Magic Mushrooms Can ‘Reset’ depressed brain

Mushrooms are abundant with a hallucinogen and it has the ability to reset the brains of people who are suffering from untreatable depression and scans suggest that it can raise hopes of future treatment.

19 patients are given a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin by the small study.

Half of the patients stopped being depressed and had many differences in their brain activity which was last about five weeks.

According to the team at Imperial College London, people should not self-meditate.

A series of small studies says that psilocybin can affect depression as a lubricant for the mind which people will get the chance to escape from depressive symptom cycle.

The fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after when the patients were “sober” again were performed by the team at Imperial.

According to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, psilocybin can affect two key areas of the brain.

  • The amygdala – which helps us to process emotion such as fear and anxiety, became less active. There can be a great improvement in reported symptoms when there is a great reduction.
  • The default-mode network – after taking psilocybin a collaboration of different brain regions became more stable.

According to the head of psychedelic research at Imperial, Dr. Carhart-Harris said that the depressed brain was being “clammed up” and psychedelic experience “reset” it.

“Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up,” he said the BBC News website.

As this is a small study, there was no control group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans.

Before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression, there should be larger studies.

But, new approaches to treatment are desperately needed.

According to Prof Mitul Mehta from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, “What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.

This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies.”

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