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Magic Mushroom Found to Treat Depression in Cancer Patients

Magic Mushroom Found to Treat Depression in Cancer Patients

Magic Mushroom Found to Treat Depression in Cancer Patients
December 02
19:00 2016

 

Magic mushrooms significantly improves distress and depression in cancer patients, landmark trial reveals

NYU study gave 29 cancer patients a low dose of psilocybin – a drug popularly known as magic mushrooms

Eighty percent of the patients, who all had depression, were relieved of their symptoms for at least 6 months during the clinical trial in 2011

Unlike previous studies, they did not experience negative side effects

Dinah Bazer, in her 60s, from Brooklyn, told Daily Mail Online the clinical trial changed her life, crushing her all-consuming anxiety

By Mia De Graaf For Dailymail.com

Published: 00:00 EST, 1 December 2016

The widespread industry support means the FDA may one day be obliged to approve magic mushrooms as a form of medication.

‘Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of a clinical benefit from psilocybin therapy, with the potential to transform care for patients with cancer-related psychological distress,’ says lead investigator Dr Stephen Ross, director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

‘If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective, and inexpensive medication – dispensed under strict control – to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients,’ Ross added.

It is hardly the first time magic mushrooms have entered a lab.

Psilocybin has been studied for decades and has an established safety profile.

However, it remains tightly controlled, and classed as one of the most dangerous illegal drugs in America.

The research team acquired federal waivers to test its effects on 29 study subjects.

The widespread industry support means the FDA may one day be obliged to approve magic mushrooms as a form of medication.

‘Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of a clinical benefit from psilocybin therapy, with the potential to transform care for patients with cancer-related psychological distress,’ says lead investigator Dr Stephen Ross, director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

‘If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective, and inexpensive medication – dispensed under strict control – to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients,’ Ross added.

It is hardly the first time magic mushrooms have entered a lab.

Psilocybin has been studied for decades and has an established safety profile.

However, it remains tightly controlled, and classed as one of the most dangerous illegal drugs in America.

The research team acquired federal waivers to test its effects on 29 study subjects.

The researchers concede there is still a lot we don’t know about the neurological benefits of psilocybin are not completely understood.

What we do know, however, is that it has been proven to activate parts of the brain also impacted by the signaling chemical serotonin, which is known to control mood and anxiety.

Serotonin imbalances have also been linked to depression.

It mirrors similar trials with ecstasy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder – which is now entering a Phase 3 clinical trial since the FDA gave the green light this week.

For the magic mushrooms study study, researchers recruited 29 patients – mostly women between the ages of 22 and 75, all volunteers.

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