MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Scientists in London believe “magic mushrooms” can reset the brain and help treat depression.
Those researchers in London say at least 10-percent of people, both in the U.K. and the U.S., suffer from clinical depression and they believe the psychedelic drug, commonly known as magic mushrooms, can help treat patients who haven’t been helped by anti-depressants or counseling.
Kirk Rutter, 47, suffered years of chronic depression after the loss of his mother.
“For me, I just felt heartbroken, kind of, a lot of the time,” explained Rutter. “I got stuck in it.”
Counseling and medication did not help so Rutter joined a small clinical trial in London for the drug Psilocybin.
It is formed from a compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms. Scientists believe the mind-altering drug can reboot brain activity known to play a role in depression.
“People can be changed. Their outlooks can change, their perspective, their personalities,” said Psilocybin researcher Robin Carhart-Harris. “But then, crucially, their brain reforms and that’s what a reset is.”
Video from his blog shows Rutter taking the drug in a controlled environment with mood music and counselors on-hand. He says he didn’t hallucinate, but felt like he was looking through a stained-glass window.
“You’re processing a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of stuff coming up from your subconscious that you’re not, kind of, looking at. For me, a big part of it was letting go of the grief,” explained Rutter.
Researchers took before-and-after scans of the changes in his brain. Rutter says he felt better almost immediately.
Magic mushrooms became popular with 60’s hippie, counter-culture, but these researchers say Psilocybin is more than just a party drug.
“People are kind of wising up to this and realizing what they’ve been told about psychedelics in many cases are kind of lies,” said Carhart-Harris.
Rutter says it has changed his life. He is more focused and happier than he has been in years.
Magic Mushrooms containing psilocybin are still classified as an illegal drug in the U.K.
It took London researchers several years to get permission from the government to conduct the study. Their initial findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.