DMT in the mammalian brain:
A critical appraisal
Charles D. Nichols & David E. Nichols
commentary on Dean et al., 2019
DMT, near-death experiences, neurotransmission, mammalian
Recently, a publication from Dean et al. reported that N,N-dimethyl tryptamine (DMT) is synthesized in the rat brain cortex, present at levels similar to other monoamine neurotransmitters, and significantly increases in concentration at death. They further promoted the theory that DMT may serve as the causative agent for “near death experiences”, which have been compared to peak psychedelic experiences. The publication certainly is interesting and suggests additional directions to explore scientifically but does not meet the bar for either claim that DMT is at functional levels in the cortex comparable to serotonin or is the “near death” neurotransmitter.