Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy offers a rapid response for those experiencing recurring pain and severe depression. Initially developed as a sedative for medical use over the last 50 years, ketamine is now recognized for its quick and effective relief capabilities. At our clinic, ketamine therapy is integrated into personalized care plans tailored to each patient’s needs. Many patients report significant improvements shortly after their initial treatment, inspiring hope and facilitating a journey toward recovery.

How Ketamine Works

Ketamine is known for its rapid impact on mood disorders and pain, primarily through its interaction with specific receptors in the brain. It blocks a receptor known as NMDA, which is linked to depression and anxiety when overly active. This blockage leads to an increase in another molecule, glutamate, promoting the growth of new neural connections. These new connections can help reroute brain activity away from areas that process negative emotions, potentially easing symptoms of depression and recurring pain.

This new nerve growth and new brain activity explain why ketamine provides relief when other medications have not. SSRIs and opioid medications work by altering signal transmission. Ketamine actually facilitates new brain pathways.

If you want a deep dive into the neuroscience behind ketamine as a treatment for mental health and pain, click below to hear from Dr. Andrew Huberman, Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.

Brain Regions and Chemicals to Know

Neuron images

A picture of a neuron. The neuron below shows new dendritic formations, or new neural growth, within just 2 hours of receiving ketamine.

Depressed brain
A CT scan of a human brain. After ketamine treatments, the depressed brain is almost identical to the non depressed picture as new neural activity has awakened the depressed areas.
Glutamate

Glutamate

A prominent neurotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate is now strongly associated with mood disorders. It is partly responsible for memory, learning, and mood regulation.

Nmdar

NMDAr

While this glutamate receptor and ion channel has many different roles, researchers have implicated it in mental health issues. Overactive NMDArs are associated with heightened depression and general distress.

Ampar

AMPAr​

This receptor is suspected to be primarily responsible for instigating neural plasticity in excitatory transmission. It is a key region of stimulation regarding ketamine’s healing properties.

Bdnf

BDNF

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor signals new neural growth in the brain and is released when glutamate stimulates the AMPA receptor.

Mtor

mTOR

The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTOR) is a signaling pathway that regulates new neural growth. Its stimulation is associated with the effects of BDNF.

Lateral habenula

Lateral Habenula​

The lateral habenula is a brain region largely responsible for our interpreting and predicting negative consequences. Those with depression and anxiety show an overactivity of burst firing in the lateral habenula.

IV vs IM Ketamine Treatments

Kairos Restorative Medicine offers both IV and IM ketamine infusions. Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions involve administering the drug directly into the bloodstream via a vein. This allows the drug to take effect quickly and provides more precise dosing. IV ketamine is often preferred for treating depression, pain, and other conditions due to the faster onset of action and more precise dosing. Intramuscular (IM) ketamine injections involve administering the drug into the muscle tissue. This method takes longer for the drug to take effect and can be more difficult to dose accurately. IM ketamine may be preferred in certain situations where a slower onset of action is desired or if IV access is not possible. There are some advantages to each method of administration:
  • IV ketamine has a faster onset of action and more precise dosing than IM ketamine. This can be beneficial in situations where rapid symptom relief is needed.
  • IM ketamine may be preferred when IV access is impossible or if a slower onset of action is desired.
  • IM ketamine may also be easier to administer in certain settings where IV access is not readily available.
It is important to note that IV and IM ketamine should only be administered by a medical professional, as improper use can lead to serious side effects. The appropriate method of administration will depend on the individual patient’s needs and the clinical setting.  
Ketamine doses
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