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Mouse Models Show Evidence for Ketamine as a Long-Lasting Antidepressant

Apr 11 2019
Researchers have previously shown that ketamine is effective for immediate, short-term treatment of suicidal ideation and symptoms of depression. A new study in mice shows that ketamine causes physical changes in brain cells, potentially supporting sustained remission. Mice who exhibit depressive behavior experience rapid loss of “dendritic spines”—parts of brain cells that are necessary for chemical signaling. When treated with ketamine, the mice showed improvements in behavior within three hours and regrowth of dendritic spines within 24 hours. These findings bring us closer to understanding what lasting remission of depression in humans may look like. To learn more, please visit the NIMH website.