Today’s Solutions: September 22, 2023
Quick acting aid

A recent review from the University of Exeter, has shown that the sedative drug ketamine, has therapeutic effects in regards to mental health. The study, published in BJPsych Open, analyzed 83 papers to conclude that the drug can quickly improve symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Within just one to four hours, taking ketamine relieved people’s suicidal thoughts for an average of three days. “Our research is the most comprehensive review of the growing body of evidence on the therapeutic effects of ketamine to date,” stated lead author Merve Mollaahmetoglu. “Our findings suggest that ketamine may be useful in providing rapid relief from depression and suicidal thoughts, creating a window of opportunity for further therapeutic interventions to be effective.”

Not just depression

Although in the early stages of research, there is further evidence that ketamine can be used to treat an array of psychiatric disorders. These include; anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse disorders. Lead author Celia Morgan added: “We’re finding that ketamine may have promising benefits for conditions that are notoriously hard to treat in the clinic.”

What are the next stages?

Although these results are promising, this review needs more evidence to back up its conclusion. Clinical trials involving more people with controls are needed to find optimum dosage and effectiveness. It should also be noted that these studies were carried out in a controlled carefully administered setting, ketamine can be an addictive risky substance that should be used for medical reasons in a clinical situation.

Source study: BJPsych OpenKetamine for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders: comprehensive systematic review

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