One dose of psychedelic compound has ‘mind-boggling’ success at easing anxiety

Jan. 29, 2020

Nearly five years after cancer patients received a single dose of a psychedelic drug, many still showed a decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms, according to a recent study.

The patients in the study were first administered synthetic psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms,” in a controlled setting in 2016. Six months after the initial dose, 80 percent of the cohort reported that their anxiety and depression symptoms were still decreased. Now, a follow-up study of a handful of these patients have found that many say that the psychedelic-assisted therapy is still having an impact on their peace of mind.

The doctor who led study called the sustained benefit of the therapy for cancer patients “mind-boggling.”

Although the FDA has yet to approve a drug derived from psilocybin, the agency has granted “breakthrough therapy” status to a set of clinical trials aimed at studying its impact on major depressive disorder. Last year, the agency also approved a nasal spray containing esketamine, also long considered a “party drug,” to treat depression.

Read the NBC News report.