The hallucinogenic compound of magic mushrooms helps “open up” the brains of depressed people
The researchers found that psilocybin made the brain more flexible, even weeks after use.
They suggest that the findings suggest that psilocybin could be an alternative approach to depression treatments because it works differently from conventional antidepressants.
Brain activity patterns in depression can become rigid and restricted, but psilocybin can help the brain come out of the disorder in a way that traditional therapies don’t.
Professor David Nutt, head of the Royal Center for Psychedelic Research, said: “These findings are important because we show for the first time that psilocybin behaves differently from conventional antidepressants. Usually, it makes the brain more flexible and less prone to negative thoughts.
This supports our initial predictions and confirms psilocybin could be a real alternative to treatments for depression.”
Psilocybin makes the brain more flexible, even weeks after use. (Photo: AP)
Psilocybin is one of a number of psychedelic methods being explored as a potential therapy for mental disorders.
The latest findings are based on an analysis of brain scans of about 60 people being treated for depression led by Imperial College London’s Center for Psychedelic Research.
Results from two combined studies show that responders to psilocybin-assisted therapy have increased brain connectivity not only during their treatment but up to three weeks afterward.
Similar changes in brain connectivity were not seen in people treated with the common antidepressant, escitalopram, the researchers say, suggesting that hallucinations work differently in depression treatment. cold.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, represent a promising step forward for psilocybin therapy, the team says.
However, the researchers say that while the findings are encouraging, depressed patients should not attempt to self-medicate with psilocybin, as magic mushrooms or psilocybin are used in the absence of a test condition. The test may not have a positive result.
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