Psilocybin success in small trial
Some positive results have emerged from a small trial testing magic mushrooms as a treatment for depression.
A trial of 27 patients with major depressive disorder found that psilocybin - the active compound in magic mushrooms - produced large, rapid, and sustained improvements.
The study, undertaken at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the USA, gave patients two sessions on the drug combined with supportive psychotherapy.
They were split into two groups, one of which received treatment immediately, while the other received treatment after an eight-week delay. This allowed the researchers to compare similar groups of patients, and see if the immediate treatment group improved compared with the delayed treatment group, while the latter waited for their sessions.
Overall, more than two in three patients showed big improvements four weeks after their sessions ended, and more than half were in remission at the four-week point.
“Findings suggest that psilocybin with therapy is efficacious in treating MDD [major depressive disorder],” the research paper states.