Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that develops as a response to chemical and neuronal changes in the brain from exposure to a traumatic event. This can be a real or perceived threat of death or injury from an event such as a natural disaster, physical or sexual assault or an accident. Many treatments have been subpar in the past, however, ketamine for PTSD may be an alternative treatment option for those who are struggling.
Those who suffer from PTSD usually experience intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event that lasts long after it has occurred. Individuals may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel anger or fear; and may distance themselves from others and situations that remind them of the event.
PTSD is a difficult to treat disorder. Currently, the only medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of PTSD are Zoloft and Paxil. Additional PTSD treatments include psychotherapy and complementary therapies, which are used to help minimize the distressing symptoms that people with PTSD often experience. One novel treatment that is not usually recognized is ketamine.
Research has suggested that the symptoms experienced in PTSD may be caused by a loss of synaptic connectivity. The stress experienced in PTSD may impair the functioning of these connections, which is mostly due to glutamate. With these glutamate synapses playing a critical role, the use of ketamine may enhance synaptic connectivity in these circuits, ultimately reversing the effects of stress.
The use of ketamine for PTSD has also shown that it functions as an antagonist to the NMDA receptor. This receptor has been shown to increase the formation of intrusive memories (depressive or anxious), and high activity of the NMDA receptor may be a risk factor for actually developing PTSD. By ketamine targeting this receptor, there have been promising results of lower PTSD symptoms.
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The growing body of research on the use of ketamine for PTSD has identified it as a more effective alternative to conventional treatment options. Ketamine can provide relief from many PTSD symptoms quickly and without the side effects. If you would like to learn more about ketamine infusions and find out if you are a candidate, complete the brief form below, and a member of our clinical team will contact you shortly!