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Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

When it comes to mental health awareness, it is of vital importance to discuss bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder also referred to as manic-depressive disorder, is one of those mental diseases which involved severe mood swings and shifting of energy from very high in one moment to very low in another moment. This ultimately impairs his ability to perform regular life tasks. A person often fails to recognize these symptoms as a mental illness which delays the required medical attention. A person having bipolar disorder will quickly change from a euphoric and excited state to a state of depression and anxiety. The intensity and frequency of symptoms vary from person to person. Feelings of restlessness, lack of concentration, rapid speech, and making unrealistic plans are also included as symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is fairly common with an estimated 5.7 million American adults being diagnosed with it last year according to “The National Institute of Mental Health”. Mostly, the symptoms start when the person is in his 20s but it can occur late in life too. Some genetic associations have been found to leading to bipolar disorder.

Traditionally, mood stabilizers like lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine were used to treat bipolar disorder. The major problem with these drugs is serious side effects that affect a patient's normal life plus these therapies are not effective in many cases.

Sadly, bipolar disorder is associated with increased mortality, morbidity, and suicide rates. At times, it turns out to be treatment-resistant as well despite high-dose medications.

According to the latest research, a more effective ketamine infusion therapy has been proven to be highly effective for the treatment of the treat-resistant depressive phase of bipolar disorder. Due to its higher positive outcomes, FDA has approved it to be used for severe bipolar disorder and associated treatment-resistant depression. The accurate mode of action is not clear but according to one of the researches, it has antisuicidal and antidepressant effects. Ketamine mainly helps the brain to cope with the extreme feelings of sadness and pain which can occur as a result of bipolar disorder which makes it successful in treating bipolar disorder patients. Ketamine has a therapeutic role in several mental disorders, particularly in unipolar major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Scientists think that ketamine act by increasing the release of molecules in your brain which builds new pathways for communication among neurons in a process called synaptogenesis. It also enhances your mood. It was also found out in a study of 42 bipolar disorder patients that 52% of them responded positively to a single ketamine infusion while in another study of 27 patients, over 48% reported having responded well within a week.

Ketamine infusion therapy is a treatment option that is most suitable for those who could not get the positive outcomes from other treatment modalities. Research shows that people taking ketamine infusions experience mild depression and fewer anger attacks along with mild night terrors and a sharp decline in suicidal tendency. Results vary between patients on ketamine infusion therapy. Some side effects (for example; hallucinations, nausea, decreased appetite) were seen with ketamine therapy too but they were mild and temporary.

Advantage of Ketamine infusion therapy for bipolar disorder:

Ketamine for bipolar disorder can provide relief and manages the symptoms well in around a few hours to a few days as compared to the delayed outcomes with antidepressants and other medications. Most people feel free of their symptoms even after the 2nd ketamine infusion without any adverse side effects.

Now that the effectiveness of Ketamine infusion therapy has been established, it is recommended to always refer to your mental health doctor and ask for his advice before starting any treatment on your own.

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