A hallucinogenic drug derived from magic mushrooms is being given to human guinea pigs in a controversial experiment aimed at curing schizophrenia.
Professor David Nutt, who was sacked as a Government adviser after a controversy about the dangers of drugs, is leading the study that is costing the taxpayer £250,000 (NZD$585,000).
Volunteers at King’s College London will be given psilocybin - the naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms - and placed inside an MRI scanner to monitor their brain activity.
They will experience a “high” for an hour and have been warned “the size and shape of things can appear distorted, walls may appear to move, shapes and colours may be seen on surfaces, the room may appear to get bigger or brighter, and time may appear to pass more slowly”.
The scientists believe the hallucinations experienced by users of magic mushrooms are caused by the same part of the brain that is active during a schizophrenic episode.
After the 24 volunteers have had their dose, they will then be given an experimental drug called saracatinib. The hope is that if the saracatinib stops the hallucinations of the psilocybin, then it could also alleviate schizophrenia.
Sorry for the misleading title it’s posted as is(mushrooms won’t be doing the curing).