The rise of ketamine as a means to treat psychiatric and pain conditions has undoubtedly caught the attention of doctors, scientists, patients, and investors alike. Once used as an anesthetic on battlefields and in operating rooms, ketamine’s medicinal qualities have been around longer than many of us have, but only recently have researchers discovered its rapid-acting, highly effective, and multifaceted potential. The reason ketamine infusion therapy has garnered so much attention in recent years is not because it is a treatment fad, but because of its ability to treat psychiatric conditions by targeting different areas of the brain than traditional medications do.
Because of its potential for success in patients, many ketamine clinics have opened up across the U.S. in recent years. These ketamine clinics advertise a wide variety of uses for ketamine infusions, but some provide treatments for conditions with little science-based research to back them up. For example, there is very little research about how ketamine works as a treatment for pain conditions like arthritis, or certain forms of epilepsy. Due to the lack of research on this new treatment, it’s important to choose a trusted and established ketamine clinic with trained medical professionals on staff.
There is, however, research that conclusively supports the use of ketamine infusion therapy for certain psychiatric issues. Although scientists may not know exactly why ketamine works in conjunction with these issues, they know that it is effective. The most researched uses of ketamine include:
Perhaps the most studied use for ketamine in recent years is for treatment-resistant depression. For patients who respond to ketamine infusion therapy, this is particularly exciting due to its ability to rapidly relieve depression symptoms and even suicidal ideation. In fact, a 2019 study found significant improvements in the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms. They discovered that ketamine infusions quickly improved symptoms and continued to reduce them for up to one month after the last dose, making ketamine infusions superior to traditional medications, which take about one month to start improving symptoms…and that requires daily upkeep.
Between 30-40% of patients who are given standard treatment protocol for anxiety disorders never achieve any results. These psychiatric medications—mainly the use of SSRIs, SNRIs, and benzodiazepines—require a lengthy trial and error process, which can be discouraging for many. Anxiety disorders such as PTSD and social anxiety disorder (SAD) seem to respond especially well to ketamine infusion therapy. Therefore, it has caught the eye of other researchers and accumulated an increasing base of evidence proving its efficacy. In some studies, patients who undergo this treatment see improvements for up to 14 weeks!
Because bipolar disorder (BD) has a high mortality and suicide rate as well as a high rate of treatment-resistance, evidence suggests that ketamine infusion therapy is seen as a promising treatment option. A recent study found that ketamine, used in adjunct with other forms of treatment, has both long and short-term benefits for BD. Studies have been performed on a molecular level, which indicated that ketamine positively affects the glutamatergic transmission, BDNF levels, and intracellular signal transduction. This is important for people suffering from bipolar disorder because these are the areas that need attention.
Ketamine infusions have had great success for psychiatric conditions including major depressive disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder. Although research is still being done to figure out how exactly ketamine works, recent research has proven that it affects the brain differently than traditional medications, which take excessive time, money, and energy—and may not even be effective. If you live in the greater Boston area and are suffering from any of the psychiatric disorders mentioned, please contact us or send us a message using the brief form below. Not everyone is a candidate for ketamine treatments, but we can help work with you and your entire care team to determine if you are a good fit.
Contact Ketamine Greater Boston
Contact our ketamine infusion therapy center today for a free consultation, or simply complete the brief form below and a member of our clinical team will reach out to answer your questions and address your concerns.