Medical Tourism

Beyond Ketamine: A Comprehensive Guide to Alternative Depression Treatments

Medical Tourism

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Although many individuals respond well to conventional treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapy, others struggle to find relief from their symptoms. Ketamine therapy has emerged as a promising treatment option for those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), but it may not work for everyone. In this article, we will explore a range of alternative treatments for depression when ketamine fails, highlighting the expertise of Dr. Steve Best at The Neuroscience Center.

When Ketamine Doesn't Work: Understanding the Need for Alternative Treatments

Ketamine is a medication traditionally used as an anesthetic that has shown promise as a rapid-acting treatment for TRD. It works by modulating glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in neural plasticity and synaptic connections. While ketamine therapy can be effective for many patients, some may not experience significant improvements in their symptoms. In these cases, it is crucial to explore alternative treatments to find the most effective approach to managing depression.

Alternative Treatments for Depression

For patients who have not experienced success with ketamine therapy, there are several other innovative treatments and therapies available. Some of these include:

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS)

TMS is a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate specific areas of the brain associated with depression. Deep TMS is a more advanced form of TMS that penetrates deeper into the brain, allowing for targeted stimulation of areas that may be less responsive to traditional TMS. Both TMS and Deep TMS can offer relief for patients with depression who have not responded to other treatments, including ketamine. Dr. Steve Best and The Neuroscience Center specialize in utilizing TMS and Deep TMS for depression treatment.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a well-established treatment for severe depression that involves applying brief electrical pulses to the brain while the patient is under general anesthesia. Although ECT has been associated with stigma and misconceptions in the past, it is a safe and effective treatment option for many patients with TRD who have not responded to other treatments, including ketamine.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a surgical procedure that involves implanting a device under the skin on the chest that sends electrical pulses to the vagus nerve, which is responsible for regulating mood and other bodily functions. VNS has been approved by the FDA for treating TRD and has shown promise in reducing depressive symptoms in patients who have not responded to other treatments, including ketamine. Dr. Best and The Neuroscience Center are experienced in utilizing VNS as an alternative therapy for depression treatment.

Esketamine Nasal Spray

Esketamine is a derivative of ketamine that has been approved by the FDA for use as a nasal spray in conjunction with an oral antidepressant for treating TRD. It has a rapid onset of action, with some patients experiencing improvement in depressive symptoms within hours of administration. Esketamine nasal spray can be a valuable treatment option for patients who have not found relief with ketamine or other therapies.


While some patients with depression may not respond well to conventional psychotherapy, exploring different therapeutic approaches can be beneficial. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help patients develop coping strategies, build resilience, and address underlying issues contributing to their depression.


Neurofeedback is a therapy that involves training the brain to self-regulate its electrical activity, with the goal of improving brain function and alleviating symptoms of various mental health conditions. By providing real-time feedback on brainwave patterns, patients learn to modify their brain activity and, in turn, improve their mental health. Dr. Best incorporates neurofeedback into his integrative approach to treating depression at The Neuroscience Center.

Holistic Mental Health and Integrative Psychiatry

For patients struggling with depression, adopting a holistic approach to mental health can be beneficial. This approach includes integrating conventional treatments with alternative therapies, focusing on lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep, and addressing underlying medical conditions that may contribute to depression. Dr. Steve Best at The Neuroscience Center specializes in personalized medicine and integrative psychiatry, tailoring treatment plans to each patient's unique needs and circumstances.

The Benefits of Seeking Expert Care Abroad

For patients struggling with depression, medical tourism can provide access to expert care and innovative therapies that may not be readily available in their home country. By seeking treatment abroad, patients can:

  1. Access cutting-edge treatments and therapies.
  2. Receive care from world-renowned experts and specialists.
  3. Potentially reduce healthcare costs due to lower treatment expenses in certain countries.
  4. Combine healthcare with travel, offering opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation.

For individuals with depression who have not experienced success with ketamine therapy, it is essential to explore alternative treatments to find relief from their symptoms. Dr. Steve Best and The Neuroscience Center offer a range of innovative therapies, including TMS, Deep TMS, ECT, VNS, esketamine nasal spray, psychotherapy, neurofeedback, and a holistic approach to mental health. By considering medical tourism and researching expert care options, patients can make informed decisions and take an active role in their path to recovery. To learn more about Dr. Best and The Neuroscience Center, visit

Learn about how you can become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional→
Disclaimer: The content provided in Medical Tourism Magazine ( is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not endorse or recommend any specific healthcare providers, facilities, treatments, or procedures mentioned in our articles. The views and opinions expressed by authors, contributors, or advertisers within the magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of our company. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in Medical Tourism Magazine ( or the linked websites. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research and consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions related to medical tourism, healthcare providers, or medical procedures.