Over the past 20 years, ketamine has demonstrated powerful antidepressant effects and benefits for other mental health conditions. What was once used as a sedative on the battlefield has become an invaluable resource for various physical and mental issues, known for its transformative power and speedy results.
Traditional medications like antidepressants can take months to start working. Ketamine therapy, on the other hand, offers patients relief quickly, with some individuals reporting relief within a few hours of their first infusion session.
Ketamine interacts with multiple aspects of our psychology and physiology. While there is still much to be understood about how ketamine works, research indicates the following factors play an enormous role in ketamine’s healing process.
Brain Regions and Chemicals to Know
A prominent neurotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate is now strongly associated with mood disorders. It is partly responsible for memory, learning, and mood regulation.
While this glutamate receptor and ion channel has many different roles, researchers have implicated it in mental health issues. Overactive NMDArs are associated with heightened depression and general distress.
This receptor is suspected to be primarily responsible for instigating neural plasticity in excitatory transmission. It is a key region of stimulation regarding ketamine’s healing properties.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor signals new neural growth in the brain and is released when glutamate stimulates the AMPA receptor.
The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTOR) is a signaling pathway that regulates new neural growth. Its stimulation is associated with the effects of BDNF.
The lateral habenula is a brain region largely responsible for our interpreting and predicting negative consequences. Those with depression and anxiety show an overactivity of burst firing in the lateral habenula.
As a non-competitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine prevents glutamate from activating the NMDA receptor. Recent evidence points to ketamine’s inhibitory effects on the NMDA receptor in the lateral habenula. The lateral habenula is a brain region largely responsible for encoding negative or anti-reward cause-and-effect relationships. Those with depression and anxiety show an overactivity of burst firing in the lateral habenula.
The inhibition of the NMDA receptor may cause a build-up of free glutamate, which then activates the AMPA receptors. Heightened AMPA receptor activity is associated with the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a chemical largely responsible for new neural growth. This new growth may reroute the brain from hyperactive areas associated with negative reward signals, thereby providing long-term relief from mental health conditions.
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Verify no eating in prior 2 hrs + no liquids in prior 30 min
Set Up & Medicine Administration (20 Min)
Get settled in treatment room
Review Plan for the Session, Q&A
Intention Setting / Re-presencing
Get Comfortable, Apply Eye Shades & Start Curated Music
Infusion starts and continues for 40 minutes
10-30 min + sitting, talking with infusion nurse, or listening to music, journaling or meditating
Herbal Tea, Water Available
No Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery
Medically cleared prior to departure