Ketamine is a drug which is very helpful for patients with refractory major depressive disorder. It has been extensively used clinically, with very good benefit.
Ketamine’s role in depressive disorder is probably related to its ability to increase the amounts of something called brain derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. BDNF is one of those very important compounds in the body that no one has ever heard about. BDNF is very important in the formation of connections in the brain. It is made in the nerves themselves and also in the glial cells, which are a type of support cell that we are beginning to learn more about and which are very important for both mood and pain. This is a very exciting area for further study and it helps bring some clarity as to how it is that ketamine works.
There is also great excitement about the role of ketamine in increasing glutamate levels, which also appears to be associated with improving depression.
For major depressive disorder, we infuse ketamine and a 3 day or a 5 day series of treatments. To find out if you are a candidate, please contact us at (949) 462-0560. We are looking forward to speaking with you.