Magic Mushrooms Could Treat Depression, Study Says

A study by researchers from King's College London and mental healthcare company Compass Pathway reveals that magic mushrooms — which contain the psychedelic ingredient called psilocybin — may be effective for treating depression in patients who have not had success with other drug treatment options, CNN reports.

The team examined 89 healthy adults and compared the effects of 10 mg and 25 mg doses of psilocybin, as well as a placebo. The results revealed the study's participants experienced "changes in sensory perception and positive mood alteration" and did not experience any "adverse" or "negative" effects.

"The results of the study are clinically reassuring and support further development of psilocybin as a treatment for patients with mental health problems that haven't improved with conventional therapy, such as treatment resistant depression," said James Rucker, one of the lead researchers from King's College London.

Antidepressants like Prozac reportedly do not work for everyone as a treatment for depression. For this reason, the purported ability of psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms to alter brain function in a short time frame could provide benefit for treatment-resistant patients. Although the recent study still has another phase that will involve testing over 200 patients with depression across North America and Europe, the findings could shed more light on the theory that psilocybin can "loosen" the destructive patterns of behavior that drive many mental disorders.

"It's unclear when the unorthodox depression treatment will be ready for the psycho-pharmaceutical marketplace," The New York Post reported. "However, the research marks a mental health milestone in a world where 'shrooms are often associated with Birkenstock-sporting hippies."

The study comes as Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he was "very open" to legalizing magic mushrooms. Yang's comment was in response to a veteran who said he was able to overcome his post-military struggles not by using antidepressants and antipsychotics but by using magic mushrooms and ayahuasca.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez previously filed legislation that would make it easier for researchers to study the health benefits of psilocybin and MDMA, but the measure was shot down in the House of Representatives.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added a ketamine-like nasal spray to its list of drugs that can help drug-resistant depression. However, the patients must show that they have tried other treatment options and are not gaining benefit from other medications. The spray must also be taken along with an oral anti-depressant.