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Recent Study finds Ketamine Comparable to ECT for Patients with Treatment Resistant Depression

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that Ketamine Therapy is as effective at treating Treatment Resistant Depression as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy).


For years, ECT has been the gold standard for treating Treatment Resistant Depression while Ketamine has more recently become a more well known and widely available treatment. No study had been done to compare the effectiveness of ECT to Ketamine Therapy until now.


The study consisted of 403 patients at 5 clinical trial sites randomly assigned to either Ketamine or ECT. Patients were split into two groups, with one group receiving ECT treatments 3 times a week over 3 weeks and the other receiving 2 Ketamine treatments a week over 3 weeks. At the end of the trial, Amit Anand, M.D. and his colleagues found that patients from both groups reported similar increases in quality of life.


Both ECT and Ketamine work fast in the brain to relieve symptoms of depression. ECT uses small electrical currents to trigger changes in brain chemistry while Ketamine works in the brain acting as a NMDA receptor antagonist and increases the level of glutamate in the brain. Ketamine also increases BNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) which has been shown to regenerate neural connections.


Just like ECT, Ketamine treatments have been life changing for patients suffering from treatment resistant major depressive disorder, but ECT has drawbacks and obstacles that Ketamine therapy does not.


During an ECT treatment, the patient takes a muscle relaxant and goes under general anesthesia. While unconscious, electrodes attached to the patient's scalp release short electrical pulses in the brain that cause a seizure usually lasting a minute. The patient then wakes up minutes later. Side effects include temporary memory loss and temporary difficulty learning, as well as common side effects from general anesthesia.


Ketamine treatments alternatively do not require the patient to be unconscious and can be less invasive, but not all Ketamine treatments are equal.


With KetaMist®, patients have control over their ketamine treatments in ways that are impossible for IV, oral, injectable, and nasal delivery. Unlike other ketamine treatments, KetaMist® does not use invasive needles, injections, IVs, or nasal sprays. KetaMist® offers a personalized treatment plan with doses customized for the patient to maximize results. Offices have private treatment rooms and dedicated psychiatric providers overseeing every step of the treatment.


KetaMist® is currently offered in 3 locations in Lakeland, Brandon, and Tampa. Visit our Treatment Center page to find a Treatment Center near you or call (866) KTA-MIST for more information.





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