Mini-brains, like these developed at Brown University, are accurate and cost-effective neural models, and now Brazilian scientists have used them to map the physical effects of the psychedelic drug, DMT(Credit: Hoffman-Kim lab/Brown University)
Now, a team of scientists from Brazil have doped the mini-brains with a form of the psychedelic drug DMT, to study the effects on neural pathways.
That allows scientists to study how the cells develop naturally, as well as what effects injuries or drugs might have, without the need for animal testing.
The team found that the drug upregulated certain proteins and downregulated others, affecting almost 1,000 proteins in all.
Downregulated proteins, meanwhile, included those that can trigger inflammation, degeneration and lesions in brain tissue, which suggests that DMT may be a strong foundation for developing an antidepressant.