Depression: this molecule would remove symptoms in just a few minutes

Ketamine would be, according to a US study, more effective than antidepressants because this powerful anesthetic would have a much faster action.

Ketamine, a molecule used for its anesthetic action in hospital and veterinary, could treat the symptoms of depression faster than current antidepressants, says a study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago in the United States and published June 12th. Better: his action lasted several weeks.

Faster action and more sustainable results

Researchers say that to improve depressed mood and alleviate mental distress, the most commonly used antidepressants, Prozac and Zoloft, act on G-proteins, whose excessive presence in the brain is responsible for the development of depressive symptoms. . It is still several weeks before these drugs move the G proteins from the "lipid rafts" of the cell membrane.

In the case of Ketamine, it takes only 15 minutes for these molecules to migrate. They also take longer to return to lipid rafts. According to the results, two-thirds of the clinical study volunteers who did not respond to traditional antidepressants experienced a rapid and sustained withdrawal of their depressive symptoms after being treated with intravenous ketamine.

Taking as a drug, adverse health effects

If the results are encouraging for patients with depression, other studies will need to confirm the benefits of such treatment to combat these symptoms. Ketamine is a narcotic drug when it is diverted from its medical use. Article L3421-1 of the Public Health Code provides for fines up to € 3,750 and prison terms up to one year.

It is illegally present as a white powder or as a liquid. This disrupter of the central nervous system has a powerful hallucinatory effect sought by drug addicts.

Used as a drug, its adverse effects on health are numerous: memory problems, seizures, severe hypertension, heart rhythm disorders, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, unconsciousness, transient akinesia, hallucinations, agitation, disorientation, mental confusion , sensory distortion, panic attacks. These very serious problems usually lead to hospitalization and can result in death.

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