In this year’s Society for Neuroscience meeting, about 1,000 brain scientists packed the San Diego Convention Center for the symposium, called Psychedelics and Neural Plasticity. They heard about how drugs like MDMA and psilocybin can help rewire the brain, offering a new way to treat disorders from depression to chronic pain. “In the last couple of years there has been a lot of public excitement about psychedelics,” says Alex Kwan, a biomedical engineer at Cornell University who was also a speaker at the event. Kwan and other researchers spoke about what they’ve learned about the drugs.
Kwan described his work on psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. He says the drug seems to help rewire the brain by creating new connections between neurons.
Psychedelics being featured at the world’s largest meeting of brain scientist is a recent development as the drugs begin to enter the scientific mainstream.
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