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Ketamine: Benefits and Risks for Depression, PTSD & Neuroplasticity

103 Min
8 Favorites

Andrew Huberman, Ph.D.
In this episode, I explain how ketamine causes rewiring of brain circuits and dissociative states to relieve symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I explain how ketamine impacts both the brain’s glutamate and its endogenous opioid pathways, which together regulate mood and well-being. I discuss how ketamine therapy is used clinically to treat major depression, bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), suicidality and other psychiatric challenges. I also describe how ketamine causes the subjective effects of dissociation and euphoria and, at higher doses, is an anesthetic. I compare the different routes of ketamine administration, dosages and forms of ketamine, and if micro-dosing ketamine is effective. I also highlight the potential risks of recreational ketamine use (and the colloquial term ‘K-holes’). This episode should interest anyone interested in ketamine, treatments for depression, neuroplasticity mechanisms, psychiatry and mental health. For the full show notes, visit Thank you to our sponsors AG1: ROKA: Eight Sleep: LMNT: ROKA: Supplements from Momentous Timestamps (00:00:00) Ketamine (00:02:29) Sponsors: ROKA & Eight Sleep (00:05:13) Ketamine & PCP; Clinical & Recreational Use (00:09:00) Depression & Current Treatments (00:15:17) Preclinical Models of Depression & Ketamine; “Learned Helplessness” (00:22:11) Ketamine & Clinical Uses; Depression & Suicidality (00:28:32) Ketamine & Other Psychiatric Challenges; Relief & Durability (00:33:24) Sponsor: AG1 (00:34:29) NMDA Receptor & Neuroplasticity (00:41:36) Excitatory & Inhibitory Communication, Seizure, NMDA Receptors & Ketamine (00:48:26) How Ketamine Functions in Brain; Acute & Long-Term Effects (00:55:36) Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) & Ketamine Therapy (01:02:28) Sponsor: LMNT (01:03:40) Ketamine & Opioid Pathway (01:10:00) Divergent Mechanisms of Immediate & Long-Term Effects (00:15:45) Habenula, Pro-Depressive Behaviors & Ketamine Therapy (01:20:36) Ketamine & Context-Dependent Strategy; Reward Pathway (01:22:45) Dissociative States (01:26:04) Doses & Routes of Administration; “K-holes”; Risk & Caution (01:32:25) Ketamine Forms; R-, S- vs R/S- Ketamine; Micro-Dosing (01:38:24) Ketamine: Effects & Therapy (01:40:40) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer