Active Ingredient in Shrooms Could ‘Reset’ Brains of Depressed People

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found naturally in “magic mushrooms,” has shown promising results in treating anxiety and depression. A recently published study reinforces that potential, demonstrating that depressed patients treated with psilocybin showed reduced symptoms even weeks after they’d used it. Even more intriguing, before and after brain scans showed changes in brain activity associated with significant and lasting decrease in depressive symptoms.

The study, conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, is a small one. Twenty patients with treatment-resistant depression received two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg) a week apart. Nineteen had brain imaging done before their treatment, with an “after” scan coming a day after the second, higher dose. Researchers used the images to compare changes in blood flood and in crosstalk between brain regions.

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