Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Better living through chemistry

Posted by Charles II on January 24, 2012

Nina Lakhani, London Independent:

Magic mushrooms could one day be prescribed for depression after Professor David Nutt, the controversial sacked government drugs advisor, claimed research on healthy volunteers proved what a mistake it was to abandon therapeutic psychedelic drugs more than 50 years ago.

The first clinical trial into magic mushroom therapy could start by the end of the year after two small studies suggested the active chemical, psilocybin, had a profound affect on key regions of the brain.

Professor Nutt’s team, at Imperial College London, hope to test the hallucinogen on depressed patients who have not benefited from antidepressants or behavioural therapy.

7 Responses to “Better living through chemistry”

  1. Mark Gisleson said

    two small studies suggested the active chemical, psilocybin, had a profound affect on key regions of the brain

    No shit? I wonder if they ever bothered to interview anyone who'd taken psilocybin?

    Maybe, if we're lucky, some big Swiss pharma giant will figure out how to suck all the fun out psilocybin by turning it into a ridiculously expensive prescription drug.

    • Mark Gisleson said

      No, I was not on anything (other than caffeine) when I left that comment. HTML eludes me sometimes.

      • Charles II said

        I don’t see anything wrong with your post, Mark. :-)

        I think the point is that psilocybin has effects on parts of the brain key to depression. Clumsy wording on their part, I grant you, in referring to a well-known psychedelic.

        I like articles like this because they suggest to us that everything we are given on earth are gifts if properly used.

        Even reactionaries have some purpose, I’m sure, though what it is continues to elude me.

      • Mark Gisleson said

        Thanks for the tag fix.

        Easily the most frustrating thing I’ve learned over the years is that booze is bad for you, but many so-called recreational drugs are not. But I should be honest about this. I have damaged my life with drugs. From the early ’80s through to the end of the ’90s my ability to motivate myself and do work was heavily impacted by several drugs that impaired my intellectual and emotional well being. And each of those drugs was made by a pharmaceutical company and sold as a cure for depression.

        The depression vanished about the same time I stopped taking pharmaceutical “fixes.” It’s sad to realize that I would have been better served by buying from some scumbag on the corner instead of going to well-lit, 24-hour pharmacies.

  2. David W. said

    More on the subject of psilocybin from Mark Kleiman’s blog at this link:

    Regarding pharmaceutical drugs, Keith Richards swore by Merck’s cocaine. But then he could afford the best.

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