Ketamine blocks glutamate NMDA receptors in the brain. Increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, important for long-term memory and the creation of new synapses) and restores healthy mushroom-shaped spines on the dendrites of neurons in the prefrontal cortex. It may also affect the monoamines norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine. In rats, increased the firing rate of NE neurons in the locus coeruleus and also increased spontaneous firing dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area.
Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons - NeuroscienceNews.com First report in preclincal study showing extended wakefulness can result in neuronal injury. Image shows a high magnification micrograph of the locus coeruleus. The locus coeruleus is a nucleus found in the rostral pons in the lateral floor of the fourth ventricle. Credit Nephron.