3,554 research outputs found

    'Memory, hither come':Psychopharmacology of memory and more

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    A transdiagnostic systematic review and meta-analysis of ketamine's anxiolytic effects

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    Background:Ketamine may be effective in treating symptoms of anxiety, but the time profile of ketamine’s anxiolytic effect is ill-defined. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the anxiolytic effect of ketamine at different time points across a range of clinical settings.Methods:Electronic databases were searched to capture randomised control trials measuring the anxiolytic effects of ketamine in contexts including mood disorders, anxiety disorders and chronic pain. Meta-analyses were conducted using a random-effects model. The correlations between (1) improvements in mean anxiety and depression scores, and (2) peak dissociation and improvements in mean anxiety scores were also assessed.Results:In all, 14 studies met inclusion criteria. Risk of bias was high in 11 studies. Ketamine significantly reduced anxiety scores compared to placebo at acute (<12 h; standard mean difference (SMD): −1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) [−1.89, −0.44], p < 0.01), subacute (24 h; SMD: −0.44, 95% CI [−0.65, −0.22], p < 0.01) and sustained (7–14 days; SMD: −0.40, 95% CI [−0.63, −0.17], p < 0.01) time points. Exploratory analyses revealed improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms correlated at both subacute (R2 = 0.621, p = 0.035) and sustained time points (R2 = 0.773, p = 0.021). The relationship between peak dissociation and improvement in anxiety was not significant.Conclusions:Ketamine appears to offer rapid and sustained anxiety symptom relief across a range of clinical settings, with anxiolytic effects occurring within the first 12 h of administration and remaining effective for 1–2 weeks. Future studies could explore the effects of ketamine maintenance therapy on anxiety symptoms

    Ketamine: a tale of two enantiomers

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    The discovery of the rapid antidepressant effects of the dissociative anaesthetic ketamine, an uncompetitive N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antagonist, is arguably the most important breakthrough in depression research in the last 50 years. Ketamine remains an off-label treatment for treatment-resistant depression with factors that limit widespread use including its dissociative effects and abuse potential. Ketamine is a racemic mixture, composed of equal amounts of (S)-ketamine and (R)-ketamine. An (S)-ketamine nasal spray has been developed and approved for use in treatment-resistant depression in the United States and Europe; however, some concerns regarding efficacy and side effects remain. Although (R)-ketamine is a less potent N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antagonist than (S)-ketamine, increasing preclinical evidence suggests (R)-ketamine may have more potent and longer lasting antidepressant effects than (S)-ketamine, alongside fewer side effects. Furthermore, a recent pilot trial of (R)-ketamine has demonstrated rapid-acting and sustained antidepressant effects in individuals with treatment-resistant depression. Research is ongoing to determine the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant actions of ketamine and its component enantiomers in an effort to develop future rapid-acting antidepressants that lack undesirable effects. Here, we briefly review findings regarding the antidepressant effects of ketamine and its enantiomers before considering underlying mechanisms including N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antagonism, γ-aminobutyric acid-ergic interneuron inhibition, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic receptor activation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and tropomyosin kinase B signalling, mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signalling, inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 and inhibition of lateral habenula bursting, alongside potential roles of the monoaminergic and opioid receptor systems
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