PTSD is one of the most talked about mental disorders today. Unfortunately, it is a well-known disability to many of our service members. However, a new study shows support of a possible vaccine. The new study, conducted on lab mice, shows that ketamine (more well known for its use as a high strength tranquilizer) given at the right times before experiencing trauma may mitigate the onset of symptoms.
This study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center stated that since ketamine is so powerful general use would not be a viable option to the general public. However, certain people that are a given to encounter psychological trauma, such as police officers or members of the armed forces, could benefit from being given ketamine at a certain time before the trauma occurs.
PTSD is a disorder that has shown very little in the way of treatment that would actually work and it is a disorder that is fairly common. This new study that shows potential involved giving the mice doses of ketamine at different intervals. The most effective interval is giving the mice ketamine one week before trauma. If trauma can be somewhat predicted this could be a game changer for military members experiencing trauma. Another promising finding was giving mice ketamine one hour after the trauma seemed to help also meaning onset of symptoms could be prevented if timed well.
Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 22 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.19
This assignment was highly enlightening for me. Being a veteran, PTSD is one of the things I struggle with daily. Due to this struggle I wanted to look into something that would possibly be useful information to help with my issues. I wound up finding an article from the Deccan Chronicle showing that ketamine may help with the situation of combat veterans having PTSD. I was absolutely fascinated by this and went to writing. It was a struggle because I wanted to write so much but had to remain analytical for the purpose of the paper. I struggled with the critique and must say I had some bias at this point because I was very hopeful that the article was completely accurate. Once I began to read the scholarly article, my hopes were quickly confirmed and I was also left with more questions than answers. I wanted to know how this would be ethical to test on humans. I also wanted to know if there was any more they could have expanded with ketamine in regards to treatment because I wanted it to be an option not just for the future, but for the present as well. Once I moved on to this final leg I once again found myself in the struggle of detaching myself from the work. I found it highly difficult to look at the study as a journalist because I wanted to remain as unbiased as possible. However, I was enlightened by this study despite all of my struggles during the process