Psychedelic trips found to lift severe depression
A HALLUCINOGENIC chemical found in magic mushrooms has lifted severe depression in previously untreatable patients.
Scientists at Imperial College London induced psychedelic trips in 12 people using high doses of the banned substance psilocybin. A week after the experience, all the volunteers were depression-free, and three months later five still had no symptoms of the condition.
Published in the 'Lancet Psychiatry Journal', the study welcomes the results as "promising, but not completely compelling".
The psilocybin is believed to cause relief from depression by targeting receptors in the brain and disrupting the default mode network, which is responsible for sense of self and is overactive in depressed people. However, the scientists did not rule out that the psychedelic trip could have caused an 'awakening' of the kind achieved by spiritual teaching.
The researchers have urged people not to try magic mushrooms themselves as a cure for depression.