Solo Episode
August 6, 2023

Ketamine: Benefits and Risks for Depression, PTSD & Neuroplasticity

Listen or watch on your favorite platforms

In this episode, I explain how ketamine causes rewiring of brain circuits and dissociative states to relieve symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I explain how ketamine impacts both the brain’s glutamate and its endogenous opioid pathways, which together regulate mood and well-being. I discuss how ketamine therapy is used clinically to treat major depression, bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), suicidality and other psychiatric challenges. I also describe how ketamine causes the subjective effects of dissociation and euphoria and, at higher doses, is an anesthetic. I compare the different routes of ketamine administration, dosages and forms of ketamine, and if micro-dosing ketamine is effective. I also highlight the potential risks of recreational ketamine use (and the colloquial term ‘K-holes’). This episode should interest anyone interested in ketamine, treatments for depression, neuroplasticity mechanisms, psychiatry and mental health.


Other Resources

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  • 00:00:00 Ketamine
  • 00:02:29 Sponsors: ROKA & Eight Sleep
  • 00:05:13 Ketamine & PCP; Clinical & Recreational Use
  • 00:09:00 Depression & Current Treatments
  • 00:15:17 Preclinical Models of Depression & Ketamine; “Learned Helplessness”
  • 00:22:11 Ketamine & Clinical Uses; Depression & Suicidality
  • 00:28:32 Ketamine & Other Psychiatric Challenges; Relief & Durability
  • 00:33:24 Sponsor: AG1
  • 00:34:29 NMDA Receptor & Neuroplasticity
  • 00:41:36 Excitatory & Inhibitory Communication, Seizure, NMDA Receptors & Ketamine
  • 00:48:26 How Ketamine Functions in Brain; Acute & Long-Term Effects
  • 00:55:36 Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) & Ketamine Therapy
  • 01:02:28 Sponsor: LMNT
  • 01:03:40 Ketamine & Opioid Pathway
  • 01:10:00 Divergent Mechanisms of Immediate & Long-Term Effects
  • 01:15:45 Habenula, Pro-Depressive Behaviors & Ketamine Therapy
  • 01:20:36 Ketamine & Context-Dependent Strategy; Reward Pathway
  • 01:22:45 Dissociative States
  • 01:26:04 Doses & Routes of Administration; “K-holes”; Risk & Caution
  • 01:32:25 Ketamine Forms; R-, S- vs R/S- Ketamine; Micro-Dosing
  • 01:38:24 Ketamine: Effects & Therapy
  • 01:40:40 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

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