Researchers have found that low doses of psilocybin, the active substance in magic mushrooms, help mice overcome conditioned fear response, opening up the possibility of use of psilocybin in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The research study titled "Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning," published in the June issue of the journal of Experimental Brain Research, by a team of scientists, including Dr. Briony Catlow of the Lieber Institute of Brain Development and Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, professor at the University of South Florida, studied the effect of low doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin in mice conditioned to exhibit "fear response" to an auditory tone linked to a painful stimulus, specifically, an electric shock delivered soon after the mice were exposed to the auditory tone.Read the full article at Digital Journal
The researchers found that mice administered low doses of psilocybin overcame the conditioned fear response faster than mice that did not receive the drug.
According to the study co-author, Sanchez-Ramos, "They stopped freezing; they lost their fear [faster]."
Although, the results apply only to mice, the researchers believe it paves the way for further studies exploring the possibility of using the psychoactive compound to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in humans.