Depression affects millions of people around the world and is one of the most common causes of suicide. Although anti-depressants are available, some are looking to alternative treatments to fight the disease.
A new study found that magic mushrooms may help reduce the risk of depression. A hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushroom may help “reset” the brains of people with severe depression.
The precise impact of the hallucinogenic compound to the human brain is not entirely understood but it does raise hopes of future treatment.
A small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin.
Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.
However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.
There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a “lubricant for the mind” that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms.
But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.
Image courtesy of: Team open aperture