Psilocybin Mushrooms May Help Treat Depression?

Hard to imagine but curious, indeed!

Bloomberg News (1/24, Kitamura) reports, “In a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 30 healthy volunteers took psilocybin intravenously and had their brains observed with magnetic resonance imaging scanners” and found that “activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which is hyperactive in depression, was consistently lowered,” according to study researchers David Nutt and Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College London. In “a second study, to be published Jan. 26 in the British Journal of Psychiatry and conducted by the same researchers…psilocybin enhanced volunteers’ recollections of positive personal memories, compared with those who took a placebo.”

“Prof Nutt believes that the drug could be used as an antidepressant and has applied to the Medical Research Council to carry out a small patient study to see if this is the case,” the BBC News (1/24, Ghosh) adds. But Martin Barnes, chief executive of DrugScope, said, “The research published today does not directly address whether or not magic mushrooms are harmful.” He also “cautioned that the recreational or problematic use of drugs should not be conflated with the important issue of researching possible therapeutic or medical benefits that some psychoactive substances may offer.”