Disorders Treated by Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine can help an individual trying to cope with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. It is also shown to reduce suicidal thinking rapidly.
The effects of ketamine infusions are still being studied, but positive results have been shown in many patients. It is believed that ketamine is able to prevent the non-painful stimuli, such as wind blowing across the skin, which occurs with certain pain disorders. It is also believed that the infusion therapy is able to help patients reduce the amount of daily pain medications.
How Does Ketamine Provide Relief?
Medical research continues to clarify the complex role ketamine plays in brain health. At its most basic level, the anesthetic temporarily blocks neurotransmitter receptors in specific areas of the brain responsible for sensory integration, memory and learning.
By blocking these pathways, ketamine creates a favorable chemical environment for neuron growth. This allows time for repair and regeneration of neural pathways, which often reduces symptoms associated with mood disorders, and PTSD. Ketamine infusions have also been noted to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Ketamine therapy also provides relief for:
What are the Success Rates of Ketamine Infusions?
It is reported up to 90% of patients respond favorably to ketamine infusion therapy. 70% of patients show symptom relief after just one infusion, while 85-90% of patients display symptom improvement after undergoing a three-week treatment regime.
Some patients will require maintenance, or “booster” infusions, every two to four months afterwards, depending on their unique symptoms and physiology.
Is Ketamine Safe?
Ketamine infusions are considered very safe. Ketamine has seen wide usage as an anesthetic in adults and children since the 1960s, and even at anesthetic doses (about 2-6 times higher than the dose used to treat depression), the treatment is safe.
Ketamine does not cause side effects that oral antidepressants often cause, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, etc.
New Mechanisms Elicited with Ketamine in Treatment-Resistant Depression
For a neurochemical explanation of how ketamine is affecting the brain and improving mood, please watch this lecture given by Robert Duman, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University.