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Psychoactive Compound in Mushrooms Might Help Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression

By jeremyc | October 15, 2017

There’s some potentially good news for people suffering with depression. In a new study, the researchers have found that a psychoactive compound found in mushrooms might provide lasting benefits to depression patients whose response to conventional treatment was poor.

The psychoactive compound in question is psilocybin, a psychedelic drug which turns on the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin, as you might know, is believed to regulate mood, happiness, and anxiety. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression.

For this study, the researchers enrolled 19 patients with severe depression, all of whom failed to benefit from conventional treatment. The patients were first given a 10-mg dosage of psilocybin. A week later, they received an additional dosage of 25 mg.

MRI was used to monitor brain activity of the participants before as well as after psilocybin treatment. All the participants were also requested to complete a questionnaire to share their experience.

After the first week of treatment, all the 19 patients reported considerably reduced depressive symptoms. After the end of 5th week, 12 patients out of 19 showed lasting benefits.

The findings of this study are indeed encouraging, but it had some limitations which can’t be ignored. The studied group was small and no control group was present. Nevertheless, these results show that it is worth conducting larger studies on psilocybin.

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