Preliminary Trial Shows Psilocybin Reduces Intensity, Magnitude of Migraines

August 14, 2023 14:01:09

A preliminary study has revealed that psilocybin, the main psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms, may have applications in migraine treatments. Researchers from Yale School of Medicine recently ran the first-ever clinical trial on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics against migraines.

Led by Dr. Emmanuelle Schindler, the research team determined that psilocybin could reduce the number of weekly migraine days by one-half in people with chronic migraines. Furthermore, the researchers determined that even a single dose of the psychedelic could reduce the intensity of migraine attacks by a significant degree in only two weeks with no adverse side effects.

Although prior studies had shown that psilocybin may be able to treat cluster headaches and migraines, those results were mostly anecdotal. The Yale University study, on the other hand, compared the effects of a placebo against psilocybin in chronic migraine treatment.

Researchers recruited 10 individuals with chronic migraines for the study. The participants completed a “migraine diary” that consisted of monitoring their migraines for two weeks prior to the study. The research team then carried out a double-blind study where they gave the participants either a placebo or a low psilocybin dose once and then after two weeks. Study participants who received the psilocybin reported a large reduction in migraine days just a week after the first psilocybin dose.

Although this is the first study that specifically analyzed psilocybin’s application in migraine management, it isn’t the first to look at the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. A growing body of scientific literature has proven that psychedelics have various health benefits when taken in medical settings under professional guidance.

With most of these studies focusing on mental health, they have revealed that psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD, ketamine and MDMA can treat various mental disorders. Like in the Yale study, psychedelics delivered their benefits at relatively minimal doses and did not cause any serious side effects.

Some researchers have also been interested in psychedelics as potential pain remedies and have tried to understand the underlying mechanisms of psychedelics and how they affect the brain to see how psychedelics could relieve pain. Prior research has found that psychedelics may be able to treat chronic pain by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain and disrupting connections and processes associated with chronic pain.

However, with most psychedelic studies focusing on their potential mental health applications, there is little research on their applications in pain treatment. More studies will be necessary to fully understand how psychedelics such as psilocybin affect pain and whether they could be used to develop alternative pain medications.

At the moment, other entities such as Compass Pathways PLC (NASDAQ: CMPS) are also looking into how various psychedelics can be used to treat different mental health and other indications.

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