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This study from the National Institute of Health shows that “ketamine reduces compulsive behaviors in rats, showing effect in the orbitofrontal area”.


S-ketamine reduces marble burying behaviour in rats: Involvement of ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex and AMPA receptors.

Previous clinical and pre-clinical studies suggest the involvement of ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex (vmOFC) and glutamatergic neurotransmission in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Ketamine, an NMDA glutamatergic receptor antagonist, has shown a rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effect, but its anti-compulsive effect has been scarcely investigated. The antidepressant effect of ketamine involves NMDA receptor blockade, AMPA receptor activation, increased serotonin (5-HT) release and attenuation of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. It is not known if these mechanisms are involved in ketamine-induced anti-compulsive effect. Therefore, we firstly investigated the effect of S-ketamine in the marble-burying test (MBT), a model for screening of drugs with potential to treat OCD. Then, we evaluated whether ketamine effects in the MBT would involve the vmOFC, be dependent on AMPA receptors, facilitation of serotonergic neurotransmission and inhibition of nitrergic pathway. Our results showed that single systemic (10 mg/kg) and intra-vmOFC (10 nmol/side) administration of S-ketamine reduces marble burying behaviour (MBB) without affecting spontaneous locomotors activity. Pre-treatment with NBQX (3 mg/kg; AMPA receptor antagonist) blocked the reduction of MBB induced by S-ketamine. However, pre-treatment with p-CPA (150 mg/kg/day; a 5-HT synthesis inhibitor), WAY100635 (3 mg/kg; a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist), or L-arginine (500 mg/kg; a nitric oxide precursor) did not counteract S-ketamine effect in the MBT. In contrast, associating sub-effective doses of L-NAME (10 mg/kg; NOS inhibitor) and S-ketamine (3 mg/kg) decreased MBB. In conclusion, the reduction of MBB by S-ketamine strengthens its possible anti-compulsive effect. The vmOFC is involved in this S-ketamine effect, which is dependent on the activation of AMPA receptors.

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Dr. Sarah Hernandez  

As a psychiatrist, I understand the intricacies of how the mind and body work together, and one of my main beliefs is making sure medical contributors to psychological conditions are fully assessed and treated or ruled out as we travel down the path of mental and spiritual wellness. I specialize in understanding how medical and psychiatric conditions work together. This guides me toward discussing various options for treatment, and you decide which of those options is right for you.

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