Study on Treating Depression with Psilocybin – Brain Scan Data

In October 2017, Scientific Reports published an article titled “Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms.”

Psilocybin “Resets” Brain of Depressed People

The researchers measured the effects of psilocybin by comparing brain scans.  They concluded the brain scans showed the neural circuits in the brain “had been reset,” meaning that administering the psilocybin mushrooms resulted in “pushing [the brains] out of their depressive states.”  This effect is described as similar to electroshock therapy.

More Data Needed

Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College of London, said, “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.”

Accordingly, although the “therapeutic mechanisms [of psilocybin] are poorly understood” this study provides more evidence that this molecule could afford new opportunities for treating depression with a natural product.