Ketamine works differently than any other traditional medications. Imaging studies have suggested that ketamine may work by literally repairing the neural pathways of the brain. This allows for electrical and neurotransmitters to flow more smoothly in the brain circuits, leading to an increase in the brain’s functional capacity and decrease in symptoms. This helps explain why patients that undergo ketamine infusion therapy experience positive effects that last for weeks and months, long after ketamine has been flushed from their systems.
In the United States alone, more than 1.5 million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating disorder with no cure. Parkinson’s affects neurons in the substantia nigra portion of the brain and, as these neurons begin to die, dopamine production decreases over time, which results in a person’s inability to normally moderate their movements. Over the past decade, only five new drugs have been FDA approved for the management of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, but features significant drawbacks, including the major side effect of Levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) and a loss of effectiveness over time.
Implementation of this low-dose ketamine infusion would help:
- Reduce and prevent dyskinesia associated with levodopa therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
- Treat pain and depression associated with Parkinson’s disease while treating Levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
- Allow clinicians to maintain higher doses of levodopa over longer periods of time, improving the health and wellbeing of patients with Parkinson’s disease.