Mechanism of Nerve Growth Factor GDNF Elucidates Ibogaine’s Persistence and Immune Modulatory Effects
This slide presentation/lecture explores ibogaine’s persistent “resprouting” of dopaminergic dendrites and receptors via the nerve growth factor Glia-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) as a marker for a broader REM-mimetic neuro-plasticity with outcomes ranging from behavioral to immune-system benefits.
Ibogaine shares robust receptor effects with both Salvia Divinorum (kappa opiate agonism, down-regulating tolerance via beta-arrestin) and with ketamine (n-Methyl-d-Aspartate antagonism, curbing narcotic withdrawal and super-sensitization to stimulants). However, neither of these account for ibogaine’s signature long-lasting effect against cocaine/alcohol (Bruno Rasmussen Chaves, 2014) or opiate abuse (Thomas Kingsley Brown, 2017).
In a series of papers (2005, 6, 10) Dorit Ron et al established that ibogaine unexpectedly expresses the nerve growth factor (GDNF), re-sprouting chronically desensitized dopamine receptors, replacing the neural deficit experienced as craving. Not only that, the 10-fold GDNF spike engendered by ibogaine back-signals to cell nuclei to make more GDNF, setting up a persistent, benign auto-regulatory loop that accounts for ibogaine’s persistent effect. This is confirmed by the recent discovery that as little as 4 mgs of ibogaine twice a day for 28 days significantly reverses Parkinson’s degeneration (case studies, unpublished), since one typical effect of end-stage methamphetamine abuse on dopamine function is Parkinsonianism.
Interestingly, the thesis that ibogaine is a true oneiric which one experiences as “a dream body in a dream landscape” (Alper, Lotsof 2009) as elaborated in Carl Anderson’s prescient paper (MAPS, 1998) on ibogaine and fetal REM is buttressed by the fact that knock-out mice without a GDNF gene have no adrenals because they are born without kidneys. This raises intriguing issues not only of REM as orchestrator of fetal/neonatal growth, but the extreme usefulness of a true REM-mimetic in modulating the immune systems of adults seen in ibogaine amelioration of auto-immune disorders such as MS and Crohn’s disease (case studies), and some complications of AIDS.