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How can illegal drugs help our brains | David Nutt | 9 months ago

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"Talk covers the wonderous complexity of the brain – the most complex organ in the universe – but one which often goes wrong – so that the cost of brain disorders is greater than that of cancer diabetes and cardiovascular diseases together.
David Nutt explains how through decades of education and training the brain constrains the contents of the mind by limiting its activity and directions.
And then he will show how psychedelic drugs can break open these limitations to allow new ways of thinking that can help people overcome problems such as depression – and argue that the UN regulations controlling these drugs should be eased so much more therapeutic research can be conducted with these and other “illegal” drugs to benefit humanity."

David Nutt is a psychiatrist and the Edmund J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Science, Dept of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London.

Here he uses a range of brain imaging techniques to explore the causes of addiction and other psychiatric disorders and to search for new treatments.

He has published over 450 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 30 books, including one for the general public, Drugs: without the hot air, that won the Transmission Prize in 2014.

He is currently the President of the European Brain Council and Founding Chair of (formerly the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD).

Previously he has been president of the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the British Neuroscience Association and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television. In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist in the list.

In 2013 he was awarded the John Maddox Prize from Nature/Sense about Science for standing up for science.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at



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