Jan Scerbo has suffered from depression her whole life. Last May, things got really bad. She was crying every day, and had trouble doing routine tasks such as showering. “It’s a really dark, deep tunnel,” she said. “It’s like you’re in this dark hole and you have to pull yourself out and you have to fight every day.”Read More
A potentially life-saving treatment for depression recently got more convenient with the introduction of a new nasal spray called esketamine — a drug treatment that the Medical University of South Carolina helped research.Read More
After her suicide attempt, Louise’s psychiatrist suggested she try ketamine. She agreed, and received an infusion intravenously. Within hours, her sense of well-being improved. The hospital discharged her. Back home, she discovered that going to the market was no longer a “herculean task.” Getting her car washed wasn’t an insurmountable chore. “Life was better,” she said. “Life was doable.”Read More
As a journalist who covers health and medicine, I had read about the success of experimental trials that used ketamine to treat depression. My therapists had recommended extreme treatments like electroshock therapy, a procedure that frightened me due to reports of memory loss from those who had undergone it, but had never mentioned this. But I was getting desperate for a serious intervention.Read More
For six years now, life has been really good for James. He has a great job as the creative director of an advertising firm in New York City. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids.
And it has all been possible, he says, because for the past six years he has been taking a drug called ketamine.Read More
Increased dissociative symptoms associated with ketamine infusion treatment can predict a greater antidepressant effect in individuals with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. In fact, specific properties of ketamine-induced dissociation (such as depersonalization and derealization) can uniquely predict the antidepressant response, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.Read More
Like a May shower, the studies on psychedelic drugs' potential therapeutic benefits came — first as a sprinkle, then a steady downpour. Between 2012 and 2017, the papers abounded. One, published in 2016, suggested that magic mushrooms might alleviate anxiety in cancer patients; another in 2017 indicated that ecstasy could help veterans cope with PTSD symptoms; and one in 2012 hinted that ketamine might curb major depression.Read More
Ketamine has been called the biggest thing to happen to psychiatry in 50 years, due to its uniquely rapid and sustained antidepressant effects. It improves symptoms in as little as 30 minutes, compared with weeks or even months for existing antidepressants, and is effective even for the roughly one third of patients with so-called treatment-resistant depression.Read More
In a new review in Science, the authors call the identification of the anesthetic and “club drug” ketamine as a rapid treatment for depression “arguably the most important discovery in half a century” of research on the condition.Read More
Bipolar disorder is a serious and debilitating condition where individuals experience severe swings in mood between mania and depression. The episodes of low or elevated mood can last days or months, and the risk of suicide is high.
For these reasons, better treatments for depression are desperately needed. A new study in Biological Psychiatry this week confirms that scientists may have found one in a drug called ketamine.Read More