Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ketamine Infusion Successfully Treats Resistant Depression

New information further elucidates the use of ketamine infusion to treat depression. Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine recently published in Biological Psychiatry the results of their study of the pattern and durability of the antidepressant effects of repeated ketamine infusions.

Twenty-four participants with treatment-resistant depression underwent a washout of antidepressant medication followed by a series of up to six IV infusions of ketamine administered three times weekly over a 12-day period. Those who responded were monitored for relapse for up to 83 days from the last infusion. The overall response rate at the study's end was 70.8 percent. There was a large decrease in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale score at two hours after the first ketamine infusion, and the decrease was largely sustained for the duration of the infusion period. A response at the end of the study was strongly predicted by response at four hours, and the median time until relapse among responders was 18 days after the last ketamine infusion.

Ketamine infusion has also been used by psychiatrists specializing in palliative care to treat depression in patients with terminal conditions. Read more about it in Psychiatric News, here.
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