Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound present in about 200 mushroom species, together with the freedom cap (Psilocybe semilanceata). For millennia, our ancestors have identified and used this substance, and in recent times, it has obtained renewed curiosity from scientific researchers and therapists.
The substance has the potential to revolutionize the way in which we deal with circumstances resembling extreme despair and substance dependancy, in keeping with many. That is additionally the opinion of College of Southern Denmark researchers Himanshu Khandelia and Ali Asghar Hakami Zanjani from the Division of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy.
The 2 researchers have just lately revealed their paper, titled “The Molecular Foundation of the Antidepressant Motion of the Magic Mushroom extract, Psilocin.” The article is the third in a sequence on the identical matter from the 2 researchers (Interplay of psychedelic tryptamine derivatives with a lipid bilayer and Magic mushroom extracts in lipid membranes). The latest examine’s co-authors are Teresa Quynh Tram Nguyen and Luise Jacobsen.
“My curiosity was piqued after I heard a podcast about treating smoking dependancy with psilocybin. And since psilocybin mushrooms develop in all places in Denmark—I picked some in Svanninge Bakker—it wasn’t troublesome to begin our analysis,” mentioned Himanshu Khandelia.
Along with Ali Asghar Hakami Zanjani, he’s involved in understanding what occurs on the molecular stage when psilocybin enters the physique, is transformed to psilocin, and reaches the mind.
“Earlier analysis has proven that psilocin binds to serotonin receptors within the mind. We present that psilocin binds stronger than serotonin to a 5-HT2AR serotonin receptor. This data can be utilized if you wish to design a drug that acts like psilocybin,” defined Ali Asghar Hakami Zanjani.
The 2 researchers are neither neuroscientists nor pharmacists, so that they at present don’t have any plans on conducting medical trials or designing new medication. Their analysis is about learning and describing what occurs on the molecular stage when psilocin meets a mind cell, penetrates its membrane, and binds to receptors.
“I might be very glad if society can use our analysis. Perhaps somebody will take this additional and create a molecule that can be utilized in medical remedy for circumstances like despair,” says Himanshu Khandelia.
Zanjani and Khandelia plan to proceed their analysis on this space, and are actually investigating the mechanism by which the binding of the compounds to the receptor triggers psycho-active responses.
The time is extra favorable than it has been in a very long time for researchers who need to discover psilocybin remedies for circumstances resembling despair, dependancy, anorexia, and PTSD.
Because the Nineteen Sixties, many nations’ well being authorities have had strict bans on researching hallucinogenic substances like psilocybin and LSD.
Previous to that, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman had remoted psilocybin and psilocin from the P. mexicana mushroom in 1959, and the pharmaceutical firm he labored for marketed and offered pure psilocybin to medical doctors and therapists who might then deal with their sufferers with it.
In the direction of the top of the Nineteen Sixties, many nations, particularly the USA, tightened their laws on psychoactive substances, and this additionally affected analysis on psilocybin and related substances, which has been largely stagnant because the Nineteen Sixties till a couple of years in the past.
As we speak, nations like the USA, England, and Denmark are once more lively within the analysis subject—now with a extra cautious strategy.
Hallucinations and the sensation of being disconnected from the world will come alongside whether or not one eats a psilocybin mushroom to make a journey or one takes the substance in a medically prescribed pill, and this requires warning, explains Ali Asghar Hakami Zanjani:
“Analysis reveals that you just expertise one thing completely different. It’s a type of hallucination. The attribute is that sufferers might get an entire new perspective on their scenario: for instance, a terminally unwell most cancers affected person might lose their worry of dying quickly and as an alternative expertise acceptance of their life scenario. Such periods ought to happen in secure and guiding settings led by educated therapists. As we speak, nobody would suggest simply consuming some mushrooms at house in their very own lounge.”
The paper is revealed within the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)—Proteins and Proteomics.
Ali Asghar Hakami Zanjani et al, The molecular foundation of the antidepressant motion of the magic mushroom extract, psilocin, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)—Proteins and Proteomics (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2023.140914
College of Southern Denmark
Exploring how the hallucinogenic substance in psilocybin mushrooms works on the molecular stage (2023, Could 2)
retrieved 3 Could 2023
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