A former ‘Drug Czar,’ if anyone, would probably best understand precisely how drugs affect the brain. And that’s at the forefront of a recent Yahoo News report, particularly about the effects of the drug commonly referred to as ‘magic mushrooms.’
Long ago, the chemical Psilocybin was singled out as the psychoactive component of the illegal drug commonly called ‘magic mushrooms.’ Despite thousands of years of magic mushroom use by various cultures for a variety of purposes, scientists knew very little about how exactly Psilocybin affects the brain.
However, Dr. David Nutt, former UK Drug Czar (who was fired three years ago after publishing a study that quantified the danger of various common drugs) set out to study the conscious-bending effects of Psilocybin on the human brain.
A recent article published by Yahoo News describes the study: “British psychiatrist Professor David Nutt and colleagues [analyzed the effects of Psilocybin by] imaging the brain changes from the conscious to the psychedelic (hallucinogenic) state in two groups of 15 healthy adults who received intravenous injections of Psilocybin using complementary fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging ) techniques.”
The findings were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
An RTT news article also mentioned the news. As the article describes, “Volunteers who had been injected with a moderate dose of Psilocybin experienced a decrease in oxygenation and blood flow in medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, the two areas of the brain implicated in self-awareness and self-related processing.”
These findings give a special insight into science’s hazy understanding of the substance. Some describe their experiences with Psilocybin as having an increased appreciation of all life, and a blurring of the lines between self and other.
A decrease in blood-flow to these areas of the brain could explain this supposed “ego-loss” associated with the magic mushroom trip. Dr. Nutt argues that these findings signal a potential for Psilocybin in the field of psychotherapy.
The Yahoo News article describes how Psilocybin may be utilized in the field of depression therapy: “Psilocybin would slowly be infused into their bloodstreams while they receive a carefully tailored ‘talking therapy’…magic mushroom chemical enhanced memories associated with positive emotions.”
These effects may carry benefits to patients suffering from depression. Despite Psilocybin’s euphoric qualities, it also forces one to consider his or her past. The experience of a Magic Mushroom can facilitate a sharp perspective change.
Professor Nutt believes that these effects can be utilized in the clinical setting to effectively treat depression long term and with no extended use of medication.
Prof Nutt said the findings were ‘a revelation.’ Now, whether or not the drug-fighting agencies like Nutt’s former employer will reflect these positive findings remains a mystery.