LSD Research Ramps Up: Full-Dose & Microdosing For Alzheimer's Studies Led By Beckley Foundation Coming Soon

The Beckley Foundation and its founder and long-time psychedelics researcher Amanda Feilding announced a new research program involving a pioneering study with King's College London and UCL on the effects of full dose LSD as well as a breakthrough study with the University of Basel on microdosing LSD for Alzheimer’s disease.

The first study will assess the brain changes that take place during the mystical experience -that is, a profound sense of connection or unity that can occur following ingestion of high doses of psychedelic compounds and which is proving to be associated with the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

The new research, developed by Feilding and neuroimaging experts from King’s College London and UCL, seeks to expand understanding of the neurobiology of consciousness. 

To that end, researchers will use the latest neuroimaging technology to scan the brain with a substantially high degree of detail, expecting to reveal the subtle changes in brain states when existential and transformational insights take place. 

The second study is a collaboration between Feilding and physicians at the University of Basel –the city in which Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD. This study will examine the therapeutic potential of microdosing LSD for the treatment of apathy and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

A third study co-led by Beckley and Cornell University will use advanced optical imaging to investigate how LSD alters cerebral blood flow and the connection between neurons and their associated network of blood vessels. 

The three projects are part of a larger multi-armed research program developed and led by Fielding and are focused on the use of the latest generation of neuroimaging technologies.

Amanda Feilding, AKA ‘The Queen Of Psychedelics’

These research announcements coincide with Feilding’s work being recognized by having been given the Science Pioneer Award for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO). This marks the first time a leading psychedelics researcher is being honored with the prestigious award. 

The Beckley Foundation, created by Feilding in 1998, has been a think tank and UN-accredited NGO at the forefront of global drug policy reform and scientific research into psychoactive substances. 

Feilding has co-authored many peer-reviewed studies and was friends with and thought partner of psychedelic pioneers like Albert Hofmann, Sasha and Ann Shulgin, Terence McKenna and many others. She’s been referred to as ‘The Countess of Psychedelics’ (WIRED,) the “Queen of Psychedelics” (The Economist,) and “Queen of Consciousness” (The Telegraph).  

Through her leadership at Beckley’s science program, Feilding has collaborated with leading scientists and institutions around the world for over 20 years to design and direct a wide range of scientific research projects assessing the effects of psychoactive substances -cannabis, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, DMT and MDMA- on brain function, subjective experience and clinical symptoms. 

“I have long been fascinated by the mechanisms underlying the profound shift in consciousness that psychedelics bring about, and, in 1998, I instituted the Beckley Foundation in order to develop the best possible research to address this fascinating domain of inquiry," Feilding has said. "In 2008, I initiated the Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme, as part of which we conducted a number of landmark studies that contributed to propelling psychedelics from the taboo terrain to their current status as the newest, most promising treatments in psychiatry.” 

Some of the breakthrough studies included the first use of psilocybin for the treatment of Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) together with Imperial College, the resounding results of which were published in 2016. 

Nonetheless, Feilding believes there are “still a lot of unanswered questions to be addressed in order to better harvest the potential of these incredible compounds.”

In addition to the upcoming research, Feilding recently launched Beckley Retreats with co-founder and CEO Neil Markey and her son Rock Feilding-Mellen towards the integration of the deep knowledge and science of the Beckley Foundation into legal, professional and accessible psychedelic retreats in the Netherlands and Jamaica.

Photo courtesy of Bondar Pavel and See_more on Shutterstock.

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