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科学家研究致幻剂的医疗用途

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小编摘要:没有人比多学科致幻剂研究协会的主任瑞克•多布林更熟悉迷幻药的污名,多布林的这家发展公司经美国食品药物管理局(FDA)资助批准开展临床试验研究致幻剂的潜在治疗用途。

科学家研究致幻剂的医疗用途

No one is more aware of the stigma attached to psychedelics than Rick Doblin, director of the Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a drug development firm that funds FDA-approved clinical trials to examine the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics.
Doblin says the virtual blackout on research that resulted from aggressive federal drug-control policies in the 1960s finally began to ease in 1990, when new regulators at the FDA decided to take a fresh look at psychedelic drugs.
"They decided they would put science over politics and permit research to go forward," he says. "They were willing to acknowledge that these drugs could be administered in a safe-enough context and that there were promising hints of potential benefits and therapeutic uses. Today, there is more psychedelics research taking place than in the last 40 years."
One especially active focus of FDA-approved research has involved MDMA - also known as " Ecstasy ."
This potent drug is being studied for its potential therapeutic value for sex-abuse victims and combat veterans suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Dr. Michael Mithoefer conducted small FDA-approved clinical trials using MDMA and a placebo. He found the drug -when administered in tandem with psychotherapy - helped patients recall traumatic, but long-buried, memories.
"So what we are seeing with MDMA is it seems to allow people to access the trauma, revisit it with a sense that they are not going to be overwhelmed by the fear and anxiety," Mithoefer says, "but at the same time, helps them to overcome whatever emotional numbing they have so they can connect with the emotions, and process the trauma that way."
Two months after their sessions, 83 percent of the subjects who had been given MDMA had significantly fewer PTSD symptoms, or none at all, while 25 percent of subjects in the placebo group showed such improvements. And the benefits lasted more than three years.
Other psychedelic drugs also show clinical possibilities. For example, University of San Diego researcher Thomas Brown found that a plant-derived psychedelic, called ibogaine can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings in heroine and methadone addicts.
In another study, UCLA researchers reported that the psychedelic compound, psilocybin - found naturally in certain mushrooms - can ease end-of-life anxiety in cancer patients when administered in carefully controlled and monitored sessions.
The word "psychedelic" literally means "mind manifesting." Psychologist Neal Goldsmith authored "Psychedelic Healing," a survey of the many uses for these powerful psychoactive drugs. According to Goldsmith, some psychedelics have proved helpful in couples therapy, and as aids to meditation and other spiritual practices.
"From my perspective, psychedelics bring us awareness that our deepest, truest nature is healthy, whole, perfect,loving," he says. "So it's a very interesting time now, where we are rediscovering our spiritual natures through a scientific method."
The link between psychedelics and spirituality has been of special interest to Roland Griffiths, a behavioral biologist at Johns Hopkins University.
In two FDA-approved experiments, his research team gave large doses of psilocybin to carefully-screened volunteers. They were placed in a pleasant, home-like laboratory environment, outfitted with eyeshades to avoid distractions,and given headphones through which they could listen to music.
Griffiths wanted to see if the psilocybin could induce spiritual experiences similar to those mystics have reported as a natural result of meditation and prayer. Griffiths says that in almost every case the psychedelic triggered a profound sense of spirituality.
"That is, an experience of the interconnectedness of all peoples, an experience that is permeated with a sense of the 'sacred,' an experience of heart-opening or infinite love, a collapse of time and space and, perhaps most importantly, a sense that the experience is more real and more true than everyday waking consciousness."
Some people don't respond well to psychedelic drugs, according to Griffiths.
Fear and confusion, coupled with physical discomfort, dizziness or nausea can create an unpleasant, even terrifying experience.
Griffiths doesn't advocate the unsupervised use of these powerful drugs.
But he believes, in the hands of properly trained professionals, psychedelics are a valuable and still largely unexplored tool for healing and understanding the human mind.

没有人比多学科致幻剂研究协会的主任瑞克•多布林更熟悉迷幻药的污名,多布林的这家发展公司经美国食品药物管理局(FDA)资助批准开展临床试验研究致幻剂的潜在治疗用途。
多布林表示在20世纪60年代这项研究触犯联邦药物控制政策而被迫进行的虚拟管制终于在1990年得到解禁,因为美国食品药物管理局新的监管机构决定不再用有色眼光看待迷幻药物。
“他们决定将科学放在政策之上并允许研究继续进行,”他说道。“他们愿意承认这些药物在足够安全的管理前提下会有潜在的利益与治疗用途。相比过去的40年,现今有更多的致幻剂研究。”
美国食品药物管理局批准的一项特别的研究案例涉及到苄氧基-也就是众所周知的“摇头丸”。
这种强效力的药物的潜在的治疗价值正在被研究用于治疗性虐待受害者和承受PTSD病症,即创伤后压力心理障碍症的老兵们。
迈克尔•密瑟费尔博士管理着美国食品药物管理局允许的使用摇头丸和和安慰剂的临床试验。他发现这种药物——当串联起来以心理疗法帮助病人的时候——会帮助病人回忆创伤,但那是在脑中被长久掩埋的回忆。
“所以我们所看到摇头丸是让人们获取创伤,重新体会这种感觉,而他们是不会被恐惧和忧虑压得喘不过气来,” 密瑟费尔说道,“而且与此同时, 无论他们的感情有多麻木,都会帮助他们克服,这样他们就可以连接到情绪,体会创伤的过程。”
他们的临床试验两个月后,接受摇头丸试验的受试者中有83%的创伤后压力心理障碍症症状明显减轻,或者已经消除,而接受安慰剂试验的受试者中有25%呈现这种改进。效力持续长达三年。
其他迷幻药也显示出可用于临床的可能性。例如,圣地亚哥大学的研究人员托马斯•布朗发现由植物提取的一种被称为伊菠加因的致幻药可以帮助减少戒断症状,海洛因渴求症及美沙酮瘾。
在另一项研究中,加州大学洛杉矶分校的研究人员称存在于某种特定蘑菇中的致幻剂混合物二甲-4-羟色胺磷酸如果仔细控制和监测管理疗程得当可以缓解癌症患者的焦虑。
“幻觉”这个词的字面意思是“精神的展现。”心理学家尼尔•戈德史密斯执笔的《幻觉治疗》就是研究这些强效力精神刺激药物的许多用途。按照戈德史密斯的理论,一些致幻剂也被证明有助于配偶疗法,以及艾滋病冥想和其它的灵魂实践。
“从我的角度来说,致幻剂带给我们最深的,最真实,最自然的意识,它健康,完整,而且完美,让人怜惜,”他说道。“现在是一个非常有趣的时间,我们通过科学的方法重新发现我们的精神本质。”
致幻剂和灵性之间的联系对于约翰•霍普金斯大学的行为生物学家罗兰•格里菲斯来说一直是特殊的存在。
在两个美国食品药物管理局允许的案例实验中,他的研究小组对仔细筛选的志愿者使用了大剂量的二甲-4-羟色胺磷酸。他们被安置在一个令人心情愉悦,如家般的实验室环境中,配备眼罩,避免干扰,并且他们可以戴上耳机听音乐。
格里菲斯想观察二甲-4-羟色胺磷酸是否会引起精神上的体验,就好像那些神秘主义者对于自然因果的冥想和祷告。格里菲思称几乎每一个案例致幻剂都触发了一场深刻意义上的灵性。
“那是一种内在关联的所有人的体验,一种从某种意义上来说“神圣”的体验,一种敞开心扉或无限爱的体验,将时间和空间分裂,或许最重要的是,从某种意义上说,这种体验比日常清醒的意识状态更真实、更具有存在感。”
格里菲斯称有些人对致幻剂药物呈排斥效应。
恐惧和混乱,再加上身体不适、头晕或恶心就会为人们创造一种不愉快的,甚至是很可怕的经历。
格里菲思提倡这些强效力的药物应在监督下使用。
但他相信,在训练适当的专业人员手中, 对于治愈和理解人类的心灵来说,致幻剂是非常宝贵而且在很大程度上仍然未被研究透彻的工具。

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2012-03-15 20:05 编辑:pliny
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