what are the effects of lsd on the brain

LSD affects the brain by altering perception, thoughts, and feelings, and can cause hallucinations that can last for many hours[1][2]. LSD interacts with proteins on the surface of brain cells called serotonin receptors, specifically the 5-HT2AR receptor[1][2]. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that helps brain cells communicate[2]. LSD appears to act through this receptor, which is involved in regulating mood, perception, and cognition[1][2]. A 2017 study found that LSD interacts with its target protein in the human brain, which is a receptor for the chemical messenger serotonin[1]. The study determined the structure of LSD interacting with its target protein in the human brain, which could lead to new avenues for future drug development[1]. LSD also causes changes in the brain’s blood flow and electrical activity, and increases areas of communication in the brain[3]. These effects on the brain can result in rapid mood changes, altered sense of self, hallucinations, synesthesia, increased blood pressure, fast heart rate, increase in body temperature, sweating, numbness and weakness, and tremors[2][3]. LSD perturbs the Excitation/Inhibition balance of the brain, which has been discussed in the context of psychosis and more recently in the context of psychedelic-induced hallucinations and synesthesia[4]. LSD reduces brain activity in several structures, including the right middle temporal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex, cerebellum, and left superior frontal and postcentral gyrus, which appear as hallucinations[5]. LSD simultaneously creates hyper-connections across the brain, allowing the functions of seemingly unrelated regions of the organ to ooze into one another[6].

[1] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/protein-structure-reveals-how-lsd-affects-brain
[2] https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/special-topic/substance-use-lsd
[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/does-lsd-kill-brain-cells
[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-023-01574-8
[5] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295966
[6] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lsd-may-chip-away-at-the-brain-s-sense-of-self-network/

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