This review (2018) examines (preliminary) evidence of the medical benefits of the non-anesthetic effects of ketamine, as well as supporting evidence of the effectiveness and tolerability of ketamine for improving pain conditions, depression, memory function in Alzheimer’s disease, and brain damage after stroke. It also examines underlying mechanisms that exert these effects by stimulating or blocking certain neuroreceptor pathways.
“Abstract: Ketamine is considered a dissociative anesthetic medication, and it is commonly administered by a parenteral route. It works mainly by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. It inhibits the voltage-gated Na and K channels and serotonin and dopamine reuptake; also, it affects specific receptors, such as α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, kainate, and aminobutyric acid A receptors. Ketamine appears to have particular mechanisms that are potentially involved during analgesic induction, including enhancing of descending inhibition and antiinflammatory effects. More recently, it has been shown that ketamine has potential in clinical practice for the management of chronic pain, cognitive function, depression, acute brain injury, and disorders of the immune system.”
Authors: Jabril Eldufani, Alireza Nekoui & Gilbert Blaise