Innumerable individuals today are victims of chronic depression. Depression is amongst those psychological states, which could be the root cause of development of several neuro- psychological disorders. Not only does it affect psychological well-being, but depression could also show its repercussions on physiological health. Bipolar depression is a sporadically occurring depressed state, which emerges between abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood fluctuations.
Like any other form of depression, causes of Bipolar disorder are quite predictable and are
- Genetic – Chromosomal defects
- Childhood precursors – Bipolar disorder is preceded by other cyclical mood abnormalities
- Life events and experiences
- Neural processes – Abnormalities in structure/function of brain circuits
Advantage of Ketamine over currently available medication
Single major advantage of ketamine over current medications is its promptness. Currently available medicines take about weeks or even months to show any kind of positive response, while ketamine is efficient enough to start working within the first 40 minutes of administration of this drug.
The effect of ketamine lasts for respectable duration of 3 days. Due to enhanced action-time of ketamines the subject immediately is alleviated of abnormal psychological state, in which they have difficulty in coping with working and family life.
Side-effects of ketamines are anxiety, headache, “feeling woozy or loopy”, and temporary disconnection from reality. None of these are considered as seriously adverse events. Ketamine also is effective in a unipolar depression, where in the depressed state is non-sporadic, but lasts in continuum.
Mode of action
Ketamine works by alternating the processing of glutamate by nerve cells. Glutamate is a key brain chemical playing role in learning, memory, and other functions. Occurrence of the bipolar illness and depression, however, is not...
a function of concentration of glutamate, but depends on the way in which neurons take up and release it and ketamine can manipulate this process.
More about the study
- The group of patients under consideration was already consuming lithium or valproate (anti-depressants) and was showing no positive response.
- Patients showed significant improvements in mood within 40 mins after ingesting ketamine as compared to placebo.
- Improvement peaked after two days of injection, but it was significantly greater than for placebo for 3 days.
- Seventy percent of the patients responded to ketamine, while only six percent responded to placebo.
And as mentioned previously to serious side-effects were observed.
Europe is already in the process of developing guidelines for figuring out how ketamine should be used and prescribed to treat bipolar illness and depression. In US research will still be continued on this drug. With the increasing stress, fast-pace life and elevating demands the vulnerability to bipolar depression and depression is general has increased many folds. And hence, quick-action drug like keatmine could certainly bring a big relief to patients who want to help themselves out of depressed state and enhance the quality of their lives.