Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms. It is also the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” and is considered a possible treatment for depression. A clinical trial led by European and U.K. researchers has recently been delayed due to funding issues. David Nutt, president of the British Neuroscience Association said that rules governing illegal drugs in research are holding up the start of the trial. “Finding companies who could manufacture the drug and who are prepared to go through the regulatory hoops to get the license, which can take up to a year and triple the price is proving very difficult,” said Nutt. He added that while clinical trials may be less strict in the U.S., the possibility of litigation here in the event of harm to a patient is too great a risk for the study’s funders. It is illegal for people to possess psilocybin in the U.S.

Recently published study results have suggested that psilocybin can lower activity in the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex, which is hyperactive in depression. Some groups also believe it can help ease the pain of cluster headaches. Cluster Busters is an international organization dedicated to researching and promoting the treatment of cluster headaches with hallucinogenic substances including psilocybin.

Magic Mushrooms have been used for centuries in healing ceremonies and were used in psychotherapy during the 1950’s. Timothy Leary, the former Harvard University psychologist founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project…….     4/6/13

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