Johan Lundberg Karolinska Institutet Sweden Johan Lundberg Karolinska Institutet Sweden

Ketamine’s Antidepressant Activity Examined at Brain Receptor Level

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Brain imaging studies by scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggest that a particular serotonin receptor may be involved in the mechanism by which low a low dose of the anesthetic drug, ketamine, has antidepressant effects in patients with hard-to-treat major depressive disorder (MDD).“We show for the first time that ketamine treatment increases the number of serotonin 1B receptors,” said Johan Lundberg, PhD, research group leader at the department of clinical neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, who is co-author of the team’s published paper in Translational Psychiatry. “Ketamine has the advantage of being very rapid-acting, but at the same time, it is a narcotic-classed drug that can lead to addiction.

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