Psychedelic drugs appear to fundamentally reorganize the brain — and they’re starting to turn into approved treatments

Like a May shower, the studies on psychedelic drugs’ potential therapeutic benefits came — first as a sprinkle, then a steady downpour. Between 2012 and 2017, the papers abounded. One, published in 2016, suggested that magic mushrooms might alleviate anxiety in cancer patients; another in 2017 indicated that ecstasy could help veterans cope with PTSD symptoms; and one in 2012 hinted that ketamine might curb major depression.

Recently, the shower has turned into a trickle. But that spate of published research on psychedelics now seems to be leading to the development some promising potential treatments.

Drugs based on the effects of shrooms and ketamine are being tested for their potential to treat mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Some are being studied in the types of clinical trials that could eventually make them candidates for federal approval, while others could

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