A new study has found that repeated intravenous ketamine infusions can significantly alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Participants in the study underwent a two-week course of infusions and reported experiencing an increase in vitality which lasted for nearly a month.
Widely known for its presence as a party drug, ketamine is traditionally used by medical practitioners and veterinarians as an anaesthetic. Recreational ‘ket’ induces psychedelic effects such as visions or hallucinations of smells, feelings, or tastes that aren’t actually there. Oh, and did I mention that it was originally developed as a horse tranquilliser?
The treatment of PTSD has challenged medical practitioners for decades, with symptoms ranging from nightmares and flashbacks to avoidant behaviours and depression. Currently, the most prescribed medications for the illness are anti-depressants, such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which often fails to bring adequate relief to patients.
A new study has found that ketamine is significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients @PsychCentral.comhttps://t.co/qkTRhrVWfF#ketamine #ketamineinfusions #ketaminetreatment pic.twitter.com/dPd0Zf3wu9
— Summit Ketamine Innovations (@SummitKetamine) September 13, 2019
However, unlike anti-depressants such as SSRIs, ketamine does not interfere with serotonin signalling. Instead, the drug alleviates depression by interacting with a glutamate receptor known as NMDA. Not only has this method been found to ease depression, but the study also found that a single dose of ketamine brought rapid relief to sufferers, lasting for at least 24 hours.
The study consisted of 30 sufferers whose PTSD had been triggered by a variety of different events, including sexual and physical abuse, exposure to military combat, and even witnessing the 9/11 attacks. Each participant had suffered from the condition for nearly two decades.
Got my days wrong and ended up alone in a room with my boss and the President of Ireland while I was on ketamine. https://t.co/gSjPY8WjKL
— Séamas It Ever Was (@shockproofbeats) May 3, 2018