Scientific research suggests that by blocking the NMDA receptors, ketamine prompts the brain to increase the production of synaptic signaling proteins in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain thought to play a critical role in a person’s ability to regulate his/her mood. Ketamine appears to promote the growth of new synapses in the
prefrontal cortex, resulting in greater connectivity in the brain, while also switching certain connections on and off. This cascade of events is thought to be the reason for the rapid antidepressant effect.
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