Could magic mushrooms help combat depression?

Depression is something that, unfortunately, far too many of us are all too familiar with, including myself. It’s a real bitch; it can make its overwhelming presence known without warning; its severity can differ drastically; and it is incredibly draining, both emotionally and physically.

Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, are not something I would say a lot of us are familiar with, though I could be wrong. I know quite a few people who use magic mushrooms, and I will be honest in saying trying them is on my bucket list.

I apologize, mom and dad, if you’re reading this.

Depression and magic mushrooms may not seem to share a prominent link on a surface level observation, but as it turns out, the two could go hand in hand.

An article by Good News Network explains how “The psychedelic drug psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound found in some mushrooms, has been studied as a potential treatment for depression for years. But exactly how it works in the brain and how long beneficial results might last is still unclear.

“In a new study, Yale researchers show that a single dose of psilocybin given to mice prompted an immediate and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons.

“Previous laboratory experiments had shown promise that psilocybin, as well as the anesthetic ketamine, can decrease depression.

“The new Yale research found that these compounds increase the density of dendritic spines, small protrusions found on nerve cells which aid in the transmission of information between neurons. Chronic stress and depression are known to reduce the number of these neuronal connections.

“Using a laser-scanning microscope, Kwan and first author Ling-Xiao Shao, a postdoctoral associate in the Yale School of Medicine, imaged dendritic spines in high resolution and tracked them for multiple days in living mice.

“They found increases in the number of dendritic spines and in their size within 24 hours of administration of psilocybin. These changes were still present a month later. Also, mice subjected to stress showed behavioral improvements and increased neurotransmitter activity after being given psilocybin,” the article explains.

Interesting stuff, folks. Interesting stuff.

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