From the Editor
“Severe depression eased by single dose of synthetic ‘magic mushroom’”
– CNN, 3 November 2022
For its proponents, psilocybin could be the breakthrough we have been waiting for in depression treatment. For its critics, psilocybin lacks evidence.
What to make of psilocybin? Dr. Guy M. Goodwin (of the University of Oxford) and his co-authors attempt to answer that question with a phase 2 double blind trial focused on those with treatment-resistant depression, offering participants psilocybin at three different doses, in addition to therapy. The resulting paper was just published in The New England Journal of Medicine and has received much attention (including, yes, coverage by CNN). They find: “participants with treatment-resistant depression, psilocybin at a single dose of 25 mg, but not 10 mg, reduced depression scores significantly more than a 1-mg dose over a period of 3 weeks but was associated with adverse effects.”
We discuss the big paper and the review the accompanying Editorial by Bertha K. Madras (of Harvard University). We also have comments from Dr. Ishrat Husain (of the University of Toronto), one of the study co-authors.
So does psilocybin offer a breakthrough? Read on and decide for yourself.
(Note that there will be no Reading next week.)