According to Jordi Riba’s presentation at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelics Research #icpr2016 that was held this weekend in Amsterdam harmine and tetrahydroharmine potently stimulates the formation of new neurons from stem cells in vitro. This data has not been published yet but opens a whole new avenue of research. Ayahuasca harmala alkaloids could potentially be used in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, This is a revolutionary finding in the field!
This is the summary of his presentation:
Recent advances in the study of the neural mechanisms and therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca
Background: Ayahuasca induces an introspective experience characterized by emotion, visions and autobiographic memories. Increasing evidence suggests that ayahuasca has therapeutic potential. However, the mechanisms underlying these benefits are poorly understood. Objectives: Here we present data on the neural and psychological mechanisms associated with ayahuasca. Methods: Studies of brain oscillations, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and psychological facets. Results: Ayahuasca disinhibits posterior sensory processing areas, sub-acutely decreases neurometabolic markers of functional activity in the posterior cingulate cortex, and reduces judgmental processing of experiences. Conclusions: Ayahuasca modifies ordinary neural hierarchies, decreases activity of key areas of the default mode network and allows an accepting and detached view of one’s own thoughts and emotions. We argue that these mechanisms may be useful in the treatment of several psychiatric conditions.