In late 1998, a man posted a message on an internet bulletin board that he suspected LSD had prevented his usual cluster headache cycles. He had successfully experimented on himself using indole-ring hallucinogens and he posted that he planned to continue using the treatment. This idea was met at first with much skepticism as many clusterheads (as sufferers affectionately call themselves) had seen a hundred scams, crazy ideas, and misguided treatments born of desperation over the years.
Yet upon further investigation, his claims had some scientific basis: indole-ring molecules fit well with serotonin receptors, research on LSD years ago showed it to be a very effective treatment for migraines (a related disease). Indeed, Albert Hoffman was looking for a treatment for migraines amongst other conditions when he created LSD. Historically, many cultures all over the world treated headaches with naturally occurring indole-ring hallucinogens for centuries.
As word spread of this treatment option, others tried psilocybin and also achieved excellent results. There was more discussion on the boards and research done with both of these treatments. From the board a core group of advisors and researchers emerged, to champion the cause. They developed a web site with the ponderous title “The Treatment of Vascular Headaches with Hallucinogenic Substances.”
The experiments, discussions and reports of the treatment went on through 2000 and 2001. The people involved were professionals, business owners, contractors and members of their community. Their concern using LSD and psilocybin, those being illegal drugs, became an issue and some people in sensitive positions worried about livelihoods and careers. The site was moved and Clusterbusters was created!
ClusterBusters was incorporated and registered as an IRS-approved 501 (c) (3) non-profit research and educational organization soon after, to further research into effective treatments of cluster headache.
Soon after, the medical research community started to pay attention to the success of these treatments, became involved in research and started to listen to what we had to say. This led to several encouraging events that are continuing to evolve every day.
A paper was prepared on this treatment option:
Response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD
By: R. Andrew Sewell, MD, John H. Halpern, MD and Harrison G. Pope, Jr, MD
This paper was presented at the National Headache Foundation Research Summit in February 2006 and later published in Neurology as a
communication brief, NEUROLOGY 2006;66:1920-1922 link
Clusterbusters has been featured in the newspapers, feature films and news stories around the world. ClusterBusters now hosts annual conferences across the U.S. to further its goals of patient education and research development. The directors of Clusterbusters are asked to present our findings at many different conferences throughout the year.
The organization has ongoing interest in conducting clinical trials of indole-ring compounds and has recently participated in the research of non-hallucinogenic treatments of cluster headache.
Through the efforts of many the future of effective treatment of cluster headache is brighter and there is more opportunity on the horizon.
About Cluster Busters Inc. The Board of ClusterBusters Inc is comprised of 3 Directors and the President, Mr. Bob Wold. Bob has been asked to present at numerous conferences, seminars and has appeared in many newspapers, magazine articles and online reports.
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