DMT As Stroke Treatment

Exciting times ahead!

Algernon Pharmaceuticals has teamed up with a bunch of researchers to see if DMT can prove an effective treatment for strokes. The London-based team, called Hammersmith Medicines Research, now races to discover DMT’s potential to treat—or maybe even cure—patients who have suffered from a stroke. As for their goals, Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals, has said:

“We are very pleased to have chosen HMR for our Phase 1 DMT study. There are very few research institutions who are fully approved and have the proper license, permits and experience to handle DMT.

“We are committed… to learn if [DMT] can help stroke patients as quickly, and as safely, as possible.”

But what is DMT, really?? Let’s find out!

The Spirit Molecule

DMT is a tryptamine drug that can cause hallucinations when taken. It can also trigger ego death, just like LSD, ketamine, and psilocybin — the trippy substance found in magic mushrooms and truffles. DMT can also naturally occur in plants and animals. Yes, even in humans! (In the pineal gland, to be exact, also known in the New Age movement as the “third eye”.) 

According to Dr. Rick Strassman, our brain releases large amounts of DMT when we dream and during death… Both of which are mystical instances of “entering the white light”. For this, Dr. Strassman dubbed DMT as the “spirit molecule”.

DMT is also used by indigenous people in the Amazon forest regions. By brewing the ayahuasca vine  into a tea, they extract its natural DMT. Shamans then drink the DM-Tea as a medicine, and as a potent way of inducing visions while gazing into smoke and fire. (Also, did you know that artificial DMT can be made in a lab??) 

A DMT Trip… What’s It Like?

When taken at higher doses, DMT can trigger an intense psychedelic trip like no other. Like magic mushrooms and truffles, DMT clings to serotonin receptors (or “happy hormone” switches) in the brain. Some effects of DMT on the brain include:

  • extreme euphoria
  • visual and sound hallucinations
  • altered perception of space and time

If you’re lucky, you could even meet an alien entity (a species called “DMT elves” by psychonauts). Maybe even talk about life on Mars? That being said, a DMT trip never lasts long due to its short half-life of less than 15 minutes. A trip so short, you could take DMT during lunch, trip out, and be sober in time for your next shift. Some have even called it the “businessman’s trip” for this reason.

How A Stroke Affects the Brain

But in order to grasp DMT’s potential to help patients who suffer from stroke, one must first understand what it’s like to live with it

According to the NHS (or National Health Service in the UK), stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition. It happens when the blood supply to your brain is cut off. Symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden drop on the face on one side, like the mouth or eye
  • Weakness or numbness on one arm
  • Slurred or garbled speech (despite being lucid)

Cutting off the blood supply can cause your brain cells to die. Our brain needs the oxygen in blood for it to function properly. If left untreated, a stroke can result in brain injury, disability, or even death. 

This is what happens during a stroke. (Photo courtesy: Creative Commons) 

Strokes are often treated with medicines to shrink blood clots, lower blood pressure, and shrink cholesterol levels. Sadly, stroke medicines cost a TON… Forcing elderly patients to ration their pills, or skip them entirely. Too bad there isn’t a cheaper option in the works. Something that’ll get the job done without breaking the bank.

Wait, what if there is??

Sub-Psychedelic DMT

Algernon and HMR will conduct a Phase 1 study first on healthy participants who have never tripped out—or even microdosed—in their life. This is done in order to set a “normal” baseline to compare with stroke patients later on. All subjects will be given doses of DMT through an IV drip, entering the bloodstream. 

Here’s the kicker. The DMT dosages (for both Phase 1 and 2) will be sub-psychedelic, meaning they won’t be enough to cause a trip. This is a good thing! After all, one of their goals is to check if stroke patients can tolerate DMT. For a serious condition such as a stroke, one simply cannot risk any bad trips whatsoever. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Phase 1 will begin as soon as the researchers get their hands on “official” DMT, from drug factory Dalton Pharma. Phase 2 is expected to start in early 2022, using actual stroke patients by then. 

This will be the first ever use of DMT via IV drips for potential stroke treatment — in the world

Why Studies are Important

And so the psychedelic renaissance pushes on. If there’s one good thing that came out this past year, it’s the winning streak in the legal battle for natural psychedelics – such as magic mushrooms and truffles. A big chunk of the convincing comes from strong evidence from large-scale studies, like this one. How else are we gonna shed new light on psychedelics for good? 

Magic mushrooms, truffles, and DMT are not just endless fun and self-exploration. They can treat a host of conditions, too — such as resistant depression, PTSD, and end-of-life anxiety.

It’s time the Spirit Molecule stepped up and fulfilled it’s medical potential, as well — changing the lives of stroke patients forever.

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