New research aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is showing remarkable results, with scientists announcing that this is just the beginning. It all started when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to give the green light to research into its positive effects on people suffering from depression, although this substance is clearly associated with the famous magic mushrooms that are able to change the perception of the world by the consuming person - time, space, colors or sound, or induce visual hallucinations.
Research on psilocybin focuses on major depressive disorder (MDD), i.e., depression that is refractory to other treatments, i.e. patients who have not responded positively to at least 2 different pharmaceutical antidepressants during the current depressive episode. This is very common and according to estimates, up to 300 million people around the world struggle with it. Today, however, we can see the results of the first tests showing its actual Hollywood Thinker not in the laboratory, but in actual patients. The researchers started with a small group of 24 patients who had at least 2 years of documented history of depression. Before the studies, they had to discontinue their previous therapies, and the level of their depression was assessed according to the standard GRID-Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, where a score above 24 points means severe depression - at the beginning of the study the average group score was 23 points.
Each patient received two doses of psilocybin two weeks apart, and also attended psychotherapy. The results turned out to be surprisingly impressive, because 71% of the group declared depressive episodes reduced by more than 50% in the 4 weeks following the therapy. After these 4 weeks, the re-test of the group assessing the level of depression gave a result of 8, which is literally on the border of being considered depressed at all, and more than half of the group were considered patients in remission. This is even more important because in the case of classic therapy, drugs often take weeks or months to work effectively. Of course, these studies have their limitations - the trial was small, no placebo group was created, and we also don't know the long-term effects / effects of the treatment, so more testing is certainly needed, but it looks like a light at the end of the tunnel for many patients.