A clinical trial whose results were published last week has found that psilocybin may be used to treat depression. The phase 2 study was the first randomized trial that compared the effectiveness of commonly prescribed antidepressants with therapeutic doses of psilocybin. Its findings were reported in the “New England Journal of Medicine.” The trial was conducted by scientists from the Imperial College London.
Despite the reported findings, there is still more that needs to be determined with regard to the use of psychedelics as a treatment for various mental health conditions, as researchers aren’t sure whether the substances, psilocybin included, can be effective treatments in the long term, considering that research on these substances is still in its infant stages.
The trial, which was conducted over a six-week period, had 59 participants. Prior to the study’s commencement, 40% of the participants who had been on anti-depressant medications had to taper off the drugs. During the study, 30 participants received a daily placebo pill for the entirety of the trial, in addition to two 25 mg psilocybin doses that were administered three weeks apart; the remaining 29 participants received smaller amounts of psilocybin that acted as a placebo. The latter group also consumed a dose of escitalopram, which is a generic antidepressant drug, daily.
At the end of the trial period, researchers tried to determine if the participants’ symptoms of depression had improved. To do this, they had each participant be evaluated twice by clinicians and also complete two questionnaires.
QIDS-SR-16, a self-reported questionnaire, demonstrated that the individuals who ingested the 25 mg psilocybin doses reported greater improvement in their symptoms of depression in comparison with the individuals who ingested escitalopram.
The team of researchers, which included the head of the Center for Psychedelic Research, Robin Carhart-Harris and some of his colleagues, noted that they were not able to measure psilocybin’s long-term effects in comparison with escitalopram, as the latter takes a longer period of time to begin working. Despite the study’s limitations, however, their research findings add to a growing body of research which proposes that psychedelics could be utilized in clinical settings as a treatment for depression and may likely have lasting effects.
Johns Hopkins University director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research Roland Griffiths stated that this discovery was significant, as it demonstrated that psilocybin, which is the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms, was as good and maybe even better than the medications currently prescribed to manage depression.
With such research findings, there is renewed hope that the tried and tested scientific teams working with companies such as Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) will soon develop psychedelic-based medicines that will provide relief to patients with mental health conditions which are currently unresponsive to the existing remedies.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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