In 1977 Yale University reported Ketamine, a dissociative analgesic, as being a NMDA antagonist which impaired the pre-frontal cortex, induced schizophrenic and dissociative states, and poor performance in memory related executive function.
2010 and Yale University now uses Ketamine to explore new pathways to treat depression – ones which develop the pre frontal cortex instead of acting on serotonin. It is said that Ketamine-like substances could be the magic bullet for depression – doses taken about once a week could permanently rid you of the “blues”, acting within a few hours of delivery.
Ketamine has long been known to medical science and used in veterinary medicine to knock out cats for operations, it is a powerful anesthetic. As an illicit street drug, Ketamine is classed with Special K as a recreational drug, with effects similar to but stronger than opioids, such as oxycodone. Hallucinations and psychotic effects are common with illicit Ketamine use, as with Special K and PCP. Ketamine induces paranoia and psychosis.
Ketamine does not reduce symptoms of depression in the same way as SSRI drugs do, which improve serotonin levels in the brain so as to maintain our “happy” and more positive feelings. In fact Ketamine leads to a reduction of serotonin production. Its anti depressant properties seem to be its ability to arouse the brain and provide at the same time complete anesthesia to pain – much like Special K.
Ketamine drugs are mostly used on humans for anesthesia – the inducement of the comatose state known as “sedation” in intensive care – a virtually unconscious immobility.
Pharmaceutical drug preparations are considered indispensible to modern medicine in terms of treatments for pain, and now depression, which have a numbing effect.
Ketamine crosses both the brain and placental barriers. At present the side effects of Ketamine are considered too toxic for Ketamine to be used. However, with any drug similar to Ketamine, it needs to be remembered that once introduced it will be that drug that regulates the system of cognitive functioning that operates between the pre frontal cortex and the hippocampus region, and not the usual regime of endogenous bio regulators.
Ketamine type drugs make the pre-frontal cortex more excited and receptive but reduce serotonin production and make the hippocampus dysfunctional.
Ketamine increases the capacity for sensory input to the brain. If levels of conflicting sensory input become traumatic – you will get the aggression and passive withdrawal of a schizophrenic reaction. When sensory input cannot be coded or made rational sense of at all – you tend to get psychosis.
Illicit Ketamine is S-Ketamine, whereas the new magic bullets are mainly rachemic Ketamine – chemically the mirror image of S- Ketamine, and potentially just as harmful.
The question that really needs to be asked is why – why go to all this trouble when the body already has a perfectly sound and effective system for maintaining good mood with healthy biochemical balancing. When the mind and body get out of whack due to overwhelming stress – it doesn’t need exogenous chemicals – just some love and human affection.
Talking with and listening to a person with depression, if done with skill and precision can rapidly identify the emotional issues causing the depression. Emotional conflicts cause tension and often lead to depression. Resolving emotional conflict brings relief from depression – relief that is healthy and lasting. If genuine relief from depression and related drug use is what you want and need – get yourself to a holistic counselor.