ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Ketamine meets mTOR

September 2, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

A team from Yale School of Medicine has found an mTOR-mediated mechanism that could help explain how the anesthetic ketamine is able to reduce depression more rapidly than standard antidepressants.1 The researchers now hope to identify new targets in the mTOR pathway that can produce the same rapid result without the psychotic side effects associated with ketamine.

Ketamine is marketed as a veterinary anesthetic and as an analgesic to treat severe or chronic pain in humans. At high doses,the drug can cause hallucinogenic and psychotic effects. As a result, ketamine is a recreational drug of abuse and was classified as a Schedule III controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1999...