Yet another study has turned up interesting therapeutic benefits of psychedelics — this time suggesting magic mushrooms may effectively "reboot" the brains of people with depression.
Imperial College London researchers used psilocybin — the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat 19 patients diagnosed with depression. Monitoring their brain function before and after the treatment, the researches saw changes in brain activity associated with lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, told The Guardian: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.
“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’.
“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”
Psychedelics have continuously shown promising results in the treatment of depression and addictions in clinical trials over the last decade, 50 years after the LSD counterculture explosion in the 1960s.
Scientists stress that people should not begin to self-medicate, and that further research is needed before definite conclusions can be deduced.
In other news, Palace is opening a skate park this winter.