Researchers at Yale have clinically demonstrated that ketamine can very rapidly reverse synaptic dysfunction tied to depression and stress. In other words, science just proved what zillions of kids in the K hole have known for decades: Ketamine is a very effective way to make yourself feel good.
According to the study published in Science, Special K is incredibly effective where other antidepressants fall short or fail. Many types of depression are linked to deficiencies in the synaptic connections in the brain in regions tied to mood and cognition. Traditional antidepressants can reverse these deficiencies, but they often take months of treatment to work. Researchers have discovered that ketamine can achieve the same results within hours. Obviously, we're a long way from prescription horse tranquilizer, and as The Verge points out, the effectiveness of ketamine tapers off after about a week of use. It's definitely not a long-term solution for chronic depression.
Doctors have been studying this connection for some time, and it's nice to see that the official science is finally catching up with the DIY experimentation of a generation of burnouts. [Science via The Verge]