Serotonin and DMT

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"The earliest psychopharmacological experiments in humans and animals suggested that LSD, mescaline, DMT, and other psychedelic drugs exerted their primary effects on the brain's serotonin system. Animal research, in contrast to human studies, has continued over the last thirty years and has established conclusively this neurotransmitter's crucial role.
Serotonin has reigned as the royal neurotransmitter for decades, and there's little sign of change. The new, safer, and more effective antipsychotic medications all have unique effects on serotonin. the new generation of antidepressants, of which Prozac is the most famous, also specifically modify the function of this neurotransmitter.
We now believe that psychedelics mimic the effects of serotonin in some cases and block them in others. Researchers are now concerned with determining which of the twenty or so different types of serotonin receptors psychedelics attach to. These multiple docking sites for serotonin exist in high concentrations on nerve cells in brain areas regulating a host of important psychological and physical processes: cardiovascular, hormone, and temperature regulation, as well as sleep, feeding, mood, perception, and motor control." (38- 39)


"DMT is closely related to serotonin, the neurotransmitter that psychedelics affect so widely. The pharmacology of DMT is similar to that of other well-known psychedelics. It affects receptor sites for serotonin in much the same way that LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline do. These serotonin receptors are widespread throughout the body and can be found in blood vessels, muscle, glands, and skin.
However, the brain is where DMT exerts its most interesting effects. There, sites rich in these DMT-sensitive serotonin receptors are involved in mood, perception, and thought. Although the brain denies access to most drugs and chemicals, it takes a particular and remarkable fancy to DMT. It is not streching the truth to suggest that he brain "hungers" for it." (52)


"After demonstrating what DMT did, the biomedical model requires determining how those effects occur. These are mechanism-of-action studies. As our research was pharmacologically based, these follow-up experiments would attempt to establish which brain receptors mediated DMT's effects.
The first of these is the pindolol project. Pindolol is a drug used in medical practice to lower high blood pressure. it does this by blocking certain adrenaline receptors. Another property of pindolol is that it obstructs one particular typ e of serotonin receptor in the brain, the serotonin "1A" site. Since DMT attaches firmly to 1A receptors in animal brains, this site might be involved in DMT's effects. If, for example, blocking the 1A site with pindolol made for a "less emotional" experience relative to DMT alone, we would propose that the 1A site regulated the emotional responses brought on b DMT. as it turned out, pindolol markedly enhanced the psychological and blood pressure effects of DMT." (139)


- excerpts from DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman (2001)

serotonin, DMT, chemical composition
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