The Effects of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide on Energy Metabolism in Rat Brain
Ewend, Matthew G.
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The brain uses glucose as its primary source for metabolic energy. 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) is taken up by the same mechanism in brain cells as glucose but becomes trapped in brain cells as 6-phospho-2DG. Radioactive 2DG can be used as a tracer to autoradiographically determine the actual glucose utilization in rat brain. 53 areas or nuclei of the brain and central nervous system were studied. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) caused significant depression in 11 of these areas. The auditory, visual, and olfactory pathways, as well as the hippocampus, were found to be the major sites of action. The medial geniculate body of the auditory pathway and the lateral geniculate of the visual pathways were both inhibited. However, the auditory cortex but not the visual cortex showed decreased metabolic activity after LSD treatment. This may help explain why LSD users report more visual than auditory hallucinations. The visual cortex functions without perceptual data, which is blocked at the lateral geniculate, while the auditory cortex shuts down.