How Ketamine Works
Researchers are not exactly sure how Ketamine works, but the most common theory is that it prompts the connections to regrow the brain cells responsible for mood. The director of the National Institute of Mental Health agrees. “Recent data suggest that Ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” says Thomas Insel, MD.
Ketamine works in a very different manner than many other psychiatric medicines. Ketamine works on a different signal molecule in your brain, glutamate. Glutamate receptors are associated with memory and learning. An overabundance of glutamate receptors can lead to severe depression. Ketamine blocks these receptors causing a rewiring or re-booting of the brain, which results in an antidepressant effect.
Ketamine breaks up the rigidity of the negative thought processes and behaviors that have been ingrained in people over long durations of depression or trauma. Ketamine helps patients feel more hopeful and optimistic. This has signal cascading effects that continue to work in the brain well after the medicine has left the system.