The following is an excerpt from Alex Therrien | July 1, 2018 | BBC.com |
Think of magic mushrooms and LSD and it's likely that science is not the first thing that springs to mind.
Psychedelic drugs are more likely to be associated with hippies and the counterculture of the 1960s than people in white lab coats and clinical trials.
But that might soon change.
Increasingly, scientists are looking at whether these mind-altering drugs - which also include mescaline and DMT among others - might also have the potential to be mind-healing.
A number of small studies have found psychedelics to show promise in treating mental health disorders like depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, often where other treatments have failed.
Now UK researchers are about to take part in the first major trials into whether one of these hallucinogenic drugs could be more effective than a leading antidepressant in the treatment of depression.
Researchers at Imperial College London are to compare the magic mushroom compound psilocybin with a leading SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant, escitalopram, in a large trial expected to take at least two years.
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