The naturally occurring psychedelic compound psilocybin can significantly reduce symptoms of depression, according to the largest trial of its kind ever conducted.
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LONDON. The natural psychedelic compound psilocybin can significantly reduce symptoms of depression, according to the largest trial of its kind ever.
Psilocybin was given to 233 patients who had already tried at least two antidepressants in the past without much success, suggesting that the compound could have huge benefits for those suffering from intractable depression.
After receiving psilocybin, patients entered a “sleep-like walking” state for four to six hours, and then left the clinic as soon as they returned to normal.
The study found that a 25mg dose of psilocybin, along with psychological support, caused a reduction in depression levels three weeks after treatment.
The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted internationally by London-based COMPASS Pathways.
With about 100 million people worldwide suffering from untreated depression, the results of the study are a step in the right direction, said James Rucker, a consultant psychiatrist and senior clinical lecturer at King’s College London who took part in the study. study.
“Our challenge now is to explore psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression in larger studies with more participants, comparing it to both placebo and established treatments,” Rucker said. Press release from King’s College London.
The drugs were tested at doses of 1 mg, 10 mg, and 25 mg, and side effects reported in all groups included headaches, nausea, and suicidal thoughts.
However, according to Ravi Das, an associate professor at the Institute of Mental Health at University College London, there were not the same number of participants with “severe depression” in each dose group, which “does not seem to be acknowledged in the article,” as reports Reuters.
Critics have also expressed concern that this could lead to an increase in the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms for non-pharmaceutical purposes.