Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

LSD is a potent serotonergic drug developed by Albert Hoffman in 1938. Research into its medical value began after its effects were discovered in 1943, creating the first generation of psychedelic researchers. In the clinical arena, LSD was of most interest for its effectiveness in treating alcoholism, thousands of patients being given the drug for this purpose.

Elsewhere, LSD was being used for more malevolent ends. Since the 1960’s, it has been revealed that the CIA drugged entire groups of unwitting participants in search of militaristic usefulness of the drug. Further, a number of academics of this generation advocated widespread recreational use of these substances, sometimes suggesting at university talks that people should use extremely high doses.

At the hands of government, academics, and the public alike, LSD got around - perhaps more than it should have. Nonetheless, a renewed interest in the molecule stems from its apparent value in treating disorders of anxiety, mood and addiction. With proper clinical guidance and in a controlled setting, LSD shows remarkably low risk and high efficacy in treating some of the most challenging conditions.



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Selected Publications


  • Modern clinical research on LSD (2017)

  • LSD: A new treatment emerging from the past (2015)


  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of lysergic acid diethylamide in healthy subjects (2017)

  • Crystal structure of an LSD-bound human serotonin receptor (2017)

  • The fabric of meaning and subjective effects in LSD-induced states depend on serotonin 2A receptor activation (2017)

  • LSD increases primary process thinking via serotonin 2A receptor activation (2017)

  • Dreamlike effects of LSD on waking imagery in humans depend on serotonin 2A receptor activation (2017)

  • The hallucinogen d-lysergic diethylamide (LSD) decreases dopamine firing activity through 5-HT1A, D2 and TAAR1 receptors (2016)

Safety & Toxicity

  • Is LSD toxic? (2018)

  • Lysergic acid diethylamide causes photoreceptor cell damage through inducing inflammatory response and oxidative stress (2018)

Misuse & Abuse

  • "Eye Dropping"-A case report of transconjunctival lysergic acid diethylamide drug abuse (2018)

  • Comparing triggers to visual disturbances among individuals with positive vs negative experiences of hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD) following LSD use (2017)


  • Altered network hub connectivity after acute LSD administration (2018)

  • Acute LSD effects on response inhibition neural networks (2017)

  • Acute effects of LSD on amygdala activity during processing of fearful stimuli in healthy subjects (2017)

  • Connectome-harmonic decomposition of human brain activity reveals dynamical repertoire re-organization under LSD (2017)

  • Increased global functional connectivity correlates with LSD-induced ego dissolution (2016)

  • Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging (2016)


  • Long-lasting subjective effects of LSD in normal subjects (2018)

  • Alterations of consciousness and mystical-type experiences after acute LSD in humans (2017)

  • Genie in a blotter: A comparative study of LSD and LSD analogues' effects and user profile (2017)

  • A placebo-controlled investigation of synaesthesia-like experiences under LSD (2016)

  • LSD acutely impairs fear recognition and enhances emotional empathy and sociality (2016)


  • LSD treatment in Scandinavia: Emphasizing indications and short-term treatment outcomes of 151 patients in Denmark (2017)

  • LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with a life-threatening disease: a qualitative study of acute and sustained subjective effects (2015)

  • Repeated lysergic acid diethylamide in an animal model of depression: Normalisation of learning behaviour and hippocampal serotonin 5-HT₂ signalling (2014)


  • Regulation of human research with LSD in the United States (1949-1987) (2018)

  • Flashback: psychiatric experimentation with LSD in historical perspective (2005)