Can Magic Mushrooms Help Find A Cure For Schizophrenia? Dr. Nutt Will Soon Find Out

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Can Magic Mushrooms Help Find A Cure For Schizophrenia? Dr. Nutt Will Soon Find Out

Leading researchers think magic mushrooms could be the defining factor in finding a cure for schizophrenia.

The role of psychedelics in mental health treatment is still yet to be determined. However, the research conducted so far has produced some very positive results. Professor David Nutt, one of the main driving forces in psychedelic research here in Europe, is about to take the field one step further by seeing if magic mushrooms can help cure schizophrenia.

In the study, 24 male volunteers will be given a dose of psilocybin, then have their brain activity monitored by an MRI scanner. It is believed that the hallucinations caused by psilocybin could be from the same area of the brain that is activated during a schizophrenic episode. During their trip, each volunteer will be given saracatinib, an experimental drug aimed at halting schizophrenia in its tracks. In theory, if magic mushrooms do activate the same part of the brain as schizophrenia, then the drug should stop the high mid-trip. If it is a success, it could have huge implications for the future of schizophrenia treatment, and give us a much better insight as to how mushrooms interact with the brain.


Whilst the fact that magic mushrooms are being used as a tool to test this new drug is great, it is coming at a large cost – roughly £1’000 per dose (€1’405). It is an extreme cost for something that can be picked for free in a local field, and shows just what is wrong with the current model of drug policy. When speaking on the lunacies holding back the groundbreaking potential of psychedelic research, Nutt sad:

"There have been no breakthroughs in the treatment of schizophrenia for 50 years because it is such a complicated illness. Because psilocybin is a controlled substance, we have had to jump through a lot of hoops - the study was delayed for a year while we got the Home Office licence.

"Magic mushrooms can be picked for free, but we are having to pay £1,000 a dose. It's madness. Our volunteers will experience the effects of the psilocybin for about an hour, and there will be some of the world's best psychiatrists on hand.

"If this is successful, it could pave the way for a much larger study of the drug on people with schizophrenia. We have decades to catch up on as many drugs such as psilocybin were made illegal, and that has made studying them very difficult."

It would seem progress comes at a cost, but at least progress is being made, and science is not being put off by the bureaucratic roadblock being placed in its path. Even though it is mushrooms being used to assess the effectiveness of another drug, it is still good to see research involving them, exploring the way they affect the brain, take place.

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