What is ketamine therapy?
Ketamine therapy is quickly becoming recognized as an extraordinarily promising treatment for those who are diagnosed with depression. It works by binding itself to NMDA receptors in the brain, which appears to increase the amount of a neurotransmitter, glutamate, in the spaces between neurons. Glutamate then activates connections in another receptor, called the AMPA receptor. The initial blockade of NMDA receptors and activation of AMPA receptors allows for the release of other molecules that help neurons communicate with each other along new pathways. This part of the process is believed to impact your mood, thought patterns, and cognition.
How can ketamine therapy help patients with depression?
While other treatment options for depression can take weeks or months to have any effect on the patient, ketamine therapy is a rapidly-acting treatment. Because it acts to quickly, it can be especially beneficial for patients who have suicidal ideations, along with other urgent symptoms of depression.
It is thought that ketamine might reduce signals that are known to cause inflammation in the brain and facilitate communication within certain parts of the brain, which is believed to be connected to mood disorders.
Important things to note about ketamine, and its use as a treatment for depression: