Why Ketamine can treat depression so fast

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Ketamine is the speedster of antidepressants, working within hours compared to more common antidepressants that can take several weeks.

But ketamine can only be given for a limited amount of time because of its many side effects.

Scientists from Northwestern Medicine found for the first time exactly how ketamine works so quickly, and how it might be adapted for use as a drug without the side effects.

They found ketamine works as a rapid antidepressant by increasing the activity of the very small number of newborn neurons, which are part of ongoing neurogenesis in the brain.

The research is published in Nature Communications and was conducted by Dr. John Kessler et al.

New neurons are always being made at a slow rate. It’s been known that increasing the number of neurons leads to behavioral changes.

Other antidepressants work by increasing the rate of neurogenesis, in other words, increasing the number of neurons. But this takes weeks to happen.

By contrast, ketamine produces behavioral changes simply by increasing the activity of the existing new neurons. This can happen immediately when the cells are activated by ketamine.

The side effects of ketamine include blurred or double vision, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, drowsiness, and addiction.

The team says their goal is to develop an antidepressant that doesn’t take three to four weeks to work because people don’t do well during that period of time.

If people are badly depressed and start taking their drugs and nothing is happening, that is depressing in itself. To have something that works right away would make a huge difference.

If you care about depression, please read studies about beverages that may cut down depression in older people, and these drugs for depression may come with higher death risk.

For more information about mental health, please see recent studies about supplement that may boost brain function, and results showing these common foods may sharp your brain.

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