DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is a potent chemical that has been known to provide extremely insightful psychedelic experiences to its users. You may have heard of the powerful psychedelic brew called Ayahuasca, for which many people have travelled to South America in hopes of healing past or present traumas and gaining insight into their lives. The psychoactive component of Ayahuasca is DMT. DMT can also be smoked, generally resulting in a stronger yet much more short-lived psychedelic experience.
Why Is DMT Considered To Be So Fascinating?
One of the most fascinating things about this chemical is that it can be found in many places throughout nature and also inside the pineal gland, located within the human brain. Research has revealed that during sleep and dream states, the pineal gland releases small amounts of DMT. During the moment of a person’s death, it releases all of it. Researchers are now investigating whether this release of DMT at the point of clinical death (no heartbeat or oxygen to the brain) can hold terminal death at bay.
In a proposed experiment, researchers Ede Frecska and Attila Szabo hope to determine whether or not the release of DMT can allow the brain to survive longer without oxygen.
“Our main tenet is that DMT is involved in the healing and regeneration of cells, it helps the body to survive extreme stress like clinical death,” Frecska wrote on the funding page. “Our group has already provided experimental support of this concept in the field of immunology.”
“In response to a life threatening situation, the lungs can synthesize large amounts of DMT and release it into the arterial blood within seconds,” says the video accompanying the funding page. “Since the heart has made its last systolic contractions, the brain does not have much time.”
When the DMT arrives in the neurons, however, it signals them to reduce their energy consumption to buy more time before death. “Just imagine how many lives can be saved in an extra few minutes,” the video posted below says.
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If the researchers’ hypothesis is correct, then one day DMT could be available in ambulances and emergency rooms to be administered to patients, affording doctors a longer window of time to bring them back to life, which is pretty incredible.
Where Did This Idea Originally Come From?
“When, in 1961, I was working in Julius Axelrod’s lab, one day, I remember Julie showing me the results of his latest experiment on rabbit lung tissues. He found an enzyme capable of synthesizing DMT from its natural precursors. Ever since we kept wondering what could DMT be doing in the lungs, besides being sent to the brain to produce spectacular hallucinations? Some 50 years later DMT was found to bind to sigma-1 receptors which are present in many cells of the body (including the lungs).
These receptors are involved in a number of bio-regulatory functions in cells. Dr. Frecska and his colleagues were among the firsts to recognize that DMT, possibly mediated through sigma-1 receptors may be involved in the healing and regeneration processes after severe stress. His group deserves a chance to follow up, with the help of our support, their research using traditional scientific methods.”
– Stephen Szára, M.D., D.Sc. Retired Chief of Biomedical Branch, NIDA
What Did Other Respected Researchers Have To Say In Regards To This Project?
“Why does the human body and brain make DMT? No one really knows, but it must have a function or more likely multiple functions. Dr. Frecska and his colleagues are on the absolute cutting edge of efforts to understand those functions in depth. Their study will focus on DMT’s possible role as an antihypoxic agent in clinical death. The implications of this research, if their hypotheses holds up, are enormous. I strongly urge you to contribute generously to their Indiegogo campaign. This is about an attempt to answer some of the most fundamental questions of the human brain, mind, and spirit. Watch the video and scroll down for a pretty good picture of their research and the questions they are exploring. And then give what you can.
This is possibly the most important DMT research to happen since Rick Strassman forced open the gates 20 years ago!”
-Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., author of The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss
“Dr. Frecska and his team are doing incredibly important work with DMT, one of the most interesting molecules known to science. Their work goes beyond the psychedelic effects of DMT into the mysteries of its endogenous production in the human body and it’s potential role in saving life during the crucial moments in the emergency room before reversible ‘clinical death’ become irreversible terminal death.
I’m happy to have supported this exciting project and I hope others will do so to[o]. Small donations given by enough people can make all the difference….”
– Graham Hancock, author of Supernatural
“Dr. Ede Frecska and his colleagues have put forward an intriguing possibility regarding the endogenous substance DMT, also a fascinating psychedelic agent. I do not have the expertise to comment on the probability of their thesis being proven, but, knowing Dr. Frecska’s professional integrity and inquisitive mind, I am happy to support the project and to urge others to do so.”
– Gabor Maté, M.D. author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts