Did you know that LSD could help patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? While further research is needed, the findings show exciting potential for treating ASD patients. Read on to learn more about autism and LSD!
Autism and LSD – Therapeutic Use
Since the 1960s, LSD has been studied as a treatment for autism. It can supposedly enhance social understanding, empathy, and communication skills in individuals with ASD. The drug seems to reduce anxiety, helping people with ASD to open up and communicate freely with others. The connection between autism and LSD, MDMA, and other 5-HT2A receptor agonists needs more research.
Aaron Orsini’s Story 🔍In 2022, Spectrum News published a story about Aaron Orsini, an adult who has been taking lysergic acid diethylamide for his autism. He said his acid trip transformed his life by giving him a sudden, deep understanding of human connection. Small doses of LSD and psilocybin help him identify and name his emotions, as well as perceive other people’s emotional cues. A fascinating testimony! The author has even written a book titled Autism on Acid.
How Can Psychedelic Drugs Help People With ASD?
LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics may reduce anxiety and promote empathy in autistic adults. Clinical trials have confirmed that LSD can improve social skills in (some) individuals with ASD. Additionally, its calming effects may help reduce agitation and improve attention span.
LSD and Serotonin Signaling
What else do we know about autism and LSD?LSD activates serotonin receptors in the brain, and serotonin is involved in processing emotions. By taking acid, people with social anxiety and autism can trick their brain into self-expression and connecting with other people.
Use of LSD in Autistic People: Summary
Recent clinical trials have uncovered a promising possibility – that the effects of LSD could help autistic individuals interact more effectively, communicate better and even reduce their agitation in social situations. Although further research is needed to confirm these findings, initial reports suggest a potential breakthrough for those living with autism.
FAQs About Autism, LSD, and More
What Are the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism?
The official diagnostic criteria for autism in the DSM-5 are (in short):
- persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts (e.g., conversations, body language, and maintaining relationships);
- restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior (e.g., repetitive movements, extreme distress at changes in routine, fixated interests, hypersensitivity to certain sensory stimuli).
What Is Fragile X Syndrome?
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability. Some symptoms can be similar to autism, such as delays in talking, anxiety, and hyperactive behavior. LSD is being studied as a potential treatment for this condition, just like with autism.
How Does LSD Promote Social Behavior?
LSD increases the activation of a protein complex called mTORC1, which regulates the sensitivity of serotonin and AMPA receptors. This makes it easier to engage in social behaviors like eye contact and conversations.
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