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Title: The long-term effects of chronic recreational ketamine use on cognition and subjective experiences
Author: Grayer, J. P.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Rationale: A review of the chronic recreational ketamine research is needed because of (i) increases in recreational ketamine use in the past five years, and (ii) its application to the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate-Receptor ('NMDA-R') hypofunction model of psychosis.;Method: PsychInfo and Pubmed databases were searched using the following terms: 'ketamine', 'frequent', 'regular*, 'repeated', 'chronic', and 'long-term'. The search was limited to human populations and English language journals. Relevant papers were entered into ISI Web of Science to broaden the search. In total eight studies were found.;Findings: Chronic ketamine use (i) acutely impairs working, episodic and semantic memory and elevates dissociation and schizotypal symptoms, sedation, and other subjective and somatic effects. Further, there are suggestions of (ii) residual dissociative, schizotypal, sedative, and subjective and somatic effects, and (iii) long-term, but possibly reversible, effects on the semantic store, and persisting deficits in the manipulation of contextual information in episodic memory.;Conclusions: It is unclear whether chronic ketamine use is a useful model of chronic schizophrenia. Nonetheless, it is importance to communicate the effects of chronic ketamine use to recreational users. Methodological limitations of the research are discussed. "And then: eyes-open. But they've been open. You're in the K-hole now. When you focus, you look around the room - but is it the same room It may seem ultra clear, or hot and shadowy, or '50's kitschy ... and then it changes. The set changes... a quick turn of the floor and... There's a Moroccan influence, or a slick and modern approach, then it blends back into what it is - until it shifts again. Kisa displacer - you are outside of your head, and everything, everything, is new. You must look at that couch for the first time - define what it is - make a connection -and that's hard. For some strange reason, that couch looks like a dancing tree frog. Not literally, like an acid hallucination... but subtly, so you can see both, the couch and the tree frog existing at once. Now if you face the hallucination, and acknowledge it, you can change that frog into, say, a can of corn. The couch is still there, but now it looks just like a can of corn. It's the damnedest thing. The room changes, quickly, and... where was I? Eye's closed, because something wondrous is happening. The universe is decoding itself to you, and even though nothing makes sense, it all comes together - and if you try to think about it, it's gone again and you're back on the ceiling sitting on your can of corn. Welcome to the land of K." From Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland (St. James, 1999).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available