Ketamine infusion therapy has become a widely accepted practice for the effective treatment of severe depression and other mental health illnesses. Infusion centers can be found in locations all across the country, making the availability of ketamine more accessible for individuals who suffer from these issues. With all of the excitement over this drug, there has been a recent growth of research to truly pin down how ketamine works as this still remains a mystery.

How Ketamine Works

Currently, studies have found that ketamine works differently from traditional antidepressants in how it affects the brain. Ketamine has been shown to strengthen current neural synapses and to build new ones.  When someone is depressed, they can have weakened, less active, or broken synapses. By rebuilding these synaptic connections they become healthy which contributes to improved mental health.
Another way that ketamine stands out from other antidepressants is that it works via the glutamate pathway. Glutamate is one of the most prominent neurotransmitters in the brain and regulates large regions of the nervous system. One of its primary functions is to stimulate brain cells so they can help with learning and memory formation. Ketamine works by blocking receptors, therefore glutamate is increased within the neural synapses. This causes increased levels of glutamate at the synaptic cleft, which results in an improved overall mood.

A New Finding

With the amount of focus that has been placed on ketamine and its effects, it is no wonder that new discoveries are continuing to be made. In an article recently posted in Nature, scientists identified a specific rhythm in the brain that can act like ketamine. The study noted that when a patient was dissociating a certain oscillation occurred. Once identified, the scientists were able to use a human patient and send electronic pulses to the area of the brain where the rhythms were observed. When they did this, the patient immediately reported having an out of body experience. 

What This Means

For researchers, this was a huge breakthrough in understanding how drugs like ketamine produce a dissociative state. This is important because there appears to be a link between dissociation and an anti-depressive effect of ketamine. When people experience dissociation during their infusions, they tend to report greater improvements in their depression symptoms. This development can assist in understanding appropriate doses of ketamine to offer the most benefit to people with depression.

Elev8 MD Wellness Center is one of Charlotte’s leading wellness centers. We offer a full menu of health and wellness services, designed to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Schedule a free consultation with us today to see if you are a candidate for ketamine infusions, IV hydration therapy, acupuncture, talk therapy, or any of our other wellness services.

Elev8MD offers counseling services, as well as other self-care services like IV hydration therapy that can help these people heal and process. We also offer ketamine as an option for those with severe and debilitating depression. Complete the form below to request more information and find out which treatment is the best fit for you.