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The ‘magic mushroom’ ingredient can act as mental health treatment



Or they can, if tjhey is not illegal in most states.

Oregon became the first US state to produce psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, legal for treating mental health in a supervised environment.

They have more evidence in their case with a new small study of 24 adults with severe depression published this week in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, showing that two doses of psilocybin significantly reduced symptoms of depression. cold.

“The effect we saw was about four times greater than what was seen in clinical trials,” said Alan Davis, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. has been shown for traditional antidepressants on the market. a newsletter.

“Because most other depression treatments take weeks or months to be effective and can have undesirable effects, this could be a game-changing factor if these findings are present. applicable in future ̵

6;gold standard’ placebo controlled clinical trials. “

While not without limits, this study is the latest to explore how psilocybin can help alleviate mental health problems. Other studies have suggested that this compound may help treat anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction.

Participants in the John Hopkins study experienced depression for about two years before being recruited and had to abandon existing antidepressants. Thirteen participants received psilocybin treatment immediately after registration, and 11 participants were placed on a waiting list and received the same treatment after the 8 weeks delay.

The Mazatec psilocybin mushroom is ready to be harvested on May 19, 2019, in Denver.

David Nutt, professor and director of the neurophysiology division of the brain science department at Imperial College London, said the study provided additional evidence of psilocybin’s “rapid and powerful effect”. Nutt, who wasn’t involved in the study, said the results could be misleading by the fact that patients knew they would be taking the drug, with the expectation that it could increase the size of the effect.

A 2016 study conducted by several John Hopkins researchers found that psilocybin can reduce depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.

“Because there are several major types of depressive disorders that can lead to a change in the way people respond to treatment, I was surprised at most,” said Roland Griffiths, an author of the new study. Our study participants found the psilocybin treatment to be effective. and 2016 paper, concurrently professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Conscious Research.

Psilocybins can induce visual and auditory hallucinations and profound changes in consciousness within hours after ingestion, the study said.

In the United States, possession of compounds is a felony, as they are classified as Schedule I substances.

The Oregon vote requires the Oregon Health Authority to authorize the production and possession of licensed, regulated, and exclusive psilocybin for the administration of licensed operators to clients.

How it can affect the brain

It is not well understood how psilocybin affects the brain, but Nutt at Imperial University says that this compound appears to disrupt negative thought circuits via the 5HT2Z receptor in the brain.

“Standard antidepressants protect against the stressors that lead to and prolong depression but do not have direct access to and overcome the underlying socio-psycho-underlying causes,” he wrote in a the article was co-commissioned and published by him earlier this year.
The Canadian government is allowing 4 terminally ill patients to use hallucinogenic fungi to help ease their anxiety

“On the contrary, psychotherapy exploits a therapeutic window opened by the brain through the action of drugs to facilitate emotional understanding and release.”

He says this substance tends to work with “internalizing disorders” such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder, in which individuals meditate on failures or intrusive thoughts.

Guy Goodwin, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Oxford University, says another more pharmacologically understandable explanation psilocybin “is just a kick” of the serotonin system. Serotonin is a chemical and neurotransmitter in the digestive system, brain and blood system regulates mood, social behavior, appetite, sleep, memory, and sexual function.

Goodwin, who was not involved in the study, said the main limitation of the John Hopkins study was that there was no longer follow-up time – the group followed the participants just four weeks after the treatment. Depression for many people is a long-term condition, and determining whether treatment is effective long-term is a key factor lacking.

What’s more, with studies like this, it’s hard to tell the effect of the drug from taking it, Goodwin said.

Study participants received approximately 11 hours of psychotherapy and received medication under the care of trained specialists and in an environment designed to help patients feel comfortable.

“You will be effective regardless of whether the treatment is effective or not because everyone cares about you and takes care of you and measures everything. People love it and feel better for that. Comparing the real thing, you will make everything the same but the real medicine. ”

However, he says larger studies are in progress that will address questions raised from early proof concept studies like this one.

“This is a nice, small preliminary study with a lot of weaknesses but no less positive promises for better.”


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