Research Shows Potential Of Psilocybin In Treating Depression and Cancer  

In Education

Sunstone Therapies researchers have conducted a phase II clinical trial suggesting that psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, could provide substantial benefits for people battling major depression and cancer.

Psilocybin affects mood, cognition, and perception

Psilocybin interacts with a serotonin receptor in the brain, impacting cognition, mood, and perception. Although it is classified under Schedule I drugs, recent studies have highlight the safety and potential effectiveness of psilocybin-assisted therapy. This therapeutic approach integrates psilocybin with support from trained therapists and is under study for treating mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.

In a recent trial, 30 adult cancer patients experiencing major depression were given a single 25mg dose of synthesized psilocybin. The treatment involved a distinctive group approach, with cohorts of three to four patients receiving psilocybin simultaneously in adjacent rooms. Subsequent therapy sessions were conducted on an individual and group basis.

According to study findings patients experienced a significant reduction in depression severity scores after eight weeks of treatment. Approximately 80 percent of participants maintained a positive response to the treatment, and 50 percent achieved full remission of depressive symptoms within one week, sustaining for the entire eight-week duration. Common side-effects such as nausea and headaches were generally mild.

Psilocybin may help address mental health issues

Dr. Manish Agrawal, an oncologist at Sunstone Therapies, highlights the frustration of not delivering holistic cancer care over the years. Agrawal explained that the small, open-label study suggests significant potential in addressing the psychological impact of cancer for millions of patients. Further research is needed to validate these findings.

In another study led by Dr. Yvan Beaussant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, exit interviews with trial participants highlighted positive experiences and underscored the significance of a structured, supportive environment. Participants expressed that the group setting alleviated their concerns and readiness for therapy, and the combination of individual and group sessions offered a balanced approach of introspection and communal support.

Dr. Beaussant, a hematologist, palliative care physician, and researcher, expresses deep satisfaction and optimism after observing significant improvement and profound healing in participants of a trial involving psilocybin-assisted therapy.

Mobile Sliding Menu