Ketamine might prevent patients suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts from harming themselves
A new study from Columbia University Medical Center discovered that ketamine can quickly reduce suicidal thoughts in comparison with other methods.
Michael Grunebaum, the study leader, mentioned that suicidal patients have “a critical window” where they need “rapid relief” in order to prevent self-harm. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task.
He also added that: “Currently, there is no such treatment for rapid relief of suicidal thoughts in depressed patients.”
Previous research on ketamine has shown that the drug is very powerful on depression. Half of those who were treated with it discovered that their depression symptoms had vanished, even six months later.
Moreover, the group to which ketamine was administered showed a ‘clinically significant’ reduction in suicidal thoughts, proof that the drug truly works.
Even more, the group also showed significant improvement in overall mood and disposition, as well as reduced depression and fatigue.
From this study, another question appeared in the picture: could ketamine cure alcoholics of their addiction by making them forget the “cues” that push them grab the bottle?
Psychologists at University College London are currently testing the idea of using a dose of it to help drinkers reduce their intake.
“There is evidence that it could be useful as a treatment for alcoholism,” researcher Ravi Das said
How it works: ketamine disrupts the formation of memories, which could represent a way of getting rid of the triggers that make alcoholics drink again.
“Memories that you form can be hijacked by drugs in some people. If you were an alcoholic you might have a strong memory of being in a certain place and wanting to drink. Those memories get continuously triggered by things in the environment that you can’t avoid. People can successfully quit using over the short term while they’re being monitored in the hospital … but when they return home they’re exposed to those environmental triggers again,” Das added