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, …

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Magic mushrooms’ effects illuminated in brain imaging studies

The intensity of the effects reported by the participants, including visions of geometric patterns, unusual bodily sensations and altered sense of space and time, correlated with a decrease in oxygenation and blood flow in certain parts of the brain. Professor David Nutt, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, the senior author of both studies, …

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Magic mushrooms trial for depression delayed by red tape

“The knock-on effect is this profound impairment of research. We are the first people ever to have done a psilocybin study in the UK, but we are still hunting for a company that can manufacture the drug to GMP standards for the clinical trial, even though we’ve been trying for a year to find one. …

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How Psilocybin Improves Your Brain

Psilocybin frees the brain from its rigid patterns and ego-driven assumptions, and allows the user to look at the world — and him or herself — from a whole new perspective. Many mushroom experiences also are accompanied by waves of good feelings and psychedelic visions of sound and color.

 

These results build on other evidence about how psilocybin can rewire the brain. A previous study at the Imperial College London showed that brain activity diminished in certain areas when subjects took the substance, particularly in the part of the brain responsible for a sense of self.

 

“I was fascinated to see similarities between the pattern of brain activity in a psychedelic state and the pattern of brain activity during dream sleep,” lead researcher Robin Carhart-Harris said in a statement. “People often describe taking psilocybin as producing a dreamlike state and our findings have, for the first time, provided a physical representation for the experience in the brain.”

 

“We find that the psychedelic state is associated with a less constrained and more intercommunicative mode of brain function,” the study concludes, “which is consistent with descriptions of the nature of consciousness in the psychedelic state.”

 

Magic mushrooms got their name for a reason. Psilocybin — the active chemical in so-called “magic mushrooms” — works on the mind in amazing ways to breed new insights and break from negativity and intransigence.

 

 

The Magic Effect Of Psilocybin Mushrooms

“These are remarkable compounds, with I think remarkable implications, if we can understand how they work and why they work,” says Roland Griffiths, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University, where some of the world’s leading psychedelic research is taking place.

 

Psilocybin mushrooms provoke mystical experiences and spiritual journeys when the body breaks the chemical down into a compound that is very similar to serotonin, a natural neurotransmitter in the brain. But psilocybin and serotonin aren’t exactly the same, explains Robin Carhart-Harris of the Imperial College London, and “that subtle difference in its pharmacology confers profound effects on consciousness.”

 

“What seems to happen in the psychedelic state is that when something is positive, it has the potential to be incredibly positive, to the extent of being euphoric, or ecstatic,” Carhart-Harris says. “But similarly if something is negative, it has the potential to be quite hellish and dysphoric and frightening.”

 

Griffith led a study published in 2006 in which volunteers received psilocybin or a comparative drug and were allowed to relax with soothing music in the presence of people with whom they had a trusting relationship.

 

Psilocybin mushrooms have helped human beings unlock their egos for centuries. This video, Psychedelic Science: Psilocybin by Reason TV, features interviews with two leading researchers who explain what we know about the magic mushroom effect and how much more we have to learn.