Not that anyone following me on Twitter will be surprised to hear this – but – in case you haven’t, there is research coming out of Johns Hopkins Medicine that is good news for sufferers of major depression.
From the article –
The findings of a small study of adults with major depression, published Nov. 4, 2020, in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that psilocybin may prove effective in a larger population of patients with intractable depression than previously appreciated.
This is great news. Do remember that it is only a very small study. Only 24 participants. But, the findings mean that there could be more trials and greater acceptance (and knowledge) of using psilocybin to treat major depression.
Griffiths and his colleagues reported that two doses of psilocybin during medically supervised treatment — supplemented by supportive psychotherapy — produced rapid and large reductions in depressive symptoms.
Milestone Study Shows Psychedelic Treatment with Psilocybin Relieves Major Depression
Source C&E News February 7, 2022
How do you know if a mouse is hallucinating?
Apparently mice on LSD and psilocybin twich their heads. Fascinating. But then, if I was a mouse and my world had gone all psychotropic I suspect there would be some head twitching, too.
So what do tripping mice have to do with Complex PTSD?
As many readers may already know LSD and psilocybin are two controlled substances that have been demonstraated to help alleviate mood disorders. In light of CPTSD these mood disorders may include depression, major depression, persistent depression and psychotic depression. (yes, we are such a fun bunch. </sarcasm>)
Why do these drugs help with Complex PTSD?
The simple answer is ‘brain chemistry’.
The longer answer goes like this:
There is a receptor in the central nervous system called 5-HT2A. This receptor is where serotonin binds to the cell. Serotonin in the brain is linked with mood, anxiety regulation, sexuality, memory, and some social fascets. In essence, your brain is bathing in serotonin. This is why SSRI – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – class drugs are often prescribed to people with symptoms of depression.
Simple logic – raise the level of serotonin in the brain –> lower the presence of depression symptoms.
Guess what else binds to 5-HT2A. If you said magic mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD you are correct.
However, these drugs also induce hallucinations. Psilocybin is “a Schedule I controlled substance because it has no approved medical purpose and the potential for abuse.”** LSD is also a Schedule I controlled substance. ***
What scientists are trying to discover is – what is the difference between a compound that binds to 5-HT2A that causes hallucinations vs. one that does not. That discovery will open an area of research into new antidepressive medication. It could also prove valuable for people who need antipsychotic medication.
So far scientists have produced two compounds based on this research that demonstrate antidepressant activity without hallucinations in mice.
There is a long step between the lab and a safe effective human medication. The process can take years. But, there is hope, and growing proof, of a new way to help people who suffer from a chronic imbalance of brain chemistry.
Article is at : Hallucinogen Chemistry Guies Antidepressant Drug Discovery by Bethany Halford
[ https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/cen-10005-leadcon ] (Sorry, you need ACS membership.)
**(source: USDA [ https://www.usada.org/spirit-of-sport/magic-mushrooms-prohibited-status/ ] as of Feb. 16, 2022)
***(source: DEA [https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/drug-scheduling] as of Feb 16, 2022)