Study Suggests Psilocybin Resets the Brain in Depressed People

Researchers measured the effects of psilocybin in depressed people by comparing brain scan data.


In October 2017, Scientific Reports published an article titled “Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms.” 1

Psilocybin Resets Brain of Depressed People

The researchers measured the effects of psilocybin by comparing brain scans.  They concluded the brain scans showed the neural circuits in the brain “had been reset,” meaning that administering the psilocybin mushrooms resulted in “pushing [the brains] out of their depressive states.”  This effect is described as similar to electroshock therapy.

More Data Needed

Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College London, said, “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.”

Accordingly, although the “therapeutic mechanisms [of psilocybin] are poorly understood” this study provides more evidence that this molecule could afford new opportunities for treating depression with a natural product.

Barb Bauer Headshot

Barb is the former Editor and one of the founders of Psychedelic Science Review. She is currently a contributing writer. Her goal is making accurate and concise psychedelic science research assessable so that researchers and private citizens can make informed decisions.


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