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Hallucinogens Relieve Depression Of Cancer Patients

By Monica U Santos , Dec 04, 2016 09:46 AM EST
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A newScience discovery suggests that hallucinogens relieve the depression of cancer patients. A single dose of a mind-altering compound contained in psychedelic mushrooms significantly lessens mental anguish in distressed cancer patients. The study is proved and tested and is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology online December 1, as the world is celebrating the AIDS day.

Hallucinogens Relieve Depression Of Cancer Patients

According Eurek Alert, a single dose of a mind-altering compound contained in psychedelic mushrooms significantly lessens mental anguish in distressed cancer patients for months at a time, according to results of a clinical trial led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center. Published on December 1, the study showed that one hallucinogenic drug psilocybin can quickly brought relief from distress that then lasted for more than six months to a patient.

However, silocybin has been illegal in the United States for more than 40 years. But Mr. Mihai, who had just finished treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was participating in a study looking at whether the drug can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Throughout that eight-hour session, a psychiatrist and a social worker from NYU Langone Medical Center stayed by his side, as reported by NY Times.

The result of the study is striking. About 80 percent of the 29 studyof the cancer patients involved showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose. On the other hand, there are still side effects, but just were minimal. The NYU Langone-led study was published side by side with a similar study from Johns Hopkins.

"Our results represent the strongest evidence to date of a clinical benefit from psilocybin therapy, with the potential to transform care for patients with cancer-related psychological distress," says study lead investigator Stephen Ross, MD, director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.

Understanding Related Terms

Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that alter perception - awareness of surrounding objects and condition, thoughts, and feelings. They cause hallucinations, or sensations and images that seem real though they are not. It can be found in some plants and mushrooms (or their extracts) or can be human-made. People have used hallucinogens for centuries, mostly for religious rituals

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. The most potent are members of the genus Psilocy be, such as zurescens, semilanceata, and cyanescens, but psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera. As a prodrug, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects similar, in some aspects, to those of LSD, mescaline, and DMT.

 

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