Magic mushrooms seem to be all the rage in medical research lately, as studies have found that shrooms can help with chronic depression, PTSD, anxiety, and now two new studies have found that mushrooms can help ease depression and fear of death in cancer patients. Researchers who worked on the study said that the results magic mushrooms had for their patients were "unprecedented," and can greatly improve the quality of life for cancer patients experiencing depression and anxiety, according to the Guardian.
The studies, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology and conducted by New York University and Johns Hopkins, found that one dose of psilocybin can alleviate depression in advanced cancer patients for at least six months. The Guardian reports that 40 to 50 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients will experience depression or anxiety, which sometimes can lead to suicidal thoughts.
A separate study from May of this year demonstrated that psilocybin can help treat anti-depressant resistant depression in depression patients, and the new studies found similar results for cancer patients who are experiencing depression.
Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and lead researcher for the Hopkins study, Roland Griffiths, tells the Guardian that "In spite of their unique vulnerability and the mood disruption that the illness and contemplation of their death has prompted, these participants have the same kind of experiences, that are deeply meaningful, spiritually significant and producing enduring positive changes in life and mood and behavior."
Looking ahead in this line of research, Journal of Psychopharmacology editor David Nutt, who lead the May study on shrooms and chronic depression wrote in an earlier editorial that it's important to continue to pursue this research: "[W]e are now in an exciting new phase of psychedelic psychopharmacology that needs to be encouraged not impeded," according to the Guardian.