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Cheer up!

Author: admin

Depression is an all-too-common condition but here’s a ‘wonder drug’ that could chase away the blues. A pilot project conducted by scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia has found that ketamine—licensed as an anaesthetic but also used illegally as a recreational drug—works remarkably well in easing depression in silvers. During a clinical trial, a small group of 16 chronically depressed individuals over the age of 60 were injected with low doses of ketamine over five weeks. Although the effect varied between patients, 11 participants reported they had “no significant symptoms of depression” after six months. The findings were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Meanwhile, scientists at Oxford University in England have been administering ketamine to patients with treatment-resistant depression with very positive results. However, researchers advise caution while arriving at conclusions about the drug as studies are still in their early stages.

According to Dr Shaunak Ajinkya, consultant psychiatrist at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, “Ketamine has an immediate antidepressant action in major depressive disorders when used as the primary treatment as well as when used as pre-ECT anaesthesia. Of late, intravenous administration of ketamine has been found to be generally safe and well tolerated as a rapidly acting antidepressant treatment in medically stable, refractory uni-polar depression.”

Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
October 2017