New Study Shows Psilocybin Promotes New Growth of Neurons in Brain
A major development in the treatment of depression shows psilocybin can actually grow connections inside the brain without a hallucinogenic trip.
As we have previously reported, researchers have found that psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms can reduce major depressive disorder in humans. but we have not known how it works or how long it will last.
Now a new study out of Yale University shows one dose of psilocybin in mice creates rapid and sustained connections between neurons.
Steven Grant Ph.D. Director of Research at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes research into hallucinogens and the brain, has studied how drugs affect the brain for nearly 50 years.
“So, what they discovered, not only does a single dose of psilocybin produce the formation of neuronal growth as measured by what are called ‘spines,'” Dr. Grant said.
“Spines are the little nubby protrusions off the branches of a neuron that are associated with the connections of other neurons, so presumably the more spines the more connections you have. And the study found that psilocybin not only produced growth in the number of spines, but it persisted over a month. So that’s remarkable.”
Ketamine Therapy Proves Powerful For Treatment-Resistant Depression
A powerful FDA-approved anesthetic drug once used mainly in operating rooms and on the battlefield is quickly gaining ground as one of the most promising therapies for treatment-resistant mental health conditions.
First discovered as an anesthetic in the 1950s, ketamine has been used in the treatment of a wide range of physical conditions, especially pain management. Starting in the early 1970s, doctors began to find that it can also be very effective in alleviating mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Today it is ever more frequently being studied and legally used as an off-label medication to manage conditions that are particularly resistant to treatment with conventional pharmaceuticals.
The latest in a series of recent studies has found that ketamine can quickly and dramatically decrease chronic and suicidal thoughts. Dr. Naveen Thomas is a psychiatrist who has been using ketamine in his practice for years.
“I and many of my colleagues have of course had tremendous success in using ketamine in people who are really suffering from depression. I’ve had a lot of success in treating people with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,” Dr. Naveen said.
“And some of these folks have spent years and years doing absolutely the best they could using such a wide variety of the conventional treatments, be they various medication treatments, be they various forms of psychotherapy. We’ve seen really wonderful effects.”