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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Sep;30(9):1287-96. doi: 10.1177/0960327110388958. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Permanent deficits in brain functions caused by long-term ketamine treatment in mice.

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  • 1Department of Medical Psychology, Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, Shandong, China.

Abstract

Ketamine, an injectable anesthetic, is also a popular recreational drug used by young adults worldwide. Ketamine is a non-competitive antagonist of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor, which plays important roles in synaptic plasticity and neuronal learning. Most previous studies have examined the immediate and short-term effects of ketamine, which include learning and cognitive deficits plus impairment of working memory, whereas little is known about the long-term effects of repeated ketamine injections of common or usual recreational doses. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the deficits in brain functions with behavioral tests, including wire hang, hot plate and water maze tests, plus examine prefrontal cortex apoptotic markers, including Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3, in mice treated with 6 months of daily ketamine administration. In our study, following 6 months of ketamine injection, mice showed significant deterioration in neuromuscular strength and nociception 4 hours post-dose, but learning and working memory were not affected nor was there significant apoptosis in the prefrontal cortex. Our research revealed the important clinical finding that long-term ketamine abuse with usual recreational doses can detrimentally affect neuromuscular strength and nociception as part of measurable, stable and persistent deficits in brain function.

PMID:
21056951
DOI:
10.1177/0960327110388958
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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