One in four young adults contemplated suicide last year.
Clearly, something needs to change. Could ketamine be the solution?
A study last month found that ketamine was well-tolerated in adolescents aged 13-17 and significantly reduced their depression symptoms.
76% of participants had at least a 50% reduction in depression scores within 3 days of receiving a ketamine infusion, compared to 35% of the placebo group.
The teens had tried between 1 and 7 antidepressants without success prior to the treatment. They all remained on their medications during the trial (SSRIs, non-SSRI antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or lithium) with no serious adverse side effects.
Ketamine therapy for depression seems promising, but how do you know if it’s right for you?
About 30% of people have a genetic variant that impairs the secretion of BDNF, a protein that promotes the growth of neurons.
Since ketamine works by increasing the release of BDNF, people with this gene variant may have a decreased response to the antidepressant effects of ketamine therapy.
HaluGen just expanded its Psychedelics Genetic Test Kit to test for the gene variant! It also tells you how sensitive you’re to classical psychedelics and if you are at risk for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.
A common model of addiction involves conditioning rats to associate a drug with a certain area. The amount of time the rat spends in that area indicates how addictive the stimuli is.
In a recent study, rats showed a preference to the area associated with ethanol (alcohol) over the placebo area, which was expected since alcohol is addictive.
After a dose of ibogaine (a psychedelic compound found in the African iboga shrub), they no longer expressed a preference for alcohol.
Additionally, rats showed no preference between an area associated with ibogaine and the placebo area, suggesting that ibogaine is non-addictive.
“We found that ibogaine did not have rewarding effects itself, but it did block the expression of ethanol reward in a model that can commonly be referred to as a pre-clinical model of relapse,” explains the study author, Lais F. Berro.