Home Medizin Studie zeigt überlegene Wirksamkeit von Pilzextrakt in der psychiatrischen Behandlung

Studie zeigt überlegene Wirksamkeit von Pilzextrakt in der psychiatrischen Behandlung

von NFI Redaktion

Recent study indicates that mushroom extract could have superior efficacy compared to chemically synthesized psilocybin, particularly in stimulating neuroplasticity and promoting the development of new connections between nerve cells – an essential property. This discovery unveils potential applications for treating conditions such as depression, PTSD, and schizophrenia.

A new study led by Orr Shahar, a doctoral student, and Dr. Alexander Botvinnik suggests that mushroom extract may have superior efficacy compared to chemically synthesized psilocybin.

Focusing on synaptic plasticity in mice, the research provides promising insights into the potential therapeutic benefits of natural psychedelic compounds in treating psychiatric disorders. The study indicates that psilocybin-containing mushroom extract might have a stronger and longer-lasting impact on synaptic plasticity compared to chemically synthesized psilocybin.

Millions of people worldwide, constituting a significant portion of the population, struggle with psychiatric illnesses that do not respond to current pharmaceutical interventions. Disturbing statistics show that 40% of people with depression do not experience relief from existing medications, a trend also observed in individuals with OCD. Additionally, approximately 0.5% of the population suffer from schizophrenia at any given time, highlighting an urgent need for innovative solutions tailored to those who do not benefit from current medications. In response to this pressing need, psychedelic drugs are proving to be promising candidates that can provide transformative solutions.

Preliminary study results shed light on the potential divergence of effects between psilocybin-containing mushroom extract and chemically synthesized psilocybin. The research specifically focused on head twitch response, synaptic proteins associated with neuroplasticity, and metabolic profiles in the frontal cortex of mice.

The results suggest that psilocybin-containing mushroom extract may exert a stronger and more prolonged effect on synaptic plasticity compared to chemically synthesized psilocybin. The extract significantly increased the concentration of synaptic proteins linked to neuroplasticity in key brain regions, including the frontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and striatum. This indicates that psilocybin-containing mushroom extract could offer unique therapeutic effects that are not achievable with psilocybin alone.

Metabolomic analyses also revealed notable differences between psilocybin-containing mushroom extract and chemically synthesized psilocybin. The extract exhibited a distinct metabolic profile associated with oxidative stress and energy production pathways.

These findings open up new possibilities for the therapeutic use of natural psychedelic compounds and offer hope for those who have experienced little relief from conventional psychiatric treatments. As the demand for innovative solutions continues to grow, the exploration of psychedelic medicines represents a crucial path for developing transformative and personalized medications.

Furthermore, there has long been a preference in Western medicine for isolating active compounds rather than using extracts, especially to gain better control over dosages and predict known effects during treatment. The challenge in working with extracts lay in the inability to consistently produce the exact product with a consistent compound profile. In contrast, ancient medical practices, particularly those attributing therapeutic benefits to psychedelic medicine, involved the use of extracts or whole products, such as consuming the entire mushroom. Although Western medicine has long recognized the „entourage“ effect associated with whole extracts, the importance of this approach has gained prominence in recent times.

A major challenge with natural extracts is achieving a consistently stable compound profile, especially with plants; however, mushrooms present a unique case. Mushroom compounds are heavily influenced by their growth environment, including factors like substrate composition, CO2/O2 ratio, light exposure, temperature, and microbial environment. Despite these influences, controlled cultivation enables the domestication of mushrooms and the production of a reproducible extract.

This research not only underscores the superiority of extracts with varied compounds but also highlights the feasibility of integrating them into Western medicine due to the controlled nature of mushroom cultivation.

Source:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Journal Reference:

Shahar, O., et al. (2024). Effect of chemically synthesized psilocybin and psychedelic mushroom extract on molecular and metabolic profiles in the brain of mice. Molecular Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1038/s41380-024-02477-w.

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