Scientists believe that a key component in psychedelic mushrooms could help cure depression. The chemical psilocybin appears to suppress parts of the brain responsible for severe depression. Specifically, the drug seems to cause people to stop focusing on their own perceived inadequacies. However, British scientists have not been able to carry our full trials of the drug to assess its potential. However, strict drug laws prevent the scientists from manufacturing the drug without a special license.
The anterior cingulate cortex is the part of the brain that is overactive in individuals that are suffering from depression. Psilocybin switches off that part of the brain, and tests on healthy individuals had a big impact on the happiness of the patients throughout the next couple weeks. Another overactive part of the brain in individuals that have depression is the default mode network, and psilocybin also blocks this part of the brain.
At this point, scientists are optimistic about psilocybin’s potential, but hurdles involving the law are preventing progress.
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