(NaturalNews) A review published in the respected journal Neurology has confirmed widespread evidence that LSD can be used to successfully treat an otherwise devastating and crippling health condition known as "cluster headaches."
Often confused with migraines, cluster headaches come in attacks so debilitating that they have been known to drive sufferers to kill themselves, earning them the nickname "suicide headaches." Because 90 percent of sufferers experience a form known as episodic cluster headaches, in which attacks come regularly at the same time of day for a few months before vanishing for up to a year, they are also known as "alarm clock headaches."
Researchers do not know what causes the headaches, and there is no accepted treatment. One business owner who goes by the pseudonym "Flash" on Internet message boards related to the condition relates his experience with various treatments: "My doctor did the worst thing you can do to a person with cluster headache: he put me on normal analgesics. Aspirin, paracetamol, codeine -- doubling up on the codeine -- taking whatever you're allowed to each day," Flash says. "It took the lining off my stomach, and it aggravated the attacks until they got out of control."
Other popular treatments such as beta-blockers, blood pressure medications and antidepressants led to other dangerous side effects, such as a slowing of the heart rate and psychotic symptoms.
Eventually, Flash decided to experiment with LSD, and found that after one dose, his attacks immediately stopped for the next two years. When he felt the next attack looming, he experimented with psilocybin mushrooms ("magic mushrooms"), which were just as effective. The mushrooms were even effective at stopping an attack that he had deliberately exacerbated with alcohol, as a test.
Anecdotal accounts like Flash's have attracted the attention of some researchers, who note that many hallucinogenic compounds are chemically similar to certain neurotransmitters and migraine medications.
Harvard Medical School researcher John Halpern, author of the Neurology article, has even applied to the university for permission to conduct a clinical trial.
"It is a life-or-death situation for some of these patients," Halpern said.
by: David Gutierrez
Wednesday, April 08, 2009