Visualising the Effects of Ketamine

Figure 1. The resting state brain response to ketamine. Increases in activation are shown in red, decreases in blue – De Simoni et al., 2012.

What is ketamine?
Ketamine is an anaesthetic which was first developed by the drug company Parke-Davis in 1962. It is typically considered a ‘dissociative’ anaesthetic due to the unusual effects it can produce, which include out-of-body experiences. Recent years have also seen significant growth in its use within the party scene, where it is commonly referred to as ‘Special K’. However, as it has a safety profile superior to that of many other anaesthetics, ketamine is still widely used by clinicians for emergency, paediatric and veterinary anaesthesia (Jansen, 2001; Perry et al., 2007).