Magic mushrooms cure depression, or at least “reset” the activity of essential brain circuits understood to play a role in anxiety, the most recent research study to highlight the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics recommends.
Psychedelics have revealed promising results in the treatment of depression and addictions in a variety of medical trials over the last years.
Imperial College London scientists used psilocybin, the psychoactive compound that takes place naturally in magic mushrooms-, to deal with a small number of clients with depression, monitoring their brain function, before and after.
Can magic mushrooms cure depression?
Pictures of patients’ brains revealed changes in brain activity that were related to significant and enduring reductions in depressive signs and individuals in the trial reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment.
The study revealed indications that magic mushrooms cure depression.
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research study at Imperial, who led the research study, said:
“We have shown for the very first time clear modifications in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to react to traditional treatments.
“Several of our patients explained feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and typically utilized computer system analogies. For instance, one stated he seemed like his brain had actually been ‘defragged’ like a computer system hard disk drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’.
” Psilocybin might be giving these people the short-lived ‘kick start’ they have to break out of their depressive states, and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ example. Comparable brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive treatment.”
20 patients with treatment-resistant anxiety were provided two dosages of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the 2nd dosage a week after the first.
Of these, 19 went through initial brain imaging and then the 2nd scan one day after the high dosage treatment.
The team utilized two primary brain imaging approaches to measure modifications in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain areas, with clients reporting their depressive symptoms through finishing clinical questionnaires.
Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decline in depressive signs, such as improvements in mood and tension relief, another indication of magic mushrooms cure depression.
MRI imaging exposed decreased blood flow in locations of the brain, consisting of the amygdala, a little, almond-shaped region of the brain understood to be associated with processing emotional reactions, tension and worry.
The authors believe the findings provide a new window into exactly what happens in the brains of people after they have ‘come down’ from a psychedelic, with an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug ‘journey’ followed by a re-integration afterward.
Last year, 2 US research studies revealed that a single dosage of psilocybin could raise the stress and anxiety and anxiety experienced by individuals with innovative cancer for 6 months and even longer.
The Imperial College scientists acknowledge that the significance of their results is restricted by the small sample size and the absence of a control/placebo group for comparison.
They also stress that it would threaten for clients with depression to try to self-medicate.
Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology system in the department of brain sciences, and senior author of the paper, said:
“Larger studies are needed to see if this positive impact can be reproduced in more patients. However, these preliminary findings are interesting and supply another treatment avenue to explore.”
The authors presently plan to evaluate psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.
The research was supported by the Medical Research Council, the Alex Mosley Charitable Trust and the Safra Foundation.