Scientific American: Psilocybin Therapy May Work as Well as Common Antidepressant

18 April 2021
Conceptual drawing of magic mushrooms


Given the patchy and controversial history of pharmaceutical anti-depressants, research into natural based therapies offer some hope for those suffering the ravages of depression.

For the first time, a randomized controlled trial shows the psychedelic offers potent, if short-term, relief in comparison with an SSRI

The first randomized controlled trial to compare the illicit psychedelic psilocybin with a conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant found that the former improved symptoms of depression just as well on an established metric—and had fewer side effects. The study was fairly small, however, and was not explicitly intended to show how well the drugs stacked up on other measures of well-being.

In a study published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, psychiatrist David Nutt, psychologist Robin Carhart-Harris and other researchers, all then at Imperial College London, conducted a six-week trial of 59 participants split into two groups. One group was given a full dose of psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) in combination with psychotherapy.

Read the story in Scientific American

“People describe psychedelic therapy as 25 years of therapy in one afternoon. And it can absolutely feel like that, but it’s not a silver bullet—and it’s just an afternoon,” 

Leonie Schneider, study participant
Hugging with masks
Previous Story

UCL model shows that we have already reached herd immunity – so why is hugging our loved ones still illegal?

Next Story

Independent: Pfizer CEO reveals vaccinated individuals will ‘likely’ need a booster shot in 12 months