AYA2014 - Eduardo Ekman Schenberg. Physiological Effects Of Ayahuasca On The Human Brain

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Eduardo Ekman Schenberg, PhD, Federal University of São Paulo and Instituto Plantando Consciência, São Paulo, Brazil

In this talk, results obtained from laboratory biomedical research done in Brazil in the last three years will be presented. Experienced ayahuasca users (12 males, 8 females) drank ”Hoasca” (donated by União do Vegetal UDV) in a laboratory setting. All procedures were approved by the Committee for Ethical Research of UNIFESP. Concentration of main active principles was estimated by gas chromatography (GC-NPD) and were as follows (mg/ ml): DMT 0.16, Harmine 1.37, Tetrahydroharmine 0.97. The chosen dose was (mg/kg): DMT 0.70, Harmine 4.48, Tetrahydrohramine 3.60. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings (Brain Vision actiCHamp, 64 channels, 2 kHz) were performed during three consecutive hours while the subjects remained quiet, eyes-closed, in resting-state condition. Blood and saliva samples were collected every 25 minutes to measure ayahuscaʼs active principles and metabolites, and cortisol, respectively. Results have shown significant decreases in spectral power, after 50 minutes from ingestion, in delta (1-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alfa (8-13 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) bands in parietal electrodes bilaterally (P5, P6, P7 and P8). After 100 minutes, increases in slow-gamma (30-50 hz) and fast-gamma (50-100 Hz) were detected at the same parietal electrodes. Analysis of blood and saliva samples are underway, and correlations between EEG and these variables will also be shown. The current results, their relations to previous ayahuasca research using EEG and their implications to the understanding of the mechanism of action of ayahuasca will be done.

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