Psychedelic medicine: AI analyses hundreds of drug customers’ journey reviews

A sample recognition algorithm scoured 6850 accounts of individuals’s experiences with 27 medicine to study extra about how they alter consciousness


16 March 2022

A color-enhanced scanning electron microscope picture of magic mushroom spores


Synthetic intelligence has been used to analyse hundreds of written reviews of private experiences with psychoactive medicine to realize a greater understanding of their subjective results and the way they work within the mind.

Psychedelic medicine equivalent to LSD, ketamine and psilocybin – the energetic compound in magic mushrooms – are being investigated as therapies for a variety of circumstances, together with despair, habit and post-traumatic stress dysfunction. The experiences they induce, which may be important for their therapeutic effects, are extremely variable, and might embrace visible and auditory hallucinations, an altered sense of self and a distorted notion of time.

Danilo Bzdok at McGill College in Montreal, Canada, and his colleagues used a pattern-recognition algorithm to scour 6850 accounts of experiences submitted on the web site Erowid, involving 27 totally different medicine.

They linked phrases used within the accounts for every drug, equivalent to “euphoria”, “nausea” or “visuals”, with any of 40 receptors within the mind that the drug is thought to work together with, and mapped drug results onto areas of the mind the place these receptors are most energetic.

The researchers, who weren’t accessible for interview, hope their work will assist determine medicine which will induce explicit subjective results, and supply a framework for creating new therapies based mostly on psychedelic medicine sooner or later.

Daniel Barron at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital in Boston, who wasn’t concerned on this examine, says that whereas this software isn’t but prepared for scientific use, it reveals promise. “The core thought is that when you can decide {that a} given drug and mind operate have a predictable relationship, this paves the best way to understanding whether or not that change and subsequently that drug is clinically helpful,” he says.

“The cultural historical past suggests there’s numerous potential tied up in these psychoactive medicine, however any scientific utility would require that the correct drug be prescribed on the proper dose to the correct affected person on the proper time,” he says.

Journal reference: Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abl6989

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