Depression is a global problem, but it is one that affects the United States in a devastating fashion. Over the course of a year, it is estimated that 16 million adults sadly experience a major depressive episode over the course of any given year. Depression is linked to suicide, of course, and since 1999 rates of suicide in 25 states in the US have increased by at least 30 percent.
Ketamine – more commonly used as an anesthetic – has shown a great deal of promise in recent clinical trials as a potential treatment for depression. Results from trials have shown areas in which Ketamine succeeds where more traditional treatments have failed – Ketamine is successful at treating people for whom other treatments have been ineffective, and Ketamine works rapidly.
Why is there so much excitement about ketamine as a treatment for depression?
Clinical trials have indicated that the majority of people suffering from depression, and in particular from treatment-resistant depression, react positively to ketamine therapy. Many have reported that they think less about suicide following their treatment, and also those who are suffering from depression coupled with anxiety have reported an uplifting of both their depressive and anxiety symptoms. Virtually all report that their symptoms lifted within days of their initial ketamine treatment, as opposed to the days or even weeks associated with ‘traditional’ treatments such as antidepressants, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation and electroconvulsive therapy.
How does ketamine help people who are suffering from depression?
At the moment, it has not been established how exactly ketamine works when it comes to the treatment of depression. It seems likely that ketamine works upon the NMDA receptors within the brain. Ketamine appears to stimulate the release of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. This activates both NMDA and AMPA receptors that allow neurons to create new pathways within the brain. The process has a positive effect upon thought patterns, moods and cognition.
There may be other ways in which ketamine helps to improve mood and improve pathways to communication within the brain. More research is required though to establish exactly how ketamine works when it comes to the treatment of depression.
To learn more about ketamine treatment for depression, contact the Ketamine Institute of Michigan
If you wish to explore the possibility of undergoing ketamine-infusion therapy as a treatment for depression, then please contact us here at the Ketamine Institute of Michigan. We can be reached at (855) 538-2626 (855-KETAMINE), or you can use the online contact form we have provided for you on our website.