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January 29, 2020

3 Reasons Why Ketamine May Be The Most Important Breakthrough In Antidepressant Treatment In Decades

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The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ketamine, given intravenously, may be “the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” says former National Institute of Health director, Thomas Insel.

According to Insel, studies indicate that ketamine is an important development for 3 reasons. First, ketamine reduces depression within six hours, with effects that are similar to or greater than six weeks of treatment with standard antidepressant medications. ²

Second, ketamine may be effective in people with treatment-resistant depression.   This is great news for those suffering from some of the most chronic and disabling types of mental health challenges, notably major depressive disorder (MDD). ¹

Third, studies also indicate the drug may produce a significant reduction in suicidal thoughts.  It is too early to label ketamine as an anti-suicide medication, but its potential to reduce suicidal thoughts is promising, especially given the risk of suicide in people with chronic, treatment-resistant depression. ¹

According to Insel, ketamine should be considered as a potential treatment for mental disorders. In 2014, Insel suggested that medication development for mental disorders had hit a wall, pharmaceutical companies had abandoned the search for new medications, and there were no promising new medications on the horizon. When Insel was in medical training 46 years ago, intravenous ketamine was the anesthetic of choice for outpatient procedures in children. Ketamine received notoriety 20 years ago as a recreational drug called “Special K.” But during the last decade, ketamine has emerged as a potential antidepressant. ¹

Insel notes that there is enough potential with ketamine study that several companies and universities have engaged in research and development efforts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently awarded approval for intranasal ketamine as a depression treatment. ¹

Glutamate controls large regions of the nervous system and is the most important neurotransmitter in the brain. When glutamate receptors are over-activated, as in cases of major depressive disorder (MDD), a person may experience anxiety and depression. Ketamine works by blocking glutamine receptors in the brain. Some studies also suggest that depression may stem from an absence of synaptic connectivity. Ketamine infusion therapy works by enhancing synaptic connectivity in brain circuitry, which may provide relief from depression symptoms. ³

Ketamine may also be able to reverse the effects of depression and stress. Ketamine is an effective depression treatment because it works more quickly than antidepressants and cognitive therapy, and may work when other treatments have been unsuccessful. Ketamine treatment may work especially well among patients who are subject to treatment-resistant depression. ³

According to the National Center of Biotechnical Information, ketamine is gaining ground in treating major depressive disorder (MDD) that has previously been treatment-resistant. Although not approved by the FDA, ketamine’s popularity for treatment-resistant MDD is growing, because of the rapid onset of efficacy. ³

Ketamine is a safe drug, primarily used as a painkiller, and is one of the World Health Organization’s essential medicines. It has been used as a painkiller for more than half a century. When administered in low doses and as part of a medically recommended treatment plan, ketamine is effective and very safe. Each patient is carefully monitored by licensed medical personnel to ensure safe delivery.

Ketamine Infusion therapy is available in Ogden, Utah and can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and others.

Visit for more information about ketamine infusion therapy, or visit our office in Ogden, Utah to schedule a free consultation with our licensed doctors. Therapy Reset serves all of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, including the cities of Ogden, Layton, Kaysville, Brigham City, Logan, Clearfield, Syracuse, Roy, Centerville, and Farmington.


²  Ketamine for depression: where do we go from here? Biol. Psychiatry. 2012 Oct 1;72(7)


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