In a new study published in the Scientific Reports journal, researchers identified two unique brain phenomena that could help explain exactly how ketamine affects the brain. Researchers from the University of Cambridge in England initially conducted this study to discover how therapeutic drugs affect people diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.
Veterinary medicine has used ketamine as an anesthetic and analgesic for years. Recently, however, researchers have discovered that it can be an effective treatment for depression and PTSD. Previous research on this dissociative drug has focused on its anesthetic properties, which are fairly well understood at this point, but “the effects of ketamine on brain activity have rarely been probed,” the study authors explain.