The Rapid Antidepressant Effect of Ketamine in the Electroconvulsive Therapy Setting

Electroconvulsive Therapy Setting

Recent research now offers solid evidence that the NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine has rapidly acting antidepressant properties.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy is already used successfully to improve the symptoms of pain, depression and several other medical conditions. But combined with other innovative treatments, Ketamine Therapy may offer additional benefits.

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, led by the hardworking and poignant Dr. Steven L Mandel, provides ketamine based solutions for a wide range of health issues, including depressive disorders. Patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, California, and other towns and communities in this region of The Golden State have an opportunity to receive ketamine infusion treatments from Dr. Mandel.

Research Study

A detailed research study was performed to determine if the low dose Ketamine Therapy could be employed to promote and augment the antidepressant effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments in patients experiencing a severe depressive episode.

Patients suffering from a major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder referred for ECT treatment of a major depressive episode were chosen to receive thiopental alone or thiopental along with ketamine in very low doses for anesthesia before each ECT session. The researchers further sought to evaluate the potential ability of Ketamine Infusion Therapy to accelerate the antidepressant effects of ECT in patients suffering from a major depressive episode.

Based on the doses used in the placebo controlled studies of ketamine, as well as the pre-clinical studies suggesting that low (sub-anesthetic) doses of ketamine had considerably varying effects on brain physiology and behavior than anesthetic doses, the researchers decided to examine the specific benefit of adding a low dose of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg) to a standard anesthetic dose of thiopental.

Result and Conclusion of the Study

The final results of the study revealed that ECT exerted a significant antidepressant effect in both groups. The results of this pilot study indicated that ketamine, at a low dose of 0.5 mg/kg, given just before the ECT, did not enhance the antidepressant effect of ECT. However, the results additionally indicated that that the co-administration of ketamine with a barbiturate anesthetic and ECT may reduce the acute antidepressant effects of NMDA antagonist.

Rapid Antidepressant Effect of Ketamine

A little over 10 years ago, it was discovered that ketamine, an anesthetic agent with NMDAR antagonist properties, exerts a rapid and significant antidepressant effect in patients with major treatment resistant depression. This result has now been successfully replicated in various small pilot studies.

The antidepressant effect exerted by ketamine in these early studies is consistently evident within the first four hours of its administration, with response rates from 50% to 90%, one to three days after a single dose of ketamine. This rapid antidepressant relief is in contrast to traditional antidepressants that can take weeks to months to attain their complete antidepressant effect, with response rates from 40% to 50%.

The newly discovered rapid robust antidepressant effect of ketamine has created enthusiasm in the field to integrate this pharmacotherapy with other available treatment modalities for the management of patients with severe illness. The committed and pragmatic Dr. Mandel receives patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, California, and nearby areas across the horizon for ketamine infusion treatments.

For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling  310-270-0625 

Treating patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Sacramento, CA,  Northern & Southern California, Las Vegas, NV and many other cities from west to east coast.

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