Clinically significant anxiety and depression are common in patients with cancer, and are associated with poor psychiatric and medical outcomes. Historical and recent research suggests a role for psilocybin to treat cancer-related anxiety and depression.
Hallucinogens are as old as civilization. Many cultures recorded eating certain plants specifically to induce visions or alter the perception of reality. Often these hallucinations were part of a religious or prophetic experience. Shamans in Siberia were known to eat the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria . The ancient Greeks and the Vikings also used naturally occurring plant hallucinogens. Peyote, a spineless cactus native to the southwestern United States and Mexico was used by native peoples, including the Aztecs, to produce visions.
Cluster headache (CH) is a stereotyped primary headache characterized by strictly unilateral severe orbital or periorbital pain and categorized as either episodic or chronic (1,2). Its prevalence is 0.1% (3). Oxygen and sumatriptan are the treatments of choice for individual attacks, whereas verapamil, lithium, corticosteroids and other neuromodulators can suppress attacks during cluster periods (1)
The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. Twenty-two of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination; 18 of 19 psilocybin users and 4 of 5 LSD users reported remission period extension. Research on the effects of psilocybin and LSD on cluster headche may be warranted.