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Apr 26th, 2007 12:57 PM
Here is another

Psychedelic mushrooms ease OCD symptoms

First study of psilocybin since '70s finds it reduces severe compulsion

Updated: 5:18 p.m. PT Dec 20, 2006
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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.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Apr 26th, 2007 08:39 AM
Miss Modular
Originally Posted by kahljorn View Post
it's cool how they try to make it look more distinguished than with earlier people but that's good cause timothy leary is annoying sometimes... have you guys heard his cd?
He did more than one, I believe. I own You Can Be Anyone This Time Around, which I bought in the East Village a month ago. It's...okay.

A lot of the new (or at least younger) psychedelic advocates (i.e. Daniel Pinchbeck) dislike Leary because they think he exploited psychedelics to people who probably shouldn't have been taking them, thus creating the laws we have now.
Apr 25th, 2007 07:55 PM
Lenor Freud also associated almost everything with sex, cocaine releases dopamine as most upper's do; Most likely resulting in why he would think it was the cure all drug. heh

I have read alot on Timothy Leory's writings. Including the Human Being held at Golden Gate Park "Tune in Turn on Drop out".

Quite interesting..
Apr 25th, 2007 06:33 PM
kahljorn i hven't even read this story but there's a long history of the use of chemicals to treat various mental disorders so i dont know why people act like it's a huge surprise...
it's cool how they try to make it look more distinguished than with earlier people but that's good cause timothy leary is annoying sometimes... have you guys heard his cd? i know they use some tracks from it on one of the tool remixes or something...

even Freud thought that cocaine was a miracle brain cure all.
Apr 25th, 2007 05:38 PM
Miss Modular
Psychedelic research returns to academia (editorial)

I posted a story last year about Johns Hopkins doing a study of patients using psilocybin, and the trend continues.


Thursday, Apr. 19, 2007
Was Timothy Leary Right?
By John Cloud

Are psychedelics good for you? It's such a hippie relic of a question that it's almost embarrassing to ask. But a quiet psychedelic renaissance is beginning at the highest levels of American science, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Harvard, which is conducting what is thought to be its first research into therapeutic uses of psychedelics (in this case, Ecstasy) since the university fired Timothy Leary in 1963. But should we be prying open the doors of perception again? Wasn't the whole thing a disaster the first time?

The answer to both questions is yes. The study of psychedelics in the '50s and '60s eventually devolved into the drug free-for-all of the '70s. But the new research is careful and promising. Last year two top journals, the Archives of General Psychiatry and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, published papers showing clear benefits from the use of psychedelics to treat mental illness. Both were small studies, just 27 subjects total. But the Archives paper--whose lead author, Dr. Carlos Zarate Jr., is chief of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Unit at NIMH--found "robust and rapid antidepressant effects" that remained for a week after depressed subjects were given ketamine (colloquial name: Special K or usually just k). In the other study, a team led by Dr. Francisco Moreno of the University of Arizona gave psilocybin (the merrymaking chemical in psychedelic mushrooms) to obsessive-compulsive-disorder patients, most of whom later showed "acute reductions in core OCD symptoms." Now researchers at Harvard are studying how Ecstasy might help alleviate anxiety disorders, and the Beckley Foundation, a British trust, has received approval to begin what will be the first human studies with LSD since the 1970s.

Psychedelics chemically alter the way your brain takes in information and may cause you to lose control of typical thought patterns. The theory motivating the recent research is that if your thoughts are depressed or obsessive, the drugs may reveal a path through them. For Leary and his circle--which influenced millions of Americans to experiment with drugs--psychedelics' seemingly boundless possibilities led to terrible recklessness. There's a jaw-dropping passage in last year's authoritative Leary biography by Robert Greenfield in which Leary and two friends ingest an astonishing 31 psilocybin pills in Leary's kitchen while his 13-year-old daughter has a pajama party upstairs. Stupefied, one of the friends climbs into the girl's bed and has to be pulled from the room.

A half-century later, scientists hope to unstitch psychedelic research from their forebears' excesses. Even as the Clinical Psychiatry paper trumpets psilocybin's potential for "powerful insights," it also urges caution. The paper suggests psilocybin only for severe OCD patients who have failed standard therapies and, as a last resort, may face brain surgery. Similarly, subjects can't take part in the Ecstasy trials unless their illness has continued after ordinary treatment.

Antidrug warriors may argue that the research will lend the drugs an aura of respectability, prompting a new round of recreational use. That's possible, but today we have no priestly Leary figure spewing vertiginous pro-drug proclamations. Instead we have a Leary for a less naive age: Richard Doblin. Also a Harvard guy--his Ph.D. is in public policy--Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986 to help scientists get funding and approval to study the drugs. (Doblin, 53, says he was too shy for the '60s, but he was inspired by the work of psychologist Stanislav Grof, who authored a 1975 book about promising LSD research--research that ended with antidrug crackdowns.) Doblin has painstakingly worked with intensely skeptical federal authorities to win necessary permissions. MAPS helped launch all four of the current Ecstasy studies, a process that took two decades. It's the antithesis of Leary's approach.

All drugs have benefits and risks, but in psychedelics we have been tempted to see only one or the other. Not anymore.

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