As 2016 winds down, the medical community is already looking toward the future — 2017, to be exact. Now in its 11th year, Ohio’s esteemed Cleveland Clinic is releasing its Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2017. (1)
More than 100 doctors and researchers pored over nearly 200 nominations of medical innovations that have a high chance of healing and extending life. In order of importance, check out my thoughts on the top 10 medical innovations to keep your eyes on in the coming months.
7. Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression
More than 15 millions Americans over the age of 18 suffer from depression — that’s 6.7 percent of the adult population. (8) And while there are some natural remedies and prescription medications available, for nearly one-third of depressed patients, they don’t work. Unfortunately, for about 43,000 people, the answer becomes suicide.
The medical world believes there is new hope in ketamine for these extreme, treatment-resistant cases. For the last few years, the animal tranquilizer and sometimes-party drug has been studied and trialled as a treatment for major depression when other options have been exhausted, and the results are promising. Of course, I am an advocate for natural depression treatment and improving mood and brain structure through food and exercise, but in some cases, even that fails to work.
Numerous studies have found that ketamine is extremely effective in treating major depression, sometimes as quickly as in 24 hours after just one dose. (9) Serial ketamine infusions seem to be even more effective at treating the mental disease. (10) It works by targeting and inhibiting NMDA receptors in nerve cells.
Thanks to the ketamine studies, the FDA has fast tracked the development of medications that focus on NMDA receptors, like the ketamine treatments do. With any luck, these treatments will be available in 2017 to transform lives if other treatments don’t seem to work.