Psychedelic-inspired drugs could relieve depression without causing hallucinations

Monday, June 5, 2023 - 13:43 in Health & Medicine

Psychedelic drugs, best known for causing hallucinations, can also lift users’ moods, preliminary results from clinical trials suggest. But the risks that come with the trip are an obstacle to using the drugs as antidepressants. Hallucinations might trigger psychosis in people with certain risk factors, and because of their unpredictable effects, clinicians have to closely monitor patients as they take the drugs. Now, researchers think they may be able to take hallucinations out of the equation. LSD and psilocin—the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms—can produce an antidepressant response in mice through a molecular mechanism that is completely separate from the one responsible for hallucinogenic effects , the team reports in a Nature Neuroscience paper today. The...

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