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Ketamine 'exciting' depression therapy

RATE THIS! +39
Posted in Science on 3rd Apr, 2014 03:52 AM by AlexMuller

The illegal party drug ketamine is an "exciting" and "dramatic" new treatment for depression, say doctors who have conducted the first trial in the UK. Some patients who have faced incurable depression for decades have had symptoms disappear within hours of taking low doses of the drug. The small trial on 28 people, shows the benefits can last months.

 

Experts said the findings opened up a whole new avenue of research. Depression is common and affects one-in-10 people at some point in their lives.

 
Antidepressants, such as prozac, and behavioural therapies help some patients, but a significant proportion remain resistant to any form of treatment. A team at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust gave patients doses of ketamine over 40 minutes on up to six occasions.
 
Eight showed improvements in reported levels of depression, with four of them improving so much they were no longer classed as depressed. Some responded within six hours of the first infusion of ketamine. Lead researcher Dr Rupert McShane said: "It really is dramatic for some people, it's the sort of thing really that makes it worth doing psychiatry, it's a really wonderful thing to see.
 
He added: "[The patients] say 'ah this is how I used to think' and the relatives say 'we've got x back'." Dr McShane said this included patients who had lived with depression for 20 years.

Tags: Ketaminedepressionneurosciencehealthmedicine

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+3
If confirmed, this could be a real breakthrough in mental health treatments. Of course, much larger trials are needed, extended to identify any side effects and also to identify which patients would most benefit - great news
5 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+2
I agree. This is very exciting and promising but at present far from a routine treatment. It seems that there is quite a big individual variation and I hope that bigger trials will be conducted soon Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+1
Indeed, mental well-being is a major public health issue, with unipolar depressive disorder the leading cause of disability in middle- to high-income countries. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+0
Some research suggests that part of the blame for this unhappiness lies in increased urbanization, nearly 80 percent of the world’s population in more developed regions live in city environments, which tend to have little room for nature. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+3
These findings also point out to chemical imbalance as a basis for depression, at least in some patients. As they say" It shows that depression is something chemical, that it can be reversed with chemicals, it dispenses for once and for all that you can just pull your socks up." Very important point! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-03
+3
Good news. Recently, another potentially helpful treatment for depression was described. A nasal spray containing a peptide could form the basis for highly-targeted treatment for depression-he peptide was found to relieve symptoms of depression, with the lead researcher hopeful of little to no side-effects. Reply


 

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