Psilocybin, which gives hallucinogenic mushrooms their psychedelic properties, has had a beneficial effect in people suffering from chronic depression. This psychoactive molecule would make it possible to “reboot” the brain.
Like a blocked computer, would the brains of people with chronic depression get better after a reboot? This is what Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris suggests in work exploring the beneficial effects of psilocybin, the psychoactive molecule that gives hallucinogenic mushrooms their psychedelic properties.
In a study published by Scientific Report (Nature group) the team of the neuropsychologist from Imperial College of London first describes a significant improvement in the symptoms of the 19 patients included in this clinical trial, all suffering from treatment-resistant depression. A benefit that continued up to five weeks after the administration of two doses of psilocybin one week apart (10 mg and 25 mg).
This result in itself is hardly surprising since Dr. Carhart-Harris is not new to the exploration of this hallucinogenic substance for the treatment of depression: this is his 19th publication in seven years. But the interest of this study lies in the fact that the participants’ brains were observed before and after the treatment was administered via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allows for very fine visualization of neuronal activity. You can find psychedelic mushrooms for sale on this website.
Net changes in brain activity
For the first time, we showed clear changes in brain activity in depressed patients treated with psilocybin,” explains Dr. Carhart-Harris. “Several of our patients described a feeling of reset after treatment, often using computer analogies.
For example, one explained that he felt his brain felt “defragmented,” while another spoke of “rebooting,” the neuropsychologist said. “Psilocybin may give these patients the boost they need to break out of their depressed state, and these imaging results support this ‘restart’ analogy. We’ve seen similar brain effects with electroshock therapy,” he adds in a news release from Imperial College of London.
If the results of the study are promising, the researchers of course warn against any attempt at self-medication by hallucinogenic mushrooms that contain this molecule. They use a psilocybin molecule synthesized in the laboratory and can therefore measure the doses administered accurately.
However, it is almost impossible to know the psilocybin concentrations of hallucinogenic mushrooms for recreational use, which are prohibited in most countries of the world.