herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

How magic mushroom could beat depression

A trial of "magic mushroom therapy" could take place within a year following two ground-breaking studies.

Doctors plan to treat depressed patients who cannot be helped by modern drugs or behaviour-based psychotherapy with the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Psilocybin would slowly be infused into their bloodstreams while they receive a carefully tailored "talking therapy".

The controversial trial is planned by Professor David Nutt, from Imperial College London, who three years ago was sacked as the British Government's chief drug adviser.

The move to investigate psilocybin as a possible treatment for serious depression is linked to results from two far-reaching scientific studies.

Prof Nutt stressed that people should not be tempted to conduct their own experiments. "This is a research tool which may give us insights into how to treat depression," he said.

"I would strongly resist people self-medicating."

hnews@herald.ie

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