Magic Mushrooms May Help Treat Depression
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms, may help people with depression, based on two studies that suggest that the drug could have an enduring effect on patients.
In a study published 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. Activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which is hyperactive in depression, was consistently lowered, according to the research led by David Nutt and Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College London.
A second study, to be published in the British Journal of Psychiatry and conducted by the same researchers, found that psilocybin enhanced volunteers’ recollections of positive personal memories, compared with those who took a placebo.