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A recent study has found that repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is effective in treating depression. The results showed that the majority of patients experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, with some even achieving complete remission.

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The combination of TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) treatments and Ketamine Infusions is gaining national attention as a powerful way to alleviate Treatment Resistant Depression. For more information or to schedule an assessment call or text us at 330-754-4844.

Benefits of Ketamine Therapy For Depression

Ketamine Infusion Therapy is emerging as a revolutionary treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), offering new hope to millions struggling with this debilitating condition. While conventional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants work for many, a significant portion of patients find themselves battling treatment-resistant depression. Enter Ketamine Infusion Therapy: a groundbreaking approach that, according to recent studies, rapidly alleviates symptoms of depression, including suicidal ideation, with minimal side effects. This therapy not only holds promise for those with MDD but also for individuals suffering from severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD, offering a potential lifeline for those for whom traditional treatments have failed.

Major Depressive Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Also referred to as major depression or Centeral depression, major depressive disorder is the most common mental health issue, affecting millions of people worldwide. Major depression symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, eat, and socialize by making them feel as though they have lost control of their lives. Psychologists or psychiatrists diagnose major depressive disorder after they have ruled out possible physical causes, such as hormonal imbalances, certain medications, anemia, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Symptoms of major depression include, but are not limited to:

  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness and sadness
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Weight loss or gain due to eating too much or lack of appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty remembering and concentrating/inability to organize thoughts
  • Suicide ideation
  • Indifference to personal hygiene

Conventional treatment modalities for depressive disorder involve a combination of therapy, medication management, and lifestyle changes. Individuals diagnosed with major depression typically undergo cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), take oral antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and adopt healthier habits to manage their depression.

Disadvantages of Antidepressant Medications for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Traditional interventions for treating major depression are effective for many individuals but may not provide relief for everyone. Responses to antidepressant medications vary, with unpleasant side effects making it difficult to keep taking them. In addition, SSRIs and SNRIs can take as long as eight weeks to improve symptoms. CBT and other psychotherapies may require a significant time commitment that may not be feasible for all individuals due to factors such as the cost or availability of mental health services.

Common side effects of oral antidepressant medications include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Weight changes
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue

In some cases, antidepressants may initially increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. However, the majority of large Centeral studies suggest that the increased risk of suicidal ideation involves mostly patients in younger age groups.

How Ketamine Treatment for Depression Works: Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Since its FDA approval as a general anesthetic in 1970, ketamine has been recognized as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization. However, researchers didn’t begin exploring ketamine’s potential to treat depression until the late 20th century. In 2000, physicians at the Yale School of Medicine conducted a groundbreaking study demonstrating that a low dose of ketamine could rapidly alleviate depression symptoms in 24 hours. Despite initial skepticism, accumulating evidence from various studies convinced doctors of ketamine’s effectiveness and safety as an antidepressant. By 2019, the FDA had approved a ketamine antidepressant (Spravato) for treatment-resistant depression, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adults.

Pharmacological Effects of Ketamine

Ketamine is unique compared to traditional antidepressants because of its rapid onset of action and targeting of the release of glutamate. Unlike monoaminergic antidepressants that increase serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain, ketamine stimulates the production of glutamate, a chemical that enhances communication signaling between brain cells.

While researchers have identified where ketamine binds in the brain to regulate cognitive and emotional functions, the exact mechanisms underlying its effects remain unspecified. Additionally, there’s speculation that ketamine may be able to reverse damage to the connections between brain cells caused by chronic stress and treatment-resistant depression. The potential for ketamine to act as a neuroprotective agent could contribute to ketamine’s longer-lasting antidepressant effects over successive doses and suggests it may help prevent depression relapse.

Benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression

A systematic review of over 300 studies on ketamine and suicide found that ketamine infusion therapy (intravenous ketamine) showed a rapid reduction in symptoms compared to controlled studies with depressed patients. A few studies on intranasal ketamine found no advantage. One study reported sustained symptom improvement six weeks after a single ketamine treatment for depression.

Other benefits of ketamine therapy for depression include:

  • Improves mood: Ketamine therapy can lead to significant improvements in mood, including reduced feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair.
  • Enhanced quality of life: Ketamine patients report that when depressive symptoms start lifting, they feel more motivated to engage in daily activities and maintain social relationships.
  • Long-lasting effects: Antidepressant medications must be taken every day to prevent depression and anxiety from returning. However, ketamine infusions offer prolonged relief from depressive symptoms that often last several months. There is no need to receive daily treatment.
  • Neuroprotective effects: Emerging research suggests that ketamine may have neuroprotective properties that may support the growth of new brain cells and repair cell connections damaged by chronic depression and anxiety.
  • Negligible risk of addiction: Unlike benzodiazepines and other medications used to treat depression, ketamine has a low risk of addiction or dependence when administered under medical supervision in a controlled setting.
  • Minimal side effects: Ketamine therapy is generally well-tolerated by most people. Common side effects, such as dissociation or mild sedation, typically resolve shortly after treatment.
  • Personalized treatment approach: Ketamine therapy provided by Ascend Health Center is tailored to meet each patient’s needs. Dosing and frequency of treatments are adjusted based on how a patient responds to and tolerates ketamine treatment. Our patient-centered approach fosters optimal outcomes and ensures exceptional patient satisfaction.

Am I a Good Candidate for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Ketamine treatment for depression may be right for you if you have not responded well to traditional antidepressant medications or other forms of treatment. People who are currently experiencing severe depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, or rapid cycling between bipolar depressive and manic episodes may also benefit from ketamine infusion therapy. Ascend Health Center patients interested in ketamine infusions will initially need to undergo a thorough evaluation at our Center to determine if ketamine is appropriate for their specific condition and medical history.

Ketamine therapy for treatment-resistant depression may not be suitable for everyone. For example, if you have a substance abuse disorder, unstable medical problems like cardiovascular disease or uncontrolled hypertension, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may not qualify for ketamine therapy. Moreover, ketamine infusions are not meant to treat psychotic disorders like schizophrenia or schizoaffective mental illnesses. You must also agree to participate in CBT or other psychotherapy while receiving treatment at our Center. Ketamine is most effective at alleviating severe and chronic depression symptoms when used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment plan.

What Happens During a Ketamine Infusion Therapy Session at Ascend?

After you have settled into a comfortable, reclining chair and are ready for the session to begin, you will receive a controlled dose of intravenously administered ketamine. During the infusion, you may experience a sense of dissociation and altered perception, but these sensations are mild and subside shortly afterward. You will be constantly monitored throughout the treatment by our caring staff of professionals.

Responses to ketamine infusions vary among individuals. Some may feel rapid relief from depressive symptoms, while others may require multiple sessions to get the full benefits of ketamine therapy for depression. We continue monitoring your well-being throughout treatment to assess your response and adjust dosing if necessary.

Schedule a Consultation Appointment at Ascend Health Center Today

If you have tried traditional treatment methods for depressive disorder, severe depression, or other mental health issues and have not found relief, call Ascend Health Center for immediate assistance. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care tailored to your individual needs, ensuring your satisfaction and wellness every step of the way. Learn more about the benefits of ketamine therapy for depression by calling (330) 754-4844.

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