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posted by martyb on Wednesday May 18 2016, @03:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-magic! dept.

The BBC reports on a small trial (12 patients) that used psilocybin to treat "moderate-to-severe, unipolar, treatment-resistant" depression:

A hallucinogenic chemical in magic mushrooms shows promise for people with untreatable depression, a short study on just 12 people hints. Eight patients were no longer depressed after the "mystical and spiritual" experience induced by the drug. The findings, in the Lancet Psychiatry [open, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30065-7], showed five of the patients were still depression-free after three months.

Experts cautiously welcomed the findings as "promising, but not completely compelling". There have now been calls for the drug to be tested in larger trials.

From the study:

Psilocybin's acute psychedelic effects typically became detectable 30–60 min after dosing, peaked 2–3 h after dosing, and subsided to negligible levels at least 6 h after dosing. Mean self-rated intensity (on a 0–1 scale) was 0·51 (SD 0·36) for the low-dose session and 0·75 (SD 0·27) for the high-dose session. Psilocybin was well tolerated by all of the patients, and no serious or unexpected adverse events occurred. The adverse reactions we noted were transient anxiety during drug onset (all patients), transient confusion or thought disorder (nine patients), mild and transient nausea (four patients), and transient headache (four patients). Relative to baseline, depressive symptoms were markedly reduced 1 week (mean QIDS difference −11·8, 95% CI −9·15 to −14·35, p=0·002, Hedges' g=3·1) and 3 months (−9·2, 95% CI −5·69 to −12·71, p=0·003, Hedges' g=2) after high-dose treatment. Marked and sustained improvements in anxiety and anhedonia were also noted.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday May 19 2016, @02:24AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Thursday May 19 2016, @02:24AM (#348108) Homepage Journal

    this is anecdotal evidence; one would need to repeat the experiment with a larger number of volunteers.

    I experience Body Dysmorphic Disorder from the time I was seven years old until I was 21, when I had this experience. The condition is best-known among women, who see themselves as weighing a great deal more than they really do, but it does happen among men. However it manifests in different ways. In my case, when I looked in the mirror, the guy looking back at me was ugly. At its worst I would see an ugly monster, horribly disfigured.

    I had the usual sort of college student shroom trip but then because profoundly depressed. I lay in the dark in my dorm room listening to gregorian chants for what seemed like an eternity - but just one side of that record was about twenty minutes.

    At the end of the music, the depression lifted. As far as I could tell the trip had ended.

    When I looked at myself in the mirror after that, I saw a handsome young man.

    I had never seen myself that way, not since I was seven.

    I'd had other treatment for depression but it didn't effect the man I saw in the mirror. To this day, when I look in the mirror, I see a good looking guy despite being much older now.

    I have Bipolar-Type Schizoaffective Disorder. That's quite a different thing from unipolar depression.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Thursday May 19 2016, @03:59AM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Thursday May 19 2016, @03:59AM (#348157) Journal

    If shrooms can treat unipolar depression, I guess you need to double the dose to treat bipolar.

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