Another important scientific study has proven very recently that we must change the way we look at Psychedelics.
Psilocybin may be giving to people suffering from depression the reset their mood needs and push back the depression symptoms.
A paper published in the Scientific Results reported that after treatments, some patients exhibited improvements that lasted as much as 5 weeks from the date of the initial treatment.
The paper explained that the psychedelic drug might be efficient for resetting major brain circuits that cause depression.
The patients in the study were using psilocybin in order to treat the depression symptoms and they showed reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity.
The scientists tried to treat a number of patients who were suffering from depression and had already tried conventional treatment without any positive results.
There were marked changes in the brains of patients before and after they were treated with the drugs. This is due to changes in brain activities that brought about a decrease in depression symptoms that lasted for a long time.
The paper remained optimistic while explaining that the sample size was too small and there was no placebo group to compare with that of the patients
The head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris was the leader of the study.
He opined that the paper has now shown that depressed people that were treated with psilocybin experienced positive changes in their brain activities.
In the last 10 years, there have been various clinical trials on how effective psychedelics are as a means of treatment for those suffering from addictions and depression.
In the study that was released by Imperial, the first group that had people suffering from treatment-resistant depression were given a form of psilocybin in two doses.
25 milligrams and 10 milligrams. The second dose was administered a week after the first dose was administered. 19 out of the 20 patients underwent initial brain imaging.
They also underwent a second brain scan after they received the 25-milligram dosage. The researchers then compared the two brain imaging scans to compare changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between the regions of the brain. The patients also filled out a questionnaire where they wrote about their depressive symptoms.
After the psilocybin treatments, there was a significant improvement in the moods and stress relief of the participants. Their depression symptoms also reduced. There was an after-glow effect amongst the patients.
The MRI imaging showed that there was decreased blood flows to some areas of the brain including the amygdala which is a small region of the brain that processes stress, emotional responses, and fear.
A part of the brain network also showed increased stability. This was linked to the immediate effects of the psilocybin and to depression itself.
The paper provided new insights on the behavior of the brain after a psychedelic.
This involves a breakdown of the brain networks due to the influence of the psilocybin treatments followed by a reconnection afterward.
The head of the research team explained that the brain imaging data they collected had helped to reveal what happens in the brains of depressed people after a psilocybin treatment.
From this research and other past experiences with those suffering from depression, it is possible that psychedelics reset the networks of the brains in depressed people so that their mood can be improved and they can feel better.
Of course, we must note that it is too early to generalize and make assumptions. The authors say that although the findings are encouraging, the research is at an initial stage and that in any case, people with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience.
It is a good starting point and we should wait that future studies will include more robust designs and currently plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.