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How Ayahuasca Changes Brain

Psychedelic drugs nowadays are gain popularity as therapy as you can see at https://www.yourhighesttruth.com/mother-ayahuasca-ritual-why-she-calls-you/. In a study by Bouso (2015) it was suggested that, despite the growing knowledge in the field of the neuronal mechanisms of the effects of these drugs, the impact of their long-term consumption remains unclear. It appears that serotonin (5HT) receptor agonists alter transcription factors associated with synaptic plasticity.

That is, medicines such as ayahuasca are able to create structural modifications in the brain. In distinct, in the study we have already mentioned, Magnetic Resonance (MR) pictures were acquired from the brains of 22 habitual ayahuasca users and 22 non-consumers. The objective was to estimate the viscosity of the cerebral cortex in both parties and purchase it. It was found that the subjects who took ayahuasca had a significantly thinner posterior cingulate cortex than the control, a structure associated with attention, emotion, and memory.

It was also related to the intensity and time of consumption, scores in religiosity and spirituality; so that more intense and prolonged consumption of time in highly spiritual subjects was associated with a smaller thickness of this brain area. An important effect of this drug is to increase blood flow in the prefrontal brain area right after taking it. However, the study by Bouso showed that, despite this effect, cognitive deficiency in long-term ayahuasca users has not been found before. These authors studied the consequences of ingesting this drug on neuropsychological performance, especially in executive function (those responsible for mental control, planning, inhibition, and decision-making) and working memory (which allows us to perform tasks to the end successfully remembering all its elements).

They were evaluated by different neuropsychological tests for 11 habitual users of ayahuasca and 13 occasional, before ingestion and after. The results showed that working memory deteriorated, while reaction times to stimuli were shorter (they reacted faster), maintaining this even after taking ayahuasca. In another test, an interesting problem was found in conflict resolution in most casual users, while those who had used it for a longer time throughout their lives presented better performance. There may be compensatory or neuromodulatory effects associated with long-term intake of ayahuasca, i.e., brain changes through prolonged use of the drug.