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

‘Rapid Notify’ Emergency Alert System Available For Peninsula Residents

first_imgThe Kenai Peninsula Rapid Notify system is used to provide critical information to residents during emergency events. This tool can send out recorded voice messages to Kenai Peninsula homes on local phone lines within minutes. September is National Preparedness Month and Alaskans should take time to assess their emergency plans. To read suggestions for beginning your preparedness plans by visiting the Office of Emergency Management’s website.  Previously the system was only able to contact landline telephone numbers. However, due to increasing popularity and usage of cellular phones,  it became necessary to include wireless device numbers in the database.If you are interested in voluntarily registering one or more of your wireless devices with Rapid Notify, click on this link Self Registration Portal. Dan Nelson with the Office of Emergency Management says Kenai Peninsula residents should start preparing for an emergency situation with two things: “Making sure that you can communicate with the family, consider establishing a meeting place in case you’re separated and teaching younger children where to go and giving them cards with that information. Folks can stay informed with these types of disruptions by registering their phones for our Rapid Notify system so they get emergency messaging.”center_img FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Watching the natural disaster unfold in Texas is very sobering. So many times, people have no disaster preparation and preparedness plan in place. Residents of the Kenai Peninsula may register their mobile devices with the Borough to get updates in the event of an emergency. For the full story:last_img read more

Mike Ashley: Terps need to toughen up, play meaner

first_imgMike Ashley of the Terrapin Times joined Nestor to discuss the Terps loss to Wisconsin over the weekend.While Ashley admits that “the student flash mob was executing better than the Terps” at one point in the first half, he believes that Terrapins fans need to tip their hat to the Badgers in this case..“I think you have to give Wisconsin a lot of credit,” Ashley said. “That’s a team that’s won seven games in a row, have overcome losing Bo Ryan early in the year as their coach. I think they’ve really adapted.”“I think it’s more a situation where you have to give Wisconsin credit than talk bad about the Terps at this point.”As for the rest of the season as we inch closer to March, Ashley does believe that the Terrapins need to toughen up a bit if they’re going to reach all of their goals.“One thing that I took away was the Diamond Stone incident before the half,” Ashley said. “There was a little bit of badass that this team might need to get to the next level. They have got to play with more of a chip on their shoulder when things get rough with them.”“Sometimes they have to be able to flip that switch and play a little bit madder, a little bit meaner, and that to me is the missing component to these guys,” Ashley said. “They’ve got Final Four talent but we’ve seen them out-toughed in some key games this year.”Hear Mike Ashley’s full chat with Nestor Aparicio right here:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Ardara traders to host public meeting on local bank’s closure

first_imgThe Ardara Town Traders are to take steps to try and save the local Ulster Bank branch from closure.The bank is one of 22 around the country earmarked to close in a cost-cutting plan by management.Staff at the Raphoe branch have also been told their branch is to shut. Traders in Ardara have organised an extraordinary public meeting on Monday night at 8 pm to try and find a resolution to what they described as “the disgraceful proposed closure of our one and only Ulster Bank.”A spokesman said “We urge everybody to attend as this effects us all..Let’s save our branch.With so many people effected not alone in the parish but all over, everybody is welcome.”Ardara traders to host public meeting on local bank’s closure was last modified: March 24th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ardaraclosuredonegalulster banklast_img read more