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My sister was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a couple of years ago. She is taking the meds her doctor has prescribed, but her son (who is her caregiver) decided to give her micro-doses of mushrooms to assist in her in reducing anxiety. He reads a lot of articles about mushroom use and is adament that they help her. She seems to have better days with clear speech and thoughts after she takes the mushrooms so she willingly takes them, but as a family we are concerned about her son taking this course of action on his own. We have discussed this with her doctor (who is an Alzheimer's expert) and he has advised her son that while mushrooms have been studied to assist with anxiety and depression, they do not help with Alzheimer's disease and they are illegal. Her son disregards this information and continues to provide her micro doses of mushrooms to help her feel better. As a family, we have tried to address the situation with him because we think the prescribed meds are the only meds she should be taking, but he disregards our input because he believes he is very knowledgeable about what he is doing and sees the results of the mushroom micro doses helping her. Any input on this topic is appreciated.

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If your sister with Alzheimer's and anxiety shows marked improvement of her symptoms when she has small micro-doses of psychedelic mushrooms, then why should she not have this?
Her son apparently can come by mushrooms and keep his mother supplied, so what's the problem?
Yes, they are an illegal substance but he's the one taking the risk, not you.
If they help your sister, then 'See no evil. Speak no evil' if you take my meaning.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Dear frustrated,
Do the mushrooms help your sister or not?

Maybe you could look away and allow your sister's son to be her caregiver?
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Reply to Sendhelp
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The son gives micro doses of mushroom to HIS MOM ONLY.
The son doesn't give any doses to any man dancing on the freeway.
The son doesn't give any doses to any random people to walk off any ledge or cliff.
The son only gives micro doses to HIS MOM.

So, what does the son giving micro doses to his mom have anything to do with the price of gas?
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Reply to polarbear
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If mushrooms are helping your sister, leave her alone. We as a society have NO problems dosing our loved ones with combinations of highly toxic 'medications' that have more warnings and potential side effects than benefits, yet OH MY GOD NO, don't think about giving them something ILLEGAL like mushrooms or pot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd give my mother horse dung covered in worms if I thought it'd help her with the horrible dementia she's suffering, never mind a micro dose of mushrooms. And if it wound up killing her, so be it. ANYTHING including death is better than living an extended life suffering the torment of dementia.
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Topic is illegal mushrooms...
“I don't know if anyone can overdose on shrooms," Sorianello said. "Could it cause one to die, yes! How would it cause one to die? If you are hallucinating you can walk off the edge of a balcony, you can walk into a road, you can get in a vehicle, and have a vehicle crash.”
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Sendhelp May 20, 2021
Caregivers try to prevent their Moms and Dad's from driving with Alzheimer's, wandering from home, out into traffic, often because
the disease comes with delusions and hallucinations.

Those caregivers are not going to take it very well if their parent's sons dose their Mom's with anything that can cause hallucinations. It adds a whole new dimension to the designated caregiver that everyone complains about:
The drug addict son living with Mom, exploiting her, taking her money, supplying her with hallucinogen's, spending the siblings inheritance.

I say, take away the Rx and get a drug dealer to move in as Mom's supplier, with the doctor's recommendations, of course! Those caring son's (or daughters) are not going to care one bit about whether the drug is approved because of the results of a study, or if it is illegal or legal.

I am excited too CM, but for a different reason. The researchers doing the study have been able to make a living off of "studies", and get funded no matter what the outcome of the study is.

When it happens to me, I am taking notes now on whom to contact for whatever works, illegal or legal, approved or disapproved. So I can get some for me! Saving up in fact. I hope my sister is still alive then, because her supplier has helped keep her alive with CBD oil and THC throughout cancer treatments when nothing could be done. She is cancer free.

Not waiting for the FDA to act, we are on our own.

Until I get that old and needy, I do not like lawlessness.
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lol Send. I think you have to rule out extreme mental illness on that one first, then take a look at any substances they were on. ;-)
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Sendhelp May 21, 2021
Ali,
To explain, you are correct that the cause of a man dancing on the freeway could be due to a mental illness, or a substance they were on.
It just struck me as funny that the exact behavior of a person hallucinating from mushrooms is "dancing on the freeway".
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A man dancing on the freeway was removed by CHP this morning.
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I'm terribly excited.

In an absolutely classic case of "broken leg syndrome" my eye fell on last night's TV review in the newspaper just now and - will you look at this!

The Psychedelic Drug Trial, BBC2, broadcast yesterday. Gets 4/5 stars from the reviewer, but then I often don't happen to share her taste so I won't let that put me off.

This documentary, anyway, was all about a government-sanctioned trial at Imperial College to test the efficacy of psilocybin versus the standard SSRI in the treatment of severe depression. Apparently it all went brilliantly - safe and twice as effective at reducing suicidal thoughts are the sort of phrases being bandied about here - and more trials will ensue.

Perhaps some of those trials will attempt to discover what this drug is actually doing to people's heads, apart from making them see nicer hallucinations than they get with LSD; and perhaps eventually something legal and beneficial will result.

Don't hold your breath. Politicians fall absolutely catatonic with terror at the slightest prospect of being seen to endorse anyone's enjoying a mind-altering drug, so unless the R&D people can guarantee that there will in future be no risk of that no derivative drug will ever get a licence.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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From "first hand" knowledge mushrooms make you feel really really good. But they can cause severe vomiting and other GI issues that are not pleasant at all. As long as the dose isn't too large and they don't cause much harm I honestly don't see the issue. My mom is 88 and soon to be 89 she does not have Alzheimers or Dementia. She has anxiety issues and is prone to OCD issues with cleaning. She refuses to take any anxiety reducing drugs, and she does not drink at all. There are some days I wish I could dart her with enough sedatives to knock out a polar bear. Her son might be doing this so that he can cope with her anxiety.
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Geaton777 May 20, 2021
Psychedelic mushrooms are not regulated, therefore different people of differing weights will be taking different doses with different potencies. From "first hand" knowledge they didn't make me feel good at all -- just made me have weird hallucinations and paranoia for several hours. No thanks.
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If it's microdosing, and if she feels it benefits her, then maybe you could wait a bit to see if they help.

Psilocybin is effective in treating PTSD and anxiety disorders, so if there is a component of that happening with your sister, it could relieve those symptoms.

I used to have very bad tension headaches and I "cured" them with a short term weekly regimen of psilocybin, with approval from my Psych. The headaches have started back recently but not as bad as before. I'll be taking another round when I have time and expect them to clear up again. It's a gamble like with any new psychotropic medication but in cases where it seems to do more good than harm, I would say give it a chance... under doctor supervision.

Mirco-dosing doesn't have the same effects as a larger dose people would take to get high and "trip." It's different. It's a powerful hallucinogenic, but small doses don't cause the associated hallucinations. And my opinion is it's good for the brain. I've read some articles about how it works with brain cells/neurons but it's been awhile. That research is out there though if you wanted to take a closer look at how it could benefit her brain.

I don't frown on the illegality part. It's already been decriminalized in several major US cities; just waiting for the rest of the country to catch up. As with anything, if you take a high dose, you may experience severe adverse affects. There are ways to get a more consistent dose, with grinding and capping, though you can't regulate the natural compounds of course. If your nephew is intent on treating his mother with this substance as a medicine, he may already be doing the grind/cap prep, or know how to make it into tea. It's easy enough to do.

I would give it some time and check in often on your sister.
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Reply to AliBoBali
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My mother has Alzheimer's and I can give you my observation of her behavior when she was taking her Alzheimer's med and when she wasn't. NO difference. She's now no longer taking any Alz. med. Supposedly, the Alzheimer's med slows down the progression, but I really didn't see any difference. Many people including doctors don't think the med really help or helps very little.

So, in my personal view, I wouldn't depend too much on Alzheimer's med. If there's something else that does help, then I would try that. The mushroom works for your mother and gives her better days. Isn't that proof enough? Its effectiveness does not change whether it's been legalized or tested in a lab.

Alzheimer's is a fatal disease, what does she have to lose?
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lealonnie1 May 20, 2021
Amen.
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Better days with more lucid thinking and coherent speech are part of the pattern of Alzheimer's Disease, which does fluctuate within identifiable phases. Whether or not the microdoses your nephew is giving your sister are helping her I really couldn't say, especially as in my innocence my first response to your question was "well, mushrooms are a noted source of B vitamins so perhaps they are doing her a bit of good."

I see that I had different mushrooms in mind. Clearly we are not talking about champignons a la grecque.

Feeding illegal substances to a vulnerable person in your care is most certainly going to be viewed as abuse. You have the nuclear option of reporting him to APS and potentially initiating criminal proceedings. I assume the family would not be keen?

And he believes he is doing the right, heroic thing. Conventional medicine sits on its hands and rakes in profit while leaving his mother to suffer; he, by contrast, defies the conventional world and is happy to place his own legal standing in jeopardy for her benefit. No wonder you're finding it difficult to get through to him.

Of course, he wants to do *something,* something beyond the conventional offering. Could you interest in him in homoeopathy? As a supplement to her doctor's regimen, at least it would be definitely harmless.
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I think it is concerning. Although, it sounds like from what you are saying she does better when she has taken some. I am assuming you have observed this yourself rather than just based on what her son says?

I did magic mushrooms when I was a teenager, Some of my experiences were ok but I had the most anxiety inducing experience at one stage and I vowed never to touch them ever again. They are a powerful hallucinogenic drug. It scares me to think of someone with alzheimers having to go through a bad trip like I did.

I think it can also be hard to work out the doses accurately for micro dosing as well. A friend of mine was doing micro dosing on mushrooms a few years back but she got it wrong once and got a bit too high from it and then stopped taking them anymore.

It sounds like a delicate situation. I think it would be much safer if it was administered by a professional who knows exactly what they are doing. But magic mushrooms of all things. They are such a potent drug. It would be better at least if it was genuine ecstasy or something which doesnt have hallucinogenic effect, less intensity and less risk of causing anxiety. And again, administered by a professional. But surely there must be some other anti anxiety medications that are lawful and can help.

I hope you manage to find a way to resolve it. I think it would be a good idea to keep talking to him about it and persuade him against it. Difficult situation though,
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Reply to Anyonymous1
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I am quite concerned.
Yes, your brother is correct in that mushrooms are apparently helping MANY, and even our soldiers with severe PTSD and people who are dying of cancer. However these ARE hallucinogenic mushrooms and the people are treated in "GUIDED" trips with good doses given, and with the therapist right there. Some of our armed forces are apparently being SENT out of the country according to a program I heard on NPR for treatment because of the illegal nature of this use in the USA.
It has been mentioned by others that your brother is using street drugs. They are right; heaven knows what they are cut with, soaked in and etc. This is truly dabbling with the life of a senior, with their mental well being.
I would discuss with brother that this must stop, and that you will report him to authorities if it does not. This would be the same as a person giving illegal hallucinogenics to a child. Your Mom is helpless in all this.
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As it's being studied, micro-dosing of street drugs like Ecstacy and LSD seem to indicate some benefit in treating PTSD, depression and other mental illnesses. I've never heard of using Psilocybin mushrooms. But a lot of these "studies" are being done outside of the US because these are all illegal here.

Grandma1954 is correct in noting that your brother has no idea about the content, potency, purity or consistency of what he's giving her so one dose will most likely not be the same as another. Therefore a flawed experiment from the start. That being said, if others are actually seeing improvement I personally don't see the harm in it since it is micro amounts. Yet this must be discussed with her doctor since what he is giving her is still metabolized as a chemical and can interact with other meds. I don't think the doctor will appreciate being involuntarily complicit in this, since it is illegal. So the issue may be between the son and her doctors.
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Reply to Geaton777
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With any illegal drug (or I should say unregulated one) the consistency is not always the same so a dose given one time will be different than the one next time.
There are approved medications for anxiety.
Some options you might want to discuss with the rest of the family:
Removing her son as a caregiver.
You could try to obtain custody aka Guardianship. this might be difficult
Report him for abuse of a vulnerable adult. (giving unregulated, illegal drugs to a person that can not make an informed decision)
Depending on the quantity purchased and your local laws he could be arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs.
or
Leave things the way they are.
Ignore the fact that he is giving her a drug that may or may not help.
I doubt that doing this will hasten her death.
Ask the doctor if it can actually harm her. If not then again ignore it and let him think he is helping.

Personal opinion...if he is taking good care of her and it does her no harm I would leave the issue alone.
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