Study suggests psilocybin increases mindfulness, especially when accompanied by mystical experiences
A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology investigates the relationship between psilocybin, mindfulness, mystical-type experiences, and serotonin receptors in the brain. Following participants for three months after a dose of psilocybin, the new findings indicate that when taking psilocybin, those who report mystical-type experiences are more likely to have increased trait mindfulness. In addition, those who took psilocybin had mystical experiences and became more mindful and saw less activity in the amygdala serotonin 2A receptors (5-HT2AR).
When psychedelics were first studied more than 50 years ago, researchers noticed that they were useful in helping people explore a greater sense of self. Now, after a half-century hiatus, scientists are studying psychedelics like MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine as treatment for depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. So, what promise do they hold as therapeutics? Albert Garcia-Romeu, a researcher at John’s Hopkins University, joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk about how psychedelics can alleviate mental suffering and what the path forward might look like. This episode originally aired on November 8, 2022.
Previous studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed that psychedelic treatment with psilocybin relieved major depressive disorder symptoms in adults for up to a month. Now, in a follow-up study of those participants, the researchers report that the substantial antidepressant effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy, given with supportive psychotherapy, may last at least a year for some patients.