Tag Archives | Psilocybin

Ketamine Eyed as a Potential Treatment for Tough Depression

Picture: USDOJ (PD)

NPR: Scientists with the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard may have succeeded in unlocking the mechanisms that allow some people to feel near-immediate relief from depression after taking popular club drug, ketamine. Animal studies seem to indicates that the drug encourages new synaptic growth between neurons, and the same thing may be occurring in depressed humans who take the drug.

Researchers are ecstatic – as are the big drug companies. One company, Naurex, is already testing a drug that works like ketamine, only without the hallucinations.

Ketamine isn’t the only “party drug” that has been cited as a possible depression cure. Just weeks ago an article in the Guardian reported similar research regarding MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

More at NPR.

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Turn On, Tune In And Get Better?

Disinformation readers who have read Graham Hancock's recent books Supernatural and Entangled are well aware that hallucinogens can be powerful and highly effective medicine, but until recently US government policy more or less prohibited any scientific research. The tide is starting to turn, as this article from the LA Times makes clear:
What a long, strange trip it's been. In the 1960s and '70s, a rebellious generation embraced hallucinogens and a wide array of street drugs to "turn on, tune in and drop out." Almost half a century later, magic mushrooms, LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine are being studied for legitimate therapeutic uses. Scientists believe these agents have the potential to help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, unremitting pain or depression and the existential anxiety of terminal illness. "Scientifically, these compounds are way too important not to study," said Johns Hopkins psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths, who conducted the psilocybin trial. In their next incarnation, these drugs may help the psychologically wounded tune in to their darkest feelings and memories and turn therapy sessions into heightened opportunities to learn and heal...
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Study: A Single Magic Mushroom Trip Causes Long-Term Positive Changes To Personality

Dutchban6-2006-2In a John Hopkins study, a majority of people who took a single dose of psilocybin were more imaginative, sensitive, and tolerant towards others for months afterward. In other words, psilocybin needs to remain illegal because it’s a threat to society. Via MedPage Today:

Many individuals who took a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in what the drug culture calls “magic mushrooms” — showed alterations in personality characteristics, largely for the better, that persisted for more than a year, a prospective scientific study showed.

Participant…tended to show increases in the personality dimension known as openness, according to Katherine A. MacLean, PhD, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University. Openness is generally considered a positive characteristic and includes such traits as aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination, intellectual engagement, and awareness of feelings in themselves and others.

The findings were consistent with previous studies and anecdotal reports from psilocybin users, who have said the drug changed their interactions with the world long after the acute effects wore off, MacLean and colleagues said.

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Researchers Extol The Medical Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms

10704200_e19ddddf2aNot only that, but the researchers at John Hopkins say they’ve found the perfect dosage. Sadly, this looks to be one of those cases in which society lags behind science. Via Yahoo News:

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been studying the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in psychedelic mushrooms. Now, they say, they’ve zeroed in on the perfect dosage level to produce transformative mystical and spiritual experiences that offer long-lasting life-changing benefits, while carrying little risk of negative reactions.

The breakthrough could speed the day when doctors use psilocybin–long viewed skeptically for its association with 1960s countercultural thrill-seekers–for a range of valuable clinical functions, like easing the anxiety of terminally ill patients, treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and helping smokers quit.

The Johns Hopkins study involved giving healthy volunteers varying doses of psilocybin in a controlled and supportive setting, over four separate sessions. Looking back more than a year later, 94 percent of participants rated it as one of the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their lifetimes.

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Magic Mushrooms Confirmed As Cancer Drug

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

The shamanic use of sacred plants has long demonstrated some amazing mental health benefits. Now a new study reports that magic mushrooms, a/k/a psilocybin, are beneficial for terminal cancer patients. Anne Harding reports for Health.com/CNN:

Terminally ill cancer patients struggling with anxiety may get some relief from a guided “trip” on the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin, a new study suggests.

The study included 12 patients who took a small dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — while under the supervision of trained therapists. In a separate session, the participants took a placebo pill, which had little effect on their symptoms.

By contrast, one to three months after taking psilocybin the patients reported feeling less anxious and their overall mood had improved. By the six-month mark, the group’s average score on a common scale used to measure depression had declined by 30 percent, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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