A few years ago, when it was discovered that a single dose of Ketamine – a drug known as Special K could cure depression instantly in some patients in just a few hours, rather than six or more weeks of commonly prescribed antidepressants to take effect. This is being done at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) by neuroscientists led by Dr. Carlos Zarate. They have also conducted an actual drug-using Ketamine in a group that can no longer be treated by therapy and medication, and it worked.
Ketamine is a Food and Drug Administration-approved anesthetic and works differently than other antidepressants. While pills like Prozac increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin to make people feel less depressed over some time, an injection of Ketamine works on an entirely different neurotransmitter, glutamate. It blocks receptors critical for receiving glutamate signals, which rapidly improves the electrical flow of the brain cell. This, in turn, reduces depression, according to the NIMH.
Ketamine Cures Depression Ketamine Cures Major Depression Instantly
Ketamine – Club drug is known as Special K
Ketamine is used primarily as an anesthetic in conjunction with a sedative. It is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, which means that it works by blocking the actions of NMDA. The club drug Ketamine, which is commonly used by veterinarians as a tranquilizer for cats and horses, and is also sold illegally among clubbers as a recreational drug, is proven to give immediate relief to people suffering from depression.
To see if the first results were not accidental, they replicated these results in a new study of depressed patients with bipolar disorder, this time “blinding” the study by giving some subjects a placebo.
Bipolar disorder is a serious and debilitating condition in which patients suffer from severe mood swings, from mania to depression. Low or high mood periods can last for days or months, and the risk of suicide is high.
Antidepressants are most often prescribed for patients with bipolar disorder, but they are not 100% effective. It takes several weeks; months before a patient sees positive results from the effects of the medication. In addition, many patients also continuously experience episodes of depression, even while taking medication. Therefore, many of them must try at least several antidepressants to determine which one is effective.
In the new study, patients received either a single dose of Ketamine or a single placebo on two different days, two weeks apart. The researchers carefully monitored the patients and repeatedly asked them to rate their depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.
In the ketamine group, they saw an improvement within 40 minutes, and it lasted for more than three days. Overall, 79% of the patients improved with Ketamine, but none reported improvement when they received a placebo.
Significantly, and for the first time in a group of patients with bipolar depression, the researchers found that Ketamine greatly reduced suicidal thoughts. Moreover, these antisuicidal benefits also occurred within an hour. Because bipolar disorder is one of the deadliest psychiatric disorders, these results could have a major public health impact.
“Our finding that a single infusion of ketamine produces rapid antidepressant and antisuicidal effects within an hour and this is quite sustained is really exciting,” said Zarate.
“We think these findings are of real importance, given that we only have a few approved treatments for acute bipolar depression, and none of them have this rapid onset of action; it usually takes weeks or longer to have antidepressant effects comparable to those of ketamine.”
“It is important to confirm that blockade of the NMDA receptor complex is involved in the rapid generation of antidepressant and antisuicidal effects, which provides a pathway to develop the next generation of treatments for depression that are radically different from existing treatments,” Zarate said.