Magic mushrooms safe to use to treat mental health issues

Magic mushrooms may be effective in treating PTSD and depression (Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

A visit to the doctor for a dose of magic mushrooms could help treat mental health issues like PTSD, new research shows.

Scientists have found that small doses of the psychedelic drug psilocybin, found in ‘magic mushrooms’, are not only effective in relieving treatment-resistant disorders, but they also do not have short or long term side effects in healthy people.

In a study conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, researchers found that the drug can be safely administered to up to six patients using doses of 10 mg or more. 25 mg.

The results of this study are an essential first step for experts to prove the safety and feasibility of psilocybin as a treatment alongside talk therapy for a range of conditions, including treatment-resistant depression (DRT). and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Although early research hailed magic mushrooms as a promising treatment, no human trials have been conducted so far.

Treatment of depression

Doses of psilocybin had no short- or long-term negative effects on the participants. Credit: Unsplash

In a one-of-a-kind human trial, researchers used a sample of 89 participants who had not used psilocybin for a year. They then randomly selected 60 people to receive either a 10 mg or 25 mg dose of psilocybin in a controlled laboratory environment.

Once the doses were administered, patients received individual support from qualified psychotherapists. The remaining 29 participants received a placebo drug, as well as psychological support.

Participants were closely monitored for six to eight hours and then followed for 12 weeks.

During this time, they were evaluated to track the number of possible changes, including sustained attention, memory, planning, as well as their ability to process emotions.

“This rigorous study is an important first demonstration that the simultaneous administration of psilocybin can be explored further,” said Dr. James Rucker, clinical scientist at the National Institute of Health Research and lead author of the study.

“If we are thinking about how psilocybin therapy (if approved) can be administered in the future, it is important to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of giving it to more than one person at the same time. , so that we can think about how we are extending the treatment, ‘

Dr Rucker, who is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said the therapy showed promise for people living with serious mental health issues, such as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and PTSD.


Treating depression with magic mushrooms
Participants were closely monitored for six to eight hours and then followed for 12 weeks. (Credits: PA)

“They can be extremely disabling, distressing, and disruptive, but current treatment options for these conditions are ineffective or partially effective for many people,” he said.

The study found that the doses of psilocybin had no short- or long-term negative effects on the participants.

‘This[the study] explored the safety and feasibility of simultaneous administration of psilocybin, with individual support, in healthy participants, and provided a solid foundation to which we have now added the positive results of our Phase IIb trial in 233 patients with DRT, and our open-label study of patients taking SSRI antidepressants along with psilocybin therapy, ”said study partner Professor Guy Goodwin, Chief Medical Officer of COMPASS Pathways.

“We look forward to finalizing the plans for our phase three program, which we expect to begin in the third quarter of 2022,” he added.

Since this study was conducted, researchers have completed phase two of the study, which explored the efficacy and safety of psilocybin in people living with TRD and PTSD, and are now analyzing their results.

Psychedelic Psilocybin is the first of its kind to take on the traditional and often ineffective mental health treatments on the market.

This study was published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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