It is a discovery that could revolutionize the treatment against depression: ketamine, an anesthetic used to lull animals and diverted into hallucinogenic drugs by party animals, would quickly and significantly reduce depressive symptoms.
Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago, USA, have published a study * in which they report injecting intravenous ketamine to patients with depression. As a result, two thirds of them experienced a cessation of depressive symptoms, and only a few minutes after the treatment (unlike traditional antidepressants, which typically take several weeks to work). Another notable fact: the remission of symptoms lasted an average of one week.
How to explain such a phenomenon ? Frequently prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft act on depression by moving molecules called "G-proteins" on "lipid rafts" at the cell membrane. But with ketamine, scientists have observed that these G proteins come to the right place in just 15 minutes ... and stay there for several days before moving again.
The administration of ketamine is currently illegal for man, but it is a promising basis for developing an effective new treatment for depression, a scourge that represents the first factor of morbidity and disability in men. world.
* study published in the specialized journal Molecular Psychiatry.