Psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychoactive mushrooms, has provided the spiritual and cultural bedrock of many great civilisations. The Aztecs referred to teonanácatl, which translates as ‘divine mushroom’, and modern neuroscience has revealed how psilocybin interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain in order to produce a range of consciousness-altering effects.
In 2016, the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme released a study that revealed the staggering potential of psilocybin to alleviate treatment-resistant depression, with 67 percent being depression free after one week and 42 percent remaining in remission three months later. Collaborating with highly prestigious universities, the Beckley Foundation has also conducted research indicating the efficacy of psilocybin as an aid to smoking cessation. Using the latest brain-imaging techniques, we have shed some light on how psilocybin may produce its therapeutic effects, by generating a more ‘entropic’ pattern of brain connectivity, with increased communication throughout the brain leading to more flexible modes of cognition.
Psilocybin for Depression
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