Ketamine is an anesthetic drug which has recently been repurposed at low doses for the treatment of severe mood disorders, PTSD, and suicidal ideation. The mechanism of its activity in the brain involves changes in the activity of glutamate, which is the primary amino acid neurotransmitter in the brain. Glutamate is critical for fundamental brain activities such as learning and mood. This webinar will review the history of ketamine for the treatment of serious depressive disorders. Additional drugs in development which impact glutamate and one of its primary receptors (NMDA) will also be discussed.
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Sanjay J. Mathew, M.D. is the Johnson Family Chair for Research in Psychiatry, Professor with Tenure in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a staff psychiatrist at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He completed his psychiatric residency at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where he also completed a NIMH-funded research fellowship in affective and anxiety disorders. Dr. Mathew began his faculty career at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he co-founded and directed the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. His research program funded by NIMH, Department of Veterans Affairs, and industry, focuses on experimental therapeutics and pathophysiology of treatment-resistant depression and trauma and stress-related disorders. Dr. Mathew has published approximately 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and serves on the editorial board of several journals. He is an elected member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and has been selected in Best Doctors every year since 2011. He is co-editor of the book, Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression: The First Decade of Progress, published in 2016.