Scientists have discovered a biological marker that may help to identify which depressed patients will respond to an experimental, rapid-acting antidepressant. The brain signal, detectable by noninvasive imaging, also holds clues to the agent’s underlying mechanism, which are vital for drug development, say National Institutes of Health researchers.
I received this article in my antidepressant updates email & thought it was interesting enough to share. I have a soft spot for brain activity scans.
They are working on ketamine as a rapid acting antidepressant that will work in a matter of hours rather than weeks. That’s fascinating & exciting! I wonder though how this will be used. Will it be a quick fix till a more long-term medication kicks in? An emergency drug? They already have something like that they have been using, but I can’t remember what it is. Will it become a substitute for regular antidepressants? Just dose yourself when you feel down & go on about your business till the next time you get droopy? How will it’s use be extended beyond Depression? “My dog died, I don’t have time to feel sad about it. Ketamine STAT!”
Like anything it has the potential to do a lot of good & the potential to be abused. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this.
I did a brief search & here are a few other articles on the issue I checked out:
Ketamine Improved Bipolar Depression Within Minutes, Study Suggests | Science Daily
A quote from this one I found most interesting, “Importantly, and for the first time in a group of patients with bipolar depression, they also found that ketamine significantly reduced suicidal thoughts. These antisuicidal effects also occurred within one hour. Considering that bipolar disorder is one of the most lethal of all psychiatric disorders, these study findings could have a major impact on public health.” In my own experience, & that of other people I know living with Bipolar Disorder, suicidal thoughts are lifelong. Even when you feel good there are still daily thoughts about dying.
‘I Wanted To Live’: New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases | NPR
This one has a lot more details on how it works & side effects, as well as alternatives in the works.