Survey Update: Risks and benefits of “magic mushrooms” in bipolar disorder

on July 5, 2021
Survey Update: Risks and benefits of “magic mushrooms” in bipolar disorder

 

Watch our recent Q&A event on psychedelics & bipolar disorder, featuring Dr. Josh Woolley.

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Can magic mushrooms be used for bipolar disorder treatment?

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are studying whether psilocybin (the primary psychoactive compound in “magic mushrooms”) may be an effective and safe treatment for depression in bipolar disorder. Currently, there is very limited evidence about the potential risks and benefits of this substance.

“Almost ⅓ of survey respondents reported new or increasing symptoms during or after their psilocybin trip.”

Several months ago, CREST.BD partnered with researchers from the UCSF Bonding and Attunement in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (BAND) Lab to assess the safety, impact, and cultural practices of “magic mushroom” use among adults with bipolar disorder. The BAND Lab will be using these findings to plan a clinical trial of psilocybin for depression in adults with bipolar disorder.

“Interestingly, people overall reported that psilocybin was more helpful than harmful.

Over 500 people with bipolar disorder responded to an online survey to share their experiences of using psilocybin. The BAND Lab has also invited a subset of survey respondents to engage in a qualitative interview to help us take a deeper dive into their experiences.

The preliminary results

We recently presented our preliminary findings from the survey at the International Society for Bipolar Disorders online conference. We’ve uploaded the poster here to share these findings with you!

Almost ⅓ of survey respondents reported new or increasing symptoms during or after their psilocybin ‘trip’. This means that any clinical trial needs to involve careful monitoring for possible side effects. However, interestingly, people overall reported that psilocybin was more helpful than harmful.

More results are coming!

Analysis of the survey responses and one-on-one interviews is still in progress. We hope to have more updates for you soon! If you’d like to be kept in the loop about the results of this survey, please follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our email list. You can also follow the BANDLab on Twitter for updates about psychedelics research.


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