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Ketamine Helps Treat Depression

Ketamine Helps Treat Depression

Yale researchers discover the benefits of taking special K…

After nearly a decade of research, scientists at Yale University have found that taking ketamine can help treat depression.

Ketamine is generally associated with its use as a veterinary anesthetic in animals, and for its recreational abuse where it earned its nickname, “special K.”

Results show that ketamine works to regenerate synaptic connections between brain cells that have been damaged by depression.

The big breakthrough however is how fast ketamine works. Standard anti-despressants can take weeks or even months to take effect, but small doses of ketamine offer almost immediate therapeutic relief.

ketamine treats depression 550x412 Ketamine Helps Treat Depression

Ketamine Helps Treat Depression

Image Credit: Coaster420, 2008.

As with all drugs, there are some downsides. The quick effects only last around seven to ten days, which raises concern that sporadic doses over long period of time could lead to drug dependency.

But it’s this rapid response that the reserachers are after. Ronald Duman of Yale University said:

“The rapid therapeutic response of ketamine in treatment-resistant patients is the biggest breakthrough in depression research in a half century.”

Scientists have been working to develop a drug that treats depression in the same manner as ketamine, however nothing to date has proven to be as effective.


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  1. Nathan Ingraham: Yale researchers find small doses of ketamine can offer rapid relief from depression. The Verge, 10/05/2012.
  2. Mario Aguilar: It’s Official: Special K Makes You Feel Good. Gizmodo, 10/05/2012.

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