IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine is an NDMA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. The pharmaceutical was originally developed for the purpose of assisting in anesthesia. It is known as a dissociative anesthetic. The term dissociative anesthetic has more than one definition. One of the most commonly referred to definitions for a dissociative anesthetic is an agent that can cause dissociative symptoms, which loosely means that “reality can be somewhat blurred”. In other words, images may appear unreal or slightly distorted and/or create other perceptual disturbances.
While the mechanism of how ketamine alleviates depressive symptoms is not known. It is generally agreed that there are multiple mechanisms that likely contribute to ketamine’s ability to relieve depressive symptoms. It is hypothesized that these mechanisms include, but are not limited to, targeting glutamate, dopamine, serotonin, opiates, as well as molecules in the brain responsible for brain cell growth and development.
Several studies have shown the effects of ketamine interacting with receptors and chemicals in the brain often creates anti-depressant effects, even in patients who suffer from TRD, or, Treatment Resistant Depression. Most apparent about ketamine, as a different treatment, is that it begins to demonstrate efficacy within 1-2 days. Most anti-depressants require 2-4 weeks before they begin to show significant improvement in symptoms.
It is critical to understand that ketamine researchers are still exploring a multitude of ways that ketamine infusions impact the human brain. They are working towards understanding why this form of treatment works so quickly and effectively.