New research conducted by researchers from the Federal University of Bahia has found that ketamine and esketamine may be used safely as a treatment for depression. Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an anesthesia drug while esketamine is an anesthetic that has been used to manage treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine is sometimes abused as a club drug and is popularly referred to as Special K and K in this scenario.
Various studies suggest that low doses of ketamine offer rapid antidepressant effects, improving a patient’s mood within 24 hours. Esketamine has been shown to possess similar benefits. A version of this drug was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for use in individuals with depression that doesn’t respond to traditional antidepressants. While ketamine has not been approved to treat depression, some physicians prescribe it off label.
For their study, the Brazilian researchers conducted an analysis of 14 studies that included more than 1,000 patients who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. The participants were treated with esketamine or ketamine, and the objective of the study was to determine the cognitive safety of esketamine and ketamine.
The researchers evaluated six studies that administered ketamine infusions to patients, seven that administered one ketamine IV infusion to patients and one studty that administered esketamine nasal spray to patients for 44 weeks. While five of the ketamine studies reported improvements in cognitive flexibility, processing speed and memory, the esketamine study demonstrated no changes in cognitive performance in patients.
Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to switch between thoughts or mental tasks while processing speed is the time it takes an individual to finish a mental task.
Of the 14 studies, only one reported cognitive impairment after ketamine had been administered. However, the researchers note in their review that the issues didn’t last more than a week after the drug’s administration. The review was published in the latest issue of the “Harvard Review of Psychiatry” journal. In a journal news release, the Brazilian researchers added that they observed some improvements in some cognitive functions a week to 13 days after ketamine infusions had been administered.
Lucas Quarantini and Breno Souza-Marques, both from the esteemed institution, which is located in Salvador Brazil, as well their colleagues, noted in their report that present evidence suggested that esketamine and ketamine didn’t exert any harmful neurocognitive effects in treatment-resistant depression. In their conclusion, the researchers argue that more studies should be conducted in the future.
Conducting more research is what companies such as Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are doing in a bid to establish how different psychedelic compounds, including ketamine and psilocybin, can be used therapeutically.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/DELCF
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