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22 Nov 2021

MAGIC MUSHROOM STUDY SUGGESTS PSILOCYBIN MAY REVERSE ALCOHOL-INDUCED BRAIN DAMAGE

The psychedelic could also tamp down cravings for alcohol.

 

AFTER HALF A CENTURY of blocks to research on psychedelics’ potential for treating alcohol use disorder, today’s scientists are finally catching up to the pioneering work of their predecessors. In a new study, researchers show that one psychedelic, psilocybin, essentially repairs the part of the brain responsible for alcohol cravings, hinting at a potential new treatment for the disorder.

 

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is responsible for 5.3 percent of deaths worldwide every year, and treatments that reduce or eliminate cravings for alcohol are desperately needed.

 

In the new study, the researchers hone in on why these drugs work at the neurobiological level, pinpointing a specific glutamate receptor in brain cells affected by alcohol use — when this receptor is damaged, it has a harmful effect on brain function. When treated with psilocybin, however, mice used to mimic alcohol use disorder showed repa



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