“Magic” ‘Shrooms & Depression: Possible Treatment?

“Magic” ‘Shrooms & Depression: Possible Treatment?

On November 10, we received an email from Telluride Institute board prez Dan Collins, announcing Maggie Klinedinst would be executive director of the 2015 Telluride Mushroom Festival. Maggie, a festival regular, has for years worked at The Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmaceutical Research Unit, which takes conventional medical research a step further: the team explores how mushrooms, specifically psilocybin, can heal the mind and spirit as well as the body. The following article by Eugenia Bone, also a Mushroom Festival regular and author of “Mycophilia: Revelations From the Weird World of Mushrooms,” appeared in the New York Times: “Can Mushrooms Treat Depression?” (Hint: yes and much more).


Read on…


I TRIED magic mushrooms out of curiosity and in middle age. I’d been on the amateur mycological circuit for a couple of years, but hallucinogenic species were rarely mentioned at the foraging expeditions and conferences I attended. It’s almost as if they were the black sheep of mycology: embarrassing to serious taxonomy jocks. I read some books on the subject, but most were tripper’s guides that didn’t utilize, um, specific language or current science. Psychoactive mushrooms had been in a kind of scientific ghetto ever since they were criminalized in 1968. But now the drug derived from the mushroom, psilocybin, is finally being re-examined for its medical applications.

study published last month in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface compared M.R.I.s of the brains of subjects injected with psilocybin with scans of their normal brain activity. The brains on psilocybin showed radically different connectivity patterns between cortical regions (the parts thought to play an important role in consciousness). The researchers mapped out these connections, revealing the activity of new neural networks between otherwise disconnected brain regions.

The researchers suspect that these unusual connections may be responsible for the synesthetic experience trippers describe, of hearing colors, for example, and seeing sounds. The part of the brain that processes sound may be connecting to the part of the brain that processes sight…

Continue reading here.

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