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It's the cap for a jar of self-puncturing pickles. Every time you put the lid back on the jar, the next pickle is instantly impaled, ready for your next fine dinner party.

Beakerful of Science (Black, XL)
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It's worse than that, Chris -- they get the links, then sell the page, interest, photo, etc. which gets changed to the company that buys it up. Instant profit.

The answer to the question is obviously 1, however, and despite the opinion and perspective of the author (which I appreciate hearing), there is a specific order of operations that is well established. As a software programmer and mathematician, there's only one approach to this problem -- which I'm sure has been argued to death already. ;)
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And I should mention that I never said LSD should be "next" to be allowed to be used legally as a medication. I agree that it should be re-evaluated as an aid to psycho-therapy or treatment of drug dependence. I also opined that it could be a useful tool for exploring "inner space", or as Roland Fisher noted---for the cartography of inner space, a dimension that remains largely misunderstood and mysterious. The editors of the original profile in Mental Floss wrote: "As medical marijuana gains acceptance across the country, one scientist thinks LSD should be next" as a header to suck readers into the article.
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For the record:
There are major and minor errors in the story.
1. "What piqued Sanchez-Ramos's interest was the fact that in the 1950s, years after Lewin's studies, banisterine was found to be a monoamine oxidase (MAO). "

The important word ----inhibitor was dropped----Banisterine is an MAO inhiibitor. MAO is an enzyme (a protein) that metabolizes monoamines such as serotonin, dopamine as well as DMT. So the combination of an MAO inhibitor and DMT results in free passage of the DMT from gut to blood to brain without oxidaton and elmination. Hence, ayahuasca can be taken orally. Many indigeous people use DMT containing snuffs that are snorted and in this formulation, DMT will quickly enter brain and produce rapid, intense effects. DMT taken orally will not reach brain to produce altered states of consciousness, unless an inhibitor of MAO is taken to protect the DMT in its passage from gut to blood to brain. The signiicance of MAO inhibitors in the realm of Parkinson's disease is that this type of agent is in use to provide "neuroprotection" of dopamine neurons and hence slow progression of disease. MAO-I drugs also enhance the actions of dopamine, another useful application. The diferece between banisterine which was studied in the late 1920s and the new generation MAO inhibitors used now (selegiline and rasagiline) is their selectively for brain MAO (ie the MAO subtype . Hence there are less likely to be adverse effects (and drug interactions) when using the newer generation of MAO-B inhibotors.

2. "In 2000, Sanchez-Ramos and several other scientists conducted their own rigorously controlled study on banisterine as a potential treatment. Because of legal restrictions in the United States, they set up shop in Ecuador. Like Lewin, they found the drug improved motor function in those suffering from Parkinson's, even after a single dose. (There were also some nasty side effects -namely, nausea and vomiting. At ayahuasca ceremonies, participants are often advised to bring a bucket.)"

In fact, I met an Ecuadorean neurologist in Rio de Janeiro at a scientific symposium on Hoasca, sponsored by the UDV---Unioa do Vegetal (the state approved church of the 'two plants'.)
My talk discussed the use of banisterine for PD and lamented the fact that replication of Lewin's studies in Germany could not be done in the US. Dr. Serrano of Ecuador approached me later and commented that many of the elderly in his town regularly drank tea made only of the vine (banisteriopsis) and they were remarkable vigorous. So he decided with my help in the research design, to conduct a clinical trial of the tea made from the banisteriopsis vine. We in the states (my lab) ran the analysis of the tea's components but the entire clinical study was performed in Dr. Serrano's clinic with Ecuadorean PD patients. Results were published in Scientific Rev of Alt Med. The biggest side effect was worse kinetic tremor but there was not the nausea and vomiting typical of ingesting ayahuasca (hoasca in Brazil).

Serrano-Duenas M, F. Cardozo-Pelaez, J. Sanchez-Ramos. Effects of Banisteriopsis Extracts on De Novo Parkinson’s Disease Patients. Scientific Rev of Alternative Medicine 3:127-132, 2001

3. "When the FDA killed the Miami study after another research group found that ibogaine destroyed neurons in rats brains, Mash set up a clinic to treat addicts and alcoholic in St. Kitts, where the drug is legal. Today, her clinical trials are on pace for eventual FDA approval."

Rick Doblin pointed out the following:

FDA didn't kill the study. NIDA refused to fund it. The article makes FDA out to be seriously concerned about claims of ibogaine neurotoxicity with questionable clinical relevance. Actually, FDA is fine with ibogaine research in humans and puts science and risk/benefit analysis before politics.

Mash has no clinical trials underway with ibogaine, as far as I know. Ibogaine is side-tracked and is not making any progress toward becoming an FDA-approved prescription medicine. MAPS' long-term observational outcome study of ibogaine in opiate addicts shows it has benefits but is not a miracle cure with many people relapsing shortly after treatment or within the first year (there needs to be aftercare). Mash is interested in noribogaine, the non-psychedelic long-lasting metabolite that she identified and thinks is involved in the reduction of craving.

Also, Ibogaine is initially mentioned in the context of French diet drug in the 19th century Paris. Ibogaine's centuries of historical roots in the Bwiti religion in Gabon, Africa were not mentioned at all and it wasn't actually a French diet drug in the 19th century Paris. It was a low dose stimulant in 20th century France.

Brief text below about ibogaine's history as a prescription drug in France, for the curious:

After the isolation of ibogaine from Tabernanthe iboga in 1901 by Dybowsky and Landrin, there was very little research done on the effects of ibogaine other than by a few French pharmacologists including Phisalix, Lambert, Heckel, Pouchet, Chevalier and Closmonil. For approximately the next forty years, little interest was shown in ibogaine and it was regarded as an obscure cardiac stimulant.

Renewed interest in ibogaine occurred in 1939 when Wurman published his Doctorate of Medicine thesis in Paris entitled,"Contribution a l`etude experimentale et therapeutique d`un extrait de Tabernanthe manii d`origine gabonaise," (Contribution to the experimental and therapeutic study of an extract of T. manii from Gabon). This led to the dry extract of the roots of Tabernanthe manii being prepared in tablet form and given the tradename Lambarene(TM) in honor of Dr. Schweitzer.

Lambarene(TM) was produced in France, and contained about 200mg of extract or 8mg of ibogaine per tablet. The package label described it as: "a neuromuscular stimulant, promoting cell combustions and getting rid of fatigue, indicated in cases of depression, asthenia, in convalescence, infectious diseases, greater than normal physical or mental efforts by healthy individuals. 2-4 tablets daily. Rapid and prolonged action not followed by depression. May be administered to hypertensives."

Lambarene(TM) was of particular interest to post-World War II athletes and French mountaineers because of its antifatigue properties, and continued to be marketed in France until 1966 when ibogaine was prohibited in France. Since 1989, ibogaine has also been banned by the International Olympic Committee, the International Union of Cyclists and the French State Secretariat for Youth and Sports (Gouteral, 1992).

Finally, there are a few minor errors:
"Long before he was a scientist, long before he wrote more than 100 journal articles, held six patents, or became an investigator for the NIH's Alzheimer's Disease Research center..."

1. I indeed was an investigator in an NIH-funded AD Research Center at University of South Florida. There are many NIH-funded AD research centers throughout the US. I was not at NIH! I've published over 300 scientific articles and 157 were full-length peer-reviewed papers based on basic and clinical research. From an academic perspective, holding an Endowed Chair (the Helen Ellis Endowed Chair) is more prestigious than being an investigator funded by NIH. The endowed chair provide funds to be used to protect my research time (ie so I won't be forced to become a full time clinician and can focus a significant amount of time on research).

2. I didn't arrive in Paris from Venezuela. I arrived in NYC from Venezuela at age 5 and after finishing college at University of Chicago in 1967, I travelled to Paris...

Reason I'm sending these corrections is that my academic peers are starting to see the article and I want that info to be correct. Also important is that when I had these experiences with LSD it was legal and in fact my LSD was produced by Sandoz!!

---Juan (Zeno) Sanchez-Ramos, PhD, MD
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For years I've been saying that people fart more in airplanes due to change in air pressure, but people thought I was making a joke. My ego appreciates seeing a real scientist backing me up.
By the same logic, I believe that submariners fart less, until they surface.
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