In the United States, there are more than 19 million teenagers and adult who are suffering depression. This serious mental health illness persists and interferes with their daily life. Fortunately, a new study found a psychedelic ingredient called Psilocybin that can be found in Magic Mushrooms, which could potentially revolutionize the treatment for depression by resetting the brains of people suffering from it.

According to the Imperial College London researchers, magic mushroom’s psilocybin can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression by acting as a lubricant that allows the patients to escape depressive symptom cycles.

However, the experts stressed that people should avoid self-medicating themselves.

The study

In the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found psilocybin affected two major brain areas — the amygdala and the default-mode network (DMN). As per BBC News, the amygdala is the section of the brain that is responsible for processing emotions like anxiety and fear, while the DMN is an interconnected group of brain structures that is the most active when humans are under stress or during introspection.

Through fMRI brain scans, experts were able to determine that the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms could make the amygdala less active. They also found that if there’s more reduction, more improvement was observed when it comes to the reported symptoms.

The default-mode network, on the other hand, became reintegrated and more stable after psilocybin was administered.

Impressive findings

Lead study author Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris noted that their findings suggested that patients who were unresponsive to traditional antidepressants were able to feel “immediate and continued relief from their depression.” The after-effects of the psychoactive substance also reached its maximum level five weeks after its administration.

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Due to the substance’s immediate response, King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry Professor Mitul Mehta said the findings were “impressive” because the changes were observed with just a single dose of psilocybin. However, Carhart-Harris stressed that the study was a “composite treatment,” which combined the drug with psychotherapy, Daily Mail noted.

Psilocybin

Did you know that there are more than 180 species of mushrooms that contain the psychedelic substance psilocybin? These magic mushrooms have long, slender whitish or grayish stems topped by caps with dark gills on the underside, Drugs.com revealed.

These hallucinogenic mushrooms have been used in native rites for centuries and can be used either fresh or dried. However, it has a bitter and unpalatable taste.

Currently one of the most popular recreational psychedelics in the United States and Europe, magic mushrooms should be ingested orally and could be mixed into other foods or made into tea. In therapeutic settings, they are used to treat a wide range of illnesses and disorders such as anxiety, addiction, depression, cluster headaches, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, The Third Wave noted.

Meanwhile, the research also showed that psychedelics like psilocybin could potentially be used as a treatment for alcoholism and addictions. Unfortunately, psychedelics have not been approved for clinical use and are illegal in most countries.

In fact, they are illegal and categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance in America. Fortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have recently approved the use for “some small, highly controlled human studies on their potential” use for medical and psychiatric purposes.