Magic Mushroom – A treatment to Improve Facial Recognition in Depressed Patients
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.
Psilocybin is the primary mind-altering substance in psychedelic “magic” mushrooms. The drug can profoundly alter the way a person experiences the world by producing changes in mood, sensory perception, time perception, and sense of self.
Depressed people tend to view social cues, such as facial expressions, in a more negative light. Selective serotonin and nor adrenaline re-uptake inhibitors are known to help reverse this negative bias.
The researchers were interested in whether psilocybin, which stimulates specific serotonin sites, could have similar effects. The psychedelic has already been shown to inhibit the processing of some negative emotions in the brain.
The study of 17 patients with treatment-resistant depression found that psilocybin treatment with psychological support was associated with better recognition of emotional faces. Patients who received the treatment were better able to categorizes faces expressing happiness, neutrality, sadness, anger, disgust, or fear.
The study also included a control group of 16 participants who did not receive psilocybin treatment and showed no improvement.