Since the beginning of the century, statistics have favored the use of ketamine for the treatment of depression. With upwards of 70% of patients responding favorably to the depression treatment, ketamine has been hailed as the most remarkable antidepressant discovery since the 1950s.
And ketamine does often produce remarkable results. One of its most remarkable qualities, in fact, is that, in most cases, a patient will know if ketamine works for him or her after only two infusions. And now, a study recently published in Biological Psychiatry points to certain activity patterns that may predict whether or not ketamine will be an effective treatment for depression.
According to the research, a major indicator that ketamine might be effective for a particular individual is that they tend to be more active in the mornings and more lethargic by night. This finding suggests that the type of depression that responds to ketamine infusions may be linked to the clock-gene mechanisms that control circadian rhythms.
The study also shows that ketamine infusions can lead to improved sleep quality, which may be a key component of ketamine’s fast-acting anti-depressive effect.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that ketamine is only effective if a person tends to be more active in the mornings than at night. Ketamine improves depressive symptoms in a wide variety of patients, ranging from those who are depressed, anxious, suffering from PTSD, or living with a chronic pain condition. Drawing parallels between this wide range of symptoms is difficult, if not impossible. However, identifying the activity patterns that might indicate whether or not ketamine will be effective could help the medical community refer an appropriate demographic of patients to ketamine infusion therapy. In general, it’s also valuable information that shows key associations between sleep, activity and mood response.
Ultimately, the fact that so many studies are being done about ketamine as a treatment for depression is promising. The more positive results are shared, the faster the stigma of using ketamine as an antidepressant slips away and the more people become aware of this life-changing treatment option for those who suffer from severe depression, or who have resisted other treatment methods in the past.
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