Could ketamine treatment help to improve autism, improving social interaction for high functioning adults with autism or Aspergers?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive behavior, sensitivity to sensory stimulation, as well as difficulties with social interactions, communication, and emotional regulation. There are many adults who fall on the autistic spectrum in such a way that they are considered to be high functioning, but still find integrating with society to be challenging.
People with autism may be at higher risk for other conditions as well. For example, there may be a higher risk for conditions, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, Tourettes Syndrome, and addiction.
The brain regions that may be affected by autism include the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum, temporal lobe, basal ganglia, and corpus callosum. There are various therapies that can help adults with autism to function better, but is it possible that ketamine therapy might help to improve brain function long-term?
We know that ketamine is effective as anesthesia, and that it works well for treatment resistant depression. Some clinical trial data may indicate that ketamine infusion therapy could also help people with autism to function better.
Should autistic adults diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome consider ketamine assisted psychotherapy?
People with Asperger’s are often very high functioning, living normal lives where they manage their own affairs. They work full time, and they have families of their own. In fact, many people with Asperger’s are highly intelligent and successful.
Yet, they still suffer from a condition that is part of the autism spectrum, so they may have issues with repetitive behavior, difficulty in social situations, and difficulty with social communication. Their brain circuits seem to be wired differently, causing symptoms that can interfere with functioning in daily life.
A person with this form of autism may experience depression, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide. Psychotherapy is helpful for autism, and it is recommended, to help with symptoms of autism and related conditions.
Fortunately, ketamine IV infusion therapy works very well for depression and anxiety. It can even help to reduce suicidal ideation.
People with Asperger’s have benefited from ketamine treatments to help with various issues that may have been caused by the difficulty of living with autism. Additionally, there have been reports that ketamine therapy may also improve the primary symptoms of autism.
Making the decision to treat autism with ketamine assisted therapy.
We must be careful, moving forward with applying ketamine assisted treatment to autism. Especially in the case of people who have severe autism. In most cases, ketamine for autism should be left to clinical researchers for now.
However, for a high functioning person with Asperger’s, who is already living a full life, the decision to get ketamine therapy is up to them and their doctors. For Asperger’s patients who are under the care of a psychiatrist, they should be cleared for treatment first by that doctor.
Ketamine works by a variety of different mechanisms, which include improved connections between neurons and better communication in the brain. For an autistic person who suffers from conditions, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, suicidality, or bipolar disorder, ketamine can help.
A person who has lived their life with Asperger’s has grown accustomed to navigating through the world with a different way of experiencing things and compensating. It is possible that ketamine can make a difference in relieving the symptoms of Asperger’s.
When combined with psychotherapy, ketamine infusion treatments are highly effective for treating many mental health conditions. It is possible that people with the neurodevelopmental condition of Asperger’s syndrome may benefit from this established safe and effective medical therapy.