In the wake of its decriminalization in some cities in the United States (notably Oakland and Denver), psilocybin is currently of interest to the scientific community in search of evidence of therapeutic effectiveness.Therefore, researchers at the Science Health Center at the University of Texas at Houston (UTHealth) have announced that they are studying psilocybin for treatment-refractory depression.
The study is inspired by previous scientific research that suggests that psilocybin works to create new mental circuits. Also, a 2012 study concluded that the substance could allow for “a state of cognition without constraint”. Another study conducted at Johns Hopkins University and published in 2016. Found a link between psilocybin use and a decrease in depression and anxiety.
“It is a drug that can change or alter perceptions, cognition, thinking and the way the mind perceives the environment,” said Sudhakar Selvaraj, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at UTHealth. “This therapy, if successful, could help at least some people to relieve their depression and get on with their daily lives. »
Psilocybin and mental health
Psilocybin could affect depression by the interaction between a chemical substance produced by the body when ingested, called psilocybin, and the body’s serotonin system.
In recent months, further progress has been made in the field of psilocybin. Last week, researchers at the University of Miami announced that they had discovered a method of producing the compound based not on growing mushrooms, but on splicing their DNA into E. coli bacteria.
Last year, a team from Johns Hopkins University concluded that pilots could also help people quit smoking. This institution has been researching psychedelics since 2000 and was the first research group to be accredited by the US federal government to conduct such tests. In addition,Roland Griffith, a pharmacologist at the University, argues that psychedelics can accomplish in one session what years of psychoanalysis or medication cannot.