Psychedelics promote the growth of brain connections as a result of depression

Jul, 2021 - By SMI

Psychedelics promote the growth of brain connections as a result of depression

In a new study, researchers found that giving mice a single dose of psilocybin resulted in an immediate and long-lasting boost in neuron connections.

For years, researchers have been looking into the hallucinogenic substance psilocybin, a naturally occurring molecule found in some mushrooms, as a possible cure for depression. But it's still unclear how it works in the brain and how long the positive effects will endure.

A single dose of psilocybin given to mice resulted in an instantaneous and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons, according to Yale University researchers. The findings were published in the journal Neuron on July 5th.

Previous some study had suggested that psilocybin, as well as the anaesthetic ketamine, can help people feel fewer depressed. These substances boost the mass of dendritic spines, minute bulges realised on nerve cells that contribute in the passage of information between neurons, according to new Yale research.

Researchers discovered that not only did the number of neural connections increase by 10%, but that they were also 10% larger on average, implying that the connections were also 10% stronger. Former research had recommended that psilocybin, and also the anaesthetic ketamine, can help people feel less depressed.

These substances boost the dendritic spines of the density, minute projections seen on nerve cells that contribute in the passage of information between neurons, according to new research. The number of the neural associates is known to be reduced by chronic stress and depression.

Within 24 hours of psilocybin administration, they discovered an increase in the number and size of dendritic spines.  The changes were obvious. In addition, mice given psilocybin demonstrated behavioural gains and enhanced neurotransmitter activity after being stressed.

Psilocybin, an active component found in "magical mushrooms," can encourage a powerful mystical experience in certain people. The psychedelic was previously a common part of native New World religious ceremonies and is now a popular recreational drug.

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