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Video: Ketamine Completely "turned Off" The Sheep's Brain During The Experiment
Ketamine completely "turned off" the sheep's brain during the experiment
In the course of a large-scale study of Huntington's disease, scientists discovered a phenomenal effect from the use of ketamine.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
Researchers at the University of Cambridge shared their findings in the journal Nature. During the experiment, scientists gave sheep different doses of ketamine, from very low - 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, to the maximum - 24 milligrams. Two minutes after the highest dose was administered, electroencephalography (EEG), made with implanted electrodes, showed a complete cessation of brain activity in the cerebral cortex of the animals. After a few minutes, the sheep's brain “came to life” again and returned to normal values.
“It wasn't just a decrease in brain activity. After a high dose of ketamine, the animals' brains completely stopped, and after a few minutes started working again as if they had turned it on and off,”says co-author of the study, neuroscientist Jenny Morton. She added that brain activity was not completely stopped, otherwise the animals would not be able to breathe. The mechanism behind this effect remains to be studied.
In their article, the researchers emphasize that scientists observe and describe such a phenomenon for the first time. They called this phenomenon the "EEG hole".
The findings clearly demonstrate that the effects of ketamine on the brain are not well understood. The neuroactive drug was synthesized in the 60s of the last century and has been widely used in medicine for several decades as an analgesic and sedative for both humans and animals. In recent years, ketamine has begun to be used to treat other disorders, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and migraines.
It is also known that in large doses, the drug can cause a strong dissociative and catatonic state with strong hallucinations, similar to the experience of death. This condition is called the k-hole and, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge, the complete cessation of brain activity in sheep caused a similar mechanism of action of the drug.