New Paradigms of Old Psychedelics in Schizophrenia

Danish Mahmood, Sattam K. Alenezi, Md. Jamir Anwar, Faizul Azam, Kamal A. Qureshi, Mariusz Jaremko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline exhibit intense effects on the human brain and behaviour. In recent years, there has been a surge in studies investigating these drugs because clinical studies have shown that these once banned drugs are well tolerated and efficacious in medically supervised low doses called microdosing. Psychedelics have demonstrated efficacy in treating neuropsychiatric maladies such as difficult to treat anxiety, depression, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, suicidal ideation, posttraumatic stress disorder, and also in treating substance use disorders. The primary mode of action of psychedelics is activation of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors affecting cognition and brain connectivity through the modulation of several downstream signalling pathways via complex molecular mechanisms. Some atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs) primarily exhibit pharmacological actions through 5-HT2A receptors, which are also the target of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic drugs including the newer second generation along with the glutamatergic APDs are thought to mediate pharmacological actions through a common pathway, i.e., a complex serotonin–glutamate receptor interaction in cortical neurons of pyramidal origin. Furthermore, psychedelic drugs have been reported to act via a complex interplay between 5HT2A, mGlu2/3, and NMDA receptors to mediate neurobehavioral and pharmacological actions. Findings from recent studies have suggested that serotoninergic and glutamatergic neurotransmissions are very closely connected in producing pharmacological responses to psychedelics and antipsychotic medication. Emerging hypotheses suggest that psychedelics work through brain resetting mechanisms. Hence, there is a need to dig deeply into psychedelic neurobiology to uncover how psychedelics could best be used as scientific tools to benefit psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 23 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-02
Acknowledgements: The authors express deep gratitude to the Unaizah College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia, for support in academic and research. The APC was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Molecular Medicine

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