Although research into the health benefits of psychedelics have stalled since the 1950s and ‘60s, a breakthrough clinical trial is set to start in Colorado this year, which could show how psilocybin could help with major neuropsychiatric disorders.
The trial is set to start this fall at the Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado in Aurora CO, and aims to determine whether or not the use of psilocybin can have a lasting positive effect in the case of treatment-resistant depression.
The Promise of Psilocybin
As concern grows for patients suffering from depression and similar psychiatric problems, the actual benefits brought by compounds like psilocybin can no longer be ignored.
Psilocybin in particular has shown great promise in helping with the treatment of depression, as well as PTSD and various drug-induced addictions. Mental health disorders have become a serious problem, and experts believe we need newer, more efficient treatments that go beyond the currently available options provided by western medicine.
A single dose of psilocybin could help those suffering from depression for up to an entire year. Even though the process isn’t entirely understood, it is believed that psilocybin, through an intricate process of rewiring the brain, can actually “fix” the parts of it that have developed destructive tendencies, virtually resetting it to its natural state. A research quality mushroom spore syringe is used to produce the psilocybin necessary to offer treatment.
What the Trial Will Entail
The study will primarily work with patients who were already in the care of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado, prior to the spring of 2023. Volunteers are selected through a complex and intricate process, and only patients who are eligible will be selected.
The clinical trial will include 40 people randomly assigned to an active group and a control group. The active group will receive a specific dose of psilocybin, and both groups will receive specific psychiatric care as well. Neither the patients nor the researchers will not be told which group they are in.
The unique part of the trial is the measurement of particular aspects of depression, such as anhedonia, and the impact that psilocybin may have on them. MRI scanning and advanced neuroimaging will also be employed to observe the participants’ progress, find differences in the effects of the treatment for each patient and account for side effects such as hallucinations as well.