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Magic Mushrooms: Researchers Claim Remarkable Results For Depression, Anxiety

First Posted: Dec 02, 2016 02:54 AM EST
Freshly Picked Magic Mushrooms Reclassififed As Class A Drug In The U.K.
Psilocybin, an active ingredient found in magic mushrooms, can ease depression and anxiety.
(Photo : Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

The active ingredient found in the "magic mushrooms" can ease anxiety and depression, two new studies have found.

According to the new studies, the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms called psilocybin can lift depression and anxiety in a single dose. It has been experienced by people diagnosed with advanced cancer for six months or for some even longer.

In the two trials, the researchers who were involved in the United States said that the results are remarkable. The participants had "profoundly meaningful and spiritual experiences" that made them re-evaluate life and death.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Together with the results were no less than 10 commentaries from leading scientists in the fields of palliative care and psychiatry, who also back further research.

Director of addiction psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center and lead investigator of the study Dr. Stephen Ross said that "I think it is a big deal both in terms of the findings and in terms of the history and what it represents. It was part of psychiatry and vanished and now it's been brought back."

The NYU main findings of the study that involved 29 patients, and the larger study, which conducted by the Johns Hopkins University with 51 patients, found that a single dose of the medication can lead to the immediate decrease in the anxiety and depression, caused by cancer. Also, the effect can last up to eight months. Dr. Ross mentioned that it "is unprecedented. We don't have anything like it."

Meanwhile, the result of the two studies was very much the same. It shows that 80 percent of the patients crediting moderately or greatly improved in their well-being or satisfaction in life. They have been given a single high dose of the drug with the psychotherapy support.

As follows, the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience that led the study at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine Professor Roland Griffiths said that the findings are unexpected. He describes it as remarkable.

"I am bred as a skeptic. I was skeptical at the outset that this drug could produce long-lasting changes. These were people facing the deepest existential questions that humans can encounter - what is the nature of life and death, the meaning of life," he said, according to the LA Times.

However, The Guardian reported that, while the effects of the magic mushroom have been the interest of psychiatry, the classification of all the psychedelics  in the U.S. is at the schedule 1 drugs.

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