KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY
Effective, Lasting Relief for Mental Health Disorders
The Ketamine Clinic at The Friesen Center provides effective treatments for many mental health problems and disorders. If you are struggling with depression or another mental health disorder, please call to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Friesen today. Ketamine Infusion Therapy is safe, effective and achieves long-lasting results for the vast majority of our patients.
OUR PATIENTS WHO SUFFER FROM THE FOLLOWING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS REPORT SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT AFTER KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Parkinson's Disease with Depression
Multiple Sclerosis with Depression
Autoimmune Disorders with Depression
Acute Stress Disorders
Grief and Loss
According to experts in the mental health field, Ketamine is a safe, effective treatment for chronic mental health disorders
"It is now widely accepted that ketamine is an effective and fast-acting antidepressant, proven to be beneficial for a variety of depressed patients."
-- Scheuing et al. (2015) National Institute of Mental Health
ABOUT KETAMINE INFUSION TREATMENTS
Effective, Lasting Relief for Mental Health Disorders
WHAT IS KETAMINE?
This misunderstood, yet miraculous molecule was introduced commercially in the 1970's as a rapidly acting general anesthetic for short Emergency Room or hospital surgical procedures.
More recently scientists have discovered that ketamine has a myriad of other benefits beyond its ability to silence pain. We now know that ketamine has the potential to reverse the symptoms of TRD–Treatment-Resistant Depression–sometimes after just one 40 minute IV infusion.
For many patients, the path to defeating depression has resulted in one failed remedy after another. A typical Friesen Center Ketamine Clinic patient will have tried as many as six or more antidepressants without lasting benefit.
How, you may be wondering, is ketamine able to bring about such positive change in so short a period of time?
WE HAD IT WRONG
For decades physicians have been telling patients with mood disorders, anxiety or depression, that they simply have a "chemical imbalance" in their brain. We now know that there is much more to reversing depression than simply using antidepressant medications that "trick" your brain into thinking that the "imbalance" has been corrected.
While neurotransmitters are critical chemical messengers and are vital for mood and mental health, they are unable to correct the root cause of major depression and mental health disorders generally. For that, we need a clearer understanding of the changes that occur within the brain that ultimately manifest as the scourge we call depression.
KETAMINE & NEUROREGENERATION
Doctors now know that partially treated depression can have a corrosive effect on the brain resulting in a dramatic loss of brain cells; a clinically significant decrease in the number of synapses or cell-to-cell communication and a third insult called dearborization or "pruning" of neuronal dendrites.
Certain types of brain cells can appear "tree-like" under the microscope. For example, the axon and cell body form the "trunk" of each "tree," while the tens-of-thousands of dendritic connections represent the root structure and/or the division of tree branches as they spread out to the tiniest twig on each branch.
Ketamine's ability to increase the number of new brain cells (neurogenesis), combined with a simultaneous ramping up of new neuronal connections (synaptogenesis) leads to a phenomenon known as synaptic plasticity.
Synaptic plasticity is brain's hidden potential to heal itself and is heavily dependent on a "growth factor" known as BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF levels rise dramatically during the infusion of ketamine and are thought to be responsible for the rapid reversal of depression–including suicidal thoughts.
BDNF is also increased with exercise, acting as a type of "Miracle-Gro" for the brain, sprouting new neurons and numerous new connections. In turn, BDNF enhances an additional neurochemical pathway that results in even greater BDNF release!
Mouse models of stress-induced depression reveal a decreased level of BDNF particularly in the hippocampal region of the brain–a problem that is rapidly reversed with IV Ketamine. Post-mortem studies of patients with depression confirm that levels of BDNF are decreased in the same brain region in humans.
Moreover, ketamine is capable of suppressing the inflammatory and kynurenine pathways in the brain that contribute to depression by suppressing the production of BDNF and creating "neuroinflammation."
THE KETAMINE TREATMENT EXPERIENCE
WHAT IS IT LIKE?
Ketamine infusions at the Friesen Center are administered weekly with the patient relaxed in a reclining chair for 40 to 60 minutes. This "subanesthetic" dose decreases the risk of annoying side-effects such as dizziness, nausea or a mild floating feeling.
Dr. Friesen will review your current list of medications and screen for potential contraindications to IV ketamine in addition to monitoring each patient's response during the infusion. A registered nurse will also be in attendance to help monitor blood pressure and heart rate during the procedure.
On average, patients require 1-4 infusions and are scheduled based on a patients response rate. Some patients may require three weekly infusions while others benefit from the same number of infusions scheduled over a seven-week cycle. You will be asked to complete a standardized test to evaluate the severity of your symptoms and some patients may require genomic testing to screen for a BDNF gene-variant known as BDNF Val66Met. Response rates can be lower for patients that possess this particular gene-variant.
When all treatments are completed you will then be asked to repeat the same standardized test to measure your response and degree of improvement. You may download the screening test QIDS-SR in pdf format here and complete it before your first appointment.