Get our lovely INSIGHT 2019 conference news

Email address
First Name
Last Name
Interested in InSight 2019

What are you looking for?

<Good_things_happen/> Welcome to Conference

The ketamine breakthrough: a new paradigm for the treatment of depression and pain


The ketamine breakthrough: a new paradigm in the treatment of depression and pain Tharcila Chaves University of Groningen, The Netherlands The proposed presentation aims to acknowledge the cutting-edge and avant-garde properties of ketamine as a tool to treat persistent physical and mental pains. The rapid antidepressant effect of the well-known anaesthetic drug ketamine in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is considered the most important advance in the pharmacotherapy of depression in 50 years. Depression has surpassed HIV/AIDS, malaria, diabetes and war as the leading cause of disability worldwide. A single dose of ketamine alleviates depressive symptoms within minutes in patients who have failed to respond to two or more conventional antidepressants and these effects are sustained for one week to months. Ketamine is also effective for bipolar depression, it decreases suicidal ideation and has shown positive results in the treatment of other mental conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, ketamine has shown antidepressant effects even in patients who do not respond to electroconvulsive therapy. In the management of pain, ketamine’s role as a safe and effective strategy for treating acute pain in emergency departments has recently been expanding; it is also beneficial for treating chronic pain of different origins. However, in Europe, ketamine is still not approved for psychiatric or analgesic uses, although its off-label use, i.e. using it for different purposes than anaesthesia, is increasingly common in the medical setting. In order to treat patients who are refractory to treatment, health professionals are claiming compassionate reasons in order to obtain authorisation to use ketamine as an antidepressant and/or analgesic. In the United States, the ketamine clinics are increasingly popular, indicating that there is an urgent need for rapid-onset antidepressants for TRD and suicidality. Despite the palliative care and rehabilitation that are usually connected with pharmacotherapy in the treatment of chronic pain, 38% of the patients report not being satisfied with their treatments. Hence the need to assist those patients who do not find a way to deal with their condition. Undoubtedly, there is still a lot to be explored about the effects of ketamine in the human body and consciousness. But it is not a reason to ignore the fact that ketamine has the potential to help several people now, with the knowledge that we already have. The failure of conventional therapies and the rise of the ketamine clinics might be the beginning of a new paradigm in mental and physical pain managements.



September 5th 2019




Tharcila Chaves
PhD Candidate

Tharcila Chaves

University of Groningen more about the speaker

Related Events

Dismantling and Reconfiguring the Narrative Self: An exploratory qualitative study of psychedelic-induced identity transformations

The transformative potential of psychedelic substances may lie in their ability to disintegrate highly organized activity within the cortical networks underpinning self-related cognitive processes. By altering the processes through which the self is experienced and contemplated, these substances have the potential to catalyze lasting change to the narrative self (identity) and developmental trajectories. The present qualitative study explores first-person retrospective accounts of acute and lasting psychedelic-induced changes to the narrative self and the effects of those changes. Inductive thematic coding […]

more details

The notion of “experience” – and it’s importance for psychedelic integration work

What does ‘having an experience’ mean? Why does it matter to think about that, when we are talking about the integration of psychedelic experiences? In a very broad sense, everything is ‘experience’. But because that empiricist notion means a lot, it maybe doesn’t say too much. In a more tangible way, ‘having an experience’ refers to distinct processes, sometimes leading to quite dramatic real life implications for a specific human being. An experience as a whole always reveals something – […]

more details

Is microdosing placebo? The self-blinding microdose study

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that psychedelics microdosing can improve mood, creativity and cognitive functioning. Such anecdotes have hypothesis generating power, but it is critical to recognize that they are a weak form of scientific evidence. Most importantly, self-experimentation lacks placebo control, thus, anecdotal reports are unable to distinguish between psychological expectations and pharmacological effects. To overcome this limitation, we introduce the Imperial College – Beckley self-blinding microdose study. The study uses an innovative ‘self-blinding’ methodology that enables voluntary self-experimenters to add […]

more details

Conference tickets

With your ticket you will have access to the whole conference - with keynotes, panels, round tables, posters and daylight social events. We will ask for a small extra fee for the Friday evening social program. The pre-conference workshops have to be booked separately and each workshop needs an individual ticket. By clicking on "Book now" below you also have the option to buy your workshop tickets.

*Reduced fees apply to students, cooperation partners as well as unemployed and retired individuals who have a monthly net income below 840,- €. Proof of status will be required.

THE CONFERENCE IS SOLD OUT! Subscribe to our newsletter to become an early bird for 2021!

Catering service


With this ticket you can use the catering service all inclusive for three days. The service includes coffee, water, tea and fruit.


after 14 April 2019

  • Standard €250
  • Reduced €150*
  • MIND members Standard €180
  • MIND members Reduced €90



  • Donate €600 or more
  • Invite a friend/colleague to be your VIP guest at the event

Get our lovely INSIGHT 2019 conference news

Email address
First Name
Last Name