Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2013 - Volume 119 - Issue 6 > Altered States: Psychedelics and Anesthetics
Anesthesiology:
doi: 10.1097/01.anes.0000435635.42332.ee
Special Articles

Altered States: Psychedelics and Anesthetics

Icaza, Eduardo E. M.D.*; Mashour, George A. M.D., Ph.D.

University of Michigan
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Abstract

The psychedelic experience has been reported since antiquity, but there is relatively little known about the underlying neural mechanisms. A recent neuroimaging study on psilocybin revealed a pattern of decreased cerebral blood flow and functional disconnections that is surprisingly similar to that caused by various anesthetics. In this article, the authors review historical examples of psychedelic experiences induced by general anesthetics and then contrast the mechanisms by which these two drug classes generate altered states of consciousness.

© 2013 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.

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