Scientists Think Magic Mushrooms May Treat Depression

( – More than 17 million Americans suffer from depression. According to the CDC, over 13% of adults have admitted to taking antidepressants. Recently, scientists have begun studying alternatives, including psychedelics, to traditional medications used to treat the disorder.

In 2020, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry garnered a lot of attention. Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers printed the results of a small study, only 24 people, on whether psilocybin, the psychedelic substance in β€œmagic mushrooms,” could treat adults with major depression. What they found was surprising to some. After giving the patients two small doses of the psychedelic, most of them saw improved mental health.

Nearly a year later, Johns Hopkins is still studying the impact of the drug on the test group. Aaron Presley, 34, one of the patients participating in the study, spoke to Newsweek recently. He credits psilocybin with changing his life, saying although he still has bouts of depression, it no longer overwhelms him. More than half of the participants in the study are in remission.

Aside from the test group, researchers are asking people who might have used magic mushrooms to help them learn more about the effects of the drug.

Larger studies are now taking place in the US. Treatment using psilocybin is being described as the biggest breakthrough since the antidepressant Prozac. If the larger trials win the approval of the FDA, new treatments using the psychedelic could start as early as 2024 in clinics across America.

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