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Dec 27, 2020

Ketamine may ease depression

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Jason Asbahr.

Reese Jones


New research suggests that electrophysiological brain signals associated with neural plasticity could help explain the rapid, antidepressant effects of the drug ketamine. The findings, European Neuropsychopharmacology, indicate that ketamine could reverse insensitivity to prediction error in depression.

In other words, the drug may help to alleviate depression by making it easier for patients to update their model of reality.

“Ketamine is exciting because of its potential to both treat, and better understand depression. This is largely because ketamine doesn’t work the way ordinary antidepressants do – its primary mechanism isn’t to increase monoamines in the brain like serotonin, and so ketamine gives us new insight into other potential mechanisms underlying depression,” said lead researcher Rachael Sumner, a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Auckland School of Pharmacy.

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