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A unified model of ketamine’s dissociative and psychedelic properties, 2022, Marguilho et al ,

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by CRG, Dec 18, 2022.

  1. CRG

    CRG Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A unified model of ketamine’s dissociative and psychedelic properties

    Miriam Marguilho, Inês Figueiredo, and Pedro Castro-Rodrigues


    Ketamine is an N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonist which is increasingly being researched and used as a treatment for depression. In low doses, it can cause a transitory modification in consciousness which was classically labelled as ‘dissociation’.

    However, ketamine is also commonly classified as an atypical psychedelic and it has been recently reported that ego dissolution experiences during ketamine administration are associated with greater antidepressant response.

    Neuroimaging studies have highlighted several similarities between the effects of ketamine and those of serotonergic psychedelics in the brain; however, no unified account has been proposed for ketamine’s multi-level effects – from molecular to network and psychological levels.

    Here, we propose that the fast, albeit transient, antidepressant effects observed after ketamine infusions are mainly driven by its acute modulation of reward circuits and sub-acute increase in neuroplasticity, while its dissociative and psychedelic properties are driven by dose- and context-dependent disruption of large-scale functional networks.

    Computationally, as nodes of the salience network (SN) represent high-level priors about the body (‘minimal’ self) and nodes of the default-mode network (DMN) represent the highest-level priors about narrative self-experience (‘biographical’ self), we propose that transitory SN desegregation and disintegration accounts for ketamine’s ‘dissociative’ state, while transitory DMN desegregation and disintegration accounts for ketamine’s ‘psychedelic’ state.

    In psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, a relaxation of the highest-level beliefs with psychotherapeutic support may allow a revision of pathological self-representation models, for which neuroplasticity plays a permissive role. Our account provides a multi-level rationale for using the psychedelic properties of ketamine to increase its long-term benefits.

    Full: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02698811221140011
    Peter Trewhitt and Trish like this.
  2. Shadrach Loom

    Shadrach Loom Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    London, UK
    I recall writings by dippy solipsist Robert Anton Wilson about psychedelics, in which he insisted that while LSD only allowed trippers to access seven levels of consciousness, ketamine opened up an eighth circuit, allowing the very stuff of reality to be reshaped.

    He’d probably been overindulging. And this was before recreational use of ketamine had mainstreamed into banal ubiquity.
    shak8, alktipping and Peter Trewhitt like this.

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