Ketamine Relieves Depression By Restoring Brain Connections


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Ketamine Relieves Depression By Restoring Brain Connections

By Jon Hamilton NPR

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Photo by Lianne Milton courtesy of NPR News

Chris Stephens, 28, has been battling depression all of his life. At times he wouldn’t get out of bed for weeks. In January, he said his depression hadn’t returned since he started taking ketamine.

Scientists say they have figured out how an experimental drug called ketamine is able to relieve major depression in hours instead of weeks.

Researchers from Yale and the National Institute of Mental Health say ketamine seems to cause a burst of new connections to form between nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in emotion and mood.

The discovery, described in Science, should speed development of the first truly new depression drugs since the 1970s, the researchers say.

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