Researchers at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust have revealed that the illegal party drug ketamine could be a new treatment for depression.
The researchers reported these findings after concluding a small trial that included 28 people suffering from depression. All patients were given doses of ketamine over 40 minutes on six occasions. Around 8 patients showed significant improvements in depression levels. In fact, researchers revealed that four patients were no longer classed as depressed.
"It really is dramatic for some people, it's the sort of thing really that makes it worth doing psychiatry, it's a really wonderful thing to see," said lead researcher Dr Rupert McShane. "[The patients] say 'ah this is how I used to think' and the relatives say 'we've got x back'."
However, the researchers admitted that the duration of the effect was an issue and that some patients may relapse within days. The study details are reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.