'AAZ-A-154' is an overlooked molecule that could provide mental health therapy
It stimulates receptors for serotonin, which mediates satisfaction and happiness
In trials on mice it produced rapid and 'long-lasting antidepressant-like effects'
A newly-identified 'psychedelic-like drug' doesn't cause hallucinogenic side effects, scientists reveal.
AAZ-A-154 is a 'previously unstudied' molecule that has the potential to act on beneficial pathways in the brain without causing hallucinations.
It stimulates receptors for serotonin – a key hormone sent between nerve cells in our brain that stabilises our mood, well-being and happiness.
In experiments on mice, AAZ-A-154 produced rapid and long-lasting antidepressant-like effects after a single dose, the US researchers found – and, if synthesised, could be an effective treatment for humans.
Psychedelic drugs have already shown promise for treating neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers are now trying to identify alternative medications that offer the benefits of psychedelics without causing often distressing hallucinations.