We don’t have to look very hard, or very far, to find an endless supply of information detailing the growing plague of depression, and the lackluster results available through current first-line treatments. One recent article published by the Boston Globe paints a vivid picture of this problem, which continues to prevent many people—young and old—from experiencing any semblance of a simple and enjoyable life: pediatric beds in hospitals used to be for kids fighting off pneumonia; now they’re full of kids who don’t want to live.
Sadly, the last 30 years have not afforded us with any major medical breakthroughs for major depressive disorder treatments. Available treatments have thus remained essentially the same as they were 30 years ago. Originally, low serotonin levels were believed to be the cause of depression. However, since then, small medical discoveries have shown that there are many other contributors that regulate mood.
One medical group discovered that a neuropeptide Galanin plays a role in regulating emotion. Specifically, an increase of this signaling molecule appears to reduce the desire response to stimuli that promote activity within the brain’s reward system. Another group discovered that higher levels of the RGS8 protein also plays a role in the development of depressive behavior. In a third study, researchers found that people with depression had higher levels of a brain protein called MAO-B. They found that an elevation in these levels promoted the development of depressive symptoms.
With just these three small discoveries, we now have three new potential courses of action to potentially treat many clinically depressed patients. However, while this kind of research is encouraging—and more is desperately needed—it’s uncertain how these discoveries are connected to each other. It seems obvious that learning how these genetic and biological puzzle pieces fit together would likely lead to more robust treatment options than what is currently available.
Clearly, until we understand depression and its causes more completely, those who struggle with it and fail to find adequate relief from traditional antidepressants would benefit from some of the alternative therapies currently available. Treatments like ketamine infusions—which are low doses of IV ketamine—have provided many hopeless patients with the relief they so desperately needed. Ketamine has been the biggest breakthrough we’ve seen in depression treatment in years—it’s proven to improve depressive symptoms for up to 70% of patients, working rapidly to provide relief.
It’s quite clear that depression is a very dynamic condition that can be treated via a number of equally dynamic angles—all with varying levels of effectiveness. Lifestyle changes, pharmacological solutions, and holistic applications are all viable options. For now, those who struggle with untreated depression may want to speak with their healthcare provider to find the most appropriate treatment option for their symptoms.
Contact South Sound Health & Wellness
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or both, our ketamine clinic may be able to help you. Located south of Peugeot Sound, near Tacoma and Olympia, WA, South Sound Health & Wellness is one of the leading ketamine treatment centers in Washington State. Request a free consultation via the brief form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly to answer any questions you may have about ketamine for depression and anxiety.