Psychedelic drugs may be beneficial. This is based on a study published recently in the Human Brain Mapping journal. Researchers studied the brain effects of the magic mushrooms’ psychedelic ingredient called the psilocybin.
The study was conducted at the Goethe University in Germany and was led by Dr. Enzo Tagliazucchi. The team mapped the brain activities of the 15 volunteers who were injected with psilocybin.
Brains of the volunteers were scanned under a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while under the influence of psilocybin. Scientists discovered that were similarities with the scans of a person dreaming.
This discovery supports the thought that anyone on psychedelic drugs is in a dream-like state. The scientists also discovered that activities in areas dealing with emotions were more pronounced when under the influence. Those that deal with high-level thinking such as analysis and planning, however, are disorganized and unsynchronized.
Imperial College scientists are still trying to determine if psilocybin may help lessen symptoms of depression. As per Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris of the Department of Medicine at the Imperial College, the ability of psychedelics observed by them could be a ground for its use in psychotherapy in the future.
“There may be something in the loosening of the mind that occurs both in dreaming and in the psychedelic state that could be useful in terms of facilitating creative insight,” said Carhart-Harris.
Magic mushrooms are considered Class A drugs. They are plants that naturally grow around the world. They could be therapeutic and safe to use as long as with the right dose and environment.
Back in the 1950s, psychedelics were used for therapeutic purposes only. At present, scientists are studying the possibility that psilocybin may help people battle depression. The drugs are believed to have the ability to change a person’s pessimistic patterns of thinking in various ways.
The researchers are not giving any solid conclusion yet. They said further studies are needed to determine how such psychedelic drugs affect a person’s brain activity.
Note that this isn’t the first research to be made about the psilocybin effect. A related study said that the ingredient may permanently alter the personality of an individual.