Note: this is the first blog in a multi-part series on the science of ketamine.
Ketamine has been hailed as a “game-changing” treatment for types of depression that do not respond to typical treatment methods. In fact, ketamine has spurred excitement in psychiatry for almost 20 years, since researchers first showed that it alleviated depression in a matter of hours, in contrast to other, more mainstream antidepressants, which take weeks to begin working.
That’s not the only difference between ketamine and other antidepressants. Ketamine has been shown to be very effective for patients with “treatment-resistant” depression, those who have failed to respond to multiple other types of treatments.
Though outcomes of ketamine treatment are well documented, exactly how it works continues to be of great interest to the scientific and medical communities. A leading theory proposes that ketamine stimulates regrowth of the connections between neurons in the brain, effectively “rewiring” the brain. A new study has shown ketamine induces changes in brain circuit function within three hours, and then later stimulates regrowth of synapses. This mechanism helps explain both the immediate relief and long term benefits of ketamine.
Check out this article from Scientific American, Behind the Buzz: How Ketamine Changes the Depressed Patient’s Brain, if you want to read more about some of these studies.
In Glenwood Springs, CO, our ketamine treatment center and integrative medicine clinic offers ketamine infusions, integrative medicine, and acupuncture to those suffering from depression, anxiety, psychiatric disorders and chronic pain conditions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you awaken to a new life.