Researchers at Imperial College have published results of a clinical trial comparing treatment using psilocybin (the active psychedelic element of Magic Mushrooms) with Escitalopram, a leading anti-depressant drug.

The study although small (59 patients),  found no significant difference in the efficacy of the two treatments, and no adverse side effects. Given that Escitalopram is established as an effective treatment, this in itself is potentially significant.

Secondary findings also suggested that psilocybin is a potentially effective treatment, although further research will be necessary.

The paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  An interesting round-up of expert reactions to the paper can be read here.

Psychedelic medical research has been notoriously difficult both to conduct and to get funded since the Sixties when the substances were outlawed.

This study was fully funded by the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.


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