Treatment for Mood Disorders
Ketamine treatments are treatments used in the management of a variety of mood disorders. Ketamine treatments can affect a breadth of chemical processes which occur in the brain; these complex processes interact with Ketamine, causing a specific and typically immediate effect which can improve the symptoms experienced by people with certain mood disorders.
How ketamine treatment works
The Ketamine interacts with various receptors and chemicals inside the brain. This interaction results in anti-depressant style effects which can be seen in patients with even Treatment Resistant Depression, which is known for being very difficult to treat with standard mood disorder treatment options.
Ketamine works in this manner because it is a NMDA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. The stimulation of AMPA increases BDNF, or brain derived neurotrophic factors. When BDNF is increased, this stimulates new receptor and synapses formation, resulting in improved symptoms for people with mood disorders such as major depressive disorder, insomnia, and more. Current research indicate that many of the symptoms associated with these type of mood disorders are associated with weakened receptor and synapses deficiencies, so the stimulation of new receptor and synapsis production can help alleviate or even eliminate certain symptoms.
Another element that should be considered with ketamine treatments is the glutamate, or the key neurotransmitter in the brain; glutamate is an amino acid which is found in about 80% of neurons in the brain. Glutamate is important because it helps influence how many brain synapses are formed in the brain. When glutamate is behaving as it should, these results in a properly functioning nervous system–but when glutamate is deficiency or otherwise not forming the right amount of synapses in the brain, this can cause a host of symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, and inability to concentrate. It is also believe that an imbalance in glutamate is strongly linked with mood disorders such as major depressive disorder. Restoring a proper glutamate balance through ketamine is therefore one way to treat this type of disorder.
In addition to being used as a treatment for mood disorders, ketamine can be used for chronic pain as well as CRPS, or complex regional pain syndrome. Chronic pain syndromes are believed to have been caused by a higher number of NMDA receptors in the body creating a higher pain signal. Ketamine interacts with these NMDA receptors and blocks the pain signals from spreading, which can provide pain relief even with chronic pain that has resisted other types of pain relief and treatment. Ketamine effectively causes the pain centers to “reboot,” which causes the heightened sensitivity in the peripheral pain signals to reset to zero.
If you believe that ketamine treatments may assist with your mood disorder or chronic pain, ask your pain provider about the possibility of ketamine infusions or other ketamine treatments as part of your overall treatment plan. While not everyone experiences the same results with ketamine, it is possible that it may be the solution to the problems you have experienced with mood disorders and chronic pain.