Hallucinogenic Compound in Ayahuasca Shows Therapeutic Promise

Graphical abstract summarizing antidepressant effects of DMT administration in rodents.

Ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian tisane used in religious and healing ceremonies, contains a complex mixture of psychoactive natural products.  The Olson Lab has recently discovered that N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the principal hallucinogenic alkaloid in this concoction, produces antidepressant effects in rodents and reduces fear in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This work highlights the potential for using psychedelics and related compounds for treating neuropsychiatric disorders.

More information at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00134