’s used for a wide variety of purposes and normally by indigenous tribes. It’s used most commonly, now, for healing. And there’s been a lot of interest from people from the West going to the Amazon rainforest in order to drink ayahuasca. And also ayahuasca is spreading all over the world and now can be found on pretty much every continent.”
Watch Part 1:
In part two we look at how researchers found a statistically significant change in the expression of the SIGMAR-1 gene which is thought to be involved with how traumatic memories are recalled.
Watch Part 2:
New Studies Find Psychedelics Highly Effective for Alcoholism
New studies show unprecedented success in the treatment of alcoholism with psychedelic therapy.
The psychedelic revolution in mental health has produced overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrating the great efficacy of psychedelics in the treatment of various mental health disorders. Now, several new studies involving the drugs ketamine and MDMA are showing significant promise in the treatment of alcoholism.
Dr. Ben Sessa is a psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Awakn Life Sciences, an English biotech company that is at the forefront of the research, development, and delivery of psychedelic medicines.
The company is especially focused on the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD, given how prevalent and challenging it is to treat.
“Alcoholism is a huge public health problem. It’s also a psychiatric condition that’s very poorly treated with very poor outcomes with traditional methods,” Sessa said. “Relapse to drinking after getting dry is around 80 to 90 percent at 12 months. That’s an embarrassingly poor statistic. Psychedelics offer a completely new approach; they offer the patient to explore the root causes of addiction, which so often is trauma. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is an intensive upfront piece of work that gets the patient better, so they don’t have to keep coming back. It is a completely different paradigm shift to the way we currently manage patients in maintenance therapies.”
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter and Awakn Life Sciences is the world’s first to examine the use of ketamine to treat AUD in a randomized controlled trial.
“Ketamine is a very well-established human medicine. It is indeed the only psychedelic that’s licensed as a medicine, as an anesthetic medicine, and has been used since the 60s as such. It’s an incredibly safe medicine. When it’s used at a much lower dose, it produces an altered state of consciousness. What we do in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with ketamine, is we use this altered state of consciousness to affect a more effective and deeper form of psychotherapy. So, we’re using ketamine as an adjunct to psychotherapy to treat addictions,” he said.