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Psychoactive Drug To Help Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury

A psychoactive drug named Ibogaine will help veterans deal with traumatic brain injury and ease the symptoms.

January 21, 2024

The study conducted reveals that a single dose of the psychoactive drug Ibogaine appears to reduce symptoms of traumatic brain injury in military veterans.

A traumatic brain injury happens when veterans jerk the head hard enough that their brain moves violently inside the skull. This can lead to brain damage which in turn leads to problems like cognition, emotion, or movement.

These injuries are common among US veterans. From 2000 to 2022, approximately 460,000 U.S. service members suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) either during training or in combat, as reported by the U.S. Department of Defense. These injuries significantly increase the risk for these veterans to develop mental health issues compared to other veterans. They are more likely to experience conditions such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, suicidal tendencies, or substance abuse disorders.

Standard treatments such as antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medicines can help veterans overcome the symptoms of TBI.

Nolan Williams said, “There were a handful of veterans who had gone to this clinic in Mexico and were reporting anecdotally that they had great improvements in all kinds of areas of their lives after taking ibogaine”.

A single dose of the drug combined with magnesium prevents potential heart complications among veterans. The veterans also completed questionnaires and underwent assessments to measure their levels of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and anxiety.

The average disability score of veterans after the treatment was 5.1 rather than 30.2. Veterans also experienced ease in symptoms of PTSD, Depression, and anxiety.

The study suggests that Ibogaine can help veterans ease the symptoms of TBI. To accurately assess the potential of ibogaine as a treatment, larger, placebo-controlled trials are required.

However, the process is complicated in the U.S. as ibogaine is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, making approval for such trials challenging. Despite these hurdles, the Stanford team remains keen on exploring ibogaine’s possibilities for treating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other conditions.

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Houser Kristin. “Psychoactive drug helps veterans with traumatic brain injury”. Big Think, January 21, 2024,
Psychoactive drug helps veterans with traumatic brain injury – Big Think

Last Updated: September 20, 2021