Once known as Melancholia, Major Depressive Disorder has been an understudied and overlooked medical condition for many decades since it’s scientific classification in the early 20th century. People suffering with this condition can have many varying degrees of MDD, such as: Major Depression, Dysthymia, Postpartum Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Atypical Depression, Bipolar Depression, Situational, and Psychotic Depression. The categories of depression have often been treated with the same levels of therapy and treatment; relatively none. Yet, recently, studies around a commonly abused party drug, Ketamine, has shown that in calculated intravenous dosages, Ketamine can in fact relieve long-term symptoms of MDD.
Ketamine is a medication developed in the 1960's that has been FDA approved for use as a surgical anesthetic. Anesthesiologists such as Dr. Scott have used ketamine for many years anesthetizing patients who have low blood pressure such as in trauma patients. Anesthesiologists found that ketamine use during surgery provided some patients unexpected long term pain relief and mood enhancement benefits. Thus anesthesia -pain specialists began to try ketamine off label (used in a manner not specifically approved for use by the FDA) as a potential therapeutic option for people suffering chronic pain in whom little else has helped. Because chronic pain and depression are often linked, it is not yet known if ketamine benefit for chronic pain lays more in its mood enhancing properties or on its effect on pain receptors in the body.
How does Ketamine Treatment work?
Researchers classify ketamine as a NMDA receptor antagonist, similar in some respects to the over-the-counter cough medicine dextromethorphan . Importantly, ketamine may play a role in neural activation, working on glutamate to stimulate neural growth as rapidly as in one hour. Ketamine also has anti-inflammatory effects.
What conditions does ketamine therapy help?
•Depression (including postpartum depression)
•Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
•Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
•Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
•Bipolar disorder (manic with refractory depression)
•Neuropathy (nerve pain)
•Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
To find out more about Ketamine Therapy or Pain Management treatments for fibromyalgia, chronic nerve pain, or low back pain, contact Newport Pain Management and H. Rand Scott, M.D.