A study developed by Amanda Feilding in collaboration with experts in Geriatrics and neurodegenerative diseases from the University of Basel
This research, which is grounded in compelling pre-clinical research and anecdotal evidence, offers a new hope for improving the quality-of-life of people suffering from dementia and that of their caregivers and families, and possibly for slowing down, or even reversing the progression of the disease, through the use of small, sub-hallucinogenic doses of LSD.
Last year, Amanda received the most astonishing report concerning a 97-year-old lady (SR) suffering from advanced dementia who had been temporarily ‘brought back’ to her previous level of vitality, wit and sense of self with a microdose of LSD. SR was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia 11 years earlier, at the age of 88. At 97, her condition deteriorated dramatically, to the point where her caregiver, with the agreement of her family, decided to investigate whether a microdose of LSD might help spring her out of her deep apathetic (almost vegetative) state.
According to SR’s caregiver and family, the effects were nothing short of remarkable, restoring SR to a full state of awareness, with presence of mind, wit, and personality. What had previously manifested as despair, hopelessness and distress, was transformed into a fully awake condition of being able to talk, read, and relate to those around her. Her sense of self had been restored. This was maintained by a protocol of microdosing LSD.
“I believe that the effects of microdosing for my mother were simply extraordinary. For the last four months of her life, she experienced a well-being and happiness, and a memory recall, that was nothing short of transformative. My only wish is that we’d started doing this much earlier… many years earlier.” – SR’s daughter
While AD treatment strategies have largely focussed on beta-amyloid and tau protein pathologies, the synapse itself may also be a critical endpoint to consider regarding disease modification. Research conducted as part of the Beckley/Brazil Psychedelic Research Programme has demonstrated the potential for psychedelics, particularly LSD, to increase the expression of proteins involved in the growth of new synapses and to enhance memory and exploratory behaviour in animals. Our microdosing research, as part of the Beckley/Maastricht Psychedelic Research Programme, has also shown that sub-hallucinogenic doses of LSD can increase the level of Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a key protein involved in neuroplasticity, which patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and those with AD produce at reduced levels. Taken together, our results suggest that psychedelic compounds like LSD could possibly slow or even reverse the effects of AD, and potentially other forms of neurodegenerative illness, even at microdosed levels that would not produce strong psychoactive effects.
Amanda, having observed the amazing potential of LSD in the restoration of the sense of self in acute Alzheimer’s, set about instigating a collaboration with experts at the University of Basel, to collaborate on a clinical trial investigating the effects of microdosing LSD on apathy and their potential to bring about restoration of cognition, wit, and the sense of self.
She is also investigating the possibility of expanding the research in a care home setting, designed to optimise the benefits of psychedelic-assisted treatment by providing the ideal setting.
We are now developing the world’s first controlled clinical trial to study the effects of microdosing LSD for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, with a particular focus on apathy, cognition, mood and quality-of-life, both in early and more advanced stages of the disease.
This study will allow us to assess the various ways in which microdoses of LSD might benefit people suffering from AD and mild cognitive impairment, and pave the way for the development of new treatments for dementia, neurodegenerative illnesses, and palliative care.
In this study, people suffering from Alzheimer’s will receive four sub-hallucinogenic doses of LSD and a placebo. During their dosing days, they will undergo a range of engaging and pleasurable activities with their caregivers and specially trained practitioners, and assessments will be performed at regular intervals in order to examine the effects of LSD using validated scales.
Amanda is collaborating on this project with the highly respected Prof. Reto Kressig at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and his world-class team of researchers in this field.
Professor Reto Kressig
Prof. Kressig is Chair of Geriatrics at the University of Basel, and Chief Medical Officer and Directorial Board Member of the University Department of Geriatric Medicine FELIX PLATTER, Basel, Switzerland. His scientific work and interests include older adults’ gait biomechanics, physical activity, functional autonomy, nutrition and cognition in relation to principles of geriatric rehabilitation and preventive healthcare among older adults
Q1 2023: Protocol Submission
Q1 2023: Regulatory approvals
Q2-Q3 2023: Beginning of study
Q3 2024: Completion of the study
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