‘Magic Mushrooms’ Could Lead The Way Towards Better Depression Treatments [Study]
British scientists believe they may be able to help people suffering from depression by providing them with “magic mushrooms.” The naturally grown psychedelic drug is at the center of two separate studies in which psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has shown to suppress activity in areas of the brain that are often slowed with other anti-depressant treatments.
Speaking to Reuters researcher David Nutt of Imperial College London
“Psychedelics are thought of as ‘mind-expanding’ drugs so it has commonly been assumed that they work by increasing brain activity. But, surprisingly, we found that psilocybin actually caused activity to decrease in areas that have the densest connections with other areas.”
The “hub” regions of the brain have been shown to play a role in constraining our experience of the world thus helping keeping it orderly. When deactivated the world was viewed as “strange” by study participants.
To examine the effects of psilocybin 30 volunteers were given the drug through a blood infusion and then placed through an MRI to measure brain activity. The results showed a decrease in “hub” regions and many volunteers described a feeling of feeling “loosened” and their sense of self being altered.
Another study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry on Thursday found that 10 volunteers had experienced an enhanced recollection of personal memories.
At this time researcher is still considered to be in the fundamental stages with only a “fundamental impact” being shown on the brain in the short term at this time.
Would you be willing to take a “magic mushroom” based drug to help deal with depression?