Do Magic Mushrooms Make You Smarter?

Do Magic Mushrooms Make You Smarter?


Experience Cognitive Benefits with Psychedelic Mushroom Extract Compared to Synthetic Psilocybin

Recently, scientists have been looking into how psychedelics, like psilocybin found in certain magic mushrooms can make your smarter, could help treat mental health issues. A new study in Molecular Psychiatry suggests that using psilocybin-containing mushroom extract might be better than the synthetic version for conditions such as depression, PTSD, OCD, and anxiety.

Bernard Lerer, a professor of psychiatry at Hebrew University, is interested in how psychedelics could treat tough mental health problems like depression and PTSD. He and his team noticed that mushroom extract with psilocybin might have different effects from synthetic psilocybin. They want to test this idea in a lab study to see if it could be helpful for patients.

Will Magic Mushrooms Make You Smarter


Current Studies on Magic Mushrooms and Intelligence 

Most current studies on psychedelics mainly use man-made versions of psilocybin. But mushrooms containing psilocybin have lots of different chemicals in them, not just the one that makes you feel trippy. This mix might work together to help with therapy, a concept called the "entourage effect." It's like how different parts of a team can work better together than alone.

This idea isn't new; it's been talked about in cannabis research. There, scientists think that all the stuff in the plant, not just one part, makes it helpful. So, researchers wanted to see if this is true for mushrooms too. They compared how magic mushroom extract, with all its extra stuff, works against just psilocybin made in a lab.

To test this, they used mice and gave them either mushroom extract, lab-made psilocybin, or just saltwater. They made sure the doses were similar to what humans might use for therapy.

 Understanding how Magic Mushrooms Affect the Brain 

To understand how psilocybin affects behavior and brain changes right away, the scientists used a test called the head twitch response (HTR) assay. This test is well-known for studying how psychedelics affect mice right after they take them.

But the researchers wanted to go further. They looked into the chemical and molecular changes that might explain why psilocybin works for therapy. They checked specific proteins in the brain that show if the brain is changing, which is called neuroplasticity. They also studied the overall changes in metabolism in the frontal cortex after treatment.

When they looked at how the treatments affected these proteins — which can show if the therapy might work in the long term — they found big differences. Some proteins, like GAP43, PSD95, synaptophysin, and SV2A, increased more in different parts of the brain with the mushroom extract compared to lab-made psilocybin.

We still need to check if our results apply to people, but they hint that using mushroom extract to make them smarter with psilocybin might be better for therapy than synthetic psilocybin, even at the same dose," Lerer shared with PsyPost.

What's interesting is that both the mushroom extract and lab-made psilocybin made mice twitch their heads, showing similar immediate effects. This suggests that, on a basic level of behavior, both substances work similarly.

"We were surprised that there wasn't a difference in how quickly they made the mice twitch their heads. But the fact that they affected brain proteins and metabolism differently in the long run is really important for therapy," Lerer explained.

Using rodents in experiments offers a tightly controlled setting. Their genes are well-known, which means results are more consistent. This is super important, especially when studying complex stuff like how psychedelics affect biology. Surprisingly, rodents and humans have a lot in common, both genetically and physically.

While studying rodents helps us learn about possible treatments for mental health issues and how they work in the body, it's just the beginning. We need to be careful when applying these findings to humans.

"As with any research done before trying things out on humans, making it work for people is the big challenge," Lerer explained. "We can't just assume what works in mice will work for us. We have to test it out."

 Conclusion on Magic Shroom affecting your Intelligence.

Our main goal in this research is to figure out why mushroom extract and lab-made psilocybin work differently. We think other parts of the extract, not just psilocybin and psilocin, are doing something important. We want to find out what these parts are and how they work.

"This research is really interesting and could be important for treating people," Lerer said. "We're excited to see if it works the same way in humans as it does in mice."



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