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New study strengthens ketamine's use as an antidepressant

It's said to increase brain cells for depression sufferers

  • Dave Turner
  • 18 March 2016

Ketamine being a deterrent for depression may be to do with it regenerating brain cells, a new study says.

Theodore A Henderson has compiled 'Practical application of the neuroregenerative properties of ketamine: real world treatment experience', writing previous studies have shown a 0.5 milligram dose of the drug, over a 30 to 40-minute interval, to induce a "rapid reduction in depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation" for up to 70 per cent of patients.

The success may be related to how monoaminergic antidepressants (chemicals altering serotonin, melatonin and more) work, increasing neural progenitor cells in the brain.

However, it was found that symptoms of depression were only subdued for four to 10 days through the use of ketamine.

On the study, Henderson said: "My endeavor is to illustrate three points: 1) dosing based on the neurobiological mechanisms is likely to be more beneficial and cost effective, 2) the antidepressant benefit of ketamine is not dependent upon having a hallucinatory experience, and 3) enduring antidepressant effects can be achieved with ketamine and reflect its purported neuroregenerative properties."

A San Francisco psychiatrist, L. Alison McInnes, has previously said ketamine used as an antidepressant "puts a quick end to suicidal thinking".

[Via: PR Newswire]

[Photo: Sarah Schoenfeld]

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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