Going Beyond Serotonin in Depression

Going Beyond Serotonin in Depression

Depression is among the most disabling conditions in our society. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. In America, 12.5% of individuals over the age of 12 have filled an antidepressant prescription.  Yet, the effectiveness of these medications are still lacking. Many patients don’t respond to antidepressant medications, and it can take months for the medicine to kick in. Unfortunately, many patients will regain their depression after being on medications long term.

A Beginner's Guide To Ketamine Infusions

A Beginner's Guide To Ketamine Infusions

Psychedelic therapy, or at least the talk of them, is very popular as of this writing. Ketamine is currently the only legal and FDA approved psychedelic in the United States.  You may have heard about ketamine as a recreational drug or as an animal tranquilizer but not sure what to think about it. You may have depression, anxiety, OCD, or PTSD which is not being helped by standard treatments. You may even know of a loved one who could benefit from ketamine infusions. 

There is a lot of information out there. Some good and some not so good information in giving you a straight-forward understanding of ketamine as a treatment option for various mental health disorders. So welcome to our beginner's guide, where we'll cover the basics of what you need to know.

How Ketamine Affects The Brain In Depression: fMRI perspective

How Ketamine Affects The Brain In Depression: fMRI perspective

Ketamine is alleviating symptoms of those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It works rapidly and effectively, especially compared to traditional treatment such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

So, how is ketamine making this happen?  There is currently no definitive answer to “How Does Ketamine Exactly Work?”, and honestly we don’t believe there is only one single answer. We believe there are multiple mechanisms (scroll to the bottom to check out a couple videos where Dr. Ko explain the less “scientific” mechanisms, such as the spiritual mechanism)

Show notes from Dr. Ko's Podcast Interview on Ketamine

Show notes from Dr. Ko's Podcast Interview on Ketamine

Dr. Ko was recently interviewed by Dr. Jason Lahood and Kendall Alaimo at The Sentenced To Life Podcast. They discussed ketamine healing, near-death experiences, aromatherapy, set & setting, integration and a lot more in this conversation. Please check out the podcast episode (show some love and please subscribe to their podcast) where they, “smack down some real talk about mental health.”

You can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

New Evidence for Ketamine Infusions for Chronic Pain

New Evidence for Ketamine Infusions for Chronic Pain

In 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to investigate the prevalence of chronic pain in the United States. They found that an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults (50 million people) had chronic pain. Additionally, “high-impact” (more severe, limiting) chronic pain was found in an estimated 8.0% of U.S. adults (19.6 million people).

When people have certain types of chronic pain that are not easily manageable, intravenous (IV) ketamine treatment is an alternative, cutting-edge option to consider. For our chronic pain patients at Reset Ketamine, we implement treatments ranging from 80 minutes to 4 hours depending upon the patient’s clinical diagnosis. Additionally, we often increase the dose after each infusion in order to maximize the effect of ketamine as part of the patient’s tailored treatment plan.

How to Find the Right Ketamine Clinic For You

How to Find the Right Ketamine Clinic For You

Ketamine clinics are popping up left and right in your town, or maybe you are ready to take a flight to find one. How do you know if the clinic is for you? How do you know if you should go there? We’d love to have everybody come to our clinic, but our clinic isn’t for everyone!

 While there is no perfect way to do this (nor is there a perfect clinic!), here are a few questions to get answered to help find the right clinic for you.

What You Need To Know About Ketamine For PTSD

What You Need To Know About Ketamine For PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects the lives of many people worldwide.  Shockingly, more military personnel die by suicide than in combat. Many treatments have been subpar in the past, however, ketamine may be an alternative treatment option for those who are still struggling.  But there are some caveats and considerations that need to be taken before jumping on the ketamine bandwagon.

Should I Get One or Multiple Ketamine Infusions?

Should I Get One or Multiple Ketamine Infusions?

Research supports multiple ketamine infusions are needed to minimize depression symptoms and maintain antidepressant effects. We recommend pursuing the 6 series infusion to start, followed by boosters as needed.

A single ketamine infusion can be effective within hours of the infusion to reduce depression symptoms for up to 80% of patients. However, these effects can last only up to a few days to a week. Multiple infusions in the form of a series of six infusions can prolong the antidepressant effects for up to several weeks (and for some people months).

In the setting of chronic, high-dose ketamine use in abusers, studies demonstrate unfavorable changes in the brain, and neurotoxicity in the rodent model.  Fortunately, one study of clinical ketamine use at Yale Psychiatric Hospital looking at patients who received ketamine infusions on a long-term basis showed no evidence of cognitive decline, delusions, or cystitis in their sample of patients.  

To understand what could be best for you, you’ll need to explore where the recommended protocol comes from and what can happen with too much for too long, and more. It’s a lot but no worries we’re here to walk you through it!

How Do Ketamine Infusions Help Fibromyalgia?

How Do Ketamine Infusions Help Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a leading cause of chronic pain affecting millions of Americans every day. Researchers hypothesize that central sensitization is the primary mechanism involved, but there are many other factors including genetics, immunological, psychological, and hormones that influence the development of fibromyalgia. Central sentization refers to a process called “wind-up” where the central nervous system gets regulated into a persistent state of high reactivity.  This persistent or wound up state of reactivity lowers the threshold for what causes pain and can create extreme pain even with minimal stimulus.  This phenomena is believed to be related to neuroplasticity which is mediated by the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors located in the spinal cord.

So how exactly do ketamine infusions help in fibromyalgia?

Ketamine’s most immediate mechanism of action is to block NMDA receptors.  It is the most potent clinically available NMDA receptor antagonist today.  By blocking the activity of the NMDA receptor, ketamine seems to reset the altered pain receptors that have become hypersensitized in patients with fibromyalgia.  

Ketamine's Slow Acceptance By The Medical Community

Ketamine's Slow Acceptance By The Medical Community

If you are reading this article, then you are likely already aware of the potential of ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, PTSD, suicidality, and anxiety.  Unfortunately, the majority of people are unaware this is an option, or if they are aware, they simply believe ketamine is “just a horse tranquilizer” and drug of abuse that has no benefits in the treatment of mood disorders.

Humans don’t like change, and the medical community is made up…of well humans. Even though there is scientific data to support the efficacy of ketamine treatments, it does mean a change in the way the medical community approaches mood disorders. Let’s look at history to understand this better.

How to Prepare For And Integrate From a Ketamine Infusion

How to Prepare For And Integrate From a Ketamine Infusion

Ketamine infusions are helping many people with chronic pain disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and depression. This is not only due to the biochemical changes in the brain but also because of its psychotropic experiential effect.  In this article, we explain how to maximize your ketamine infusion by adequately preparing for and integrating the experience.

It is imperative to prepare both your body and mind prior to the infusion, such as detoxing from alcohol, marijuana, and/or violence on TV, music, and movies. The insights gained during the infusion will more likely be retained and integrated in everyday life if one has set an intention and implements a daily personal practices such as meditation and journaling.

What Does A Ketamine Infusion Feel Like?

What Does A Ketamine Infusion Feel Like?

Ketamine infusions are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact they are can potentially rapidly treat anxiety, pain disorders, and treatment-resistant depression. You may be curious about what the experience of ketamine infusion will be like, especially since there is a lot of confusing and misleading information out on the internet. Well, we got you covered!!

What does a ketamine infusion feel like? Depending on how much ketamine and for how long you receive the infusion, you can experience anything from being more aware of how your body feels, quieting of the mind, and filled with feelings of love and gratitude all the way to feeling connecting to the Universe/God, death of your ego, and reliving past experiences.

Are Ketamine Clinics Legal?

Are Ketamine Clinics Legal?

Ketamine was first synthesized in the 1960’s for use as a general anesthetic.  It’s been traditionally used in the operating room and emergency departments for sedation and pain control.   Ketamine has a colorful history and is known to be used in veterinary medicine as a “horse tranquilizer” and even a recreational club drug of abuse.  However, ketamine is the most common medicine used worldwide for sedation and the World Health Organization (WHO) places ketamine in it’s List of Essential Medicines.

Recently, there has been an upward trend of more ketamine clinics opening up in the United States. Ketamine clinics are on the cutting edge of medicine and represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of depression depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, as well as various forms of chronic pain.  Because of ketamine’s history, there may be some confusion about it’s legal status when used “off-label.” To answer it simply, yes, ketamine clinics are legal.

Resolution of Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Anxiety with Ketamine: A Case Report

Resolution of Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Anxiety with Ketamine: A Case Report

Imagine living a life filled with anxiety and panic attacks so severe that you are not even able to leave your house. In a 2016 case report from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, they share the story of Ms. A, a 34 year old woman who had been diagnosed with DSM-5 panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder.

Maintenance Ketamine Infusions for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Maintenance Ketamine Infusions for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Multiple studies have shown the benefits of using ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Typically, the spacing of the ketamine infusions have been either two or three times per week. However, one recent study published in 2019 in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that the reduction in depression symptoms were maintained with once-weekly infusions.

Does Music Impact the Ketamine Experience?

Does Music Impact the Ketamine Experience?

Have you ever listened to a song and been moved emotionally?  It might have inspired you to get up and dance, feel ecstacy, joy, or even shed tears.  During a ketamine infusion, the music that is played has a powerful role in influencing the set and setting.  It can actually be a therapeutic tool that can help open up memories and allow for exploration into the deep recesses of the human mind.  

The Roots of Reset Ketamine

The Roots of Reset Ketamine

Twenty years ago, I began my course work as a pre-medical student at Seattle University in Washington.  During my time in college, I worked as a research technician at the University of Washington-Dept of Neurology studying neurosyphilis. To elucidate more about the bacteria, Treponema pallidum, I would perform a variety of procedures on laboratory animals to reduce their pain.  By happenstance, the medication that I used regularly was ketamine!  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a seed had been planted.

Ketamine's Experiential Effect on Healing

Ketamine's Experiential Effect on Healing

Traumatic experiences can cause a severe disturbance to the human psyche and soul. The overall lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is at 6.8% in the United States. The rate of PTSD is significantly higher in females (5.2%) versus males (1.8%).  This stems not only from military experiences, but physical and emotional abuse, bullying, shaming, interpersonal violence, sexual trauma, and criminal acts.