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Endogenous Ketamine-Like Compounds and the NDE: If So, So What?


This commentary on Karl Jansen's ketamine model for the near-death experience expands upon and raises additional questions about several issues and hypotheses: self-experimentation as a source of data; ketamine's similarities to and differences from classical hallucinogens; the need for quantification of unusual subjective states; clinical research and toxicological implications of this model; drugs as gateways to “religious” states; and “evolutionary” versus “religious” significance of naturally occurring compounds released in the near-death state. I suggest future research that could help explicate several of these areas.

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Formerly Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine

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Strassman, R.J. Endogenous Ketamine-Like Compounds and the NDE: If So, So What?. Journal of Near-Death Studies 16, 27–41 (1997).

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  • Clinical Research
  • Ketamine
  • Subjective State
  • Additional Question
  • Toxicological Implication