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If you have ever had a migraine, or suffer from chronic migraine, you understand how debilitating they can be. Migraines are splitting headaches that totally immobilize their victims. Could psilocybin be the answer?

Migraine symptoms can include splitting headaches, sinus pain, light and sound sensitivity, and severe vomiting, to name a few. Migraines are serious stuff. What is wild is that approximately 25% of American households contain an individual who suffers from migraines. Most of these people encounter one or two a month, but there are millions who suffer from chronic migraines, which can affect their lives to a great degree.

What are the current treatments?

Acute migraine attacks count for 1.2 million emergency room visits in the US each year. That’s no small number. The result is doctors prescribing an array of potent pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs range from anti-depressants to blood pressure meds, anti-seizure drugs to botox injections. Just from reading that polarizing list of drugs, it doesn’t sound like these doctors have much of a clue of what they are doing here.

The classic opioid band-aid

Often when some of the lighter drugs fail, doctors prescribe addictive opioids to numb the pain. Of course this doesn’t fix the problem at its source, it’s just a highly addictive band-aid. What makes it even worse is most of these medications prescribe a daily routine, often with brutal and addictive side effects. Some patients complain the medications actually cause the headaches to worsen, or escalate their mild migraines into severe or chronic cases.

And to make matter even worse, most experts agree that these pharma-cocktails only work (at best) fifty percent of the time.

Is psilocybin a potential treatment?

In May of this year, a study was performed which focuses on pitting mushrooms vs. migraine. This placebo-based study is published in Neurotherapeutics. The study shows that a single and relatively small dose of psilocybin can provide long-lasting relief for migraine patients. This is huge news, and another notch on the belt of “psilocybin for therapy”.

The study reveals that “psilocybin had a lasting effect on migraines, similar to the effect of taking a daily preventive medication, but psilocybin was only given a single time in this study” says Emmanuelle A. D. Schindler, an assistant professor of neurology at the Yale School of Medicine, who is also a co-author of the study. She further explains that “there is no other oral treatment that can do this”. The dose itself is very low, at most minimally psychedelic, and only taken once. This suggests that the effects of the dose while it’s in your body is not related to the improvement in the migraines in the following weeks. Importantly, it is not a requirement to take daily.

Psilocybin can ease migraine severity and frequency

Patients report less frequent migraine attacks in the two weeks after they consume the psilocybin. In addition, the report lower pain levels if they did encounter a migraine during the study period. Lastly, they also report a higher level of functionality than when under a placebo.

This is really encouraging news for the millions of people across the planet who suffer from debilitating migraines. As we push toward therapeutic use of psilocybin across the continent, this study only strengthens the case.



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