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The Book of Vegan

[Medicine] Magic mushrooms show promise in treatment for depression, study says

Trial suggests psilocybin combined with psychological therapy is as effective as antidepressant drug.

Magic mushrooms have a long and rich history. Now scientists say they could play an important role in the future, with their active ingredient a promising treatment for depression.

The results from a small, phase two clinical trial have revealed that two doses of psilocybin appears to be as effective as the common antidepressant escitalopram in treating moderate to severe major depressive disorder, at least when combined with psychological therapy.

“I think it is fair to say that the results signal hope that we may be looking at a promising alternative treatment for depression,” said Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the centre for psychedelic research at Imperial College London and a co-author of the study.

Carhart-Harris said psilocybin was thought to work in a fundamentally different way to escitalopram. While both act on the brain’s serotonin system, he said escitalopram seemed to work by helping people tolerate stress more easily....

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