Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ketamine helpful for depression

According to a recent article, published on LiveScience,com ,

" Prozac and other treatments each improve conditions for only about 30 to 40 percent of the patient population, barely outperforming placebos; meanwhile, a single infusion of ketamine washes away the symptoms of 80 to 90 percent of patients who try it,"

That is amazing! The article is very interesting and it goes on to talk about how the Drs and researchers at Baylor, where the study is being conducted, believes the FDA may approved the drug as an antidepressant in as little as two years!

Still, much is needed to be learned as to how the drug works.

"Scientists understand how ketamine chemically affects the brain, but they don’t quite know why it alleviates depressive symptoms. According to Ken Robbins, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ketamine binds to portals in the brain called NMDA receptors; this prevents a chemical called glutamate from occupying the same spots. Because glutamate revs up the system and can cause cell damage, ketamine has a sedative effect by blocking it. Somehow, this causes euphoria.

"The hypotheses for why ketamine might be helping depression are in their infancy," Robbins said. Whatever the explanation, "it's a very different mechanism from that of other anti-depressants we now use. I think what we're seeing is there may be a whole other neurotransmitter system that plays a role in depression that we weren't aware of."

You can read the complete article here

The drug, which is addictive and must still be administered through an infusion, holds great promise and most of the readers here will remember has been used for years to treat CRPS. Perhaps if it is approved to treat depression it will open the door for treating CRPS patients as well, many of whom suffer from depression as a result of years of being in chronic pain.

Peace, Keith Orsini

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