Ketamine, a psychoactive drug also used as an anesthetic in animals and humans, holds promise for treating depression. With no significant advances in treating depression in decades, the promise of Ketamine might open that door.  

How Does Ketamine Treat Depression Differently Than Current Antidepressants?

Depending on the specific antidepressant that a doctor prescribes, the chemical targets serotonin and/or noradrenaline pathways. Ketamine works through the glutamate pathway, specifically on the NMDA receptor. Glutamate promotes the exchange of signals between nerve cells in the brain and plays an important role in learning and memory. It creates new pathways that don’t know the patient’s diseased neuronal pathway, a process known as neurogenesis. Additionally, Ketamine works quickly in comparison to other treatments that take weeks to months to begin working. Studies show that symptoms of depression begin to improve in hours after low-dose ketamine infusion therapy.

What Does the Research Say?

Dr. James Murrough, a prominent psychiatrist at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, and his research group published the largest clinical trial of ketamine thus far. Out of 74 participants, the drug reduced depression within 24-hours for 64% who had tried at least three other antidepressants that didn’t work for them. The researchers gave the control group Midazolam, a benzodiazepine, which only reduced depression by 28%.

What Does the Future Hold for Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression?

Continued research on low-dose ketamine infusion therapy as a treatment for depression gives real hope to those who haven’t found a solution. Revitalist providers are also members of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians and are proud to have an extensive network of ketamine providers across the country to discuss the latest clinical observations among patients nationwide. It is a tremendous way that Revitalist is staying on top of the latest and greatest in ketamine infusion therapy in Knoxville for treatment-resistant conditions, including mood and pain syndrome disorders.