The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Sep;11(9):642-51. doi: 10.1038/nrn2884. Epub 2010 Aug 18.


After a pause of nearly 40 years in research into the effects of psychedelic drugs, recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin and ketamine have led to renewed interest in the clinical potential of psychedelics in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Recent behavioural and neuroimaging data show that psychedelics modulate neural circuits that have been implicated in mood and affective disorders, and can reduce the clinical symptoms of these disorders. These findings raise the possibility that research into psychedelics might identify novel therapeutic mechanisms and approaches that are based on glutamate-driven neuroplasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology*
  • Hallucinogens / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy


  • Hallucinogens