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Pg8 LSD Longo-Vega To understand the ways that LSD affect the brain we must first discuss how the brain sends signals to the body In the brain and the brain stem there are special cells called neurons Neurons release a number of chemicals that are sent to various receptors The receptors interpret chemical signals and use them to make you move see hear learn etc These neurons are also responsible for such behaviors as obsessive-compulsive behavior and insomnia The cells that are directly responsible for those behaviors are called serotonergic neurons This means that they release the chemical serotin 5-HT In general serotin acts as an inhibiter These cells number only in the thousands Through research it has been determined that LSD travels along the same pathways that 5-HT travel This happens mainly because LSD structurally resembles serotin see fig 1 This inhibits the sending and receiving of serotin When this occurs the signals that produce sensations sleep inhibition visual signals and attention are interfered with Serotonergic neurons are mainly located in two regions of the brain stem The locus coeruleus LC and the raphe nuclei RN The LC serotonergic neurons affect very large portions of the brain The signals sent from the LC travel to the cerebellum thamus hypothalamus cerebral cortex and the hippo campus When LSD is introduced into the LC it increases the sensitivity of sensory stimulation receptors The reports of having an expanded mind and a heightened sense of things derive from the enhanced sensitivity The RN is Pg10responsible for pain and sensory perception When 5-HT is released from the RN it acts to inhibit sensory overloads The blocking of serotin from the RN results in users seeing sounds
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