Case study explores how psilocybin may reduce lupus pain
With restrictions loosening on psilocybin mushrooms in various states and counties, researchers have been learning more about the applications of the fruiting bodies. Research teams are discovering connections to psilocybin and breaking cycles of anorexia and treatment-resistant depression.
While researchers do their thing, psychonauts have continued journeying with the help of magic mushrooms. A recently published case study of a 67-year-old man with lupus who found himself pain-free following a trip merges the two worlds.
Seeking feelings of “enlightenment”, the Oregon man ate six grams of the Psilocybin cubensis magic mushroom strain. After the experience, he was reportedly freed of the chronic musculoskeletal pain associated with lupus.
Diving into the circumstances of this effective trip
There are some treatment approaches that may improve symptoms of the inflammatory disease. Finding an effective treatment requires regular visits and consistent tweaking of biological factors that could cause flare-ups. Doctors also often prescribe an aggressive regimen of immunosuppressants. Even with this, many patients have chronic muscle, bone, and joint pain.
Patients are often prescribed corticosteroids for the pain, but few are satisfied with the outcome of these pharmaceuticals. With this treatment quandary in mind, researchers were more than inspired to take a deeper look at how psilocybin could have deactivated lupus-related chronic pain in this case study.
The case study has an obvious limitation of just one participant. Data about the experience came from the patient’s testimony, which poses another possible issue. Three doctors from the USC Department of Rheumatology authored the paper.
The effects of psilocybin are said to come through psilocin activating serotonin-2A receptors (5-HT2ARs). The case study posits that this causes neurophysiological reactions that disrupt how the brain functions in areas that manage chronic pain. It’s theorized that these reactions actually change the way the brain manages pain, resulting in long-lasting relief.
This case study is one of the first direct connections between lupus and psilocybin, leading the research team to call for more scientific inquiry. Psilocybin continues to have promising results with patients dealing with the full spectrum of mental health disorders and cognitive issues ranging from addiction to Alzheimer’s. Though this was a case study of one, it highlights space to find out how the fungi could apply to lupus patients.