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Title    Psychiatrists Investigate Using Mushrooms to Treat Depression
Date    Sunday November 30 2014, @11:51PM
Author    janrinok
Topic   
from the available-on-prescription? dept.
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/11/30/159231

mendax writes:

I may start growing 'shrooms in my dark and dank pantry and get off Celexa after reading this New York Times article about what may be the medicinal qualities of magic mushrooms:

A study published last month in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface compared M.R.I.s of the brains of subjects injected with psilocybin [the psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms] with scans of their normal brain activity. The brains on psilocybin showed radically different connectivity patterns between cortical regions (the parts thought to play an important role in consciousness). The researchers mapped out these connections, revealing the activity of new neural networks between otherwise disconnected brain regions.

The researchers suspect that these unusual connections may be responsible for the synaesthetic experience trippers describe, of hearing colors, for example, and seeing sounds. The part of the brain that processes sound may be connecting to the part of the brain that processes sight. The study’s leader [said that] his team doubted that this psilocybin-induced connectivity lasted. They think they are seeing a temporary modification of the subject’s brain function.

The fact that under the influence of psilocybin the brain temporarily behaves in a new way may be medically significant in treating psychological disorders like depression. “When suffering depression, people get stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts and cannot get out of it,” [the study's leader] said. “One can imagine that breaking any pattern that prevents a ‘proper’ functioning of the brain can be helpful.” Think of it as tripping a breaker or rebooting your computer.

Links

  1. "mendax" - https://soylentnews.org/~mendax/
  2. "this New York Times article" - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/opinion/sunday/can-mushrooms-treat-depression.html

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