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Magic-mushroom drug lifts depression in first human trial

Magic mushrooms are taken for their psychedelic effects, but end up improving depression treatment. A hallucinogenic drug derived from magic mushrooms could be useful in treating depression, the first safety study of this approach has concluded. Researchers from Imperial College London gave 12 people psilocybin, the active component in magic mushrooms. All had been clinically depressed for a significant amount of time — on average 17.8 years. None of the patients had responded to standard medications, such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or had electroconvulsive therapy. Brain scans reveal how LSD affects consciousness One week after receiving an oral dose of psilocybin, all patients experienced a marked improvement in their symptoms. Three months on, five patients were in complete remission.  “That is pretty remarkable in the context of currently available treatments,” says Robin Carhart-Harris, a neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London and first author of the latest study, which is published in The Lancet Psychiatry1. The equivalent remission rate for SSRIs is around 20%. The study's authors are not suggesting that psilocybin should be a treatment of last resort for depressed patients. “Our conclusion is more sober than that — we are simply saying that this is doable,” says Carhart-Harris. “We can give psilocybin to depressed patients, they can tolerate it, and it is safe. This gives us an initial impression of the effectiveness of the treatment.” Drug problems Demonstrating the safety of psilocybin is no small task. Magic mushrooms are categorized as a Class A illegal drug in the United Kingdom — the most serious category, which also includes heroin and cocaine. The ethics committee that granted approval for the trial was so concerned that trial volunteers could experience delayed onset psychotic symptoms that it requested a three-month follow-up on the subjects. “This was unprecedented,” says neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt at Imperial, who is senior author of the study. It took 32 months between having the grant awarded and dosing the first patient, says Nutt. By comparison, it took six months “to get through the machinations” for his team’s previous studies using the equally illegal drugs LSD and MDMA, he says. Ayahuasca psychedelic tested for depression “Every interaction — applying for licenses, waiting for licenses, receiving the licenses, applying for contracts for drug manufacture, on and on — involved a delay of up to two months. It was enormously frustrating, and most of it was unnecessary,” says Nutt. “The study result isn’t the remarkable part — it’s the fact that we did it at all.” Scientists at the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have been investigating how psilocybin could be used to alleviate depression and anxiety in people with terminal cancer, but this is the first study to look specifically at how psilocybin could be used to treat depression alone. The World Health Organisation calls depression “the leading cause of disability worldwide”. But effective therapies are hard to find. Searching for new treatments, researchers have looked to potent and quirky alternatives such as ketamine and ayahuasca, both of which have shown promise in clinical trials. “It’s worth noting that we have not developed any new treatments which are widely used since the 1970s for depression, despite the fact that this is the major public-health problem in the Western world and middle-income countries,” says Glyn Lewis, who studies psychiatric disorders at University College London. How club drug ketamine fights depression Particularly interesting, he says, is the fact that psilocybin seems to take effect with a single dose, unlike some current medications for depression that must be taken daily. “This study is simply asking: is this interesting enough to pursue further as a treatment for depression?” says Lewis. “My own judgement is that yes, it is.” source. twitter
@danidee On a serious note: I mean, this is certainly interesting. Psychedelics weren't really used for getting f**ked up and overdosed on until idiots realized you COULD do so and that kind of took over the connotation of the word "psychedelic". I mean, the second the word "psychedelic" is said, what usually pops into the mind? Acid tabs, hash, shrooms, right? However, they are all used over the world and have been for centuries, probably millennia. While it's widely accepted that depression is a chemical imbalance, it's also known that depressed people have far less neurotransmitters, the most popular being serotonin, as well as dopamine and... I can't remember the last one lol adrenaline? I don't know, but they're classified as monoamines. A decent chunk of my customers use St. Johns Wort to help with depression, as well as Magnesium, L-Theanine, DHA (an Omega 3) and a B-vitamin complex, namely B-3, B-6 (Niacin and pyridoxine, both for serotonin) and B-12 (Cobalamin, to help with the other B's to turn Tryptophen into serotonin). The reason why I like these more is because B vitamins are water soluble, so it's pretty difficult to OD on them as long as you stay hydrated, there are no side effects, and they're legal. L-Theanine is a naturally occuring amino acid found in Green Tea that acts as a mood relaxant. Magnesium is a mineral... Okay, I'll stop explaining these haha I've gone on long enough XD Sorry, when I start talking about supplements and stuff, I don't shut up! I actually know quite a bit on natural ways to combat "depression" and "anxiety" that I've personally looked into, and that a wide variety of customers that have confirmed that stuff, both cheaper and more natural, works better than prescriptions that kill your motivation and sap away at your individuality. A huge jumpstart to your body like this mushroom compound could easily be addictive. And what are the long term effects? If you push your body to hard and force it to work a certain way, then that kind of throws everything into imbalance, and you naturally become dependent on such a thing. I'm marginally opposed to this, but in all honesty, my feelings about "depression" and "anxiety" in this day and age are very unpopular, to say at the very least. I'm probably not the best person to discuss this kind of stuff on a personal level. I'll have to follow the developments on this in hopes of the people who are actually affected by these things get a solution found for them.
@Arellano1052 LOL St. John's Wort reminds me of my parents. My mom was a nutritionist that used a lot of supplements and things too, and one time after they got into a fight, my mom passive aggressively brought home a bottle of St. John's Wort for him because she said he needed to get his attitude in check lol.
@Arellano1052 OMG DON'T EVEN. The first time I went to Coachella, two of my friends did shrooms in my car on the drive there without even telling me and I was so mad. WHO DOES THAT?
Oh man, this one's opening a can of worms for sure! @Arellano1052 did you hear about this?
@danidee really? lmao XD That's AWESOME! 😂😂 And oooh, that's a good one haha BUUUURN! I'm totally gonna use that one day 😂😂 10/8 gr8, m8
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