Ketamine in Adolescents With Treatment-Resistant Depression

This study will test the use of ketamine for treatment of depression in adolescents that have not responded to other treatments. We will also examine neurobiological mechanisms of treatment.

Status Completed
Results Published
Start date 09 January 2014
End date 03 January 2018
Chance of happening 100%
Phase Phase II
Design Open
Type Interventional
Participants 14
Sex All
Age 12- 18
Therapy No

Trial Details

Depression frequently emerges during adolescence and is associated with severe outcomes. Current interventions do not lead to remission for many adolescents. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in adolescence is an ominous prognostic indicator for a lifetime of suffering and increased risk for suicide. Efforts should be directed toward novel interventions that could alter this perilous course. Theoretically, restoration of healthy development during this critical window would substantially improve outcomes over the lifespan. Ketamine is a noncompetitive, high-affinity antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate type glutamate receptor that has long been used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia in children and adults, and recently has been investigated for its rapid antidepressant effects. Randomized, double-blind, saline-controlled trials in adults with TRD have demonstrated that a single, subanesthetic infusion of intravenous (IV) ketamine at 0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes can produce a rapid (within 2 hours) antidepressant response (Ibrahim et al., 2011; Zarate et al., 2006). Recent evidence suggests that serial doses of ketamine may be even more effective and may lead to more prolonged remission (aan het Rot et al., 2010; Murrough et al., 2012). Our current research at using serial dosing of IV ketamine among adult veterans with TRD over a 2-week period has shown promising results, with a response rate of 92% among the 12 participants to date. No results from any studies examining effectiveness of either single-dose or serial-dose ketamine have yet been published in adolescents with TRD. Because of the ongoing neurodevelopment in adolescence, which is thought to confer enhanced neuroplasticity, it is possible that adolescents with TRD could show greater responses and more sustained remission than adults with TRD. The biological mechanisms of depression impacted by ketamine are only now being uncovered in adults (Zarate et al., 2013). Characterization of the neural mechanisms underlying ketamine response or non-response in adolescents with TRD will represent a significant advance. The specific aims of this preliminary study are as follows: Aim #1: To determine the efficacy of repeated-dose subanesthetic IV ketamine among adolescent patients with TRD. Hypothesis: Based on previous results in adults with TRD, we predict that response rates will improve over the course of six treatments of ketamine. Aim #2: To explore durability of antidepressant response to repeated dose of IV ketamine in a 4-week observational period. Hypothesis: Based on the inherent neuroplasticity in adolescence due to ongoing neurodevelopment, adolescents may show a more durable clinical response than has been seen in adults. Aim #3: To study the neurobiological mechanisms of response to ketamine. We will examine relevant biological systems using several different brain imaging indices and measures of intracellular functioning from peripheral blood.

NCT Number NCT02078817

Sponsors & Collaborators

University of New Mexico
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Measures Used

Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale
A ten-item diagnostic questionnaire used to measure the severity of depressive symptoms in patients with mood disorders.

Clinical Global Impression - Improvement Scale
The Clinical Global Impression - Improvement Scale (CGI-I) is a standardized assessment scale for determining the effects of mental health treatment among psychiatric patients.

Clinical-Administered Dissociative Symptoms Scale
The Clinical-Administered Dissociative Symptoms Scale (CADSS) is a scale used to measure dissociative states such as those induced by ketamine.

Beck Depression Inventory
The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) contains 21 self-report items, completed using a multiple-choice format. Scores range from 0-63 with higher scores associated with more severe depression.

Data attribution

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