THE PTSD CHRONICLE – Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine report repeated intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions significantly reduce symptom severity in individuals with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The improvement is immediate and rapid according to the team, who note that the IV treatment is effective within 24 hours of the first infusion and lasts for several weeks following treatments.
“Our findings provide insight into the treatment efficacy of repeated ketamine administration for PTSD, an important next step in our quest to develop novel pharmacologic interventions for this chronic and disabling disorder, as a large number of individuals are not sufficiently helped by currently available treatments,” says Adriana Feder, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and lead author of the study. “The data suggests repeated IV ketamine is a promising treatment for people who suffer from PTSD and provides evidentiary support to warrant future studies to determine how we can maintain this rapid and robust response over time.”
Ketamine. in use since 1970, is an FDA-approved approved anesthetic agent that acts as “an antagonist of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NDMA) receptor, an ionotropic glutamate receptor in the brain.” as reported in Science Daily.
Researchers are excited about its promise to replace addictive slower acting antidepressants, which target different neurotransmitters — serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine — considered ineffective in just over 33% of cases, and only partially effective in an additional third.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the study at Science Daily. Drs. Charney and Feder are named co-inventors on the U.S. patent.
Study funders include: Brain & Behavior Research Foundation donation by Mr. Gerald Greenwald and Mrs. Glenda Greenwald, and by Mount Sinai Innovation Partners through the i3 Accelerator, a $10 million fund providing nascent Mount Sinai discoveries with the investment necessary to fast-track technology development to reach patients sooner. The Ehrenkranz Laboratory for Human Resilience, a component of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at ISMMS also provided funding.