By: Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Ketamine appears to be one of the very effective things to help with depression. A recent scientific publication showed it seems to be especially effective in younger people, including adolescents.
This finding that it works extremely well in younger people might raise concerns for those with severe depression who are older. Is ketamine still an effective treatment for them?
A new study closely looked at this, and examined whether age changed how effective ketamine was at treating severe depression. If you are on the older side of things, the results are very encouraging!
Ketamine infusions did help fight severe depression symptoms faster in those who are younger. The patients in this study were given a total of 6 ketamine infusions (a normal protocol similar to what we use), and more younger people experienced a positive response by infusion #4 of 6 than those who were older. This better response early on might explain why ketamine seemed to work better in other studies that gave fewer infusions (some studies only gave 1 infusion).
However…. by the end of treatment (infusion #6), both young and old benefited equally. Younger people responded faster, but by the end of the treatment, everyone did equally well. This, again, is very good news, and means the treatment can be successfully given over a large age range.
If you need help dealing with depression, especially severe depression that doesn’t respond to usual treatments, ketamine may be worth considering, no matter your age.
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about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)
DNP, MSN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner