brain view after ketamine treatment method

Ketamine Treatment Methods: In-Clinic Ketamine Infusions vs. At Home Ketamine Tablet

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic with various mechanisms of action and binds to multiple receptors in the brain. There are various ketamine treatment methods being used, let’s look at the two most popular.

Regarding depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and chronic anxiety, these mental health disorders are all thought to be due to the destructive effect of continual stress on the brain, leading to neuronal damage and the creation of maladaptive neural activity and abnormal thought patterns indicative of these disorders.

How Ketamine Works

Research suggests that Ketamine can block activation of the NMDA receptor, leading to neuronal plasticity and synaptic growth and repair. These effects lead to the maintenance of healthy neurons and their connections, known as synapses. Ketamine is thought to lead to new neuronal circuits and repair of the healthy neuronal connections that existed in the brain before the patient suffered from depression, PTSD, OCD, or chronic anxiety.

Two Popular Ketamine Treatment Methods

It is easy to see why Ketamine is being used to treat these conditions with research like this. Currently, there are two popular ketamine treatment methods used to administer the drug. The first is a reasonably new method that involves the patient taking a dose of Ketamine at home after filling out some online forms and agreeing to follow some specific guidelines given by a virtual doctor. The Ketamine dose is in the form of a tablet dissolved under the tongue. In addition, the patient must agree to have a person present (a friend or loved one) to ensure their safety.

The other, more traditional method of treatment is Ketamine Infusion Therapy. Here the treatment is administered via IV in a medical setting with the guidance of doctors or nurses. The treatment takes about 40 minutes on average, followed by 45 minutes of relaxation, giving the medication time to wear off.

Each treatment experience may feel different, depending on your mood and what’s on your mind that day. Experienced meditators may find they can achieve a prolonged sense of inner stillness and peace that they have only briefly glimpsed during previous meditation sessions. Although anxiety reactions can occur, these are usually short-lived and become less frequent with repeated treatments.

Tranquility Ketamine Clinic Treatment Method

At Tranquility Ketamine Clinic, medication is given intravenously, using National Institute of Mental Health dosing protocols. These protocols vary depending upon whether you are being treated for mental health or chronic pain syndromes. However, we understand that the NIH dosing protocol was decided upon arbitrarily. Depending on the individual, both up and down dosage adjustments may be necessary for maximum effect and comfort. If the patient experiences more severe or prolonged anxiety reactions in our setting, they will be treated by administering an anxiolytic medication as needed. Nausea may rarely occur and can be treated with anti-nausea medications. We believe our medically trained staff gives an added layer of care, allowing us to address any discomfort or reactions immediately.

As with any treatment, it is essential to evaluate the options available before deciding which treatment method is suitable for you. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or chronic anxiety and would like to learn more about Ketamine Infusion therapy, click here or call 505-639-4973

 

depiction of burnout syndrome

Burnout Syndrome: Fast And Effective Treatment with Ketamine Infusion Therapy

According to the WHO, burnout syndrome is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when one feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, one begins to lose the interest and motivation that led to taking on a particular role in the first place. Estimates suggest anywhere between 4 and 7 percent of the working public can experience burnout syndrome, while workers in certain fields, such as healthcare, tend to experience burnout at much higher rates.

Burnout syndrome shares many features with PTSD, differing mainly in the degree of symptom severity. Both syndromes are maladaptive responses to a traumatic event or extreme stressor. Both are associated with feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror toward the event or stressor. Nightmares and sleep disturbances involving trauma or stressor are common symptoms. Also, patients with PTSD and burnout suffer from increased frequency of depressive symptoms, withdrawal, mood swings, and irritability. Avoidance of any situations that recall the trauma or stressor is a hallmark of PTSD and can lead to problems with work, relationships, and social activities. Substance abuse is a frequent complication as the sufferer attempts to numb the mental anguish caused by these conditions. 

Unfortunately, traditional burnout treatment centers around counseling that has variable efficacy and may take a long time to become effective. Given the painful symptoms of burnout and the risk to professional and social relationships it causes, a more rapid and effective treatment strategy is needed. This improvement is particularly robust and long-lasting when combined with CBT.

According to a recent study, “Stressful experiences cause a reduction or retraction of spines and synapses. As a result, the brain is less able to control or regulate the emotional state,”. However, when ketamine is administered, there is an almost immediate increase in the creation of critical spine and synaptic proteins. 

In his presentation at the 2021 American Psychiatric Association Virtual Meeting, Richard C. Shelton, MD, the Charles B. Ireland Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Director of the UAB Depression and Suicide Center, discussed the functions and concerns of ketamine.“When you add ketamine to the system, you produce a rapid return and restoration of those spines and synapses. We see an effect within 24 hours,” Shelton continued. “Ketamine has the ability to restore the regulatory control to the brain and helps to theoretically normalize mood.”

While ketamine is not FDA-approved to treat burnout syndrome or PTSD, several clinics worldwide have begun using subanesthetic ketamine infusions successfully to treat and improve the symptoms of burnout rapidly. If you or someone you know is currently suffering from burnout syndrome or PTSD, contact us by clicking here or calling our clinic at (505) 639-4973

 

Antidepressants

Antidepressants Vs. Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression

According to the ADAA, depression affects 40 million adults in the United States, yet it remains a mystery as to what really causes depression and how it can be effectively treated. Traditionally, doctors will prescribe antidepressants known as SSRIs. But unfortunately, this medication isn’t always effective. So in the 1990s, Dr. John Krystal, MD, chief psychiatrist at Yale Medicine, was pioneering research into ketamine as an antidepressant. To understand why ketamine is such a game-changer when treating depression, we must first understand how traditional SSRIs work.

The Discovery of SSRIs

It is believed that people with depression have low serotonin levels. This theory came about by observing patients given certain drugs to treat other diseases like high blood pressure and tuberculosis. These drugs seemed to affect people’s moods drastically. Those that lowered serotonin levels caused depression-like symptoms; others that raised serotonin levels created euphoric-like feelings in depressed patients. As a result, a new class of drugs meant to treat depression, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), were introduced. The first of these drugs to come to market was Prozac. But eventually, it was revealed that serotonin levels alone didn’t fully explain depression. 

GABA and Glutamate

Based on data collected, SSRIs were of little help to more than one-third of people given them for depression. Still, growing research showed that the neurotransmitters these drugs target (like serotonin) account for less than 20 percent of the neurotransmitters in a person’s brain. The other 80 percent are neurotransmitters called GABA and glutamate.    

The two neurotransmitters form a complex push-and-pull response, controlling electrical activity in the brain. Researchers believe they may be responsible for regulating most brain activity, particularly mood. In addition, intense stress can alter glutamate signaling in the brain and affect the neurons, making them less adaptable and less able to communicate with other neurons. This indicates stress and depression make it harder to deal with challenging events, a cycle that can make matters even worse for people struggling with complex life events.  

How Ketamine Differs

Research suggests that one of ketamine’s significant actions is as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist; that is, it blocks activation of the NMDA receptor. This action leads to increased release of glutamate, which is involved in neuronal plasticity and synaptic growth and repair. Through complex pathways, these effects lead to the release of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance responsible for the maintenance of healthy neurons and their connections, known as synapses.

Increased BDNF has been shown to repair and regrowth of damaged synapses and their neuronal connections caused by chronic stress in animal models. Likewise, in humans, ketamine is thought to create new neuronal circuits and/or repair of the healthy neuronal connections that existed in the brain before the patient suffered from depression, PTSD, OCD, and/or chronic anxiety.

“I think the interesting and exciting part of this discovery is that it came largely out of basic neuroscience research, instead of by chance,” says Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist at Yale Medicine who was also involved in many of the ketamine studies. “It wasn’t just, ‘let’s try this drug and see what happens.’ There was increasing evidence suggesting that there was some abnormality within the glutamatergic system in the brains of people suffering from depression, and this prompted the idea of using a drug that targets this system.”

Research and studies continue to be conducted on Ketamine Infusion Therapy and its effectiveness in treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD. If you or someone you know is suffering from any of these disorders, find out how Ketamine Infusion therapy could help by clicking here or calling our clinic at (505) 639-4973

Substance Use Disorders Treated with Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Addiction in America continues to grow and impacts millions of lives. Whether the substance use disorder is due to alcohol, cocaine, opioids, or any other illicit drug, the impacts are the same. Relationships, marriages, friendships, and careers are often destroyed, and addiction can threaten one’s physical health and safety. According to Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the CATG Initiative, “23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 – roughly equal to the entire population of Texas. But only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment.” In addition, our society has been slow to view substance use disorder as a chronic but treatable illness.

The Science Behind Substance Use Disorders And Why Ketamine Infusions Can Be Effective 

Substance use disorders share similar stress-related triggers to PTSD and OCD. Many disease models suggest similar dysfunctions in the N-methyl-D- aspartate and glutaminergic systems as being behind the development of this condition. In addition, it appears that addictive disorders share neuroadaptations similar to depressive and anxiety disorders. Experts theorize that ketamine may also affect addictive disorders as quickly and effectively as depressive disorders, PTSD, and anxiety because of these similarities. 

Ketamine Infusions Combined With Substance Abuse Counseling Proves Promising

Psychedelic therapy with subanesthetic ketamine infusions has shown promise in treating substance abuse disorder, particularly when combined with intensive rehabilitation and substance abuse counseling. However, higher dose IV ketamine infusions may also prove effective on their own. It appears the success of ketamine therapy may be related to the psychoactive effects of higher dosages. These increased doses bring about a profoundly spiritual and transformational experience that allows the patient to reexamine his current life path, leading to creating new values, goals, and strategies more conducive to a life of sobriety. When used in a supervised setting to treat substance use disorders, there is no evidence that ketamine infusions are associated with future ketamine abuse, dependence, or the triggering of other drug cravings during or after the completion of therapy. 

The Latest Medical Evidence

In fact, two clinical trials — one looking at cocaine addiction and the other at alcohol dependency — showed that people who were prescribed ketamine, alongside therapy, had a better outcome than those who had therapy without ketamine treatment. The people who had cocaine addictions got ketamine through an IV for five days, in addition to 5 weeks of mindfulness relapse prevention therapy. The people dependent on alcohol got ketamine through an IV during the second week of a 5-week motivational enhancement therapy session. In both studies, the researchers concluded that ketamine lowered the chances of restarting or relapsing into addiction.

While research on how ketamine affects addiction continues to be conducted, evidence shows it may change how your brain deals with cravings, motivation to quit a drug, and controlling behavioral reactions. Ketamine treatment might also make behavioral therapy more effective, a big part of overcoming addiction. However, it must be stressed that for ketamine to be helpful in addiction treatment, it must be used under the close care of medical professionals. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance use disorder, find out how Ketamine Infusion therapy could help by clicking here or calling our clinic at (505) 639-4973.

Brain image of ketamine infusion

The Ketamine Infusion Experience

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic with various mechanisms of action and binds to multiple receptors in the brain. Consequently, it is difficult to pin down the precise mode of action, and it appears that there are various mechanisms through which Ketamine exerts its action on the brain. Ketamine Infusion Therapy is used to treat depression, PTSD, OCD, chronic anxiety, and chronic pain. One question that gets asked often is what does it feel like during and after the treatment?

 

Just like any drug therapy, ketamine infusion therapy can be different for everyone, and experiences may be different from one infusion to the other  In our clinic, the infusion itself is done intravenously, typically over 45 minutes, followed by a 45-60-minute period of rest while the effect of the medication wears off. The dosage and time vary depending on the individual and the disorder being treated.

 

How Will I feel During treatment?

The initial sensations begin about 5 minutes into the treatment and can last about 90 minutes. These effects wear off quickly after the infusion is stopped. Some describe the sensation of being in a dream or of being deeply relaxed. Others report an altering of perception and feeling a bit “out of their body.”  Avid meditators find their ability to achieve a prolonged sense of stillness and peace is heightened beyond anything they have experienced during a regular mediation session. Overall, patients find the experience to be intense yet pleasurable. Although the benefit from Ketamine does not require dissociation, many providers, including ourselves, believe the dissociative state is an essential and desirable state for profound psychological and spiritual growth and feel it to be a critical factor in our patient’s healing journey.

 

Will I Feel Sleepy or Sedated?

Low-dose Ketamine does not typically cause a sense of sedation, and many patients report they are pretty sharp mentally and can work through their thoughts and feelings clearly and calmly for the first time in their life. While the intensity of the effects wears off quickly, we always caution there may be some feeling of imbalance and delayed reaction time for a few hours, and we advise you not to drive or operate heavy machinery following your treatment. We require that you have someone to drive you home before we begin the infusion and ask that you abstain from alcohol or recreational drugs for at least 24 hours before and after treatment.

 

How Quickly Does It Take Effect?

For some patients, temporary relief of symptoms can occur within hours of the first infusion. However, it is important to note; this relief is typically short-lived. After several infusions over two-to-three weeks, this lifting of the depressive or anxious symptoms can be complete or markedly improved. However, it may last several weeks or months before beginning to fade. In addition, single-dose “booster” treatments at a period of two weeks to a few months after the initial induction infusions have been shown to prolong the antidepressant effect of the medication in many patients.

 

If you or someone you know suffers from Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, OCD, anxiety, or chronic pain and you would like to learn more, call us at 505-639-4973 or click here to schedule an appointment.

holiday stress

Holiday Depression and Anxiety

The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes family get-togethers, gift-giving, and celebrations. Holiday depression and anxiety, also known as the “holiday blues,” is natural for some of us, and the holidays can fill this time of year with anxiety, stress, and loneliness. It can be even more challenging for those who have a mental illness.  Of people with mental illness, 64% report holidays make their symptoms worse. (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2014 )

What causes holiday depression?

While depression, sadness, and anxiety are all very personal experiences, a few circumstances associated with the holiday season can contribute.

 

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Finances
  • Inability to be with family or friends
  • Toxic family dynamics

 

All these factors, happening simultaneously, can be overwhelming even for those who aren’t suffering from a mental disorder. In addition, juggling added obligations during the holiday season can lead to stress responses such as headaches, excessive alcohol consumption, over-eating, and sleeplessness. These can lead to a dangerous cycle that is difficult to come out of once the holidays are over.

Coping with holiday depression and anxiety

It’s essential to have some tools at your disposal in the event depression or anxiety arrives. Set realistic expectations for the season, don’t take on more tasks and responsibilities than you can handle, try to prioritize by making lists, limit your drinking and try celebrating the holidays in a new, even unexpected way. By preparing for the season’s added stress, depression and anxiety can often be avoided or diminished.

When it’s more than a seasonal condition

For some, depression and anxiety don’t end after the holidays are over. In fact, for those with diagnosed depressive disorders, the stress of the holidays can trigger episodes of major depression that can last weeks, even months. In these cases, task lists and prioritizing will not be of any use. Instead, it is crucial to seek out treatment to avoid worsening symptoms. Traditionally, psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs are prescribed. But, unfortunately, relief with these treatments can take time and seldom provide immediate relief for patients.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder

Ketamine infusion therapy has proven to be rapidly effective in providing remission of depressive symptoms of major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and bipolar disorder, in some cases providing temporary relief within hours of the first infusion. Repeat administration over a short period (typically two weeks) can extend the length of remission, with some patients enjoying improvement for as long as six months. Additional “booster” treatments can be given that continually extend the length of remission of symptoms. Ketamine infusions are safe, rapid, and effective. Consequently, ketamine infusion therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of depressive disorders.

 

To learn more about Ketamine Infusion Therapy, click here or call 505-639-4973 to schedule a private consultation.

Tranquility Ketamine Clinic is a leading provider of ketamine infusion therapy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded by two experienced emergency room physicians with over 50 years combined practice administering ketamine in the emergency department, the clinic provides effective treatments for depression, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), chronic pain, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), anxiety, stress, and burnout in comfortable private rooms at its Northeast Albuquerque location.

healthcare workers

Healthcare Workers and Mental Health During a Pandemic

It’s been nearly two years since the COVID-19 outbreak was categorized officially as a pandemic. Hospitals were overwhelmed in many parts of the US by COVID cases due to lack of space, not enough ventilators, and not enough PPE for hospital workers or anyone else in the healthcare field that might be exposed to patients suffering from the virus. In addition, protocols for those in the health field changed almost daily to keep everyone safe while the nation’s leaders figured out the next steps in real-time. The toll this has taken on our healthcare workers, and mental health has yet to be fully realized.

Healthcare Workers and Mental Health Before the Pandemic

The mental health needs of our frontline healthcare workers have been gaining attention in recent years. Being exposed to multiple stress factors within their work naturally takes a toll. According to Frontiers in Public Health, heavy workloads, long shifts, a fast-paced environment, lack of physical safety, and more contribute to the problem. Healthcare workers will often push through long, stressful shifts for long periods with little to no recovery time. These factors are putting them at risk for burnout. What is burnout? Defined as an occupational phenomenon in ICD-11: “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: (1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; (2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and (3) reduced professional efficacy. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life” According to Mental Health America, 76% of healthcare workers have burnout due to the pandemic.

Burnout Isn’t the Only Problem

Healthcare workers are also reporting symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and even suicidal ideation. The KFF and Washington Post surveyed 1327 healthcare workers regarding pandemic-related stress, and nearly half of the respondents reported problems sleeping; 31% reported frequent headaches or stomach aches. In addition, 16% said they had increased their drug or alcohol use, and about half say they have experienced at least one of these issues.

What can be done?

When experiencing burnout, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue, the key is to reach out for help. In addition to modifying behaviors, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, practicing mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation, accessing mental health resources should be at the top of the list. As a Ketamine Infusion Clinic, we treat a large number of healthcare workers with our groundbreaking treatments. These infusions can provide almost immediate relief for the conditions listed above.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Regarding depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and chronic anxiety; these mental health disorders are all thought to be due to the destructive effect of continual stress on the brain, leading to neuronal damage and the creation of maladaptive neural activity and abnormal thought patterns indicative of these disorders.

Research suggests that one of ketamine’s significant actions is as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist; that is, it blocks activation of the NMDA receptor. This action leads to increased glutamate release, which is involved in neuronal plasticity and synaptic growth and repair. Through complex pathways, these effects lead to the release of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance responsible for the maintenance of healthy neurons and their connections, known as synapses.

Increased BDNF has been shown to repair and regrowth of damaged synapses and their neuronal connections caused by chronic stress in animal models. Likewise, in humans, ketamine is thought to create new neuronal circuits and repair the healthy neuronal connections that existed in the brain before the patient suffered from depression, PTSD, OCD, or chronic anxiety.

We offer 10% off our services for all healthcare workers. If you are interested in exploring Ketamine Infusion Therapy to treat Burnout, anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation, call our clinic at 505-639-4973 or click here.

 

suicide prevention

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: Helping Those with Suicidal Ideation

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Bringing awareness to this often-stigmatized topic is key to ensuring those who suffer from suicidal ideation can find the right resources to help them. As a clinic that specializes in treating Major Depressive Disorder, this subject is crucial to us.

 

The Statistics

Death by suicide has been on the rise for over a decade. In 2020, on average, 132 Americans died by suicide each day, and over 1.4 million Americans attempted suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Men are more likely to die by suicide 3.6 times more often than women; however, women were 1.4 times more likely to attempt it. Another surprising figure is suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death ages 35-54.

 

The diagnosis

Most often, suicidal ideation is linked to an underlying mental health issue. For others, alcohol or substance abuse can play a role in suicidal thoughts. In some cases, suicidal thinking can be related to an underlying physical health problem, and blood tests or other medical tests may be necessary to diagnose. In yet another, albeit rare scenario, prescription or over-the-counter drugs can cause suicidal ideation. In any of the above situations, contacting a health professional is necessary to work through the cause of such thoughts.

 

Treatments

For non-emergency situations, a myriad of traditional outpatient treatments is available for those with suicidal ideation. Psychological counseling can help explore the issues that led to the suicidal thoughts and help learn skills to manage emotions. Medications are often prescribed, such as antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-anxiety medications, etc., to help reduce symptoms. Addiction treatment can also aid those whose suicidal ideation stems from substance abuse.

 

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

In some instances, traditional therapies don’t provide the relief needed to recover from suicidal thoughts. Prescription medications can take weeks or months to take effect, and the efficacy is variable and often incomplete. As a result, 66% of patients suffer treatment-resistant depression and endure months of trial treatments and adjunctive therapies in hopes of relief.

 

Ketamine infusion therapy has proven to be rapidly effective in remission of depressive symptoms of MDD, TDD, and BD, in some cases providing temporary relief within hours of the first infusion. It is remarkably effective in aborting suicidal ideations with a single IV infusion. Ketamine has shown to be 70% effective in TDD. Although the response to a single infusion is short-lived (a matter of days), repeat administration over a short time (typically two weeks) can extend the length of remission, with some patients enjoying improvement for as long as six months. Additional “booster” treatments can be given that continually extend the length of remission of symptoms. Ketamine infusions are safe, rapid, and effective. Consequently, ketamine infusion therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of depressive disorders.

 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. If you are interested in exploring Ketamine Infusion Therapy to treat suicidal ideation or depression, call our clinic at 505-639-4973 or click here.

 

woman looking at hot air balloons

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Anxiety Disorders; A New Approach

According to the ADAA, Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults aged 18 or older or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. In addition, those with a chronic anxiety disorder are more likely to suffer from depression or vice versa.

What is Chronic Anxiety?

Chronic anxiety, among other mental health disorders such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, are all thought to be due to the destructive effect of continual stress on the brain, leading to neuronal damage and the creation of maladaptive neural activity and abnormal thought patterns indicative of these disorders.

According to statistics, only 36.9% of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment. Those who seek treatment are often given either a generic antidepressant, such as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), an SNRI (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor), or a benzodiazepine. If they don’t respond to one of these, they get a trial of another or several, unfortunately, it. Unfortunately, it has shown that as many as 40% of these patients will not achieve remission when 3 or 4 traditional agents are used, including cognitive-behavioral therapy or mentalization-based therapy.

Ketamine and Anxiety Disorders

Research suggests that one of ketamine’s significant actions is as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist; that is, it blocks activation of the NMDA receptor. This action leads to increased release of glutamate, which is known to be involved in neuronal plasticity and synaptic growth and repair. Through complex pathways, these effects lead to the release of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance responsible for the maintenance of healthy neurons and their connections, known as synapses.

Increased BDNF reportedly brings about repair and regrowth of damaged synapses and neuronal connections caused by chronic stress in animal models. Likewise, in humans, ketamine is thought to assist in creating new neuronal circuits and/or repair of the healthy neuronal connections that existed in the brain before the patient suffered from depression, PTSD, OCD, and/or chronic anxiety disorder.

Ketamine Treatment Timeline

Most patients report feeling immediate relief from their anxiety-induced symptoms. In a small study of patients with generalized anxiety disorder and/or social anxiety disorder, the impact of just one infusion lasted for up to 14 weeks. Most treatments, however, begin with a series of several infusions over two weeks, and single-dose “booster” treatments are administered at a period of two weeks to months after the initial transfusion. This method has been shown to prolong the effect of the medication in many patients.

According to Prakash Masand, MD, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Centers of Psychiatric Excellence (COPE) (https://www.copepsychiatry.com) and adjunct professor at the Academic Medicine Education Institute, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School (Duke-NUS), “Ketamine has been studied and shown [to be] effective with an array of anxiety disorders, including SAD, general anxiety disorder (GAD), and PTSD.”

Ketamine Infusions Available Right Here in Albuquerque

The use of ketamine continues to be studied and used as an effective treatment for various mood disorders. As part of the medical and psychotherapy community, we are committed to developing ways to collaborate when offering patients faster, safer, and more effective solutions to improve their quality of life.

To learn more about Ketamine Infusion Therapy, click here or call 505-639-4973 to schedule a private consultation.

Tranquility Ketamine Clinic is a leading provider of ketamine infusion therapy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded by two experienced emergency room physicians with over 50 years combined practice administering ketamine in the emergency department, the clinic provides effective treatments for depression, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), chronic pain, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), anxiety, stress, and burnout in comfortable private rooms at its Northeast Albuquerque location.

free from chronic pain

Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids

Chronic pain is defined as the experience of daily pain for over 12 weeks. What is shocking is that according to the statistics, chronic pain affects between 50-100 million adults in the U. S. yearly and over 1.5 billion people worldwide. In addition, chronic pain is the leading cause of long-term disability in the U. S. today. Traditionally, patients with chronic pain are treated with opioid analgesics.

Opioids Aren’t the Answer

Initially, opioids provide pain relief for most patients. Unfortunately, these effects are short-lived. Over a relatively short period of time, the neurons involved respond by the overexpression of the opiate receptors, leading to decreased responsiveness and effectiveness to these medications. As a result of the reduced efficacy, larger doses administered more frequently are needed. Too often, patients develop medication tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. Statistics like these are glaring evidence of a severe national crisis affecting public health and socio-economic welfare.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: An Alternative Treatment

Ketamine has been popular for surgical use for its anesthetic properties since the 1960s. Over the last several years, Ketamine Infusions have been used to treat depression, chronic pain, and a number of other mood disorders. The administration of intravenous low-dose Ketamine is surprisingly effective in rapidly improving the symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mental health conditions, as well as chronic pain syndromes. This effect is supported by numerous studies conducted at reputable research centers from 2000 to the present.

How Does Ketamine Work?

When Ketamine binds to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in your brain, it helps increase the amount of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Glutamate activates connections in another brain receptor, which triggers the release of molecules that allow neurons to find new pathways to communicate with each other in your brain. This process is called synaptogenesis, and it’s thought to affect your mood and thought patterns.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Chronic Pain

Ketamine infusions have been shown to rapidly provide up to a 50% decrease in patient-reported pain levels in patients that respond to these treatments. Ketamine is particularly effective for many chronic pain syndromes, particularly neuropathic pain syndromes, such as chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Ketamine is thought to improve chronic pain in a novel way by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. This NMDA blockade is believed to allow the pain pathways in the brain and spine to “reset,” allowing a more normalized response to pain signals from the body’s nerves. This resetting of the pain pathways may last for weeks to months and can be maintained with occasional booster treatments, as needed.

Ketamine allows a decrease in painful symptoms as well as a decrease in the need for opioid medications. In addition, there is a clear overlay of depressive symptoms and chronic anxiety for many patients suffering from chronic pain disorders. Therefore, Ketamine’s ability to decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety can lessen the compounding effect these conditions have on the patient’s pain level.

To learn more about Ketamine Infusion Therapy, click here or call 505-639-4973 to schedule a private consultation.

Tranquility Ketamine Clinic is a leading provider of Ketamine infusion therapy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded by two experienced emergency room physicians with over 50 years combined practice administering Ketamine in the emergency department, the clinic provides effective treatments for depression, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), chronic pain, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), anxiety, stress, and burnout in comfortable private rooms at its Northeast Albuquerque location.