Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression

Twelve people with moderate to severe treatment-resistant depression who had not responded to at least two courses of antidepressants were recruited (six men and six women, aged 30 to 64). Most of the participants actively volunteered to take part following presentations by the researchers and media coverage.

Hallucinogenics such as psilocybin can cause unpleasant reactions, including anxiety and paranoia, so it is important to establish whether the drug can be administered safely to people with depression. To investigate the safety and feasibility of using psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, researchers from Imperial  conducted a strictly monitored feasibility study.  As this was not a randomised-controlled trial, the patients knew they were receiving the drug and there was no control group to provide comparison either with existing treatments or with no treatment at all.

Previous studies have looked into the potential of using psychedelic drugs for conditions such as end of life anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and smoking dependence. Psilocybin acts on the serotonin system suggesting it could be developed for use in the treatment of depression.

It is estimated that 350 million people worldwide are affected by depression. The annual cost of depression in England is thought to be around £7.5 billion. Most people with depression respond positively to treatment using antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioural therapy. But around 20 per cent of those with depression do not respond to treatments and are classified as having treatment-resistant depression.

The study team, from Imperial College London, say this could pave the way for future randomised-controlled trials to establish the efficacy of the compound in treating this form of depression.

 

 


Our videos describing different aspects of what we do.

Psychedelics: Lifting the veil | Robin Carhart-Harris | TEDxWarwick

EXCLUSIVE: Could magic mushrooms treat depression? BBC Newsnight

Comeback of psychedelics in science and medicine: Robin Carhart Harris

Mendel Kaelen: Psychological & Neurophysiological Effects of Music in Combination with Psychedelics

Mendel Kaelen 29th June 2016

  • Karl on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersI'm Karl a 40.yr Old Male who's Depressed & got Anxiety who also would like 2 try Philosybin Treatment as I don't believe in the treatment available @ the moment
  • Roxene Saviano on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHello, I am 63 years old and am struggling with severe depression. I used many psycedelics during my teens and well into my 20s. Actually used LSD as a method of marriage communication. It was very helpful. Now 35-40 years later and nothing helps thi…
  • Robert Kew on Help us treat depression!Hi. I would very much like to participate in a trial. I'm 49 and have suffered most of my life with anxiety and depression. I'm currently on dual reuptake inhibitors but they have limited effect for me. I've tried many, many things over the years to…
  • Patryk on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHello everyone I'm on antidepressant from couple of years and I try many different types. Right now I have worst time ever. I try mushrooms which one found my self on last season 2016. I have found but that was very difficult for me. I go nearly ever…
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