Party drug for the cure?

Ketamine shows promise in treating depression

Low doses of ketamine, often used illegally as a party drug, could treat severe depression, UK researchers say.

In a small clinical trial, a research team at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust gave 28 people doses of the psychedelic drug, which is used medically as a veterinary and human anesthetic. Eight of the participants showed improvements in reported levels of depression, with half of those improved so much they were no longer classified as depressed. As for duration of the effect, some relapsed within days, while others found they benefited from the dose for up to three months. The trial included patients who had lived with depression for 20 years.

However, all the findings weren’t so rosy. There were also serious side effects, including one case of blood flow to the brain being interrupted.