Depression affects 16 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. While treatments, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, help many, it is estimated that at least 30 percent of people don’t respond to such medications. In this episode of Advance with MUSC Health, Jennifer Jones, MD, details how Centerspace, a transformational center at MUSC Health, is offering ketamine, a common anesthetic, as a novel treatment to help people with difficult-to-treat mental health conditions, such as treatment resistant depression.
Topics covered in this show:
Centerspace opened in 2020, the center uses FDA-approved and other evidence-based treatments to guide individuals through an intentional and unique journey that uses non-traditional approaches to arrive at the best version of themselves.
They offer ketamine, a cutting-edge treatment, has been shown to be an effective medication in difficult-to-treat conditions including: depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, addictions and chronic pain syndrome.
Ketamine has been approved as an anesthesia agent since the 1970s. It has been used in battlefields and pediatric emergency rooms frequently because it's very safe and does not decrease the breathing drive, unlike a lot of the different opiate types of medications that are used for pain.
At Centerspace there are two types of Ketamine treatments. One is given as an intramuscular injection and the other is the FDA-approved nasal spray SPRAVATO®, which is often covered by insurance.
The Ketamine therapies are given in the clinic under supervision of the Centerspace medical team. The treatment takes about two hours and requires the patient to have a ride home after.
Jones usually tells patients to anticipate an initial series of four to six treatments.
Unlike most antidepressants, which Jones says usually take four to six weeks to be effective, the effects of ketamine are sometimes felt within a day.
Jones says ketamine has been life-changing for many patients who never found relief from other prescription antidepressants.
She details a success story of a woman who was plagued by feelings of guilt and chronic anxiety with no relief from antidepressants. After ketamine treatments she now feels content and happy and is able to enjoy being with her family.
Jones says there is also evidence that ketamine is helping people overcome substance abuse problems.
More about Centerspace:
Location: 270 Coleman Boulevard Mount Pleasant, SC 29464