19 July 2011

LSD analogue and cluster headaches

Whoa. Check out this abstract an annual International Headache Congress paper.

Cluster headache attack cessation and remission extension of months or longer in six treatment-refractory patients administered only 3 doses of BOL-148

J. Halpern, M. Karst, T. Passie

Five male patients with treatment-refractory chronic cluster headache and one female patient with treatment-refractory mixed cluster/migrainous headache were administered 2-bromo-LSD (BOL-148) (20mcg/kg) at five-day intervals for a total of three treatments. Sixteen-week outcome data on the five male patients revealed a robust treatment response, with three of the five having no attacks for more than one month, thereby shifting their diagnosis back to the episodic form of cluster headache. Similarly, the female patient reported quiescence of cluster attacks for greater than one month and 'significant' improvement in migraine in the following weeks from last dose of BOL-148. This poster presents longterm outcome data on all 6 patients who received BOL-148. In follow-up with these patients, BOL-148 provided significant headache relief that lasted for several months to more than one-year. Data suggests that BOL-148 may function as an important new treatment, though, at present, there is no explanation for such long-term prophylactic effects with no later drug re-administrations. There is some evidence that BOL-148 is affecting epigenetic mechanisms and may open the possibility for a near-cure-like treatment for patients afflicted with vascular headaches."

In English: in small study, a chemical cousin of LSD pretty much cured cluster headaches in some patients. It may have done this through changes at the genetic level.
All the usual caveats apply --small study, limited time frame, et cetera. Still, whoa.

Here's a better summary.


And, though there's no reason whatsoever to think there's any relationship with the long-term gene-level effects in this study, I've been looking for an excuse to post this: John's Hopkins Study Probes "Sacred Mushroom" Chemical. Amongs the results
Looking back over a year later, most of the experiment’s 18 volunteers (94 percent) rated a psilocybin session as among the top five most or as the topmost spiritually significant experience of his or her life....Most volunteers (89 percent) also reported positive changes in their behaviors, and those reports were corroborated by family members or others, the researchers say. The behavior changes most frequently cited were improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice.