It's still a matter of debate whether traditional antidepressant medications combined with psychotherapy have beneficial effects. Ketamine on the other hand appears to act synergistically with psychotherapy and enhances effects in patients with treatment resistant depression. Such enhancing effects have the potential to become an indication for use of ketamine, allowing patients to benefit greater from therapy alone. Additionally, the addition of psychotherapy with ketamine administration, termed Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), appears to extend the antidepressant effects of ketamine.
Inflammation often has a negative connotation and is thought of as something to be avoided. While inflammation often is associated with tissue damage and organ dysfunction, it is also essential in wound healing, and is a key player in fighting infection. Ideally, we want a scenario where our bodies have inflammatory cells acting appropriately to fight an infection or heal wounds, but also to be kept in check as to not cause damage to the body. Several studies have demonstrated that inflammation is a predictor of having a poor response to psychotherapy and worsening symptomology of mental illnesses. Ketamine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects by preventing worsening harmful inflammation without impeding local wound healing processes. Ketamine has the potential to enhance psychotherapy by these anti-inflammatory effects and as a result, allows for better treatment of depression and psychiatric illnesses.
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