DMT- the acronym of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, famously known as the ‘Spirit Molecule’ is a naturally occurring Psychedelic substance which can be found at low concentrations in many animals and plants. DMT is also the active hallucinogenic compound in “Ayahuasca”, the Holy Medicine; Shamans in the Amazons have mixed Plants which contain DMT as admixtures in the the Holy Medicine.
In concentrated doses, DMT acts as a fast-paced powerful Psychedelic with the strongest hallucinogenic effects which remain for 15 to 20 minutes. When DMT containing Plants are mixed as an admixture in “Ayahuasca”, the Holy Medicine, the effects can remain for much longer periods – often around 6 hours.
Canadian pharmaceutical company Algernon most recently announced that they are investigating the therapeutic benefit of a micro-dose of DMT for the treatment of strokes. According to the information available from Algernon, human clinical trials could begin as early as the quarter of 2021. Algernon plans to be the first company in the world to pursue DMT for treating stroke in humans. The company is the first to repurpose DMT from its Psychedelic effects to a new potential treatment for stroke which could bring a positive, progressive impact on the millions of people who suffer the devastating consequences of a stroke each year.
Inspired by multiple independent preclinical DMT studies, which already demonstrated, besides its functional and structural plasticity of nerve cells in the brain, DMT can promote neurogenesis; the company decided to study DMT as a stroke treatment. According to the company, these are the key factors involved in the brain’s ability to reorganize and form synaptic links, which are necessary to heal a brain injury.
A recently published study in an animal model for stroke preclinically demonstrated that rats treated with DMT regenerated motor function more quickly and more efficiently and also showed lower lesion volumes when compared to control group animals that were not treated with DMT.
Uniqueness of Algernon’s approach
Most other companies are researching Psychedelic substances, but Algernon will be focusing on a non-hallucinogenic or micro-dose of DMT with continuous intravenous administration. The goal will be to give patients the therapeutic benefits of DMT without providing them a Psychedelic experience. According to the company, this is a significant element of the treatment when considering treating someone who has just suffered a stroke, as the hallucinogenic effects may cause unwanted confusion and stress.
The company strongly believes that the micro-dosing approach to developing a DMT treatment may open a new door to a much wider review and acceptance of its data. The company is also expecting that their approach may also let them create a quicker pathway to the regulatory agreement, including a Breakthrough Therapy designation from the US FDA, which permits the priority review of a drug candidate if preliminary clinical trials show that the therapy may provide substantial treatment benefits over existing options for patients with life-threatening and serious diseases.
Algernon’s unique approach makes them stand out among many others who are approaching with the Psychedelic experiential approach to heal metal health. With microdosing and emphasising on DMT’s unique healing ability and impact on the brain, such research and approach could be highly beneficial to humanity, especially when coming from natural sources, like the Holy Medicine of the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca.
- Nardi, S., Laszlo, M., Szabo, A., et al. (2020). N,N-dimethyltryptamine reduces infarct size and improves functional recovery following transient focal brain ischemia in rats. Experimental Neurology, [online] Volume, 327, Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113245 [Accessed 6th July 2021].
- Algernon Pharmaceuticals (2021). DMT Background. [online] Available at: https://algernonpharmaceuticals.com/dmt-background/ [Accessed 6th July 2021].