Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Study: Magic Mushrooms Erase Fear & Traumatic Memories


By: Tia Ghose

The active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms may erase frightening memories and encourage new brain cell growth in mice, a new study suggests.

Mice given an electric shock, then a low-dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, lost their fearful response to a sound associated with a painful electric shock much more quickly than mice that didn't receive the drug.

"They stopped freezing; they lost their fear," said study co-author Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, a professor of movement disorders at the University of South Florida.

The findings, published in the June issue of the journal Experimental Brain Research, only apply to mice, but they raise the possibility that low doses of the chemical could one day be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Hippocampus
Past studies found that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, could induce mystical experiences that could elevate mood, attitude, and behavior and even permanently alter personality for the better. Other studies show that psilocybin decreases brain activity. 

But Sanchez-Ramos and his colleagues wondered about psilocybin's role in the formation of short-term memories. Because the ingredient binds to a receptor in the brain that stimulates new brain cell growth and short-term memory formation, the researchers wanted to investigate how it affected the formation of fearful memories. They expected that psilocybin would help mice form frightening memories more quickly.

To test that hypothesis, the researchers played an auditory tone and gave the mice a painful shock. The mice soon associated the tone with the shock and would freeze when they heard it.
But some of the mice received a low dose of psilocybin — probably too low to cause psychoactive effects, though there's no way to be sure, Sanchez-Ramos said.

"Mice cannot tell you if they're hallucinating or have altered states of consciousness," Sanchez-Ramos told LiveScience.

Afterward, the researchers played the sound several times without shocking the mice. At the start, the mice froze when they heard it, but gradually, they began moving around normally, indicating they no longer associated the sound with the shock.
The mice taking the hallucinogen returned to normal behavior more quickly than those that had not, suggesting they got over their fear more quickly. At the same time, their brains showed a significant growth in new brain cells.

Eliminate the negative?
"The study in mice indicates that psilocybin (possibly also at moderate doses) may help to extinct fear memory in PTSD or other groups of anxiety patients," Franz Vollenweider, the director of the Heffter Research Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, wrote in an email.

Vollenweider's research has shown that psilocybin can reduce how much depressed patients respond to negative, but not positive or neutral, facial expressions.

"Thus it might well be that psilocybin may shift emotion processing towards the positive in depressed patients," said Vollenweider, who was not involved in the current study.

And in treating PTSD, for instance, veterans could take the drug to disassociate loud noises or crowded spaces with the trauma of a bombing, Sanchez-Ramos said.

By law, psilocybin is a Schedule 1 drug, or a dangerous drug with no legitimate medical uses. So doing the research to test its effects in the United States will be challenging, Sanchez-Ramos said.

Originally posted on: Live Science


55 comments:

  1. which aree the name of these mushrooms and where can i find them,?

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    1. Depends on where you live as to what grows there... In NZ or AUS nothing really beats Psilocybe Cyanescens, easy to find, grow majority of the season and are on the higher side of potency..

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    2. Ireland is covered with them , liberty caps, from sept yo oct, cannot go walking without stepping on them

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    3. there is a great TedX on youtube titled 'Graham Hancock: The War on Consciousness' Banned TED talk.

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    4. The name of the mushrooms are Psilocybin Cubensis

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  2. cubensis are the most common and easiest to grow, but not legal. you can order the spores online for "research" though lol

    http://sporeworks.com/Psilocybe-cubensis-Spore-Syringes

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    1. Obligatory: FOR SCIENCE!

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  3. Who knows what further research may bring.

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  4. ... Until the pharmaceutical industry lobbies the research to an early grave.

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  5. South American tribal warriors use mushrooms to overcome fear. Americans used L.S.D. in the Vietnam war so they had no fear.

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    1. I think you're understanding this wrong. They are saying these drugs could be curing mice of traumatic events. Anyone that has ever ingested psychedelic drugs can tell you that the experience comes with a certain amount of fear at times. I highly doubt people took psychedelics to reduce fear in a combat situation. However, maybe I am reading your comment wrong.

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    2. LSD can create some fear. Psilocybin does not.

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    3. after 7 years of research in the 80s i found I had no fear. now i fear only the government and pharmaceutical companies. I think its time to go for a pick once again.

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    4. yes, lsd in vietnam..
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-rWnQphPdQ

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  6. happy feet I wouldn't try self medicating with mushrooms dude. You need to be very careful if you do! These people are talking about using them in conjunction with other psychological treatment. Taking mushrooms and LSD on it's own does NOT erase fear. A lot is dependent on the "trip" you have, and your thoughts within that "trip" if you come out the other end with a positive experience or a "fucked up" one, hence the working with other treatments.

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    1. The affects of LSD never leave your system either. They attach their little cells to your cells in your brain and you never know when, during the rest of your life, you're going to freak out or take a trip, say off a mountain or on the top of a building. All of this information I'm telling you is from a relative of mine that had it slipped into a drink one night at a party. That was 30 years ago. She's never been the same since and she was a beautiful young woman.

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    2. This kind of story has been linked to LSD for as long as I can remember.

      It has been proven time and time again that LSD leaves your system completely within 48 hours at most. However, the psychological impact of a negative experience can result in 'flashbacks' recurring over a long period of time.

      It doesn't stay in your system or in your fatty cells.

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    3. That is complete nonsense....First, LSD isn't made of cells. It is a compound that breaks down and is gone within a day of taking it, and one that your body establishes a resistance to within hours...Consequently, you can't get high on it two days it a row. That is why you cannot get addicted to it.. Also, after the countless times I've experienced LSD and mushrooms over the last 30 years, I have never once had the so called "flashback" experience, nor has anyone I know of who was a heavy user (1-2 times per week). It's an urban myth and nothing more. You're far more likely to have a deadly reaction to aspirin.

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  7. you dont actually hallucinate like lsd, its more of an awakening, looking past your perception of reality into what actually is reality

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    1. That's exactly what happened to me on LSD.

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  8. I think it would help their studies to involve people that have taken mushrooms and examine all their experiences. I do agree with the idea that it induces a state of mind that disspells fear, you feel like you can do anything, so it is dangerous for that reason as people want to jump off cliffs or other such things. Also the active ingredient stays in your brain for many years and you can have flashbacks for a long time. I do think it would help with post traumatic stress as i had suffered with that for 4 years after a traumatic event. Whilst on mushrooms I do agree with being able to turn negative into positive, as you seem to connect with a higher self that enables you to understand that you choose how you feel and then you choose to be happy because why would you want to feel sad. You can definitely sense when others are sad. I think these studies are extremely valuable, but scientists really need to just have some themselves in order to understand the experience. I dont think they are as dangerous as they are perceived to be but i wouldnt encourage people to just go out and take them without thinking seriously about it. I have had both gold and blue mushrooms. I have had a good and bad experience but neither time did it "erase my mind" or anything like that. The effects do wear off and i think that it has given me a deeper understanding that I wouldnt have if I had not taken them. I support this study.

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    1. I agree with much of your post, but I just wanted to point out that studies have conclusively shown that psychoactives (LSD in particular) actually do not stay for more than a few days in the body. In fact, LSD doesn't even remain in ample amounts within the spinal chord, like most rumors and stories say. The flashback mechanism has been attributed to users that have a previous history of mental illness in which the LSD helps to propagate a drug induced psychosis, influencing these particular users to experience mental states similar to those experienced during a trip.

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    2. I agree with the above reply and would like to add that it is not common for people to want to "jump off of a cliff" while using psychedelic medicines. These biased statements are common scare tactics that are used in anti-psychoactive propaganda.

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    3. You try telling Art Linkletter's son that. He was on an LSD trip and he thought he could fly and he was telling everyone in the building he could, so he went out the window of a very tall building, don't remember which one, and he was dead. That was no scare tactic.

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    4. I've done acid and mushrooms countless times, and not once did I ever believe I could fly, or do anything else super human. Although I have seen and heard of people doing other things that were pretty stupid. But then, I've seen far worse from people who were just plain drunk...And that's legal.

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  9. Also the rule of mushrooms is, if you pick it from the ground, when you break the stem if it turns yellow or blue or it is poisonous or "magic" mushroom. They way to have them is boil them in a pot and and put the juice into some coffee. My friends and I had 40 small gold tops but when you put the amount of juice into a coffee it wouldn't end up being very much at all. I would think 1 or even 2 small mushrooms would be a fairly "safe" amount, but thats just my opinion.

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    1. Two ways to positively ID magic mushrooms.....Stems turn blue when bruised or broken, spore prints are black. A good dose is about 1 to 1.5 grams, although many like doing upward to eighth ounces at once (which is a strong dose). The caps are more potent than the stems, so the best thing to do is grind it all up to reach a homogenous blend of cap and stem. Then simply measure your dose, mix with orange juice and drink it down.

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  10. How do you eat the mushroom? do you need to cook or something?

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    1. Dried or brewed in tea

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    2. tea works best but the trip is more intense for a shorter period of time...

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    3. Throw it on a pb & j sandwhich. Or take it with orange juice.

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    4. pop that b*tch in your mouth and chew it up. tastes like *ss but well worth what's coming... :)

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  11. magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants are just hitting on your imagination center and if u are spiritualy awake it does nothing bad to u it can be an amazing expierience if u are awakened and centered. but if u are depresed and frustrated living in the wrong vision it can increase that feeling.but sometimes it heals the depresion also.
    u shud have the right vision of life then its an amazing expieriense and it opens many doors in to unknown world. its all up to u as there is nothing but u.

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  12. I have taken them many times in the past, never had a bad experience. I have also had countless head injuries, many borderline fatal with amazing recovery and no psychosomatic repercussions. Perhaps I am extremely fortunate or my illegal diet helped me alone. Haven't done any in decades but I'm thinking about visiting some pastures, lol.

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    1. your experiences could really help a study like this, im particularly interested in that they are saying it promotes brain cell growth as the brain is the only cells in the body that do not regenerate like the rest of the body (unless i have been misinformed) anyway if you do take some soon, i would be interested to her about your experience maybe you could film yourself, it may be interesting to see if the experience you had from the outside looking in was similar to the inside looking out??

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  13. For slightly more reliable information on the subject I suggest you start your search here: http://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms.shtml Good luck!

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  14. Okay, fair article

    My opinion, the whole mice thing is off the hook, we can't use mice to compare our emotions - brain fonctions as human being.

    Mushroom does help you with fear, the so called EGO death, it nice to experience a little 3 hour ego free! Get into touch with our primal state. breathe. enjoy. nature. energy. feel. see.

    I suggest to keep it safe, cool environment, with a good friend.

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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b6-0yW7Iaw

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  15. What if your frightening memory was taking drugs in the first place?
    Whoops! Paradox!!!

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  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b6-0yW7Iaw

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  17. complete bollocks shrooms dont erase traumatic events they allow you to accept them more quickly but the mice couldnt tell you that

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  18. STOP TESTING ON MICE! FFS! LEAVE THE ANIMALS ALONE!

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    1. Really? If we stop testing on mice then they will have to do their testing on you! We would have no understanding of the human body without mice. What would you suggest we do instead?

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  19. this may be of interest here http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/mysterium-tremendum-part-5-first-journey-with-ayahuasca/

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  20. it'll be interesting what else they find, and even more interesting to see what happens when used in human cases.

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  21. shrooms always make me go in to yawning jags...(interspersed with giggling jags)...in fact the laughing fits that I've had on shrooms...laughing so hard that my eyes are watering...and my abs get a workout better than any "PX-90" regime...so theres another benefit...(you too....can attain a "6 pack o'abs" by virtue of the magic mushroom...!!!

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  22. as far as Art Linkletter's kid...perhaps he was schizophrenic or had some other unknown mental affliction...I mistakenly ingested 8 hits of windowpane at age 15...during a 3 day music festival in Sedalia, Missouri...during a record heat wave with temps above 110...surrounded by thousands of hot,thirsty and tired (ornery)people...and never felt like I was gonna freak out. Because of the surroundings though...the heat...the crowds...I would consider the 12 hours frying...a bad trip...but still...I was in complete control of my faculties...

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  23. I am quite happy with my brain chemistry the way it is... Fear is something quite natural and probably has more positive than negative effects. Just like the other challenges that life presents every day, I deal with fear. It actually a very satisfying feeling to deal with it successfully...

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    1. PTSD is not a normal fear response. It is crippling and can totally interfere with a person's daily functioning.

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  24. I had shrooms once. It wasn't so illuminating as some say yet I did felt more aware of my sorroundings. And I ate them during school time and never felt fear of being discovered. Either they do help to overcome fear, or I don't actually care of being discovered

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  25. Never had fear.. of course i was young but then again im not young and i still fear nothing but hod humm must still be working..........people cant just go take a over abundance of anything...

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  26. The people that think psilocybin has medicinal value must be tripping themselves. The chemical is poisonous in high dosages and they can cause fear and paranoia. Perhaps they would be beneficial in low dosages, as the response is directly related to the dosage. But in the USA, I doubt it will ever find any medicinal value. After Jacob's ladder, no hallucinogen will find it's way into an FDA study.

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    1. is that statement you made by experience or from something someone told u. poisonous bullshit. I have been eating them for years, a quarter ounce at one sitting once,im here, no fear other than folks with closed minds. mother nature did intend for them to be healing in many ways. The right shaman(guide)or (one who knows) for the right medicine. for some it may be the wrong medicine.

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  27. You meet yourself. Who you really are. It's all you. Question is always...can you handle yourself? I was a depressed pessimist, suicidal you can say. One crazy mushroom trip later, a 180 was made. I woke up to a new day and decided to see things in a different light. I became a curious optimist. It was by far the greatest thing I ever did for myself. Magical? Absolutely.

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