Study Finds Just One Dose of Drug From Magic Mushrooms Reduces Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients
New studies have found that a single dose of a compound called psilocybin from “magic mushrooms” can actually provide long-term relief from anxiety and depression. When patients suffering with cancer were given psilocybin, their reports showed considerable reductions in anxiety, hopelessness, demoralization, depression, and death anxiety. However, these were reported more than four years after receiving the dose in combination with psychotherapy.
1A promising new means for dealing with psychological issues
Dr. Stephen Ross, Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health said- “Our findings strongly suggest that psilocybin therapy is a promising means of improving the emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of patients with life-threatening cancer”.
2Research data reveal significant improvements
The team’s first report in 2016 stated improvements in the condition of 29 patients who had cancer-related anxiety and depression. These patients were given either a single dose of psilocybin or a vitamin placebo called niacin. They were given the exact opposite seven weeks later. This was done along with 9 psychotherapy sessions. The recent findings build on these initial improvements.
Six and a half months later after receiving psilocybin all reports showed positive results. About 60% to 80% of those patients who received it showed clinically significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and existential distress. It even improved attitudes toward death.
3Follow up on the research have reported positive results
Out of the original participants of study 15 were followed up, 3.2 and 4.5 years later. These 15 were reported to have sustained long-term improvements. More than 70% of them attributed for these positive improvements. According to the study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology- “positive life changes to the therapy experience, rating it among ‘the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives”.
Dr. Ross said in a statement- “This approach has the potential to produce a paradigm shift in the psychological and existential care of patients with cancer, especially those with a terminal illness”.