Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease involves a progressive decline in memory, thinking and behavior [1]. Symptoms include:

  • Memory loss interfering with daily function
  • Challenges with problem-solving, planning, judgment
  • Confusion about time or place
  • Difficulty with familiar tasks
  • Changes in mood and personality

Other dementias like vascular dementia share similar symptoms that worsen over the years.

Ketamine can potentially improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s and dementia by modulating glutamate, increasing synaptic plasticity and neurotrophic factors [2].

Small studies in Alzheimer’s patients found a single subanesthetic ketamine infusion led to transient improvements in memory, attention, and mood for up to 2 weeks [3].

However, more research is needed on optimal, repeated dosing protocols to determine if ketamine has lasting cognitive benefits in dementia long-term. Potential risks like neurotoxicity must also be carefully evaluated [4].

Overall, ketamine is a promising avenue for managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but more extensive controlled trials are still needed to confirm its efficacy and safety with chronic use.


[1] Alzheimer’s Association. (2022). Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

[2] Liang LP, Ho YF, Patel M. Ketamine and dementia – a review. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2018;27(9):719-727. doi:10.1080/13543784.2019.1573633

[3] Wang X, Li S, Liu Y, Zhang X, Cui J, Nie X, Zhang D, Zhang G, Bai H, Jing X, Luo T. Effects of ketamine administration on anxiety, cognition, cerebrospinal fluid amino acid and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2019;15:809-822.

[4] Soriano SG, Lipton SA, Wang Y, et al. Ketamine induces toxic and therapeutic effects in Alzheimer mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;25(2):227-35. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110032.

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