Psilocybin, magic mushrooms better than depression drugs! The antidepressant effect would last up to three weeks

A study found that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in "magic mushrooms", helps to "open" the brains of depressed people even long after taking it.

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Already known because more than one study has shown an efficacy equal to antidepressant drugs, when combined with psychotherapy, the psilocybin it is the active compound of hallucinogenic mushrooms with always surprising properties. But how does it work?

According to a new analysis conducted by the Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, the psychedelic compound of magic mushrooms is able to make the brain more flexible and it may work differently than antidepressants even several weeks after usemaking it an alternative, long-term approach to treating depression.

These findings are important because for the first time we find that psilocybin works differently from conventional antidepressants, making the brain more flexible and fluid and less rooted in negative thinking than patterns associated with depression, explains Savid Nutt, head of the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research.

A systematic review

Psilocybin has long been one of several psychedelics explored as a potential therapy for psychiatric disorders. Several studies have in fact experimented with a synthesized form of the drug for the treatment of patients with depression and anxiety.

Now, the new results, drawn from two studies combined, reveal that people who responded to psilocybin therapy showed greater brain connectivity not only during treatment, but up to three weeks later.

According to the scholars, the findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, represent promising progress for psilocybin therapy, with the effects replicated in two studies. They explain that brain activity patterns in depression can become rigid and limited and that psilocybin could potentially help the brain get out of this routine to a point where traditional therapies fail.

In previous studies we had seen a similar effect in the brain when people were scanned while on the psychedelic principle, but here we see it weeks after treatment for depression, says senior author of the paper, Professor Robin Carhart-Harris. , former head of the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research.

The authors caution that although these results are encouraging, studies evaluating psilocybin for depression have been conducted under controlled clinical conditions, using a regulated dose formulated in a laboratory, and have involved extensive psychological support before, during and after administration. , provided by mental health professionals.

Depressed patients should not attempt psilocybin self-medication, as taking magic mushrooms or psilocybin without these careful safeguards may not be successful.

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Fonti: Imperial College London / Nature Medicine

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