Health - Research: Psychedelic Mushrooms Ease OCD Symptoms

Discussion in 'Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybe & Amanita)' started by Alfa, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    First study of psilocybin since '70s finds it reduces severe compulsion

    Dec. 20, 2006

    TUCSON, Ariz. - A preliminary study of the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms has found it is effective in relieving the symptoms of people suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder, a University of Arizona psychiatrist reports.

    Dr. Francisco A. Moreno led the first FDA-approved clinical study of psilocybin since it was outlawed in 1970. The results of the small-scale study are published in the latest edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
    Moreno said the study's intent was only to test the safety of administering psilocybin to patients, and its effectiveness is still in doubt until a larger controlled study can be conducted.

    But in each of the nine patients in the study, psilocybin completely removed symptoms of the disorder for a period of about four to 24 hours, with some remaining symptom-free for days, Moreno said.

    "What we saw acutely was a drastic decrease in symptoms," Moreno said. "The obsessions would really dissolve or reduce drastically for a period of time."

    Best known among the drug culture as magic mushrooms, the hallucinogenic fungus remains a popular illicit drug. Although banned by Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, research into medical uses is allowed.

    The new research does not reflect any change in government policy, said Rogene Waite, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    No other treatment eases symptoms faster
    Currently, there is no treatment that eases symptoms of the disorder as fast as psilocybin appears to, Moreno said. Other drugs take several weeks to show an effect, but the psilocybin was almost immediate.
    The drug is not one that could be taken daily, Moreno said, and many questions remain about its use, including if it would be addictive or if patients would develop a tolerance to the drug.
    Moreno hopes to conduct an expanded study that could offer more convincing evidence of its effectiveness.

    "We're very cautious about making too much of the early results," Moreno said. "I don't want to characterize it as psychedelics are the way to go. Although it seemed to be safe, this was done in the context of supervision by trained professionals in a medical setting. This is not ready to be used by the public just because nine people tolerated it."

    Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder typically develop in the teen years and can make it difficult hard for patients to lead normal, day-to-day lives.

    The nine patients in the study had a range of compulsions, including fear of being contaminated, elaborate cleaning rituals, tapping or touching rituals and mental rituals. One patient wouldn't touch the floor with anything but the soles of his shoes. Others would shower for hours or put on pants over and over again until they felt right.

    "They know it's senseless. They know it doesn't do anything for them, but if they don't do it they become very distraught and very uncomfortable and have a very difficult time functioning," Moreno said.

    MSN news.
  2. Passenger

    Passenger Newbie

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Psychedelic drug 'hope for OCD'

    Psychedelic drug 'hope for OCD'
    By Arran Frood
    Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 07:31 GMT

    "Doc, I am ready to play ball."

    It had been years since Jeremy (not his real name) had touched a basketball.

    Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Jeremy feared contamination from dirt and germs which prevented any part of his body from touching the ground, save for the soles of his shoes.

    But whilst taking part in a small clinical study to investigate the effects of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in 'magic' mushrooms, on people with OCD, Jeremy's bare feet lay on the floor and he expressed a willingness to engage in an activity, playing with a ball, that just hours before he would have been considered abhorrent.

    Although Jeremy's symptoms gradually returned, other patients also experienced transient relief from their OCD symptoms and one entered an extended period of remission lasting more than six months.

    Lead researcher Dr Francis Moreno, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, Tucson, said: "I really think that participating in the study influenced the patient's remission."

    It was the first to investigate the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin to be published for more than 30 years.

    Serious doubts

    But critics say the study's flawed methodology means that conclusions cannot be made about the drug's efficacy against OCD, and some question whether it should have taken place at all.

    Professor Jeffrey Schwartz, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said: "This study is going to receive a lot of attention and it will create a desire on behalf of a patient population that is suffering and hoping for a 'magic bullet'."

    However, the study's authors say that the primary purpose of the study was to demonstrate safety.

    Dr Moreno said: "If the question is: 'did we find enough information to support exploring this further?', then we got some interesting findings which support the need for a proper controlled study."

    Common condition

    There are an estimated six million OCD sufferers in the US, making OCD the fourth most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder after phobias, depression and alcoholism.

    OCD is an anxiety disorder characterised by the repetitive or ritualistic performance of behaviours such as excessive washing, checking, and counting.

    Sufferers can be plagued by intrusive thoughts, ranging from unwanted sexual fantasies to committing violent acts.

    OCD is treatable although the cause is not fully understood.

    SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine are commonly prescribed and can be highly effective - 60% of patients on medication improve.

    The response rate can be higher when combined with cognitive behavioural therapy.

    This is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on solving the patient's present problems, and is recommended as the first line treatment for people with mild OCD.


    But half of patients relapse when drugs are withdrawn and a quarter do not respond to conventional therapies at all.

    Even when medication is effective, a 30-50% reduction in symptoms is the best that can be achieved.

    And if the therapy and drugs don't work, invasive brain surgery is the only remaining option.

    The need for more treatment options and anecdotal reports of OCD patients undergoing periods of remission after using hallucinogens led Moreno and colleagues to give psilocybin to nine people who had had not responded to other treatments.

    The patients did see a significant reduction in symptoms for up to 24 hours after they were given psilocybin even on the lowest dose.

    But because there was no group given a different drug or no drug at all to compare them to, the benefits could have been simply due to care and attention from the researchers.


    The way that psilocybin works means that it can have severe mind-altering effects.

    In this study, the people taking the drug rated the hallucinogenic experience as "stressful" at some times but "psychologically and spiritually uplifting" - describing encounters with past lives, faraway planets, and communing with deities.

    But all had previously taken psychedelic drugs before the study - which the researchers say was to increase the safety of the study.

    However Dr Paul Blenkiron, a consultant in adult psychiatry at Bootham Park Hospital, York, said: "I'm concerned that the study only measured effects up to 24 hours and OCD is a chronic condition, not measurable in hours and days, but months and years.

    "About 12% of people can suffer flashbacks after less than 10 exposures [to psychedelics] many years later, beyond the six months of this study, so long term effects should be carefully assessed."

    However, he added: "If this substance was effective and had fewer side effects in severe treatment-resistant case, it would be an option."

    Experts also question whether the results are really valid.

    "You would expect a spontaneous remission rate of 10% within in a year," said Professor Paul Salkovskis, Maudsley Hospital Centre for Anxiety Disorders, who asks whether it is safe to give people with OCD psychoactive substances at all.

    "I'm very concerned that people with obsessional problems who experience bursts of nasty images, like sexually abusing their own child or stabbing someone, are being given a drug known to produce intrusive mental phenomena."
  3. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    Feb 1, 2005
    Re: Psychedelic drug 'hope for OCD'

    ""You would expect a spontaneous remission rate of 10% within in a year," said Professor Paul Salkovskis, Maudsley Hospital Centre for Anxiety Disorders, who asks whether it is safe to give people with OCD psychoactive substances at all."

    Why do I have a 'nasty image' of this quack drugging all his patients on Seroquel?
  4. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    Jan 12, 2005
    from earth
    Re: Psychedelic drug 'hope for OCD'

    Because they are very fond of giving them sweeties that have lots of nasty side effects , also preferably with out informing them of the side effects so then they have to be given different sweeties to combat that thos side effects when the original issue has not even been sorted.. the srrl merry go round
  5. Jatelka

    Jatelka Psychedelic Shepherdess Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Oct 16, 2005
    from U.K.