The use of ketamine in treating mental conditions continues to expand. Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that primarily affects the motor system. Common symptoms include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, difficulty walking, and dementia. A third of Parkinson’s patients also experience depression and anxiety. Fortunately, a new Parkinson’s treatment is on the rise in popularity. And, is bringing new hope for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their family members.
Currently, Levodopa is the best-known treatment for Parkinson’s. However, it has some rather debilitating side effects. Levodopa is a helpful initial treatment. As the disease progresses though, the neurons continue to be lost and the medication becomes less effective. These medications produce complications, such as involuntary writhing movements.
Researchers at the University of Arizona are now testing an old drug- ketamine- to see if it can bring relief. Research indicated that ketamine eases dyskinesia (abnormal or impaired voluntary movement) in rodents. Parkinson’s patients that are taking ketamine also report it helps with pain relief.
Repurposing ketamine to treat dyskinesia would provide relief to patients quicker. The current treatment takes weeks if not months to begin relieving symptoms. However, Parkinson patients may have to wait a while. New treatment methods typically take 5-10 years of research before hitting the market. It’s a promising start though.
Ketamine based medications are currently on the FDA’s fast track to treat depression, and many doctors are prescribing it as an alternative treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal behavior, and other mental health issues. Research also indicates ketamine infusion therapy is helpful in treating chronic pain.
Interested in learning more about ketamine therapy or think it may help you? Contact us today!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.