What Are the Benefits of Ketamine Therapy?
History of Ketamine Therapy
- Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been used on both humans and animals for over 50 years. Its ability to anesthetize patients quickly and safely, with a few side effects, was quickly realized by the medical community; it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970. It rapidly became a necessity to doctors all over the world because it doesn’t depress patients’ breathing or circulatory systems like other anesthetics. Ketamine is also commonly used as a pain killer, especially for severe injuries and when in crisis situations, since slowing respiration and circulation is a major problem with alternatives, such as opiates and barbiturate analgesics.
- I have used Ketamine extensively especially in a Warzone trauma it is indispensable as a anesthetic and a pain management agent due to its effectiveness and in situations where there is no anesthesia machines available or possible to use.
The process of Ketamine
The wide range of chemical processes that occur in the human brain are very complex and fully understanding them is something that neurobiologists spend their entire lives doing. Here is a very simplified explanation of how Ketamine interacts with receptors and chemicals in the brain to cause (often immediate) anti-depressant effects, even in patients with severe Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). It’s important to note this interaction is exclusive to IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy where ketamine is given slowly, intravenously, and at a sub-anesthetic dose.
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. AMPA stimulation results in increases in BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF stimulates the formation of new receptors and synapses (which are vital connections between neurons). Research suggests that a deficiency in these connections is associated with major depressive disorder and other mood disorders, difficulties with sleep, over-stimulation, and focus.
One of the brain’s key neurotransmitters is glutamate, an amino acid found in 80% of neurons. Glutamate influences the formation and number of brain synapses – the vital connections between neurons. Glutamate acts with another important neurotransmitter, GABA, to maintain a healthy, well-functioning nervous system. An imbalance between GABA and glutamate can cause problems, including anxiety, difficulties with sleep, overstimulation, and issues with focus. Imbalance in the glutamatergic system is also associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). Growing evidence suggests that ketamine helps rebalance the glutamate system by acting as a receptor “antagonist.” One of the ways ketamine works is by blocking the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor, one of three major glutamate receptors. This receptor is involved in synaptic plasticity and memory function, among other functions. A ketamine-induced blockade of the NMDA receptor results in an increase in glutamate. This initiates a cascade of neurobiological events that researchers believe is one key reason behind ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects.
It is important to note that researchers are still exploring all of ways ketamine infusions impact the brain and are working hard to fully understand why this medicine works so quickly and efficaciously.
What disorders does Ketamine treat?
o Unipolar Depression
o Bipolar Depression
o Postpartum Depression Treatment
o Suicidal Thoughts Treatment
o Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment
Are there any side effects while doing Ketamine?
Patients commonly feel tired following an infusion. On rare occasion, some patients experience nausea after an infusion. If so, we have medication that can relieve this. If you are prone to nausea, we can administer a prophylactic before the infusion to help prevent it. Side effects usually dissipate within a few hours and are completely gone by the following day. There are zero long-term or permanent side effects of IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy when administered by a responsible clinician in a medical setting. As for addiction reasons, there is no evidence of increased risk for ketamine abuse among patients who have been treated for pain and depression with the IV infusions.