Mushrooms: Not a Cure for Parkinson’s


Psilocybin is a psychedelic compound found in some mushrooms that can alter perception, mood, and cognition. Some people claim that psilocybin can help treat various mental and physical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement and causes tremors, stiffness, and slowness. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of psilocybin for Parkinson’s disease, and there are potential risks and harms associated with it.

Lack of Evidence

The research on psilocybin and Parkinson’s disease is very limited and inconclusive. There are only a few small-scale studies that have tested the effects of psilocybin on Parkinson’s symptoms, and they have not shown consistent or significant results. For example, a clinical trial testing the impact of low doses of psilocybin on inflammatory activity in people with Parkinson’s disease is on track to be completed by the end of February 2024¹, but it is not clear whether this will translate into any improvement in motor or non-motor symptoms. Another pilot study at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is evaluating psilocybin therapy for depression and anxiety in early-stage Parkinson’s patients², but it is not designed to measure the effects on the underlying disease process or progression.

Moreover, the mechanisms by which psilocybin might affect Parkinson’s disease are not well understood. Psilocybin acts on serotonin receptors in the brain, but it is not known how this relates to the loss of dopamine neurons that causes Parkinson’s disease. Psilocybin may also have anti-inflammatory properties, but it is not clear how this affects the neuroinflammation that contributes to Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, more rigorous and larger-scale studies are needed to establish the safety, efficacy, and optimal dosage of psilocybin for Parkinson’s disease.

Potential Risks and Harms

Psilocybin is not a harmless substance, and it can have adverse effects on physical and mental health. Psilocybin can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, and increased blood pressure and heart rate³. Psilocybin can also induce hallucinations, altered perception, mood changes, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis³. These effects can be unpredictable and vary depending on the dose, the individual, and the setting. Psilocybin can also interact with other medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and levodopa, the main drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease⁴. This can lead to dangerous side effects, such as serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes agitation, confusion, tremor, and fever⁴.

Furthermore, psilocybin is not a legal substance in most countries, and it can have legal and social consequences for users. Psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States, meaning that it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Possession, cultivation, or distribution of psilocybin can result in criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment. Psilocybin use can also affect one’s employment, education, and relationships, as it can impair one’s judgment, performance, and reputation.


Psilocybin is not a magic cure for Parkinson’s disease, and it may do more harm than good. There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of psilocybin for Parkinson’s disease, and there are potential risks and harms associated with it. Psilocybin can cause physical and mental health problems, drug interactions, and legal and social issues. Therefore, people with Parkinson’s disease should be cautious and consult their doctors before considering psilocybin as a treatment option. Psilocybin is not a substitute for conventional therapies, and it should not be used without proper medical supervision and guidance.

(1) Psychedelic Psilocybin Clinical Trial in Parkinson’s Nears End.
(2) Researchers focus on use of psilocybin to treat Parkinson’s disease.
(3) Access to psilocybin – psychedelic mushrooms – stalled, but doctors ….
(4) Beyond Psilocybin: These Mushrooms May Offer Brain-Boosting Compounds ….