Researchers are to begin trialing the use of the psychedelic drug DMT as a treatment for stroke patients, after preclinical studies on rats indicated that the substance could help the brain repair itself following injury. If results are positive, DMT could potentially become a first-line medication for stroke, given to patients while in the ambulance in order to limit the amount of brain damage that occurs.
The study is being led by Dr Rick Strassman, who famously labeled DMT ‘The Spirit Molecule’ after conducting the first human studies involving the drug. His work was later turned into a popular documentary, co-produced by Strassman and narrated by comedian, psychedelics enthusiast and mixed martial arts pundit Joe Rogan.
Known for its ability to generate intense out-of-body experiences, DMT might not seem like the most appropriate medication for a stroke victim, yet Strassman insists that only “sub-psychedelic doses” will be used for this purpose. “You want to avoid the psychedelic effect because you don’t want a stroke patient tripping,” he told IFLScience.