Psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression is currently in Phase III clinical trials, and may be approved by the FDA as early as 2025. The US federal department granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to the treatment, with 17 million people suffering from major depressive disorder in the US alone.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring prodrug found in over 200 species of fungi. When ingested and metabolised, psilocybin converts into the tryptamine alkaloid psilocin, which imitates the neurotransmitter serotonin to produce psychoactive effects.
Brain imaging studies suggest high doses of psilocybin disrupt negative thought patterns through frenzied neurodynamics, which creates different neural pathways than those habitually used. By disrupting default mode networks, psilocybin can lead to a loss of self-awareness, or ego dissolution, considered fundamental to the psychedelic experience.
This triggers opportunities for creativity outside the usual realm of consciousness, which can be particularly beneficial in psychotherapy.READ MORE