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- 21 March 2024

Elon Musk and Ketamine: «I use it with a medical prescription»

The statement from Tesla and X CEO Elon Musk in a recent interview with Don Lemon, asserting that the use of the medication under medical prescription helps him alleviate negative mental states similar to Depression.

Ketamine, a drug primarily known for its use as an anesthetic, is increasingly emerging as a therapeutic option with promising properties for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. Recent statements by Elon Musk regarding his use of Ketamine to manage mental distress have shed light on this innovative therapy and its potential as a therapeutic option for treatment-resistant mental health conditions.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic with a long history in medicine. Originally developed in the 1960s as a veterinary anesthetic, it was first used in humans in the 1970s for anesthesia. In recent years, however, Ketamine has gained renewed interest for its high therapeutic potential in treating some treatment-resistant Psychiatric Disorders.

On this subject, in 2014 Thomas Insel ― former director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health ― stated that «Ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.»

However, it is important to keep in mind that Ketamine is a hallucinogenic substance; therefore, its misuse may cause a medical peril. For this reason, careful examination of the individual case remains obligatory for choosing the right candidates and protocols for Ketamine treatment. Moreover, the administration of Ketamine should occur in controlled settings with close, long-term monitoring.

When is it used?

Therapeutic Applications in Psychiatry

In recent years, Ketamine has been the primary focus of many clinical studies that have highlighted its effectiveness in managing and treating different psychiatric conditions, including:

  • Major Depression: Especially for patients who have not responded to traditional treatments, proving to be a real lifesaver.

  • Bipolar Disorders: Several studies suggest a rapid antidepressant effect of Ketamine in Bipolar patients.

  • Anxiety Disorders: Ketamine has shown promising results in the treatment of Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Social Anxiety Disorder.

  • Suicidal Ideation: Ketamine has been shown to have a quick anti-suicidal effect, reducing suicide risk within a few hours.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Some promising data underline Ketamine's ability to significantly reduce OCD symptoms after only a few hours from its intake, even in treatment-resistant cases.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): several studies demonstrate Ketamine's effectiveness in reducing PTSD symptoms.

Mechanism of Action

The exact way Ketamine works in treating mental illness remains under investigation. However, it's believed to function by blocking NMDA glutamate receptors in the brain, leading to a rapid increase in glutamate levels.

As glutamate is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain, this rapid surge may impact a much larger number of brain cells compared to traditional medications, potentially explaining Ketamine's therapeutic action.

Indeed, several findings from recent scientific research seem to suggest that this may be precisely the mechanism behind the quick and remarkable symptom relief often observed following ketamine administration.

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Esketamine for Resistant Depression

Learn about Esketamine therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression: a real lifesaver for those who have not obtained results with other therapies.

Elon Musk's Experience with Ketamine

In a recent interview with Don Lemon, Elon Musk ― CEO of Tesla and X social platform ― disclosed that he takes small amounts of Ketamine about every two weeks under medical prescription to alleviate some negative mental states similar to Depression and does so «in the interest of investors.»

Depression is a very debilitating disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. However, conventionally offered treatment options often turn out to be ineffective for many of the patients. Moreover, they often require weeks or even months to achieve their full therapeutic effect. Within this context, Ketamine could represent a real game-changer for many patients not experiencing benefits with other treatments, thanks to its quick and significant therapeutic action.

According to Musk's experience, Ketamine turns out to be effective in mitigating the negative mental states he experiences, providing him with a valuable therapeutic option to address mental distress without the need to interrupt or impair his work. For these reasons, during the interview with Don Lemon, Elon Musk stated that he considers Ketamine a useful option to help people struggling with depression, suggesting to those who suffer from it to discuss with their doctor about this novel treatment option.

Elon Musk's recent statements have drawn attention to the use of Ketamine as an effective treatment for depression, emphasizing the need to continue exploring its treatment potential, still poorly known to the public.

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