Larry Weeks

Ep. 58: Your Brain On Depression: Dr. John Krystal On Antidepressants, Psychedelics, and Ketamine Therapy


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So many people end up struggling with depression for long periods of time; even with psychotherapy there are still people who continue to suffer, which was one of the reasons that we continue to probe the biology to both better understand the disorder and to try to develop new treatments – Dr. John Krystal

This podcast is about brain chemistry, specifically, what happens in our brains when we are traumatized in some way, severely depressed, or anxious. And for those stuck in that state, what are the latest clinical treatments using medication that can help someone get unstuck.

My guest is the distinguished  Dr. John Krystal MD. Dr. Krystal is the Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Psychology; Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University; and Chief of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Dr. Krystal is a leading expert in the areas of alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. His work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, and computational neuroscience to study the neurobiology and treatment of these disorders. He is best known for leading the discovery of the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients.

He is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of Freedom Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology platform developing next-generation ketamine and psychedelic therapeutics that recently emerged from stealth in August 2022. 

Some of the topics we cover in this episode …

  • The neurobiology of a depressed brain
  • The relationship between thought and brain chemistry 
  • Anxiety and its connection to depression
  • Pharmacology; getting into the various medications for treating depression.
  • How antidepressants were discovered 
  • The efficacy of current antidepressants.
  • The neuroscience of psychedelics in the treatment of severe depression and PTSD 
  • Ketamine therapy; benefits, risks, and the treatment protocols (the different delivery mechanisms, dosages, etc.) 



Disclaimer: None of the content in this podcast constitutes medical advice or should be construed as a recommendation to use any medications mentioned. There are psychological, physical, and sometimes legal risks with usage. Please consult your doctor before considering anything we discuss in this episode.

All right, that all said, here is more information for you to consider. 


Resources and links.




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