Psilocybin & Its Effects on Cognition or Emotional Function

Psilocybin & Its Effects on Cognition or Emotional Function

A recent study sheds some light on the safety profile of psilocybin, the key element in “magic mushrooms.”

The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, investigates the effects of psilocybin on healthy subjects’ cognitive and affective functioning. While psilocybin is well-known for its potential to alleviate depression over time, its impact on cognitive performance has received much less attention.

COMP360, a trademarked form of psilocybin created by Compass Pathways, was used in the study. The business recently completed the biggest phase 2 psilocybin experiment to date with very encouraging findings. It is now moving on to phase 3.

The study, performed at King’s College London in 2019, found that psilocybin had no negative impacts on cognitive functioning or emotional processing in the short or long term.

The Particulars

The researchers compared the effects of two doses of COMP360 psilocybin to a placebo in 89 healthy male and female adult participants. Respondents were given either a 10mg, a 25mg, or a placebo dose.

The medication was given to up to six volunteers simultaneously. They were also given one-on-one psychological assistance from experienced therapists throughout the six-hour session. A 12-week follow-up period was also included in the study.

The Final Outcome

There were no significant adverse reactions, and COMP360 psilocybin was well without any clinically substantial adverse effects on cognitive performance.

“This rigorous study is an important first demonstration that the simultaneous administration of psilocybin is worth exploring further,” stated the study’s principal author, Dr. James Rucker. “If we think about how psilocybin therapy (if approved) may be delivered in the future, it’s important to demonstrate the feasibility and the safety of giving it to more than one person simultaneously, so we can think about how we scale the treatment up.”

Psilocybin Antidepressant Effects A Year Later

Psilocybin Antidepressant Effects A Year Later

Experts continue to discover even more astounding results demonstrating the efficacy of two doses.

Although numerous studies have shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy effectively relieves depression, it is still a big question about how long the relief lasts.

In 2020, Johns Hopkins University released a study focusing on 24 people with depression who were given 2 sessions of psilocybin-assisted therapy. After 4 weeks, 71% of their patients saw their depression symptoms improve by 50 percent. To add to that, 54 percent were considered in remission.

This meant that their symptoms were not severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.

Everyone was highly ecstatic because this proved to be up to 4 times more effective than current anti-depression treatments. However, for psilocybin therapy to be considered a viable treatment option, the effects must hold effective for an extended period. After all, expecting someone to undergo two psilocybin treatments per month would be unreasonable, not to mention impractically expensive.

Continuing the previous study, Johns Hopkins has published the results of a one-year follow-up, and the results are pretty promising. The population of individuals who benefited from the experience increased a full year after receiving the two doses of psilocybin!

An astonishing 78% of participants saw a 50% or more significant reduction in depressive symptoms, while 58% were in remission.

As per Rolland Griffiths, the study’s lead investigator, “Compared to standard antidepressants, which must be taken for long periods, psilocybin has the potential to enduringly relieve the symptoms of depression with one or two treatments.”

The question now is whether the benefit is limited to a single year. Could they possibly last for a more extended period of time? Perhaps even a lifetime?

We are excited to see many more studies done specifically on this topic!