Trick or treat? Why psilocybin is your best ally for Halloween

Posted under: News and Science

Halloween is coming, and maybe you have some joker "friends" like these...

Or like these...

Every October 31th we are sorounded by horror, skeletons, witches, bats, darkness, blood... And a lot of fun. Scary jokes are the spice of this deadly day.

Why is psilocybin, the active compound of magic mushrooms, yourbest ally in case one of these jokes goes so far? Because...

Scared to death? The way to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The hippocampus is a region in your brain in which big part of your memory is stored. It's a special region because it can create new neurons during your lifetime. This neurogeneration capability is unique to few parts of your brain.


Hippocampus also works very closely to the amygdala, the part of our brains in wich our primary emotions like fear, loath or anger rest. Hippocampus and amygdala work together to store information about things we like, things that upset us, things that we hate...

This working-together way of life of this couple of brain regions helps us to remember things that are good for us and things that are bad for us. Emotionally charged memories are persistent memories.

The problem begins when such bad things as violence episodes, witnessed murders, war horrors, etc, are stored very persistently and full of details. This stored memories become a real problem if derive in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder which consists of re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, being easily startled, feeling tense, having difficulty sleeping and in day by day activities.

Psilocybin vs. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The research "Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning" (University of Florida) published in the the journal of Experimental Brain Research studied the effect of psilocybin in mice conditioned to exhibit "fear response" to an auditory tone linked to a painful stimulus, like victims of PTSD exhibit fear response to signals that make them remember a terrifying episode of their lifes.


The researchers found that "tripping" mice overcame the conditioned fear response faster than mice that did not receive the drug. Why? Scientists believe that this effects are mediated by the psilocybin power to modulate serotonin synaptic concentrations. Drugs that modulate serotonin impact hippocampal neurogenesis and learning. Psilocybin enhaces this neurogeneration power.

The tripping mice exhibited fear conditioned response but they "learnt to forget" faster than not psilocybin-treated mice thanks to these new neurons generated.

This scientific team wants to use this research to find a pharmacological cure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So, better get your psilocybin prepared this Halloween ;-)

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