Girl relaxingly looking at sunset. Depicting the feeling of weight lifted from overcoming depression with ketamine treatment

The Science Behind Ketamine: How It Works for Depression and Anxiety

Depression is a common mental disorder that affects many lives. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5% of adults globally suffer from depression. Furthermore, Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that treatment-resistant depression affects 30% of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder. These people have to look for other non traditional methods to help as a result. One of these methods is ketamine, an anesthetic drug that has found success in treating mental health disorders in recent years. But how does ketamine work differently compared to other medications?

A Quick History Lesson

Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 by Calvin L. Stevens. After promising research when tested on animals, ketamine was tested on humans in 1964. The investigations that followed showed ketamine to be a favorable option as an anesthetic. The FDA approved the drug in 1970, allowing anesthetic use of the drug in the Vietnam War. Finally, in 2000, researchers discovered the anti-depressive effects of ketamine. Researchers describe the discovery as the most important advancement in the treatment of depression in more than 50 years

Neuroplastic Effects

It is crucial to understand neuroplasticity to understand how ketamine treats major depressive disorder. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the nervous system to change its activity by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections after injuries. This reorganization can change the way your brain works. When someone has depression, there are changes in the brain which includes how neurons communicate with each other. 

Ketamine helps mental health disorders by rapidly enhancing neuroplasticity. In a cascade of events, ketamine prompts your brain to form new neural connections. These events make the brain more adaptable and capable of creating new pathways. The patient can develop more positive thoughts and behaviors as a result. In short, ketamine can change the way your brain works and reverses depression because of the change. 

In summation, ketamine is a vital advancement for depression treatment. It can enhance therapy because of its ability to affect neuroplasticity in the brain. The effectiveness of the drug makes it a viable option when treating treatment-resistant mental health disorders. Are you interested in the effects of ketamine therapy? Then contact us at Mindstream Medicine in Philadelphia today.