Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression
Ketamine infusion therapy is an innovative treatment helping individuals achieve rapid relief from mood disorders as well as a wide range of other conditions. Up to 75% of patients with mood disorders find relief through Ketamine infusion-based therapies.
Dr. Alessi brings his award-winning skills to each case. Different from other Ketamine clinics, Dr. Alessi acknowledges and appreciates that those seeking treatment have complex psychiatric conditions and are receiving other psychopharmacological intervention. Ketamine infusions are more to him than merely administering an infusion to relieve depression; he recognizes that it is giving someone a psychopharmacological agent that has the power to transform not only their mood but several other factors as well. This is especially important in patients who have not a singular condition, such as a depressive disorder, but have comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety or polymorbid conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety. Complex symptoms and disorders require a greater level of sophistication than one might find in a singular Ketamine clinic. Other clinics might not understand the interactions of all conditions present and the requirements of all psychotropic agents required to treat them. Unless one has proper training and experience, these conditions cannot be seen, recognized, identified, or treated successfully.
After assessment and consideration of all treatments, if Ketamine is determined to be the best next step, the treatment is given as an infusion lasting about 40 minutes. As has happened, relief of depression can begin within 20 minutes of starting the infusion and lasts beyond the end of the infusion session. After 6-10 infusions, the patients are transitioned to a sublingual form of Ketamine, and the patient is followed until stable. This can take weeks, if not months, but such is often necessary when dealing with polymorbid conditions and multiple therapeutic interventions.
During this time, all patients participate in psychotherapy to strengthen their sense of self and diminish the negative combination of symptoms often found in people with depressive conditions or disorders. This has been referred to as Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.
We define the presence of comorbid conditions and the utilization of a wide range of psychotropic agents for treatment as Ketamine-assisted psychopharmacotherapy. This is to make certain that reasonable attention is shown to all conditions present, not just to depression when evaluating a person for Ketamine-infusion treatment.
From my perspective as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I am quite interested in understanding the impact that Ketamine infusion could have on children and adolescents with severe mental and emotional conditions. Having lived through the 1980s when children and adolescents were not thought to be able to become depressed, it is apparent to me that there are many children and adolescents with severe disorders that are not responding to traditional medications. Ketamine could serve a tremendous value to children and adolescents from children as young as four years of age through later childhood and adolescence.
The elderly and those who are experiencing end-of-life existential anxiety are two populations that would appear to also potentially benefit from Ketamine. To date, there are very few published studies involving the elderly; although, the percentage of the elderly who are depressed is relatively high. The recognition of depression for the elderly often goes unnoted and subsequently goes untreated. Regardless of age, those who are confronting the increased chance of death, existential dread, and the fear of death can become overwhelmed and experience anxiety and depression. There are a few cases indicating that Ketamine could help these individuals better cope with their anticipation of death. Such an intervention would provide enormous relief to a substantial population with little cost or overhead. We will be offering this service in the next several months.