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 Ketamine

By Jessica Ward Jones, MD, MPH Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 5, 2010 

Ketamine may provide short term relief for patients with severe bipolar depression.

A new study showed that when patients with severe, treatment-resistant bipolar depression were given a single intravenous (IV) dose of ketamine (also known as N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist or NMDA), their symptoms improved within 40 minutes.

“In patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression, robust and rapid antidepressant effects resulted from a single intravenous dose of an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist,” writes Carlos Zarate Jr., MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., and his colleagues.

Bipolar disorder, also known by its older name “manic depression,” is a mental disorder that is characterized by constantly changing moods. A person with bipolar disorder experiences alternating “highs” (what clinicians call “mania“) and “lows” (depression). Bipolar disorder affects about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.  Standard antidepressants may take weeks to months to become effective. Ketamine, which is sometimes used as a recreational drug, is legally used as an anesthetic.  Zarate and his team have previously shown that ketamine can improve symptoms of unipolar depression; however, bipolar depression may respond differently to medication.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/08/05/ketamine-may-give-temporary-relief-for-bipolar-patients/16423.html

 



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