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Adam Bayes | Could ‘magic’ mushrooms become medical mushrooms?


Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.

Adam Bayes

More than 264 million people worldwide have depression. But for many people struggling with severe or treatment-resistant depression, standard therapies may not work. So what if there are new treatments that could be effective? Recently there has been a renaissance of interest in psychedelics as possible treatments for mental disorders – everything from ketamine, to MDMA and psilocybin – the psychoactive ingredient in ‘magic’ mushrooms. These medicines have powerful mind-altering properties with the potential to treat severe mental disorders when combined with psychological therapy. Some early studies have returned positive results, but there remain large gaps in our knowledge regarding effectiveness and safety… But where to from here? Could psychedelics play a role in managing mental health?

What comes next? is a UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee, video production by dplr, podcast production by Bryce Halliday, and music composition by Lama Zakharia.

Adam Bayes

Adam Bayes

Dr Adam Bayes is a psychiatrist who works as a clinician-scientist with a focus on mood disorders (depression and bipolar conditions). His research interests include diagnosis, classification and novel treatments for severe depression including ketamine and psychedelics. Bayes holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons), Bachelor of Advanced Science, Master of Psychiatry, and a PhD. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, is a senior research fellow and VMO psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute and the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, at UNSW Sydney.