Study finds magic mushrooms may ‘reset’ the brains of depressed patients

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity.The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.In a paper, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression. Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Comparison of images of patients’ brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group – such as a placebo group – to directly contrast with the patients.Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’. Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”Over the last decade or so, a number of clinical trials have been conducted into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics in patients with conditions such as depression and addictions, yielding promising results.In the recent Imperial trial, the first with psilocybin in depression, 20 patients with treatment-resistant form of the disorder were given two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the second dose a week after the first.Nineteen of these underwent initial brain imaging and then a second scan one day after the high dose treatment. Carhart-Harris and team used two main brain imaging methods to measure changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain regions, with patients reporting their depressive symptoms through completing clinical questionnaires.Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decrease in depressive symptoms – corresponding with anecdotal reports of an ‘after-glow’ effect characterised by improvements in mood and stress relief.Functional MRI imaging revealed reduced blood flow in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region of the brain known to be involved in processing emotional responses, stress and fear. They also found increased stability in another brain network, previously linked to psilocybin’s immediate effects as well as to depression itself.These findings provide a new window into what happens in the brains of people after they have ‘come down’ from a psychedelic, where an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug ‘trip’, is followed by a re-integration afterwards.Dr Carhart-Harris explained: “Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression. Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state.The authors warn that while the initial findings are encouraging, the research is at an early stage and that patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience and things may go awry if the extensive psychological component of the treatment is neglected. They add that future studies will include more robust designs and currently plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.Professor David Nutt, Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences, and senior author of the paper, added: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.” LinkedInlast_img read more

Rights holder doubts Sunwolves will help grow rugby in Asia

first_imgSingapore – The Sunwolves’ entry into Super Rugby is unlikely to grow the game around Asia, according to the sport’s new rights owner in the region who believes showcasing more local action online will have a greater impact.The Tokyo-based franchise, which will also play matches in Singapore, began the Southern Hemisphere competition with a 26-13 home defeat against South Africa’s Lions on Saturday after a tumultuous preseason spent trying to assemble a team. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES The expansion into Asia is expected to increase the revenues of tournament organizer SANZAR, but New Zealander Tim Martin, who has scooped up the rights to show Super Rugby matches in 23 Asian countries, wondered what else a Japanese entrant brought.“I don’t think the Sunwolves will do a huge amount for Asian rugby,” he told Reuters in an interview in Singapore this week after securing the rights deal.“I think they will do a lot for Japanese rugby but they won’t do a lot for Malaysian rugby. I don’t see how those dots join.”Martin, a former advertising executive, made waves when his Coliseum Sports Media snapped up the rights to show English Premier League soccer matches in New Zealand using his online platform in 2013.He took a bold leap then for a fledgling start-up — albeit backed by a U.S.-based billionaire — but believes Japan would have been better off taking a conservative approach to growing the game after the World Cup win over South Africa last year.“Why leap into Super Rugby, which is the hardest, most competitive rugby competition in the world,” he said.“The Sunwolves could be a disaster, I hope not and I don’t think they will be but they could. Nobody wants to watch a team get whipped.”As well as showing the Sunwolves and Super Rugby around Asian countries, he also bagged Rugby Championship matches, European internationals and domestic action from England, France, South Africa and New Zealand among others.He admitted the $14.99-a-month subscription could prove too costly outside the expat-heavy markets of Hong Kong and Singapore and did not expect many people in Myanmar or Bangladesh to subscribe and watch the English league final.But he said his online model meant no increased cost for running matches in multiple countries and opened doors to the inquisitive few in Bhutan and beyond.He believed adding local rugby to his portfolio would help attract audiences and showcase a pathway to the elite, adding he also planned to make some All Black internationals free to view.“I think we have to make rugby bigger in Malaysia and Singapore and Korea and I think that’s about getting younger people into it and access to more content and all that stuff,” he said.With rugby’s inclusion in the Olympics this year, the sport is tipped for big growth in playing numbers.Martin said the number of Asian unions had doubled to 32 in the last 10 years and that there were 400,000 registered players in Asia — outside of Japan.“I reckon rugby in the region can become a significant thing. It’s right on the cusp,” he said.He said he wanted to eventually grow from 23 countries to 200, leaving the sport’s traditional bases, like New Zealand and England, alone and showing rugby online to new audiences around the world where television companies have overlooked the game.Asia, though, with its young, tech-obsessed population that could easily access his platform, was first priority. He said New Zealand and the bigger unions had failed to maximize their name by selling individual rights in different markets like he has.“There are a whole bunch of fragmented unions. Its chaotic, we think there is a role for an aggregate,” he said.“It will help turbo-charge the game’s growth.” IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 KEYWORDScenter_img Super Rugby, Sunwolves RELATED PHOTOS The Sunwolves’ Akihito Yamada (right) tackles Jaco van der Walt of the Lions during the Sunwolves’ Super Rugby debut at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground last Saturday. | REUTERSlast_img read more

Ludington boys soccer team ties with ninth ranked Elk Rapids, 1-1

first_img Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $59.99 Share Not relevant Share ENDS IN Report a problem This item is… $0.00 NBC Sports Report a problem This item is… Report a problem This item is… Not relevant Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. A Warrior’s Heart Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Displayed poorly Displayed poorly $0.00 Bestseller Other Bestseller Report a problem This item is… (1862) Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant Bestseller Displayed poorly × Dude Perfect Signature Bow Nerf Sports Bi… Other × Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY Shop Now Inappropriate / Offensive $0.00 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Other Displayed poorly Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Other Bestseller Ads by Amazon Fox Sports Go Report a problem This item is… ENDS IN × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly ENDS IN × The League Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY (8187) DEAL OF THE DAY (35539) × LocalSportsJournal.comThe Ludington boys soccer team played to a 1-1 tie against Elk Rapids on Friday in non-league play.Noah Peterson scored the Orioles lone goal which was assisted by Nathan Palmer.The Orioles outshot Elk Rapids by a 7-6 margin.Ludington’s goalkeeper Maxime Greiner stopped five shots on nets. Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball … Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Other DEAL OF THE DAY (124) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Bestseller (1009) DEAL OF THE DAY FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… × ENDS IN (22) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly ENDS IN Not relevant $26.86$49.99 Displayed poorly Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Inappropriate / Offensive Not relevant Report a problem This item is… Other $14.99 $3.99 Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Displayed poorly ENDS IN Other Not relevant Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. ENDS IN DEAL OF THE DAY Add Comments (Max 320 characters) × Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… × Other Shares Mail 0 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller (33138) $15.29$17.99 Bestseller (1461) Report a problem This item is… Ads by Amazonlast_img read more