Sunday, October 2, 2011

'Magic mushrooms' can cause lasting personality changes

A new study suggests that a single dose of psilocybin can bring about a measurable personality change that lasts at least a year, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers. Specifically, the  dose caused "in the part of the personality known as openness, which includes traits related to imagination, aesthetics, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness."

The study leader, Roland R. Griffiths, "believes psilocybin may have therapeutic uses. He is currently studying whether the hallucinogen has a use in helping cancer patients handle the depression and anxiety that comes along with a diagnosis, and whether it can help longtime cigarette smokers overcome their addiction.

"There may be applications for this we can't even imagine at this point," he says. "It certainly deserves to be systematically studied."

Hat tip: Mike Gathers, via alt.fan.rawilson.

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