'Shrooms Could Help Cure Depression

A study found that shrooms and antidepressants affect the brain in similar ways
Flickr/<A href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rastafabi/">Fabian Bromann</a>

Well this is new: Researchers are looking at the brain activity of people tripping on magic mushrooms to help cure depression.

Two studies, one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the second in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at the effects of psychedelics in magic mushrooms on the brain.

In the first, Reuters reports, volunteers were injected with shroom's active ingredient, psilocybin, while in an MRI scanner. Researchers found that as the subjects entered the psychedlic state, activity decreased in certain areas of the brain associated with depression.

The second study found that people tripping on psilocybin had better memory recollections, meaning it could be helpful for psychotherapy.

Of course, it's not a free pass. "We're not saying go out there and eat magic mushrooms," author David Nutt told Reuters. It's just a research tool, he said, and he strongly discourages self-medicating. Ah, well.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.

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