Neurodegenerative disorders and reduced BDNF
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are all three neurodegenerative diseases or in other words, the associated symptoms of these diseases are the symptoms of the deterioration of neurons in the brain. Reduced production of BDNF is often measured in these patients. BDNF is one of the neurotrophins that ensure that new brain cells can be produced and it also ensures their recovery. BDNF, by the way, stands for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. So neurotrophins are important for the survival, repair and growth of neurons. Neurons are nerve cells that process, transmit or process information in the brain or nervous system. Neurons can be thought of as the data cables between parts of the brain and the body. An average body has about 100,000,000,000 neurons (100 billion).
BDNF level too low
A lack of neurotrophins such as BDNF contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. The lack of BDNF prevents neurons from recovering from damage. This can cause Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and/or Huntington's disease to develop. Furthermore, depression can occur when too little BDNF is present for an extended period of time. The degeneration of neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain seems to be the culprit of this. Also, too low serotonin levels contribute to depression. Depression is exacerbated because low serotonin levels cause the release of insufficient BDNF via the 5HT2A receptor (see also the picture below and keep in mind that the 5-HT receptor is not or rarely stimulated).
Creating more BDNF against neurodegenerative diseases
Creating more BDNF can therefore be done by stimulating the 5HT2a receptor. When the body releases more BDNF, it flips the switch on a set of genes that grows brand new brain cells, nerve cell connections. Even slightly higher BDNF makes you learn faster, remember better, age slower and your brain quickly rearranges connections to different parts of the brain and body.
BDNF also increases the plasticity of your brain. When your brain cells are damaged or put into a stressful situation, BDNF protects them and helps them come back stronger. Neural pathways become more flexible rather than broken down, which could explain why higher levels of BDNF are associated with warding off depression. Furthermore, increasing BDNF could potentially cause diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington be reduced.
Psilocybin and LSD against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease
The highest possible stimulation of the 5HT2a receptor can be achieved with high doses of the psychedelics psilocybin and LSD. Psychedelics increase BDNF production and neurogenesis via the 5HT2a receptor. This explains why so many studies have emerged recently about psychedelic-assisted therapy helping with depression and PTSD. We also expect to see more research on neurodegenerative disorders in the near future, including MS.
Read more about the ongoing psilocybin studies
Already trying a psychedelic session against neurodegenerative disorders?
We have been offering psychedelic sessions for many years and specifically as a depression treatment. Occasionally, because of the hopeful reports, clients with neurodegenerative disorders also come to us to do a supervised session. In addition to increasing BDNF, we then use the session to dissolve any blockages in the subconscious mind. This allows us to reduce stress, which in turn has a long-term positive impact on health. However, persons with neurodegenerative disorders sometimes use medication that does not go well together or is even dangerous in combination with psychedelics. We check whether the medication used can be combined using an intake form. Are you interested? Fill out the intake form or contact us.