Ketamine infusion therapy is an alternative depression and anxiety disorder treatment that works faster, better, and safer than conventional treatments. At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, Dr. Steven Mandel and his team provide innovative mental health treatment options in a state of the art depression and anxiety treatment center.

For the Treatment of Mood Disorders

The wide range of chemical processes that occur in the human brain are very complex and fully understanding them is something that neurobiologists spend their entire lives doing. That being said, here is a very simplified explanation of how ketamine interacts with receptors and chemicals in the brain to cause anti-depressant effects, even in patients with severe Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). It’s important to note that this interaction is exclusive to ketamine IV therapy, a mood disorder treatment where ketamine is given slowly, intravenously, and at a sub-anesthetic dose. This route of administration (ROA) is crucial for the therapeutic effect of ketamine.

Ketamine antidepressant

Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. AMPA stimulation results in BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF stimulates the formation of new receptors and synapses (which are vital connections between neurons). Research suggests that a deficiency in these connections is associated with major depressive disorder and other mood disorders, along with difficulties with sleep, overstimulation, and focus. Ketamine therapy side effects are minimal and short term, usually completing fading after a full night of sleep. Some of the common short-term side effects are dissociation, mild nausea, feeling tired or groggy, and dizzy. There are no long-term side effects of ketamine for anxiety or ketamine for depression. The benefits, however, last long after the medicine leaves the body and long-term relief is possible.

One of the brain’s key neurotransmitters is glutamate, an amino acid found in 80% of neurons. Glutamate influences the formation and number of brain synapses – the vital connections between neurons. Glutamate acts with another important neurotransmitter, GABA, to maintain a healthy, well-functioning nervous system. An imbalance between GABA and glutamate can cause problems, including anxiety, difficulties with sleep, overstimulation, and issues with focus. Imbalance in the glutamatergic system is also associated with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Growing evidence suggests that ketamine helps rebalance the glutamate system by acting as a receptor “antagonist.” One of the ways ketamine works is by blocking the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor, one of three major glutamate receptors. This receptor is involved in synaptic plasticity and memory function, among other functions. A ketamine-induced blockade of the NMDA receptor results in an increase of glutamate. This initiates a cascade of neurobiological events that researchers believe is one key reason behind ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects.

It is important to note that researchers are still exploring all of the ways ketamine infusions impact the brain and are working hard to fully understand why this medicine works so quickly and efficaciously.

Is Ketamine Involved with Opioid Receptors?

For the Treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and Chronic Pain

Treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD) and treating chronic pain with ketamine corrects a process known as central sensitization, which is when the body increases the intensity and number of pain signals over time. Ketamine interferes with this process and is thought to block and “reset” pain signaling, providing relief where other treatments have failed. By blocking the NMDA receptors of peripheral nerves, peripheral nerve pain transmission is intercepted before reaching the spinal cord and brain. This allows for “rebooting” of central pain centers and desensitization to peripheral brain signals.

It is important to note that researchers are still exploring all of the ways ketamine infusions impact the brain and are working hard to fully understand why this medicine works so quickly and efficaciously. 

Is Ketamine Right For Me?

By submitting your information, you give Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles permission to contact you by phone, email, and text. This site operates on a secure, encrypted server (SSL protected) and we never share your information with 3rd parties.