February 12, 2015 12:00PM ET
In April, a University of Oxford study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that approximately a third of patients with treatment-resistant depression saw immediate improvements in their moods. And since 2012, studies from Yale University, Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine and New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that ketamine is overwhelmingly successful for treatment-resistant patients.
Researchers are the excited about these developments in hopes of combatting the rising number of depression cases nationwide. Almost 7 percent of Americans 18 or older – about 16 million people – suffered at least one major episode of depression in the last year, according to NIMH. The World Health Organization recently found that “depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability” for boys and girls 10 to 19 years old. In the United States, lost productivity and health care expenses from depression cost an estimated $80 billion a year. And those trends are not expected to slow down. National Institutes of Health researchers project depression to be “the second leading cause of disability worldwide and the leading cause of disability in high-income nations, including the United States” within 20 years.
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