Bipolar mood disorder is a condition marked by symptoms such as alternate moments of depression and euphoria, severe emotional episodes and volatile changes in sleep, energy, and activity levels.
Although there is no definitive cure for bipolar disorders, ketamine infusion treatments have shown great promise in addressing this condition successfully. Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, led by Dr. Steven Mandel, provides ketamine therapy to patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and other neighborhoods and cities across the landscape in this part of the state.
Low Dose IV Treatments of Ketamine
In a research report published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, a team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), revealed the results of a study in depressed outpatients who had been experiencing serious bipolar mood disorders and suicidal thoughts for three months or longer.
The study showed that repeat intravenous treatment with low doses of ketamine quickly mitigated suicidal thoughts in the study group of patients with treatment resistant depression. According to the study’s lead author, the finding that low doses of ketamine, when added to current anti-depressant medications, quickly decreased suicidal thinking in depressed patients is critically important.
There are not many safe, effective and easily accessible treatments for these patients. The current medications can have serious potential side effects, requiring careful medical monitoring. The results of the study indicate that controlled, small doses of ketamine introduced intravenously can address a range of manic-depressive illnesses, including bipolar mood disorder – while avoiding the potential side effects of other available treatments.
Safety of Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine infusion treatments have been found to provide rapid relief from the symptoms of depressive illnesses, although previously ketamine was only considered as a general anesthetic. Many of the previous studies on ketamine involved only a single dose of the drug and also excluded patients who reported current suicidal thinking.
Therefore, the current study by the MGH team assumes significance because it was designed not just to assess the anti-depressant and anti-suicidal benefits of repeat, low dose ketamine infusions in depressed outpatients with suicidal thinking that persisted in spite of treatment, but also to evaluate the safety of increase dosage of ketamine.
Results of the Study
The study enrolled 14 patients with moderate to severe symptoms of treatment resistant depression who were having suicidal thoughts for three months or more. The participants were placed on two weekly ketamine infusions over a period of three weeks. The initial dosage administered was 0.5 mg/kg over a 45 minute period, which was about five times less than a typical anesthetic dose.
After the first three doses, the infusion was increased to 0.75 mg/kg. During the three-month follow-up phase after the ketamine infusions, participants were assessed every other week. The assessments included validated measures of suicidal thinking, in which patients were directly asked to rank whether they had specific suicide-related thoughts, their frequency and intensity.
Seven of the 14 participants achieved complete remission, while most of them experienced a decrease in suicidal thinking. No serious adverse events were reported. Dr. Mandel receives patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and nearby areas for ketamine infusions to treat bipolar mood disorder and various other conditions.
For more information about treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling 310-270-0625