According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2018, specific brain waves are related to the anti-anxiety effects of ketamine. The brain waves involved in this function are called theta waves, found in the right frontal area of the brain. Ketamine can treat a wide variety of neurotic disorders, such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD, but researchers do not conclusively understand how ketamine works to relieve the symptoms of these disorders.
Bipolar disorder will affect 4.4% of U.S. adults at some point in their lives. It can cause dramatic shifts in the mood, energy, activity, impacting a person’s ability to live fully. One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is anhedonia, which is the loss of ability to seek pleasure. Effective treatments for anhedonia have traditionally been lacking, but fortunately, recent research suggests that ketamine can help.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic condition affecting 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the United States. This disorder is characterized by intrusive, repetitive thoughts and behaviors. Interfering with work, interpersonal relationships, and in general, patients’ enjoyment of life, OCD can have a devastating effect due to its debilitating nature. The only FDA approved treatment for OCD are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), but the effects of these are limited. Meaningful improvement can take up to 6 to 10 weeks and symptom relief is limited. To find a better way to treat this disorder, researchers at Columbia University conducted a study involving ketamine infusions.
Affecting about 37 million Americans, migraine headache attacks can be extremely painful and have a debilitating effect on patients’ lives. Associated with sensitivity to light, sound and smells; nausea; and vomiting, migraines can inhibit patients from going to work or enjoying day-to-day routine.
Those unresponsive to typical migraine treatments may feel particularly discouraged. When first and second-line drugs fail, what is a migraine sufferer to do? Fortunately, ketamine may be the answer!
She doesn’t want to get out of bed, she’s not the woman you knew, worse off she doesn’t want to hold her new baby. She is your wife, girlfriend, sister, or daughter. She is a new mother, and she has postpartum depression (PPD). She knows something is off, but she is so deep in the weeds she doesn’t know where to begin.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful, disabling neurological condition. Previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), it affects 1.2% of the adult chronic pain population. Women are affected more than men, with a 3:1 ratio. CRPS can develop after trauma, minor injuries, or surgery. The signs and symptoms are classically clustered into four groups:
Ketamine as a rapid antidepressant has been replicated in numerous studies. More recently, ketamine has been shown to help patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-refractory anxiety disorder (TRA disorder). However, some patients reported a recurrence of depressive or anxiety symptoms after a single treatment. This recurrence of symptoms leads to the question: How long can patients’ symptoms improve with repeated ketamine dosing in anxiety?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic disorder that arises after severely stressful events. PTSD is characterized by its disabling effects—hyperarousal, avoidance, and re-experiencing symptoms. Affecting an estimated 7.8% of the general population, PTSD is particularly diagnosed among people who have experienced interpersonal violence. Survivors who suffer from PTSD do not have many options in reducing PTSD symptoms, because few modern pharmacotherapies—treatments using drugs—are effective.
The unique story of ketamine began in 1956 with the synthesis of the drug, phencyclidine. Found to be a remarkable anesthetic for monkeys, phencyclidine was then used on humans after numerous animal testings. Unfortunately, the side effects that researchers observed in some patients were concerning. Instead of waking peacefully from anesthesia, some patients experienced acute emergence delirium lasting hours after their operation was over. They described feeling sensory deprived and the loss of sensations in their limbs. Further studies concluded that phencyclidine produced a sensory deprivation syndrome.
Trigeminal neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux) is a chronic pain condition affecting the fifth cranial nerve (1). There are twelve cranial nerves that emerge from the brain and cranial nerve V carries sensation from the face to the brain. Trigeminal neuralgia occurs at a rate of 4.3 per 100,000 people per year (2). There are two main types: classic trigeminal neuralgia and atypical trigeminal neuralgia (3). It is vital to consult with a specialist and confirm the diagnosis, which may include neurological testing and MRI of the brain (4). Both of these diagnoses can be extremely painful, debilitating, and especially frustrating when multiple traditional treatment options are not effective in relieving pain.
At Reset Ketamine, we take a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to medicine. Dr. Ko's medical training is from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. This is where the biopsychosocial model was founded. For example, when someone comes in with chest pain, we’re not only looking at the organic or biological causes of chest pain, i.e heart attacks, pneumothorax, aortic dissection, fractures, pneumonia, costochondritis, etc.
The key to providing outstanding service to our patients is to keep educated and up-to-date. This month, we got to do so at the inaugural conference of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians (ASKP) in Austin, Texas.
We learned a massive amount from leaders in the field of ketamine research and treatment at the conference. While we want to share it all, we kept it simple and are sharing 14 insights from this conference with you!
There are two important factors to consider when undergoing your ketamine infusions. These are the patient’s mindset (set) and the environment (setting) where the infusion will occur. Mindset is shortened to “set” and refers to the mental state a person brings to the clinic, including the motives, intention, beliefs, along with the physical, emotional, & cognitive state before the infusion (1). Setting refers to the physical and social environment where the ketamine experience will occur. This includes the physical environment (both inside & outside), the healthcare team in the room, as well as the person who brought you to the clinic. At Reset Ketamine, we highlight these two factors because we know it will affect the ketamine experience tremendously.
In our last post, we answered the question, “Is Ketamine Addictive?” Now, we want to share ketamine’s anti-addictive properties. In the past year, 20.2 million American adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Addiction is frequently seen in conjunction with mood disorders and may actually be a form of self-medication in these patients. So can ketamine play a role in treating these patients, especially those with dual diagnoses?
Ketamine is revolutionizing treatment of pain, depression, and anxiety. However, it is most effective when viewed as a catalyst. It would simply be untrue to tell you that all you need is ketamine. Treatment of mood and pain disorders are complex, and ketamine is one part of the solution. Ketamine can absolutely help you get going in a way no other traditional treatment has done before. So once you receive your ketamine infusions, use this momentum for change! Here are to 5 ways to maximize your progress:
Ketamine is continuing to get the attention that it deserves. CNN recently ran a piece from Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sharing about the life saving and rapid effect of ketamine in a man with suicidal ideation. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/03/health/ketamine-suicide-depression/index.html
Want to know more about how ketamine works? Especially curious about how it transforms the lives of those with depression, anxiety, and pain? Love science? A google or PubMed search will give you numerous articles on this topic. At Reset Ketamine, we are big readers and lovers of learning so we found three articles you should check out regarding depression and ketamine...especially if you are science nerds like us!