PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder has long been noted to be a psychiatric disorder that can take place after experiencing or witnessing a certain life-threatening events such as terrorist incidents, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, or even physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. In the hopes of exploring this condition, researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have recently found that having a single dose of ketamine, which is to be given one week before a stressful event, may just result to a favorable reduction in terms of heightened fear response. The study conducted was said to have been published online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Ketamine For PTSD
In one of her statements reported by Medical News Today, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology in Psychiatry at CUMC, Christine A. Denny, PhD, who also happens to be the study's lead author has warned that ketamine is basically a powerful drug, and initially, the team said that they wouldn't advocate widespread use for preventing or reducing PTSD symptoms. However, in conducting their research, the findings obtained from mice turns out to be translatable to humans. Experts have revealed that by giving a single dose of ketamine in a vaccine-like fashion could have great benefit for people who are highly likely to experience significant stressors, such as members of the military or aid workers going into conflict zones.
Meanwhile, according to reports revealed by Science Daily, there are just but few effective therapies for preventing or treating PTSD, which has been noted to be an anxiety disorder that occurs in about one-quarter of individuals who experience psychological trauma. However, although ketamine has shown that can help reduce stress-related symptoms, researchers have highly emphasized that it was not clear when the drug should be administered relative to a traumatic episode in order to maximize its protective effects. Additionally, the team said that it remains unknown whether there is an intermediate window, in a span of one week and one hour, where ketamine would also have a protective effect. As of the press time, it was found that Dr. Denny and her team is already studying how ketamine works in the brain that allegedly influences the response to stress. Ultimately, it was found that CUMC researchers aim to study how prophylactic ketamine would impact if it will be used in humans, ideally among military personnel.