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Study Shows Ketamine Reduces Symptoms of PTSD
While ongoing military operations overseas continue to strain active military personnel, another battle begins upon their return to the United States.
Most soldiers have experienced long and extended deployments, life-changing combat scenarios, and physical injuries. However, most physical wounds heal much faster than their mental counterparts – especially when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Luckily, scientists have discovered new ways to treat this mental disorder, one of which is ketamine.
Ketamine is traditionally used as an animal tranquilizer and analgesic drug in a supervised veterinarian/medical setting. When used illicitly, the drug is classified as a hallucinogen. A new study published in June’s JAMA Psychiatry shows intravenous administration of ketamine can significantly reduce the symptoms of vets suffering from chronic PTSD.
Details of the Study
The objective of this study was to find out whether or not a single dose of IV ketamine could help in the treatment of PTSD or related depression symptoms. The group was made up of 41 patients formally diagnosed with chronic PTSD and other forms of mental imbalance that occurred as a result of exposure to traumatic events.
Upon giving ketamine as an IV administration drug, participating vets reported a significant and rapid reduction in PTSD symptom severity, compared with the placebo.Upon giving ketamine as an IV administration drug, participating vets reported a significant and rapid reduction in PTSD symptom severity, compared with the placebo. Research participants were evaluated approximately 24-hours after the IV infusion and reported a substantial short-term resolution of symptoms. Since ketamine is normally used on animals, human trials are few and far between. Experts agree the results of this test certainly open up the door for further research.
Adriana Feder, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the lead author of the study, says she hopes the data gathered by her team will encourage the scientific community to explore the benefits ketamine treatment could potentially offer.
Addiction Epidemic Among Vets
A majority of former vets cite PTSD and depression as a catalyst for addiction. Despite the fact that a 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey showed marginal reductions over time in illicit drug use, increases were seen in prescription drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, from 2002 to 2005, prescription drug addiction doubled among military personnel. Between 2005 and 2008, the tally of affected vets tripled.
Also Read: What You Need to Know About Ketamine