Ketamine may be potential therapeutic option for adolescents with treatment-resistant depression

A new study has shown a significant average decrease in the Children's Depression Rating Scale (42.5%) among adolescents with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) who were treated with intravenous ketamine. The study, which demonstrated the tolerability and potential role of ketamine as a treatment option for adolescents with TRD, is published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology website.

The article entitled "Intravenous Ketamine for Adolescents with Treatment-Resistant Depression: An Open-Label Study" was coauthored by Kathryn Cullen, MD, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, and a team of researchers from University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis, MN), and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN).

The study participants were young adults aged 12-18 years who had failed two previous trials of antidepressants. They received six ketamine infusions over 2 weeks. The treatment was well tolerated. Based on the Children's Depression Rating Scale scores, 38% of participants met the criteria for clinical response and remission.

"The field is excited about a potential new agent for adolescents with treatment resistant depression. We look forward to additional studies of ketamine to validate this treatment," says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and President of the Child Mind Institute in New York.

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