Research suggests that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, may have potential benefits for alleviating treatment resistant depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, including for people with cancer.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that these drugs appear to work by encouraging the growth of new connections between neurons in the brain. This ability of the brain to make new connections is called plasticity.
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that for trial participants with treatment-resistant depression, psilocybin at a single dose of 25 mg, reduced depression scores significantly more than a 1-mg dose.
It’s essential to note however that research is ongoing, and the use of psilocybin for medical purposes is still in the experimental stage. More specifically, additional work is advisable to learn how to safely activate the pathways for brain plasticity while avoiding hallucinogenic effects.
Regardless, it is always recommended that patients consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals for the latest information and guidance on such treatments.