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A new study published in the scientific trade journal Neuropharmacology has revealed that organic compounds found in certain mushrooms can be used to treat depression by opening disused neurological pathways in the brain.
Many current methods of treating psychological depression — particularly those involving highly-expensive ‘designer’ molecules and laboratory-constructed pharmaceuticals — have been shown to be ‘treatment-resistant,’ according to reports.
The controlled use of plant materials that are without the well-known side-effects of many prescription drugs is seen as a major step forward in the emotional well-being of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) victims and other sufferers of depression, according to Psypost.org.
By carefully administering psilocybin, the consciousness-altering material found in certain mushrooms, the new treatment has been shown to profoundly alter personal experience by, among other effects, allowing shifts in mood, sensory and time perception, and — perhaps most importantly — how patients view themselves.
Researchers are optimistic about the controlled implementation of the psychoactive properties of certain mushroom strains.
“I believe that psychedelics hold a potential to cure deep psychological wounds,” asserted study author Leor Roseman, an Imperial College London PhD student, cited by Psypost.org.
“I believe that by investigating the neuropsychopharmacological mechanism [of psilocybin], we can learn to understand this potential,” Roseman added.
During a successful course of treatment using the psychoactive properties of certain mushrooms, study results noted that patients could receive a carefully-controlled dose of psilocybin in a hospital setting with medical professionals standing by to provide psychological support, if needed.
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Unlike common drug prescription tactics, patients — as part of psilocybin therapy — would receive counseling both before and after sessions as a means to integrate the ‘psychedelic’ experience, according to the study.
“It is important to emphasize that psilocybin-assisted therapy is a model in which the patient is undergoing a deep psychological process in one or few psychedelic sessions,” Roseman detailed, adding that a patient “might have an intense cathartic experience, or peak experience.”
“This is unlike antidepressants which are given as chronic pharmacological intervention with less psychological insight,” he noted.