Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-26-2023


Objective: To explore the role that psychedelic therapy, specifically psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), could play in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Explore current studies and effects of psychedelics on neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions and relate their outcomes to the pathophysiology of AD and thus the effects that these medications may have as treatment options. Methods: A review of current literature was performed of meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and randomized-control trials that specifically discuss the effects of psychedelics on both neural receptors and the subjects themselves. Initial search yielded 3,127 results, with 75 reviewed. Of these 75 articles, three randomized control trials, one meta-analysis, three systematic reviews, and one open-label pilot study were utilized to further assess this topic. The efficacy of psychedelic therapy was then determined based on neuroplastic changes determined by positron emission testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Further benefits were explored including cognitive and psychiatric behavioral improvement. Results: Research related to the mechanisms and effects of psychedelic therapy reveal anti-inflammatory properties as well as increased brain glucose metabolism. LSD and psilocybin specifically were found to have neuroprotective properties as well as promotion of neurogenesis. Conclusions: Results are consistent with the hypothesis that psychedelic therapy can not only help symptomatic treatment of AD but may also have a role in disease modification.

Keywords: psychedelic therapy, LSD, psilocybin, Alzheimer’s Disease, AD, dementia, neuroinflammation, neuroplasticity.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Maddie Jones has a special interest in emergency medicine and plans on working in this setting following graduation. She is a student member of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) as well as the Valparaiso University Physician Assistant Student Society (VUPASS). Maddie will be presenting on “The Potential Role of Psychedelic Therapy in Alzheimer’s Dementia” because of her longstanding personal and medical interest in the condition and the current lack of medical management options that will hopefully be expanded in the near future.