Ketamine is a medication that medical professionals have leaned on for decades. Historically, it’s been used as an anesthetic in children, and it was used during the Vietnam War on the battlefield to help with pain. Recently, it’s been discovered that ketamine infusions can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as pain. To learn more about what ketamine infusions can do for you, reach out to Dr. Aaron Ketcher and the professionals at Renew Health in Tempe, AZ and schedule a consultation!
Ketamine Infusions for Mood Disorders
As it turns out, there’s a lot going on at any given moment inside our heads. The wide range of chemical processes that occur is staggeringly complex, and neuroscientists spend their lives trying to figure it all out. However, researchers have a pretty good idea of why ketamine appears to be so successful at treating mood disorders.
Ketamine’s Chemical Processes
Research suggests that a deficiency in connections between neurons, including both receptors and synapses, is associated with major depressive disorder, other mood disorders, and difficulties surrounding sleep, overstimulation, and focus. Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist (it blocks NMDA receptors from doing their job) and an AMPA receptor stimulator (it attaches to AMPA receptors and forces them to do their job). When AMPA receptors are stimulated, the result is the creation of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF stimulates the formation of new receptors and synapses, both of which are believed to be deficient in those who suffer from certain mood disorders, especially major depression and anxiety disorders.
Ketamine Infusions for Chronic Pain
Ketamine infusions may also be used to address Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD) and chronic pain. Treatment with ketamine has shown to correct the central sensitization process, a process by which the body increases the intensity and number of pain signals over time. It is believed that ketamine interferes with this process by blocking and resetting pain signaling, resulting in pain relief where other treatments have failed. With ketamine blocking the NMDA receptors of peripheral nerves, the pain transmission of these nerves is intercepted before it reaches the spinal cord and brain, allowing for a reset of central pain centers and desensitization to peripheral nerve signals.
What is the Treatment Like?
Ketamine infusions are typically delivered via IV. Treatments are designed to be quick and convenient. Fatigue is the most common and longest-lasting side effect, but it generally goes away after a meal and a good night’s rest. It’s important to note that the exact treatment details and results can vary from patient to patient. During a consultation, we can give you a more realistic idea of what to expect.
Is It Right for You?
If you want to know more about whether or not ketamine infusions are right for you, talk to the professionals at Renew Health in Tempe, AZ. We would be more than happy to review your case and tell you more information about this innovative treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started!