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Psychedelic Hope In The Treatment Of Cluster Headaches | Bob Wold of Clusterbusters Inc
Cluster headaches are a rare and excruciating neurological condition. The term “headache” is truly misleading, as what comes to mind when you hear this term is likely far less extreme than the reality of the condition. Cluster headaches have a subjective pain rating higher than a gunshot wound and have been described as “the most painful condition known to man.” They have even been referred to as “suicide headaches” as it is common that not only the pain, but the negative impact on one’s life is so great that suicide becomes a serious consideration.
Unfortunately, cluster headaches are also remarkably difficult to treat. There are some treatment options, from pharmaceuticals to high-flow oxygen, that are somewhat helpful for some people. However, there is no existing reliably effective treatment.
That said, there is one form of treatment that many find to be not only extremely helpful but is at this point the most effective treatment that has been discovered: psychedelic tryptamines, like LSD, LSA, and Psilocybin mushrooms.
This is not a new insight from modern research but a grassroots discovery made by survivors of cluster headaches more than 20 years ago. A discovery so important that there is a non-profit organization that was founded explicitly to educate and advocate on the use of psychedelic tryptamines for cluster headaches, to those with the condition, the public, and to both medical and legal institutions. That organization is called Clusterbusters, and today’s guest is its founder, Bob Wold.
Bob Wold is 69 years old and, together with his wife Mary of 50 years, has raised four children and is currently the proud grandparents of 10. He was diagnosed with Cluster Headaches approximately 45 years ago, which eventually led to his founding Clusterbusters, Inc. in 2002. Clusterbusters was founded upon the principles of the need for psychedelic research proving its benefits as a safe and effective treatment for cluster headaches, one of the most devastatingly painful conditions known to humankind.
Clusterbuster’s first published research of the use of psychedelics to treat cluster headaches, in 2006, is the basic foundation and building block for the current psychedelic research into the treatment of pain disorders.
Since the founding of Clusterbusters, the organization has grown to the largest cluster headache support and advocacy non-profit organization in the U.S. Bob’s work with Clusterbusters has included research projects carried out at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and the University of West Georgia in the United States, McGill University in Montreal Canada, and Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany. This research has led to increased and improved treatments for the cluster headache community and is helping advance future treatment improvements.
Bob Wold joins us on this episode of Adventures Through The Mind podcast to explore what cluster headaches are: their patterns, symptoms, and pathophysiology; The treatment landscape presently available, with a specific deep dive into psychedelic tryptamines as the most effective treatment discovered thus far and how those with clusters use those tryptamines.
Check out ClusterBusters.org here
Check out their 1st Annual U.K./European Conference May 5-7 2023 here
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Episode Breakdown and Timestamps
- (0:00) Opening
- (3:13) Episode Overture
- (6:42) Patreon Thanks
- (7:58) Interview begins
- (8:44) What are Cluster Headaches: patterns, symptoms, and physiology
- (16:52) Cluster cycles | headaches returning every year at the same time
- (20:09) Physiological causes and triggers
- (24:40) The strain of clusters on family and relationships | The life-saving benefits of community
- (29:24) Suicidality amongst survivors of cluster headaches
- (33:24) Pathophysiology of clusters: trigeminal nerve and the hypothalamus
- (36:34) The treatment landscape | medications and high-flow oxygen
- (43:49) Lack of funding compromising research on cluster headaches
- (48:55) The treatment landscape: opiates(e.g. heroin), caffeine, and aerobic exercises
- (58:57) The history of psychedelic tryptamines for cluster headaches
- (1:05:33) Psychedelic tryptamines are the most effective treatment for cluster headaches
- (1:0911) Psychedelic tryptamines for clusters: dosage, efficacy, and protocol
- (1:16:24) Why psychedelic tryptamines help cluster headaches
- (1:19:10) LSA vs LSD vs Psilocybin for treatment efficacy
- (1:23:10) Growing your own psychedelic medicine is revolutionary
- (1:28:57) Advocation and education on psychedelic tryptamines for cluster survivors
- (1:32:39) Novel psychedelics tryptamines for cluster headaches
- (1:35:54) Conflicts between the DEA and research into new psychedelic treatments
- (1:42:36) Clusterbusters: who they are, what they do, and how you can connect with them
- (1:45:22) Outro