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The Science of Ketamine Therapy

The Intersection of Neuroscience and Healing

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a heavily studied and researched medication, primarily used for anesthesia and intensive care in hospitals since the 1960s. Over the last couple of decades, ketamine has gained global attention for its therapeutic effects in treating a wide range of mental health, chronic pain, and neurological conditions. It’s popularity is due to its ability to provide relief from symptoms quickly and with little to no side effects. 

When administered at subanesthetic or low doses, ketamine has shown promise in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), particularly treatment-resistant depression – boasting a 75% success rate. Ketamine is also highly effective at treating other chronic mental health conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and substance abuse, and eating disorders.

Mechanisms of Ketamine

Ketamine and Glutamate

Ketamine is believed to regulate glutamate, the most excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate is a very important messenger that helps brain cells talk to each other, which is essential for things like learning and memory. It’s a bit like the ‘on’ switch for our brain cells and works by connecting with special receptors on the cells. 

However, when we talk about brain health and mental well-being, the job of glutamate becomes a bit tricky. If there’s too much or too little glutamate activity, it can cause problems. 

The bad news is trauma and exposure to long-term stressors can cause high levels of glutamate, which can lead to cell damage or death. The great news is that ketamine has been shown to regenerate neuronal connections in the brain, facilitating a “rewiring”. These new connections ultimately lead to a healthier state of mind.

The Sun Has Finally Broken Through...

Before discovering ketamine, my days were filled with heavy clouds of depression. I was skeptical initially, but the results speak for themselves. It feels like the sun has finally broken through and for the first time in a long time, I'm hopeful! If you're wrestling with depression, I wholeheartedly recommend exploring ketamine with Daytryp. It has transformed my life.
- M.M.
Daytryp Patient

Ketamine and BDNF

Ketamine works by increasing the production of a neurotransmitter called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a brain protein that acts as a ‘fertilizer’ and helps our brain cells thrive and grow. It plays various roles in cognitive function, such as: 

  • Brain Cell Health: BDNF helps existing brain cells survive and promotes the growth of new ones.
  • Brain Flexibility: BDNF allows brain connections to strengthen or weaken, crucial for learning and forming memories.
  • Thinking and Learning: BDNF plays a key role in learning, memory, and complex thinking.
  • Mood and Depression: BDNF is linked to our mood, with low levels seen in people with depression and increased by antidepressants.
  • Brain Cell Protection: BDNF safeguards our brain cells, potentially offering benefits in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Additional Effects on the Brain

Ketamine’s effectiveness is also attributed to blocking and enhancing receptors in the brain. Receptors in the brain are like tiny switches that control how neurons, or nerve cells, communicate with each other. When certain molecules, like medication or neurotransmitters, attach to these receptors, they trigger various responses in the cell. This can affect many things like our mood, pain sensation, memory, and overall brain function. 

It’s a bit like a lock and key system, where the receptor is the lock and the neurotransmitter or drug is the key. When the key fits the lock, it ‘opens’ the receptor and triggers specific reactions in the cell. Ketamine’s effects on receptors have many benefits, such as disrupting pain signals, fast acting antidepressant effects, enhancing mood, lowering inflammation, increasing relaxation/ relieving tension, and many more.