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Magic Mushroom Compound Shows Promise in Treating Severe Depression, Study Suggests

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Psilocybin, a compound in magic mushrooms, significantly reduces severe depression when combined with therapy, according to a recent study. The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, supports psychedelics as a new treatment approach. (Shutterstock)
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A recent study has found that a solitary dose of psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, when paired with psychotherapy, can result in a significant and long-lasting decrease in severe depression symptoms.

Study Overview

In the study, subjects across America were administered either a 25mg dose of psilocybin or a B vitamin placebo before a seven-to-ten-hour therapy session. Subjects were encouraged to use blindfolds and listen to a selected playlist throughout the session.

Following the session, they were asked to share their experiences with their therapists. Levels of depression were evaluated prior to treatment and five times over the ensuing 43 days.

The Findings

The study found that participants who received psilocybin demonstrated a notable reduction in depressive symptoms, outperforming the placebo group. This improvement was sustained over the subsequent six weeks, according to the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This research further supports the growing body of evidence suggesting that psychedelics can aid patients in confronting and discussing topics they usually avoid or repress.

What Researchers Concluded

The researchers concluded that psilocybin treatment resulted in a significant and enduring decrease in depressive symptoms and functional disability, without any serious adverse effects. They added that these findings contribute to the mounting evidence that psilocybin, when administered with psychological support, may present a new approach for treating major depressive disorder.

Earlier this year, Australia became the first country to approve the use of MDMA and psilocybin, commonly known as ecstasy and magic mushrooms, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression.

Read more at Bloomberg.

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