OPEN Foundation

Ketamine and pharmacological imaging: use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate mechanisms of action

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Abstract

Ketamine has been used as a pharmacological model for schizophrenia as subanesthetic infusions have been shown to produce temporary schizophrenia-like symptoms in healthy humans. More recently, ketamine has emerged as a potential treatment for multiple psychiatric disorders, including treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation. However, the mechanisms underlying both the psychotomimetic and the therapeutic effects of ketamine remain poorly understood. This review provides an overview of what is known of the neural mechanisms underlying the effects of ketamine and details what functional MRI studies have yielded at a systems level focused on brain circuitry. Multiple analytic approaches show that ketamine exerts robust and consistent effects at the whole-brain level. These effects are highly conserved across human and nonhuman primates, validating the use of nonhuman primate models for further investigations with ketamine. Regional analysis of brain functional connectivity suggests that the therapeutic potential of ketamine may be derived from a strengthening of executive control circuitry, making it an intriguing candidate for the treatment of drug abuse. There are still important questions about the mechanism of action and the therapeutic potential of ketamine that can be addressed using appropriate functional neuroimaging techniques.
Maltbie, E. A., Kaundinya, G. S., & Howell, L. L. (2017). Ketamine and pharmacological imaging: use of functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate mechanisms of action. Behavioural Pharmacology28(8), 610-622. 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000354
Link to full text

OPEN Foundation

Join ICPR 2022 Online!

ICPR features world-leading experts from many academic disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, ethnobotany, and philosophy who come together to give a scientific conference for academics, therapists, researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and members of the public. Get your ICPR 2022 livestream ticket today and use the code OPENLIVE30 at checkout for a €30 discount.

Learn More

INTERESTED IN PSYCHEDELIC RESEARCH AND THERAPIES?

Subscribe to our new OPEN-Minded newsletter to stay in the loop, hear about our events, and become a part of a community dedicated to advancing psychedelics.

By clicking subscribe, I confirm to receive emails from the OPEN Foundation and agree with its privacy policy.