New Views Into How Ketamine Works In Depression

July 7, 2017

Ketamine initially exerts an antidepressant effect by blocking the N-methyl-D- aspartate receptor (NMDAR), and the ketamine metabolite hydroxynorketamine (HNK) may extend the duration of the effect.  This finding could lead to the development of safer alternatives.  “But it’s been unclear exactly what the target is, how the drug acts to deliver that effect,” lead investigator Lisa Monteggia, PhD, a neuroscientist with the O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.  “If we understand what that target is, exactly how the drug works, it might allow us to think about drugs that hopefully will have the same rapid response of ketamine without the potential side effects,” she said