Psilocybin: Magic mushroom compound ‘promising’ for depression

Rachel Schraer reports for the BBC:

“Dr Carhart-Harris said that after psychedelic therapy, participants reported feeling ‘recalibrated, reset like they haven’t for years” and “enjoying life’.”

Psychedelic drug psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, is as good at reducing symptoms of depression as conventional treatment, a small, early-stage study has suggested.

But when it comes to actively improving people’s well-being and ability to feel pleasure, the psychedelic drug may have had a more powerful effect.

Psychedelics are being studied for a range of mental-health conditions.

But experts caution that this is a small trial with more research needed.

For the past three decades, since Prozac hit the market, new drugs for depression and anxiety have generally been variations on the same theme.

Yet for a considerable chunk of people they cause undesirable side-effects, stop working over time or don’t work in the first place.

The psilocybin trial’s leaders said there was appetite for “novel” treatments that took a different approach.

The psilocybin trial’s leaders said there was appetite for “novel” treatments that took a different approach.

The trial’s 59 participants were given either psilocybin or a common antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

The scientists from Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research measured participants’ mood and functioning using a number of different measures …”

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