Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm Going to Miss Those Hallucinations

Years ago, ketamine was found to have an "instant antidepressant" effect -- even in depressed people who had failed to improve when taking conventional antidepressants. Ketamine caused improved moods within hours -- instead of several weeks with typical antidepressants. And the effect of just one dosage of ketamine lasted up to several weeks. The main problem with ketamine, for most people, is the hallucinations.

Recent US clinical Phase IIA trials of the drug GLYX-13 -- a drug with similar neurological effects as ketamine -- show encouraging results for treating depression. Similar to ketamine in effect, but without the hallucinations.
The Phase IIa results show that a single administration of GLYX-13 produced statistically significant reductions in depression scores in subjects who had failed treatment with one or more antidepressant agents. The reductions were evident within 24 hours and persisted for an average of seven days. Importantly, the effect size, a measure of the magnitude of the drug's antidepressant efficacy, observed at 24 hours and at seven days after a single administration of GLYX-13, was nearly double the effect size seen with most other antidepressant drugs after 4-6 weeks of repeated dosing.

In the Phase IIa trial, GLYX-13 was well tolerated. Reported side effects were mild to moderate and were consistent with those observed in subjects receiving placebo. Consistent with previous studies, GLYX-13 did not produce any of the schizophrenia-like psychotomimetic effects associated with other drugs that modulate the NMDA receptor. _News Medical Net
[satire on]

Ever since Al Fin discovered the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine, he has insisted that all Al Fin blog writers whose postings start to trend too dark, must come in to the office for an injection of ketamine from the blog physician's assistant.

At first, I was troubled by the visions and hallucinations. But then I learned to control my dream destinations, and the persons and creatures I met.

Sure, they had to strap me down to the table for an hour or two. But it was worth it. What was the alternative? Write for Huffington Post? They are crap to write for, and Ariana is the cheapest of cheapskates -- not to mention totally loony.

After each injection, I could go weeks and weeks without turning to the dark side of writing. In many ways, I think I am a better writer for it, too. Ketamine is a much better alternative than electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), from everything I have read.

The hallucinations? My favorite one became a recurring vision with each injection. It involved a princess who would meet me outside her castle, and . . . Well it's my hallucination and you can't have it.

Neither will I be able to, either, once GLYX-13 is approved and on the market. Mr. Fin knows about the drug, so I am not revealing any secrets. He has already sent a memo to those of us who receive the treatments, advising us of his plans to change over to the new treatment, once it is legally available. All I can do is enjoy the hallucinations while they last.[satire off]

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