Interview with Algernon Pharmaceuticals CEO Christopher J. Moreau About New DMT Stroke Program

What is DMT?

DMT is an Acronym for Dimethyltryptamine. A psychedelic compound in the same family as psilocybin and psilocybin.

Does DMT have psychedelic effects on the patient?

Yes, it does, but it has a very short half-life of about eight minutes. It’s been known as “the businessman’s trip” because the half-life is so short compared to other psychedelics.

What do pre-clinical studies tell us about DMT?

Two studies done by Olsen, one study was in-vitro that informed us that DMT, when added to cortical neurons, promotes neuro plasticity and neurogenesis. Neurons have spines that form to make connections and in research experiments they can count how many of these dendritic spines develop when they are exposed to psychedelic drugs, with DMT showing significant neural activity.

A second in-vivo study in rats for depression, using a sub-psychedelic dose when translated to a human dose, found a positive effect on depression.

The most important pre-clinical study was from Hungary, a rat stroke model study, where they tied off one side of the brain in the animal causing a stroke and then exposed the rats to DMT.  It was very effective, reducing the amount of dead cells in the brain, and the rats had an almost full recovery of motor function.

What is the role of psilocybin and psilocin in DMT research?

They are in the same family as DMT. Their molecular structure is similar. It’s always helpful to look at other similar compounds when doing research so you can identify class effects of a drug family. If we study similar compounds and see an effect on neurogenesis, it adds to your research data.

What are the debilitating consequences of a stroke?

Very wide-ranging: includes personality changes, cognitive changes, motor function, blindness. 85% of stroke victims suffer some form of a deficit.

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