Psilocybin mushrooms found to ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression

The past few years have seen some amazing developments for psilocybin mushrooms. Infamous as magic mushrooms, the psychedelic drug has been the subject of studies all over the world lately, examining both its medicinal capabilities as well as its relative safety compared to other narcotics.

A new study out of the UK is not the first to investigate whether psilocybin could be an effective treatment for severe depression, but nonetheless it has brought some exciting new results to light.

magic mushrooms psilocybin depression treatment

A study investigating the use of psilocybin for patients suffering from depression has exhibited not only a mental response, but a quantifiable physical change.

“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,” lead author Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial College London.

“Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression.” 

“Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state.”

While previous studies have relied on post-treatment interviews, or therapy conducted in conjunction with psilocybin treatment, this is the first to discover a physical change in patients’ brains (via functional MRI scans) after they’ve been treated.

Via IFLScience.