A hallucinogenic chemical in magic mushrooms shows promise for people with untreatable depression, a short study on just 12 people hints. Eight patients were no longer depressed after the “mystical and spiritual” experience induced by the drug. The findings in the Lancet Psychiatry showed five of the patients were still depression-free after three months. Experts cautiously welcomed the findings as “promising, but not completely compelling”.
There have now been calls for the drug to be tested in larger trials. At the start of the trial, nine of the patients had at least severe depression and three were moderately depressed. In one patient, symptoms had lasted for 30 years. All of them had tried at least two different treatments for depression, without success.