One thing club kids and spoiled brats may not realize is that ketamine, in addition to making you hallucinate, can actually treat depression. In fact, it’s lightning quick: Depression symptoms can lift in hours instead of the days or weeks it takes current antidepressants to start having an effect.
The problem, of course, is that whole “hallucinations” side effect, making it a last-ditch drug. But hey, drugs belong to classes of chemicals for a reason, and researchers might have just cracked a drug that offers the good parts without the tripping.
The class of drugs ketamine belongs to target NMDA receptors, which makes their use as a depression treatment weird because those receptors are generally associated with learning and memory. It’s believed that major depression might be due to a fall in activity in the frontal lobe, but we don’t know nearly enough about the brain to make that call.
Bizarre mechanism or not, a test of a drug similar to ketamine, GLYX-13, was performed on people with major depressive disorder who had not done well with previous treatments. They were better within two hours with no major side effects, and the drug performed significantly better than the placebo.
If you know anybody suffering from depression, especially major depressive disorder, you don’t need us to explain how huge this is: Depression is an emotional problem that’s difficult to treat and can easily crush your life. And frankly the weeks it can take for an antidepressant to kick in and help their mood can be agonizing.
So this is damn good news. Especially for spoiled club kids. The research team behind the drug is hoping to have it on the market by 2016.