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March 1958

Studies with Ceruloplasmin and a New Hallucinogen

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(3):317-322. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340030081013

Knowledge of the hallucinogenic properties of atropine-like compounds is certainly as old as that concerning the effects of mescal and marihuana. It has been postulated that the oracle at Delphi induced her prophetic vision with belladonna. Hughes and Clark1 quote a lively description of a 17th century American epidemic of atropine poisoning. Readers of English detective novels or American Western stories are familiar with the deadly nightshade and Jimson weed, respectively.

The recent synthesis of N-ethyl-3-piperidyl benzilate hydrochloride, JB 318*,2 an agent chemically related to atropine (Figure), led to the present studies. Originally intended as an autonomic-blocking agent in the treatment of peptic ulcer, the drug exhibited hallucinogenic properties, so prominent as to merit further investigation.3

At the close of the conference of the Brain Research Foundation on blood tests in mental illness in 1957,4 several unanswered or partly answered questions were raised or implied. What

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