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December 2, 1968

Cytogenetic Effects of LSD 25 Therapy in Man

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Cancer Research, and Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia. Dr. Taylor is now at San Diego (Calif) State College, and Gillian Paton is now at the Medical Research Council, Mill Hill, London.

JAMA. 1968;206(10):2287-2291. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150100037008

Chromosomes have been studied in leukocytes cultured from patients undergoing experimental therapy with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD 25). Aberration frequencies prior to therapy were established for three of the four patients; these were comparable to frequencies in control subjects. Following each of three doses given intravenously (usually 200μg per dose), each patient's chromosomes were reexamined. Some increase in aberration frequency was observed, along with the appearance of some types of aberration not present before treatment. However, a return to control levels occurred in follow-up samples taken one to six months after the final dose was administered. We feel therefore that continued experimental therapy is not strongly contraindicated. On the other hand, these results can not be construed to minimize the possible cytogenetic hazards suggested by other studies concerned primarily with drug abuse.