Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
Migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.
Despite the prevalence and the consequences — it’s estimated that healthcare and lost productivity costs associated with migraine are as high as US$36 billion ($43.5 billion) annually — it remains a poorly understood disease, with “extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms.”
From over-the-counter medications to at-home treatments, like meditation or taking a hot shower, there are few options for people who suffer chronic migraines. But research suggests that psilocybin may provide long-lasting relief where other treatments come up short.
A study published last year in the journal Neurotherapeutics found that “there is an enduring therapeutic effect in migraine headache after a single administration of psilocybin.”
In a placebo-controlled study, 10 migraine sufferers were given a moderate dose of psilocybin and, two weeks later, they were still feeling the benefits.
The participants, seven women and three men, regularly experienced at least two migraines per week. Researchers administered an oral placebo in the first experimental session followed by an identical oral psilocybin capsule in the second session.
No participants reported adverse effects from the psilocybin and most reported a significant decrease in migraines. Researchers found that the reduction in migraine was not correlated with how strongly the participants felt the effects of the psilocybin, suggesting that microdosing may provide significant benefits.
“While encouraged by the findings in this exploratory study, before this approach could be used clinically, it is imperative that additional controlled investigations be completed in order to understand psilocybin’s full capacity to suppress migraine, as well as its long-term safety and tolerability,” researchers wrote, per Big Think.
“To verify the present findings, it will be necessary to replicate the results of this study in a larger sample under a fully randomized design. Studies with a dose range will inform on whether the effects of psilocybin in migraine are dose-dependent.”