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Chronic pain and depression are two complex conditions that often go hand in hand. While they may seem distinct, there is a significant overlap between the two. Chronic pain refers to any persistent or recurring pain lasting beyond the usual healing time, typically for at least three months. It can be caused by various factors such as injury, illness, or an underlying medical condition.
On the other hand, depression is a mental health disorder characterized by intense feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, low energy levels, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and even thoughts of self-harm.
The interplay between chronic pain and depression is multifaceted. Living with constant physical discomfort can lead to emotional distress and vice versa - experiencing depressive symptoms can worsen the perception of physical pain.
At a molecular level, ketamine influences the brain's neurotransmitters, specifically glutamate. Glutamate is responsible for communication between neurons and plays a vital role in regulating mood and pain perception.
When administered through infusion therapy, ketamine binds to specific receptors known as NMDA receptors in the brain. By blocking these receptors temporarily, ketamine enhances synaptic connections between neurons. This phenomenon is thought to stimulate neuroplasticity and promote new neural pathways.
Additionally, research suggests that ketamine acts on certain proteins involved in inflammation within the brain. By modulating these proteins' activity levels, ketamine may reduce inflammation associated with chronic pain and depression. Furthermore, studies have shown that ketamine can increase the release of another neurotransmitter called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF supports neuronal growth and survival while also playing a crucial role in regulating mood disorders.
While more research is needed to fully understand all of its mechanisms of action, scientists believe that these combined effects contribute to ketamine's rapid antidepressant properties and its potential for treating chronic pain.
Intriguingly, recent studies have suggested that even low-dose or subanesthetic doses of ketamine can elicit therapeutic effects on mental health conditions like anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These findings provide hope for those who have not responded well to traditional treatments.
When it comes to the process of ketamine infusion therapy, there are several key steps involved. First, a thorough assessment is conducted by a trained medical professional to determine if this treatment is suitable for the individual seeking relief from chronic pain or depression.
Once it has been determined that ketamine infusion therapy is appropriate, the patient will be carefully monitored throughout the entire procedure. The actual administration of ketamine occurs through an intravenous (IV) line over a period of time ranging from 40 minutes to several hours.
During the infusion, patients may experience a range of sensations and effects. Some individuals report feeling relaxed and dream-like, while others may have mild hallucinations or dissociative experiences. It's important to note that these effects are temporary and wear off once the medication is discontinued.
Following each session, patients will have some recovery time in order for any immediate side effects to diminish before they can safely leave the clinic. The number and frequency of sessions can vary depending on individual needs and responses to treatment.
Ketamine infusion therapy offers hope for those suffering from chronic pain or depression who have not found relief through traditional methods. By targeting specific areas in the brain associated with mood regulation and pain processing, this innovative treatment option has shown promising results in improving symptoms and enhancing overall well-being without many of the common side effects associated with traditional medications.
To find out more about the healthcare services we offer at MediPro Pain & Performance, Beaverton, OR, call (503) 828-9265 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 17933 NW Evergreen Place, Ste 285, Beaverton, OR 97006.