Ketamine: A Game-Changing Treatment for Depression
Ketamine, a common anesthetic drug, has recently gained attention as a potentially innovative treatment for depression. The drug, which is also known as a psychedelic club drug called Special K, has moved into the mainstream as an alternative treatment for those who have not responded to conventional antidepressant medication. Here are the details:
The BMO Innovative Clinic for Depression at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research in Ottawa is offering ketamine and esketamine, a form of the drug delivered in a nasal spray, as key treatments for difficult-to-treat depression.
The clinic is supported by a $2-million donation from BMO, the single largest corporate gift in The Royal’s history.
Patients who meet the requirements will be referred to the clinic through specialists at The Royal or The Ottawa Hospital.
Ketamine and esketamine are considered game-changers in the treatment of depression because of their ability to relieve depression in many people who have not previously responded to treatments and how quickly they work.
Ketamine works on the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays a key role in cell signaling in the brain. Researchers are still studying exactly how it works, but it increases neuroplasticity enabling the brain to form new pathways or connections.
The Royal’s new clinic comes at a time when a growing number of private clinics across Canada are offering ketamine therapy for depression and other mental illnesses.
Some researchers in the United States have warned that not enough is known about the use of the drug to treat depression and other mental health disorders and its use should be restricted to clinical trials and academic settings where it can be studied further.
The Royal’s new clinic aims to integrate treatments with research with a view toward additional innovative treatments in the coming years.
Ketamine and esketamine are considered an important innovation in the way depression is treated at a time when demand for treatment of mental illness, including depression, is on the rise.
The rise of private ketamine clinics has prompted concerns about the lack of regulation and oversight.
The Royal’s new clinic is a welcome development for those who have not responded to conventional antidepressant medication. It offers hope to those who may have lost all hope and are thinking about suicide.