As a physician and a founder, I’m constantly pulled between the dual urges of careful scientific analysis and urgency toward innovative change. I am also frustrated by the lack of knowledge sharing between healthcare experts and those we serve.
As part of my work on Curio, a psychedelics healthcare company, I spend hours reading through not only primary literature, but also expert synthesis of news and research outcomes in the field of psychedelics. This newsletter houses some of the most interesting discussions and even debates happening among entrepreneurs, scientists, therapists, and doctors in this nascent field.
The name Curio(us) comes from the philosophy of approaching new topics with an open mind. We learn best when we come without prejudice. We are able to build and help one another most when we eliminate our bias - even that based on years of experience.
The Curio(us) Newsletter is my attempt to promote education, thoughtfulness, and excitement for this psychedelics revolution in healthcare.
In upcoming issues, you will get a mix of science, discussion, and news. My goal is to be true to the source material while making it more readable.
Those of you who have looked into doing ketamine-assisted coaching and therapy are probably wondering how often ketamine sessions should be. The true answer is - it’s complicated. Your frequency depends on your dose, underlying conditions, goals, and support for integration as well as life contextual factors. But here's some of the current research and clinical recommendations.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is the most studied ketamine intervention thus far. It’s roughly defined as major depressive disorder that hasn’t responded to 2+ antidepressant drugs and typically doesn’t respond to any other traditional antidepressants. However, it is not clear that TRD and major depressive disorder are so different in terms of psychedelic interventions. More on this later.
Studies have shown that 2-3X a week for IV ketamine have helped without any significant or lasting adverse effects. However, whether that high frequency is necessary for effect is unclear. Also, dosing has not been the same across studies, and that certainly could influence frequency and outcomes. Some scientists argue that the age-old anesthesia method of calculating dose by weight isn’t so relevant when using ketamine for a psychedelic effect. Genetics, metabolism, and life context are important factors which aren’t currently considered in dosing.
Most current research concludes that the exact optimal frequency depends on a host of different factors. It is a complicated topic and you should discuss your individual program with your physician. I also can’t emphasize enough the integration aspect of care. Whether it’s with a psychedelic-certified therapist or an experienced community of friends and family, the “before” and “after” aspect of care is what makes your experience.
Hillary Lin, MD is a Stanford-trained physician and Co-founder of Curio - Psychedelics for Healthcare. She is an advisor to digital health companies and published researcher in the fields of neuroscience, medical education, and oncology. Follow her @hillarylinmd on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.