Researchers Explore Psilocybin’s Antidepressant Effects, How It Disrupts Brain Connectivity

The team of researchers includes a variety of noteworthy individuals

In a recently published preprint study, entitled “Psilocybin desynchronizes brain networks,” researchers analyze the comparison between psilocybin and the default mode network (DMN) of the brain.

“Psilocybin-driven desynchronization was observed across [the] association cortex but strongest in the default mode network (DMN), which is connected to the anterior hippocampus and thought to create our sense of self,” researchers explained.

According to the study, the largest areas of the DMN that were affected by psilocybin in the patients included the thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and hippocampus. “Persistent suppression of hippocampal-DMN connectivity represents a candidate neuroanatomical and mechanistic correlate for pro-plasticity and anti-depressant effects of psilocybin,” researchers wrote in their abstract.

The study is in the preprint stage of research publication, meaning that it has not yet been peer reviewed, which is required before it can be considered for publication in a research journal. However, using a publication service like medRxiv, research that is not yet peer-reviewed can still be shared and discussed.

However, the team of researchers includes a variety of noteworthy individuals from Washington University School of Medicine, as well as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Advocate Aurora Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Professor Robin Cahart-Harris of UCSF previously worked on a groundbreaking study that was published last year.

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