Although the word "depression" is often used in casual conversation to refer to a kind of everyday sadness over a prolonged period of time, the term can also refer to a medical disorder that affects your thoughts and behavior. Those who suffer from medical depression often seek various treatments for it, and scientists are constantly searching for more effective ways to provide this treatment. One of the most recent developments in depression-related therapy is ketamine, which is a drug that has already been used for years as an effective pain reliever. If you have been diagnosed and are currently dealing with depression, take a look below to learn more about why ketamine therapy may be a treatment option you should discuss with your psychiatrist.
There is increasing evidence to show that inflammation and depression are more closely linked than previously thought. If inflammation cannot be said to be a direct cause of depression, it may at the very least worsen depressive symptoms that already exist. One of the ways ketamine may help, then, is by reducing this inflammation.
The speed with which antidepressants can treat depressive symptoms is important and yet is often overlooked in cases where it is crucial. People at imminent risk of self-harm may depend on antidepressants that begin to act as quickly as possible. Yet many antidepressants do not act very fast at all — instead, they can take weeks before their benefits begin to be noticed. Ketamine, on the other hand, works extremely quickly. A single ketamine therapy session can show beneficial results in a matter of hours or a few short days. For those who need it most, ketamine can be a life changing treatment for depression.
Improving Synaptic Plasticity
The human brain has tens of billions of neurons, and these neurons connect and transmit impulses in spaces called synapses. The plasticity of these synapses is essential for learning and adaptability, and some researchers believe that ketamine plays a role in improving synaptic plasticity: "ketamine appears to promote synaptogenesis in brain regions such as the medial frontal cortex and hippocampus, countering the dendritic atrophy and synapse loss associated with chronic stress and depression."
Many patients who are struggling to overcome depression may find an effective treatment in ketamine therapy, which recent research suggests is a great way to speedily fight inflammation and improve the plasticity of synapses in the brain.
For more information, contact a health care clinic near you.