Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease common in older adults.
Its causes and effects are complex and thus common treatments of other neurological diseases often do not work. What’s more, over 90% of people with Alzheimer’s suffer from concomitant diseases which means finding relief is harder still. Major depression disorder is one such common concomitant disease and until now those afflicted with this and Alzheimer’s had few places to turn to for hope. Luckily, ketamine infusion therapy is changing that.
Alzheimer’s and Major Depressive Disorder
It can be difficult to identify depression in someone with Alzheimer’s as major depressive disorder symptoms are often the same as those of dementia.These include:
- Disinterest in activities or hobbies
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired thinking
Additionally, the cognitive impairment that accompanies Alzheimer’s can make it difficult for sufferers to articulate the sadness, hopelessness, or guilt associated with depression.
Taken together, this means major depressive disorder symptoms are often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.
Treating Alzheimer’s and Depression
Currently, there are no drugs approved by the FDA to specifically treat depression in those who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Instead, treatment depends on a combination of drugs that slow Alzheimer’s progression and traditional treatment for major depressive disorder. Unfortunately, this treatment protocol is more of a band-aid than a cure.
Traditional depression treatment protocols, including antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, do not work for many people and the drugs currently available for Alzheimer’s do little more than slow the disease’s onset. What’s more, the side effects of antidepressants and Alzheimer’s medication can be severe. This is a bleak panorama. Or, at least, it was. Current research luckily shows that ketamine infusion therapy can help in remarkable ways.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Alzheimer’s and Depression
Ketamine infusion therapy has long been established as effective at treating major depressive disorder. This is because ketamine addresses the root of the problem by effecting changes in the central nervous system. Recent studies show that this same mechanism also gets at the heart of that which drives Alzheimer’s disease.
By acting as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, ketamine relieves symptoms of both diseases. Furthermore, ketamine avoids many of the side effects of antidepressants, thereby liberating sufferers of many of the hurdles previously seen as inevitable in treatment.
To learn more about how ketamine infusion therapy can at once relieve major depression disorder and Alzheimer’s, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation at Vitalitas Denver—a ketamine clinic staffed by a qualified and experienced full suite of dedicated medical professionals.
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