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Richard D

(8,911 posts)
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 12:42 PM Jul 2021

Single dose of psilocybin spurs growth of neural connections lost in depression

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. The findings are published July 5 in the journal Neuron.

"We not only saw a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections, but also they were on average about 10% larger, so the connections were stronger as well," said Yale's Alex Kwan, associate professor of psychiatry and of neuroscience and senior author of the paper.

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.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210705113923.htm

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Single dose of psilocybin spurs growth of neural connections lost in depression (Original Post) Richard D Jul 2021 OP
I wonder if psilocybin might help with Alzheimer's? BComplex Jul 2021 #1
This is a very good question . . . Richard D Jul 2021 #2
That was my first thought peggysue2 Jul 2021 #7
I wonder if it would be helpful for us MS patients, too? LiberalLoner Jul 2021 #8
That was my thought as well. Ellipsis Jul 2021 #13
Repairs Of Lesions? ProfessorGAC Jul 2021 #48
I have a good friend with MS and she's been taking it for several years Goddessartist Jul 2021 #57
Cool! If it ever becomes legal I might try it. I don't like the idea of being impaired but I do LiberalLoner Jul 2021 #59
Not only psilocybin but LSD too helps with Alzheimer's. panader0 Jul 2021 #18
My very first thought Hekate Jul 2021 #20
Exactly. My question too. Captain Zero Jul 2021 #26
amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles nvme Jul 2021 #35
You would have to stay with the patient while they are Under the Influence. flying_wahini Jul 2021 #61
Hmmm, I could use some of that. triron Jul 2021 #3
when do they need human study volunteers? eShirl Jul 2021 #4
My God how do I get some? Saoirse9 Jul 2021 #5
first you find a cow azureblue Jul 2021 #16
Cow Pies to the rescue ! Captain Zero Jul 2021 #27
I happen to live across the street from a cow Saoirse9 Jul 2021 #32
Doesn't have to be fresh cow manure. Just where some was dropped. elevator Jul 2021 #42
Because some people H2O Man Jul 2021 #17
That's a bummer I have no source for them Saoirse9 Jul 2021 #22
There are states H2O Man Jul 2021 #24
You can order the spores on-line and grow your own. elevator Jul 2021 #43
Cool! Saoirse9 Jul 2021 #44
You can order spores, but not dried mushrooms. Spores are legal because they don't contain Lochloosa Jul 2021 #49
The Psilocybin cubensis mushroom is everywhere there's a cow or horse pasture in Florida. Ligyron Jul 2021 #30
I have a friend H2O Man Jul 2021 #39
It seems to me that things were pretty much ok with just the psychedelics and weed. Ligyron Jul 2021 #41
THIS lookyhereyou Jul 2021 #64
I was in grad scholl at UGA in Athens, Ga. in 1973-74. elevator Jul 2021 #45
That was a great era to be young for sure. Ligyron Jul 2021 #46
Wish I could get my hands on some of that. Crunchy Frog Jul 2021 #37
While I respect that H2O Man Jul 2021 #40
While the mushrooms are illegal Danascot Jul 2021 #29
Read Michael Pollan's "how to change your mind" Javaman Jul 2021 #65
Good tip I will read it! Thanks! Saoirse9 Jul 2021 #66
It really is something . . . Richard D Jul 2021 #6
Yet my guy can't get shit superpatriotman Jul 2021 #9
I guess that would explain.... SergeStorms Jul 2021 #10
I used to practice the same ritual, back in the day. I lived in a house in the country with cow japple Jul 2021 #34
Nothing like cow patty 'shrooms..... SergeStorms Jul 2021 #38
They released a study a year or two ago IbogaProject Jul 2021 #11
I guess I need to hit the cow pasture for some shrooms. Chainfire Jul 2021 #12
Oregon Timewas Jul 2021 #14
Excellent! calimary Jul 2021 #47
Let's hope this leads to a "cure" for depression, a dreadful disorder. nt Hortensis Jul 2021 #15
Rather than a cure, H2O Man Jul 2021 #19
Yes. I should have said better treatment, but I was excited by Hortensis Jul 2021 #25
Many years ago, H2O Man Jul 2021 #28
Psilocybin can provide a wonderful ease at life's end. quaint Jul 2021 #21
K&R! SheltieLover Jul 2021 #23
Dangerous to pick random wild fungi FakeNoose Jul 2021 #31
I wish I could get psychedelic therapy I_UndergroundPanther Jul 2021 #33
Not a very interesting finding Loki Liesmith Jul 2021 #36
I think I heard a report that it or LSD is being tested in humans Ilsa Jul 2021 #50
K & R Duppers Jul 2021 #51
This kind of research is something they should really pick up the pace on. smirkymonkey Jul 2021 #52
Interesting burrowowl Jul 2021 #53
When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go struggle4progress Jul 2021 #54
I've been known to burst into song with "White Rabbit" from time to time Wicked Blue Jul 2021 #56
K&R Blue Owl Jul 2021 #55
I must have some really awesome neural pathways. BobTheSubgenius Jul 2021 #58
DC decriminalized it earlier this year IronLionZion Jul 2021 #60
Vaccinated mushrooms? malthaussen Jul 2021 #62
Huh. I just thought it was because I'm a happy idiot. Roisin Ni Fiachra Jul 2021 #63
I had a buddy that was a grower some years ago. panader0 Jul 2021 #67

BComplex

(8,222 posts)
1. I wonder if psilocybin might help with Alzheimer's?
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:03 PM
Jul 2021
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.


It would seem like those dendritic spines might be part of what happens to the brain of Alzheimer's patients?


peggysue2

(10,943 posts)
7. That was my first thought
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:37 PM
Jul 2021

Having had family members suffer and ultimately die with Alzheimer's, my ears always perk whenever a new drug or treatment is suggested, directly or indirectly. Curiously, my father and sister both demonstrated prolonged periods of chronic stress and depression. They shared those symptoms much earlier than the classic, observable Alzheimer's problems.

Might there be a connection? Don't know.

Interesting nonetheless.

ProfessorGAC

(66,018 posts)
48. Repairs Of Lesions?
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 08:07 PM
Jul 2021

Could be I suppose, but many MS patients (me included) don't have lesions in the higher brain areas.
I have a couple on the brain stem, one on the LGN (probably why I'm left eye blind), and a few tiny ones on the cervical spine.
Of course, if this reconnection works on any & all parts of the brain, i might be useful. But, I had thought psychoactive substances worked on higher brain function, but could be incorrect.
So, not sure this would do much for me. But, might help others.

Goddessartist

(2,051 posts)
57. I have a good friend with MS and she's been taking it for several years
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:29 AM
Jul 2021

And she swears by it. We get them locally sourced.

LiberalLoner

(9,765 posts)
59. Cool! If it ever becomes legal I might try it. I don't like the idea of being impaired but I do
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:38 AM
Jul 2021

Like the idea of my brain being healed. I wonder if microdoses that didn’t get a person high would work?

panader0

(25,816 posts)
18. Not only psilocybin but LSD too helps with Alzheimer's.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:06 PM
Jul 2021

I'm old now and have lost my connections---.
Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception" deals with the benefits of mescaline.
I've come to the conclusion that all psychedelics benefit the brain.

nvme

(860 posts)
35. amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:07 PM
Jul 2021

Plaque build up is thought to be one of the mechanisms in Alzheimer's. Adding more dendrites does not necessarily help. There is a new drug that is out there; it deals with the plaques but there is significant controversy surrounding it.

flying_wahini

(6,839 posts)
61. You would have to stay with the patient while they are Under the Influence.
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:49 AM
Jul 2021

My Father in Law suffered for decades with depression and may
have actually been up for trying it. He was 93 when he passed and was just tormented
So badly.

Saoirse9

(3,701 posts)
5. My God how do I get some?
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:14 PM
Jul 2021

I am very (situationally) depressed and don't want to take anti-depressants because of the side effects.

azureblue

(2,175 posts)
16. first you find a cow
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:03 PM
Jul 2021

then you find some fresh cow poop. Then you look to see if there are mushrooms growing out of it. if you break the cap and the cap turns blue, congratulations!
I once was lucky to live across the street from a cow pasture.......

Saoirse9

(3,701 posts)
32. I happen to live across the street from a cow
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:45 PM
Jul 2021

and a horse and two goats. But I confess I have no talent for searching through poop. And my neighbors would freak out if I did.

 

elevator

(415 posts)
42. Doesn't have to be fresh cow manure. Just where some was dropped.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 04:26 PM
Jul 2021

Generally they appear after a rain and I picked them 50-60 times in grad school at UGA. If you pinch the stem it will actually turn blue after a few seconds. Never saw a cap turn blue, but guess it could.

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
17. Because some people
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:04 PM
Jul 2021

are uncomfortable with plants that make them think differently, these mushrooms are illegal. Thus, one must locate them in other ways. While some can accurately identify this type of mushroom in a pasture after a morning rain, most cannot. Hence, for safety's sake, they access the black market.

For those who suffer with depression -- especially with co-morbid anxiety -- the type that goes by the name "golden prophets" are strongly recommended. They are associated with a relatively mild high when taken in small doses.

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
24. There are states
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:19 PM
Jul 2021

where it is legal to buy the spores on the internet, though not to grow them. Thus, if a person were to buy a small quantity of spores, and is familiar with either one of the books or an internet source on growing them, it can provide a personal supply with relatively low legal risks.

 

elevator

(415 posts)
43. You can order the spores on-line and grow your own.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 04:28 PM
Jul 2021

I don't know if it's legal to order the dried shrooms on-line...might be worth checking.

Lochloosa

(16,125 posts)
49. You can order spores, but not dried mushrooms. Spores are legal because they don't contain
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 10:29 PM
Jul 2021

active Psilocybin. They are not easy to grow and require a commitment.

But it's worth it.

Ligyron

(7,697 posts)
30. The Psilocybin cubensis mushroom is everywhere there's a cow or horse pasture in Florida.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:33 PM
Jul 2021

Grows on cow or horse poop and is very easy to identify once you’ve seen it.

We could have given the Pranksters and their Acid Tests a run for their money with our ‘sroom parties back in the early 70’s.

They almost always had a big pot of ‘sroom juice brewing at the free concerts Tom Petty’s bandmate threw on his family’s property east of Gainesville. Saw a lot of great southern rock bands there before they became famous.

I wonder if anybody here attended some of these unforgettable events and can help me remember some of the crazy stuff that happened?

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
39. I have a friend
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:32 PM
Jul 2021

who used to live in Texas, and was thus able to access massive quantities of them. If my memory serves me correctly, we used them exclusively for recreational purposes back then. Them and other plants. Fiifty years later, we are all old and inhabiting worn-out bags of bones. A wild night these days is being able to watch tv relatively pain free. Why didn't anyone warn us of what was to come? I mean, other than those who did warn us?

I remember attending a three day graduation festival, complete with great live music, in an old farm pasture long ago. I went to take a piss, and a guy near me was puking, and saying, "Look! I'm puking a rainbow!" I asked what he was on? Peyote! Next question: You got any more?

Ligyron

(7,697 posts)
41. It seems to me that things were pretty much ok with just the psychedelics and weed.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 04:01 PM
Jul 2021

There was a spirit of exploration and mind expansion that had noble intentions at least. I know it was hard for me, and others I know, to see the world in the same way afterward. It was like you were now one of the Enlightened ones. as in, "Are you experienced"?

It was when the hard drugs came in that things went south.

lookyhereyou

(140 posts)
64. THIS
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 12:42 PM
Jul 2021

i have tried small doses of golden teachers and report help with

depression , and death anxiety .

at 74 and still a hippy I rejoice that this research is underway again

Hallelujah

check the dirty fu&ing hippies were right for a fun overview rant

peace up

 

elevator

(415 posts)
45. I was in grad scholl at UGA in Athens, Ga. in 1973-74.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 04:37 PM
Jul 2021

we had all we could handle in the farming areas around Athens. I can remember picking several grocery bags full in a couple hours. Once an old farmer caught my girlfriend and i picking some in his field. He asked what we did with them and we said we put them in salads or on steaks etc. He asked us to give him some. Would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at dinner that evening.

Yep, we would boil the shrooms in water and make a tea. Then we would add grape koolaide to make it palatable. Usually a six ounce plastic cup would get you off for several hours. Depending on the strength you could trip, or just feel incredibly wonderful for hours. We used to party around a lake on a farm as well with 40-50 folks just going wild dancing in the moonlight. And no hangover....you just came down and maybe felt a bit drained. Always felt great for weeks after doing them.

Ligyron

(7,697 posts)
46. That was a great era to be young for sure.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 04:47 PM
Jul 2021

Probably some of the best times I ever had happened back then.

Actually, scratch “probably”.

Crunchy Frog

(26,752 posts)
37. Wish I could get my hands on some of that.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:18 PM
Jul 2021

At the current rate of progress, I'll be dead before they come up with an effective, commercially available, treatment for my kind of depression/anxiety disorder.

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
40. While I respect that
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:36 PM
Jul 2021

modern medications benefit many people with chronic depression, I do hope that doctors will be able to prescribe mushrooms soon. In the proper doses, they seem to get good results. Younger medical professionals seem to have more open minds regarding such things. Although I'm long retired, I know that some mental health professionals are finding that mushrooms have value in treating many veterans with severe PTSD.

Danascot

(4,720 posts)
29. While the mushrooms are illegal
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:28 PM
Jul 2021

it is legal to buy and possess the spores, available on the internet for research purposes. The spores can be propagated and can result in numerous mushrooms. There are many how-to instructions for growing them, also available on the internet.

Javaman

(62,596 posts)
65. Read Michael Pollan's "how to change your mind"
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 07:42 PM
Jul 2021

I just finished reading it. I always joked about takingLSD when I turn 80, but after reading his book, I’m seriously looking into mushrooms instead for my general anxiety disorder. And taking them now instead of waiting

It’s about setting and who is your guide.



Richard D

(8,911 posts)
6. It really is something . . .
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:19 PM
Jul 2021

. . . every adult should have access to. Hopefully, the Decriminalize Nature movement will continue to have success.

SergeStorms

(19,217 posts)
10. I guess that would explain....
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:47 PM
Jul 2021

why I'm happy a great deal of the time then. It's been many decades, mind you, but that used to be a weekly sacrament of ours.

japple

(9,943 posts)
34. I used to practice the same ritual, back in the day. I lived in a house in the country with cow
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:07 PM
Jul 2021

pastures all around. It was truly a magical experience. I probably wouldn't have the guts to go out and look for them now, but back then...it was all part of the scene.

SergeStorms

(19,217 posts)
38. Nothing like cow patty 'shrooms.....
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 03:19 PM
Jul 2021

stick them in a pot, boil them up into tea, take a trip and never leave the farm.

IbogaProject

(2,936 posts)
11. They released a study a year or two ago
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 01:48 PM
Jul 2021

They released a study a year or two ago, where they studied inflammation w Alzheimer's and did a 2 or 3 week trial on those patients w micro doses of LSD, they did 5 micrograms and 10 & 20 micrograms w a fourth group as a control. In as little as 5 or 7 doses spaced out every 3rd day there was a dose dependent positive result of less inflammation in the treated groups.

Different substance and different effect, but both show the healing properties of entheogens (replacement term for psychedelic). They were banned mostly because the increased compassion, improved mood afterwards, reduced things like alcoholism and the thing the powers that be hated the most they reduced the willingness to fight and be in the military.

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
19. Rather than a cure,
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:06 PM
Jul 2021

I think that they should be recognized as a safe form of treatment for depression.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
25. Yes. I should have said better treatment, but I was excited by
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:19 PM
Jul 2021

the idea that someday a treatment might achieve a lot more, longer, than taking mood stabilizing pills each day can do.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," just popped to mind. Had to look up the rest of it.

"...it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

H2O Man

(73,980 posts)
28. Many years ago,
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:23 PM
Jul 2021

I used to assist a man who practiced his people's traditional medical practices. This included gathering various plants at different times of years .....we'd venture into fields, the woods, and especially creek beds. I have great respect for modern medical advances, no doubt, but recognize that there are plants that offer effect relief for many conditions.

quaint

(2,680 posts)
21. Psilocybin can provide a wonderful ease at life's end.
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:10 PM
Jul 2021

I have seen the fear of death leave friends as they peacefully waited.

FakeNoose

(33,367 posts)
31. Dangerous to pick random wild fungi
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 02:38 PM
Jul 2021

This is something I would leave to the experts. God only knows that a lot of wild fungi - mushrooms and toadstools - are fatal when ingested by humans. I would never want to take a chance on "maybe" getting the right one.

Ilsa

(61,731 posts)
50. I think I heard a report that it or LSD is being tested in humans
Mon Jul 5, 2021, 11:06 PM
Jul 2021

who have terminal cancer, to help with anxiety and depression.

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
52. This kind of research is something they should really pick up the pace on.
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 02:47 AM
Jul 2021

I think humanity is in desperate need of it. If we can find a naturally occuring, easily produced substance that can help treat depression and debilitating anxiety, it would be such a gift to the world.

Not only that, but it could possibly help with treating addictions, especially the opioid crisis and even be used to treat those with terminal illness in hospice situations to help them pass without trauma or emotional anguish.

And maybe, just maybe, it could be experimented with on brainwashed MAGAts to make them less hateful and violent! I'm serious here!

There is so much potential!

struggle4progress

(118,566 posts)
54. When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 03:33 AM
Jul 2021

and you've just had some kind of mushroom and your mind is moving low
go ask Alice: I think she'll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
and the White Knight is talking backwards and the Red Queen's off with her head
remember what the Dormouse said: feed your head

Wicked Blue

(5,889 posts)
56. I've been known to burst into song with "White Rabbit" from time to time
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:22 AM
Jul 2021

Especially during dinner, when the kids lived at home and were acting up at the table.

"No, Mom , PLEASE! ANYTHING but that!"

IronLionZion

(45,866 posts)
60. DC decriminalized it earlier this year
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:40 AM
Jul 2021

it should be on the ballot in some states for medicinal or recreational use. Several research universities like Johns Hopkins have been studying it for mental health treatment for a while. They've also used it to treat anxiety, PTSD, and other issues.

Roisin Ni Fiachra

(2,574 posts)
63. Huh. I just thought it was because I'm a happy idiot.
Tue Jul 6, 2021, 11:55 AM
Jul 2021

Massive doses, back in the day. Profound mystical experiences.



panader0

(25,816 posts)
67. I had a buddy that was a grower some years ago.
Thu Jul 8, 2021, 07:31 AM
Jul 2021

I built him a large building out of block and one small part was a hay steaming room.
He would put a bale or two of hay in this sealed room and had it rigged to heat the hay to
sterility with steam.
Once clean, he transferred the hay to several bins and sprinkled them with spores.
The thing he liked about growing 'shrooms was that they appeared overnight and had no
lengthy growing period, like pot.
He was a mushroom master, traveling to the forests in Northern Az when it rained and picking
shittakes. Then he drove to the high class restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson and sold them to the chefs.
I just saw him yesterday after all these years.....

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