Some scientists have been mucking about with the brains of depressed people, merrily feeding them notorious animal tranquilliser and mind-bending floaty/paralysis party drug ketamine to see what happens. Rather unsurprisingly, they felt a bit better about themselves after emerging from their medically induced k-holes.
The study [serious second paragraph voice] saw researchers from the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford treat long-term sufferers of depression with low doses of ketamine -- around half that taken by recreational users in festival fields -- finding that 29 per cent of patients saw a "significant" improvement in mood once the k-course had finished. Several test subjects even declared themselves entirely free from the symptoms of depression as a result.
The encouraging news for the underground drug scene was summarised by Oxford University psychiatrist Dr Rupert McShane, who said: "This really is dramatic for some people and it's the sort of thing that really makes it worth doing psychiatry ... we've seen remarkable changes in people who've had severe depression for many years that no other treatment has touched."
The most interesting thing is the duration of the apparent fix, with some patients staying free from depression for up to eight months after the end of the course. [Guardian]
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