Bita Moghaddam

May 10, 2023

Bita Moghaddam on Ketamine

Pharmacological Histories Ep. 3

MIT Press 2021

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In this episode, Bita Moghaddam discusses the emergence of ketamine as a combat anesthetic in the Vietnam war, its transformation into a recreation drug central to club culture, and its current transition into a treatment for depression. 

Ketamine, approved in 2019 by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression, has been touted by scientists and media reports as something approaching a miracle cure. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series chronicles the ascent of a drug that has been around for fifty years--in previous incarnations, a Vietnam-era combat anesthetic and a popular club drug--that has now been reinvented as a treatment for depression. Bita Moghaddam, a leading researcher in neuropharmacology, explains the scientific history and the biology of ketamine, its clinical use, and its recently discovered antidepressant effects, for the nonspecialist reader.

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