Tag Archives | ketamine

Ketamine Is “The Most Important Discovery In 50 Years” For Treating Depression

So says a new review in the journal Science, which declares that the club drug is vastly more effective than the serotonin-boosting antidepressants typically prescribed for mood disorders. Via TIME Healthland:

It didn’t seem likely that a drug could repair brain cells within hours, but new research explored suggests just that. Ketamine rapidly spurs the growth of new synapses, the connections between brain cells, and is associated with “reversal of the atrophy caused by chronic stress,” the authors write.

Unfortunately, the hallucinogenic effects of ketamine mean that it can’t be used in the same way typical antidepressants are, and fears about its potential for misuse also hamper its development. Researchers are frantically trying to develop compounds that have the same effects as ketamine without producing a “high.”

In the meanwhile, however, ketamine is already FDA approved […] But clinical use of the drug in the community remains rare. Fears about abuse continue to run high, though ketamine has never caught on as a major street drug.

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Ketamine Eyed as a Potential Treatment for Tough Depression

Picture: USDOJ (PD)

NPR: Scientists with the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard may have succeeded in unlocking the mechanisms that allow some people to feel near-immediate relief from depression after taking popular club drug, ketamine. Animal studies seem to indicates that the drug encourages new synaptic growth between neurons, and the same thing may be occurring in depressed humans who take the drug.

Researchers are ecstatic – as are the big drug companies. One company, Naurex, is already testing a drug that works like ketamine, only without the hallucinations.

Ketamine isn’t the only “party drug” that has been cited as a possible depression cure. Just weeks ago an article in the Guardian reported similar research regarding MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

More at NPR.

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Ketamine Can Induce A Near-Death Experience

Looking down at one’s own body as the soul floats upwards…a feeling of immense calm as one moves towards the light…such reports by those who have come perilously close to death are often cited as proof of an afterlife or spiritual realm. However psychiatrist Dr. Karl Jansen explains that these near-death experiences are identical to a ketamine trip:

The near-death experience (NDE) is a phenomenon of considerable importance to medicine, neuroscience, neurology, psychiatry, philosophy and religon. Unfortunately, some scientists have been deterred from conducting research upon the NDE by claims that NDE’s are evidence for life after death, and sensationalist media reports which impart the air of a pseudoscience to NDE studies.

All features of a classic NDE can be reproduced by the intravenous administration of 50-100 mg of ketamine…including travel through a dark tunnel into light, the conviction that one is dead, ‘telepathic communion with God’, hallucinations, out-of-body experiences and mystical states…becoming a disembodied mind or soul, dying and going to another world.

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