The scientific community has shown a growing interest in the therapeutic use of psychedelics over the past few years, as numerous studies indicate these substances may offer significant benefits in treating disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Among the most promising psychedelics are LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine. Recent survey results now suggest that psychedelics like LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin may also have protective effects on the brain, potentially countering some aspects of aging.

Conducted in the United States, the survey involved 3,294 adults aged between 42 and 92. Participants who reported using any psychedelic in the past year showed notable improvements in higher-order brain functions and fewer depressive symptoms compared to non-users.

In cognitive tests administered via phone, psychedelic users scored higher in areas such as verbal fluency, inductive reasoning, processing speed, working memory, inhibitory control, and attention switching. However, there was no significant difference in episodic memory, which is crucial for daily event recall and is often impacted by dementia.

Despite these encouraging results, researchers Kaeleigh Fearn from the University of South Florida and Kallol Kumar Bhattacharyya from Utah State University emphasize the need for further investigation. They point out that although the number of clinical trials on the health benefits of psychedelics has increased, very few focus on older adults.

The potential of psychedelics to restore cognitive functions in the aging brain remains largely unexplored. Fearn and Bhattacharyya argue that this is a significant gap, especially given the link between aging and a decline in executive function.

Existing studies involving older adults suggest that even small doses of psychedelics can enhance executive brain function and boost creativity. Based on these findings, the researchers advocate for the decriminalization of these substances at state and federal levels to facilitate more rigorous and extensive research.

Other experts agree on the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted treatments for older adults but stress the importance of trials to establish the safety and efficacy of such approaches. This is particularly crucial given that some psychedelics can pose risks to individuals with personality disorders and may negatively affect the cardiovascular system.

It’s important to note that the findings of the survey are observational and cannot definitively establish cause and effect, relying instead on self-reported data from individuals who may have used uncontrolled doses.

Moreover, the survey did not distinguish between different types of hallucinogens consumed by participants. The research findings were published in the journal “Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.”

As companies like Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) continue their clinical studies aimed at commercializing psychedelic drugs, we can expect more data to emerge about how these substances impact the human brain and body.


What are the potential benefits of using psychedelics in treating mental health disorders? Psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine have shown promise in treating conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety by potentially resetting neural circuits and promoting new patterns of thought and behavior.

How do psychedelics impact cognitive functions in older adults? Studies suggest that psychedelics may enhance executive functions, creativity, and other higher-order brain functions in older adults, although further research is needed to confirm these effects.

Are there risks associated with psychedelic use in older adults? Yes, some psychedelics can pose risks, especially for individuals with personality disorders or cardiovascular issues. It is essential to conduct thorough trials to ensure the safety and efficacy of these substances for older adults.

Why is there a call for the decriminalization of psychedelics for research purposes? Decriminalization would allow for more extensive and rigorous scientific research on psychedelics, ensuring studies can be conducted with proper controls and oversight to validate their therapeutic potential.

What cognitive functions did psychedelic users improve in according to the survey? Psychedelic users showed improvements in verbal fluency, inductive reasoning, processing speed, working memory, inhibitory control, and attention switching, though not in episodic memory.

Which journal published the findings of the recent survey on psychedelics and aging? The findings were published in “Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.”