Psychological and Biochemical Effects of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Abstract

Stoll1 and Condrau2 have shown that the psychological effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD–25), an amide of one of the constituents of ergot, are similar to those obtained in mescaline intoxication, but are produced by the oral administration of quantities as small as 0.02–0.06 mgm. While, in our experiments, the symptoms varied greatly from one person to another, the basic pattern of reaction seemed the same in twenty subjects who were members of the hospital staff. After initial slight autonomic symptoms, such as enlarged pupils, feeling of cold, ‘goose flesh’ and mild nausea, the most marked changes were emotional, a pleasurable feeling tone amounting to euphoria and bursts of laughter ; this sometimes alternated with, or later was followed by, depression. There was also a general complaint of a feeling of lassitude and muscular weakness. In spite of some difficulty in concentrating, consciousness remained clear and introspection almost undisturbed. Visual illusions and hallucinations, especially illusions of movement, colour and distortions of the body image were frequently present.

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References

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MAYER-GROSS, W., McADAM, W. & WALKER, J. Psychological and Biochemical Effects of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Nature 168, 827–828 (1951). https://doi.org/10.1038/168827b0

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