Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Neurobiological Augmentation of Psychotherapy in Treatment Resistant Depression

Shijia Li, Liliana Ramona Demenescu, Anna Linda Krause, Kolja Neubacher , Marie Wölfer, Björn Langbein and Martin Walter

A substantial number of patients diagnosed with major depression disorder have poor or no response to standard antidepressive drugs. Recent studies showed that ketamine promotes a rapid and sustained antidepressive effect and also promotes neuroplasticity in the regions involved in MDD psychopathology. In this review we summarize the molecular mechanisms of ketamine action, behavioral changes upon administration and the psychotherapeutic implication of ketamine-induced modification of learning and memory processes. Then, from a multi-point perspective, we argue for possible long-term benefits of NMDA receptor modulation on psychotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder. We embed this proposed augmentation strategy into existing literature on the role of NMDA-receptor mediating learning and conclude on recent psychotherapeutic implications for the use of ketamine within multidimensional treatment consideration.