Is psilocybin effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Psilocybin, a classic "psychedelic" drug, along with psychological support, is showing promise as a treatment for patients with treatment-resistant depression. A study of 19 patients measured cerebral blood flow (CBF) and blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after treatment with psilocybin. All 19 patients exhibited decreased depressive symptoms at 1 week post treatment and 47% met criteria for response at 5 weeks. Whole-brain analyses revealed post-treatment decreases in CBF in the temporal cortex, including the amygdala. Decreased amygdala CBF correlated with reduced depressive symptoms. [116]


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