A review of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and an exploratory study of subjects claiming symptoms of HPPD

John H. Halpern, Arturo G. Lerner, Torsten Passie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is rarely encountered in clinical settings. It is described as a re-experiencing of some perceptual distortions induced while intoxicated and suggested to subsequently cause functional impairment or anxiety. Two forms exist: Type 1, which are brief “flashbacks,” and Type 2 claimed to be chronic, waxing, and waning over months to years. A review of HPPD is presented. In addition, data from a comprehensive survey of 20 subjects reporting Type-2 HPPD-like symptoms are presented and evaluated. Dissociative Symptoms are consistently associated with HPPD. Results of the survey suggest that HPPD is in most cases due to a subtle over-activation of predominantly neural visual pathways that worsens anxiety after ingestion of arousal-altering drugs, including non-hallucinogenic substances. Individual or family histories of anxiety and pre-drug use complaints of tinnitus, eye floaters, and concentration problems may predict vulnerability for HPPD. Future research should take a broader outlook as many perceptual symptoms reported were not first experienced while intoxicated and are partially associated with pre-existing psychiatric comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages333-360
Number of pages28
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Volume36
ISSN (Print)1866-3370
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3389

Keywords

  • Dissociation
  • Drug-induced flashback
  • Flashback
  • Hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD)
  • Hallucinogens
  • LSD
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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