Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962. It is a mainstay medication in emergency rooms, operating rooms, and ambulances, as well as on the battlefield and in developing countries, for treating pain and providing sedation. For over 20 years psychiatrists and medical doctors have been using Ketamine to provide relief for patients with depression, PTSD, anxiety, postpartum depression, OCD, and chronic pain. Read more about the actions ketamine has on the brain and body below.
Most antidepressants act by increasing certain levels of neurotransmitters (Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine). Ketamine works differently; when Ketamine is given, it binds to a receptor in the brain called the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. When Ketamine binds to this receptor it temporarily blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called Glutamate. A large number of clinical studies suggest dysfunction of the glutamatergic system is one of the primary issues in mood disorders.
Because Ketamine acts on different systems that than other antidepressants, it is often effective when antidepressants or opiate pain medication have not provided any, or only minimal reductions in symptoms.
Ketamine often works when nothing else has!
Certain doses of ketamine are known to increase the expression of "brain-derived neurotrophic factor" (BDNF). BDNF is a protein that encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses. Chronic stress, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and PTSD can damage the brain over time. Increasing BDNF is crucial to repair what has been damaged. Increasing the expression of BDNF is how Ketamine helps to “re-wire” the brain, which is the primary aim of the Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Therapy process.
Inflammation is a causal factor in mood disorders like depression. Reducing inflammation is a key element in the treatment of mood and pain conditions. Ketamine is known to decrease the levels of inflammatory compounds in the brain and body. Specifically, it decreases IL-1, IL-6, TNF-a, CRP, and MCP-1.
When someone is in pain for a long time, their brain gets used to receiving pain signals.
Eventually, the brain becomes hyper-sensitive to painful stimulus. Most chronic pain patients find themselves always in at least some pain.
Ketamine interrupts these signals and gives the brain a chance to “reset” the way that it’s registering the amount of pain it receives.
This process can decrease the level of baseline pain a chronic pain patient experiences on a day to day basis.
Pain conditions that are often effectively treated by Ketamine treatment include: Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, chronic back pain, neuropathic pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and Trigeminal Neuralgia.
The default mode network in your brain produces most of the normal conscious thoughts that you have on a day to day basis. In depression, the default mode network is hijacked by other parts of the brain, with the result being that resting thought becomes entirely consumed with negative ruminations. By temporarily disconnecting these areas chemically, Ketamine can disrupt the cycle that is causing unwanted negative thought patterns. When this effect is combined with therapy and Ketamine’s neuroplastic influence, new pathways can be forged that train the brain to think positively again.
Your peace of mind is worth the time.