Psilocybin treatment for cognitive impairment in Long COVID by way of restoring lost dendritic spine density
By Neil Stacey
Recent research has revealed a relationship between treatment-resistant depression and micro-structural changes in the brain, including lowered density of dendritic spines in several areas of the brain. Similar structural changes have been detected in the brains of recovered COVID-19 patients, and in-vitro studies have demonstrated that COVID-19 spike proteins can cause functional deficiencies in dendritic spine morphology in cultured neurons, suggesting dendritic spine deformation as possibly playing a causative role in the cognitive impairments associated with long COVID.
Psilocybin has been found to stimulate dendritic spine formation in animal models of depression, resulting in micro-structural changes and prolonged improvement in stress-related behavioural deficits. Human trials with Psilocybin has also had positive results for treatment-resistant depression.
Psilocybin, therefore, merits investigation as a treatment for the cognitive impairment associated with long COVID symptoms, with potential to stimulate recovery from micro-structural changes induced by the virus.