Posted by pinksharkmark (220.127.116.11) on September 11, 2000 at 10:51:38:
In Reply to: And Mark or Flash posted by Ted on September 11, 2000 at 03:45:11:
The Indole Ring is nothing more than the basic framework of both serotonin and psilocin.
What is important is NOT the fact that each molecule happens to be constructed around an Indole Ring instead of, say, a Benzene Ring or any other "core" for that matter. What is important is that the two molecules are similar enough that the 5HT-2A receptors, which were designed to accept serotonin molecules, will instead accept psilocin molecules. The receptors are, in effect, "fooled" into accepting psilocin, in the same way that some songbirds are "fooled" into accepting a cuckoo's egg as their own.
Once the receptor is occupied by a psilocin molecule, a serotonin molecule can't get in.
So why does this stop a cluster cycle dead in its tracks for periods as long as a year or more?
The most likely reason is that since psilocin is slightly different from serotonin, a receptor that is occupied by a psilocin molecule will send a slightly DIFFERENT message back up the neural pathways than a receptor that is occupied by a serotonin molecule.
The theory held by myself, Flash, and other researchers, is that this message is just different enough for the hypothalamus to "reset" itself for a while. Serotonin production and regulation is normalized, and the headaches vanish. They won't return until the hypothalamus drifts out of whack again.
It's sort of like giving a sharp slap to an old tube-style radio that has drifted slightly off the desired radio station and is producing fuzzy sound. The slap is enough to "reset" the radio for a while, and you get nice clean sound. But eventually, it will drift off-station again, and will have to be given another slap.
This is why a single dose of psilocin is not enough to eliminate cluster headaches for the rest of your life. At some point, another dose will be required, and another. A clusterhead's brain is analagous to an old tube radio. Every know and then, you have to give it a slap to make it stay on station.
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