Ketamine acts within hours to ameliorate depression for some. This common drug of abuse is generally thought to work by blocking a receptor for the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate. A recent study by Rasenick and colleagues, using Pax Biomarker technology, was published in the Nature journal, “Molecular Psychiatry.” The paper reveals that one mechanism of ketamine action is independent of the NMDA receptor. Curiously, ketamine elicits the same actions as any other antidepressant observed with MoodMark™ R&D, but rather than 3 days of incubation, the “rapid acting” ketamine required only 15 minutes.

Breakthrough study finds new mechanism explaining ketamine’s antidepressant effects