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July 1956

Progression of Effects of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide [LSD]

Author Affiliations


From the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(1):50-59. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330250052007

Introduction  Since the Swiss chemist Hoffman, on April 16, 1943, accidentally discovered the mental effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25), a great many experiments with the drug have been reported in various journals. Observations show most agreement in the area of physical subjective symptoms and unreality and least agreement in changes of mood and behavior.Tremor, nausea, dilation of pupils, perspiration, and changes in blood pressure have been consistently found. The observed mental effects have been more at variance. Busch and Johnson,1 interested in LSD-25 as a possible therapeutic agent, have found it to cause increased activity, exhibition of emotion, and expression of psychopathology, with only short periods of confusion and occasional visual hallucinations. Similarly, Sandison, Spencer, and Whitelaw2 emphasize reliving of repressed personal experiences resulting from nonselective disturbance of the unconscious. Savage,3 in a clinical psychological study, has found the mood to be one of aggrandizement,