A three year study which cost $842,000 dollars which investigated Psilocybin, the primary chemical compound found in magic mushrooms, found that it may treat depression. Though funding for the study was cut off because the team used a synthetic variation of the psychoactive Class A drug rather than the organic, study lead Professor David Nutt and his team made some interesting discoveries before the ax fell. Given his background as the former chairman of the UK's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Nutt's knowledge regarding how illicit/illegal drugs affect the brains of users and society at large is extensive and may help advance the study at some point in the future.
The initial evidence uncovered by Nutt and researchers at Imperial College in London found that psilocybin helps to fight severe forms of depression that do not respond to other conventional treatments. His team received original funding for the study from a £550,000 grant awarded by the Medical Research Council for a clinical trial but federal regulations, financial restrictions, and other red tape prevented the study from moving forward.
Professor Nutt has confirmed the research has ended until or unless the group finds a path around the obstacles. In an official statement offered at the British Neuroscience Association's Festival of Neuroscience, Nutt offered: "We only need a relatively small amount of the drug, an order worth only a few hundred pounds. If we have to pay $100,000, we simply can not afford to carry out the rest of the study. We have not given up, but it is proving very difficult."
For more about the study, go here