From: The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders (2010). Franz X. Vollenweider and Michael Kometer.
Heffter Research Institute, along with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Psychoactive Drug Screening Program, helps fund the Roth Lab that maintains the Ki Database at UNC Chapel Hill. Roth is on the Heffter Scientific Advisory Panel. More from the Roth Lab: Structure of ‘salvia’ receptor solved
The Ki Database (Ki DB) is a public domain database of published binding affinities (Ki) of drugs and chemical compounds for receptors, neurotransmitter transporters, ion channels, and enzymes. Heffter co-founder and board member David Nichols now offers his knowledge at the Roth Lab after working for 40 years at Purdue University.
Read: 2014 Costandi A Brief History of Psychedelic Psychiatry. The Psychologist Magazine. The British Psychological Society.
Since Vollenweider and Kometer's paper comparing ketamine and psilocybin, researchers outside of the United States have completed neuroimaging studies on both psilocybin and ayahuasca (DMT). These non-addictive drugs have significant effects on areas the brain associated with addiction and difficult-to-treat mental disorders like PTSD and OCD. However, Schedule I status of psychedelic drugs psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and DMT limits research of their therapeutic use in humans.
Learn more from the author of the psilocybin fMRI study:
2014 Carhart-Harris How Do Hallucinogens Work on the Brain? The Psychologist Magazine. The British Psychological Society.
Exciting Research: Heffter board member Roland Griffiths' current NIDA-funded receptor pharmacology study of dextromethorphan (NMDA/Glu receptor antagonist, cough medicine), Salvinorin A (kappa-opioid agonist, atypical hallucinogen), DMT (5-HT2a receptor agonist, classic hallucinogen), and psilocybin (5-HT2a receptor agonist, classic hallucinogen) may help distinguish neural pathways that create unique altered states of consciousness.
Faulty Circuits: Neuroscience is revealing the malfunctioning connections underlying psychological disorders and forcing psychiatrists to rethink the causes of mental illness.
2015. Salvinorin-A Induces Intense Dissociative Effects, Blocking External Sensory Perception and Modulating Interoception and Sense of Body Ownership in Humans.
Also: Interoception and drug addiction. Neuropharmacology. 2014.
Scientific American: Traditional Medicine from Southern Mexico Offers Help with Addiction. The “divine sage,” Salvia divinorum, contains kappa-opioid agonist Salvinorin A. For hundreds of years, the Mazatec people of Oaxaca in southern Mexico have conducted rituals that combine their own ancient beliefs with those of Catholicism.
More from Oaxaca: Botanical Dimensions Gives Western Culture an Uninhibited Look at Plant Medicines, Ethnobotany, and Culture. María Sabina introduced modern society to Psilocybe mushrooms.