New research has found that magic mushrooms can be effective in treating depression, with active ingredients helping to boost damaged brain cells.
When tested on mice, one dose boosted brain cells that are often damaged in patients with depression, with positive effects being recorded immediately. There is hope that the research can contribute towards more effective treatment for mental illnesses.
Speaking about the study, senior author Professor Alex Kwan said:
"We not only saw a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections but also they were on average about 10% larger - so they were stronger as well."
Dendritic spines, which are often damaged and reduced by stress and depression, were found to increase in density by the study, published by Neuron.
The news comes off the back of a number of studies looking into the effectiveness of recreational drugs in treating mental ilnesses. Imperial College London found earlier this year that psilocybin was a more effective antidepressant than escitalopram when tested on 59 patients.
Kwan went on to say that "It was a real surprise to see such enduring changes from just one dose of psilocybin.”
"These new connections may be the structural changes the brain uses to store new experiences." He continued.
Tope Olufemi is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter here.