Erowid References Database
Hirschhorn K, Cohen MM.
“Nonpsychic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide”.
Ann. intern. med. 1967;67:1109-11.
The acute and the chronic psychotomimetic potentials of the hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) have been documented (1). That additional effects of LSD should come under scrutiny at this time is particularly pertinent considering the supposed widespread use of this drug among the population. Recent investigations have demonstrated that small doses of LSD (as low as 0.001 mcg/ml) yielded a two-to threefold increase of chromosomal damage in comparison with untreated control cells. A similar in vivo effect was predicted by the finding of increased chromosomal abnormalities in one patient receiving LSD therapy for a psychiatric disorder (2). This observation was borne out in a study of eight "users" of LSD, six of whom manifested considerable chromosomal damage of their lymphocytes (3). In a recently completed investigation we have confirmed the preliminary in vitro results with additional data and have also examined the chromosomes of cultured lymphocytes from 17 individuals who repeatedly ingested LSD, 4 children, who were exposed to the drug in utero, and 12 "drug free" controls (4). Fourteen of the 17 young adults in this study demonstrated rates of chromosome breakage that were two to six times as great as those observed in the controls, with a threefold mean increase. In this series of subjects, as in the cells treated in vitro, we observed structural chromosomal rearrangements (dicentrics and exchange figures) that were absent in the controls. Of the four children exposed in utero two, born to mothers taking the usual dose (300 to 600 mcg) of LSD, showed three and fivefold increases in chromosome damage, while the remaining two, born to a mother taking only 50-60 mcg doses, did not demonstrate a significant increase. It may be important that one of the children with a high frequency of chromosome damage was 2 1/2 years old at the time of study and had not been exposed to the drug since birth.
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