Understanding Why Ketamine Works So Quickly

Individuals struggling with chronic conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and persistent pain are increasingly turning to alternative treatments. New studies continue to show promising results with modern treatments, such as medical ketamine and psychedelics like psilocybin. Unlike traditional medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and talk therapy, medical ketamine is known for producing fast results. Interested in learning more about the amazing science behind ketamine’s rapid relief? Here’s a look into how ketamine impacts the brain: 

Medical Ketamine Stimulates Neural Activity 

Antidepressants such as SSRIs work by generating new neurons within the brain. Although this is often an effective solution, it takes several weeks for new neurons to be created–that’s why patients who are prescribed SSRIs often report that results are slow to happen. 

According to a new study published by Northwestern Medicine, medical ketamine works much more quickly than traditional classes of antidepressants. This is because ketamine delivered via intravenous infusion stimulates existing neurons. The study, conducted on mice, demonstrates that ketamine infusion treatments can work immediately by igniting activity within a small group of newborn neurons. 

As the name implies, newborn neurons are newly created by neurogenesis (which is constantly happening within the brain). When ketamine impacts this small number of cells, they forge new connections thanks to a receptor that only newborn neurons have. The stimulation of newborn neurons sets off something akin to a chain reaction in more mature neurons in the hippocampus. 

The findings of the Northwestern Medicine study are incredibly encouraging for those who need faster results than SSRIs or other antidepressants can provide. If you’ve been struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other chronic conditions, waiting for relief can impact every aspect of your life. If you’d like to experience the benefits of medical ketamine for yourself, our team would love to assist you. Founded by doctors, our practice is safe, convenient, and soothing. Once we determine that we’re the right fit for your needs, we’ll move forward in creating a treatment plan. Ready to learn more about what to expect? Please contact us for a consultation. 

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