A recent ketamine depression study shows promise in fighting major depressive disorders that are usually considered untreatable. A spray form of ketamine was used and it seemed to cure the person of the major depression in about 24 hours.
This ketamine depression study is the first study to use an intranasal spray form of ketamine. An intravenous form of ketamine was used in previous studies and has also shown promise in helping people who have major depression. The intranasal spray study was published on the Internet in the publication Biological Psychiatry.
To ensure that there was no bias in this ketamine depression study, it was double-blind and the patients in the study were randomized. The 20 patients in this study were given 50mg of ketamine spray or salt water. The doctors measured their depression based on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. The patients were then to monitor themselves to see if they were having bouts of depression or anxiety. Eight patients definitely had some response to the ketamine.
Patients in the study who received ketamine did not have any adverse effects in blood pressure or heart rate. Researchers prefer the intranasal way of giving the ketamine since it is not invasive and the substance can be absorbed into the body quickly. Potential patients would feel more comfortable taking an antidepressant intranasally instead of intravenously.
Kyle Lapidus, a doctor from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who was involved in the study, says that taking ketamine through the nose had few side effects.
FDA has approved ketamine to be used as an anesthetic for animals and humans for many years. The problem is that some people have abused ketamine, which can result in severe psychological and cognitive problems. If people do not abuse it and take it in low doses, ketamine may help their depression with few adverse effects.
According to another doctor in this study, there is some urgency in finding new ways to treat depression. If the doctors do more research and development with ketamine, this potential antidepressant would be a good foundation to treat major depression disorders. Ketamine works as a potential antidepressant by blocking the NMDA [N-methyl-d-aspartate] glutamate receptor in the brain. By blocking the NMDA receptor, this potential antidepressant is able to help with the effects of depression quicker than more standard drugs such as SSRIs. SSRIs usually take weeks and months to alleviate the effects of depression. What is advantageous about taking ketamine on a regular basis is that it will not take weeks to be effective . SSRIs are only moderately effective in getting rid of depression in patients that are usually resistant to any form of drug therapy.
This intranasal ketamine study will cause debate about whether ketamine is going to change the way that doctors will treat major depression in the future. In addition, whether ketamine can be a game changer in the management of depression as rescue or even longer term therapy will also likely be debated from this study. There is evidence that ketamine is a quick-acting potential antidepressant but it is unknown what the long-term effects of this study will produce.
This ketamine depression study shows promise that an intranasal ketamine spray could be a potential way to treat major depression. What is especially encouraging is that ketamine seems to have few side effects.
By Tom Clark