Non-hallucinogenic LSD derivative reduces depression symptoms in preclinical studies

Vancouver-based biotech firm BetterLife Pharma (OTCM:BETRF) is working on a non-hallucinogenic LSD derivative for treating neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders.

Known as BETR-001 (2-bromo-LSD), the compound is also not controlled. Conversely, LSD, like other serotonergic hallucinogens, is a Schedule I compound. That status makes it difficult and expensive to research for potential medical uses.

BetterLife announced recent positive results from preclinical studies for the LSD derivative in reducing depressive symptoms in rats.

The research has been published in Cell Reports.

In vitro studies found that 2-bromo-LSD promoted dendritogenesis and spinogenesis in rat cortical neurons. Additionally, in vivo studies found that it produced active coping behavior and reversed chronic stress deficits. Those effects are likely dependent on activation of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor. The study concluded that 2-bromo-LSD appears to have potential as a t…

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