Bloch MH. Ketamine Infusion for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. ClinicalTrials.gov. 2014 June; https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT01349231
- In a placebo-controlled study completed at Yale, a single dose of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg, intravenously) had rapid antidepressant effects in depressed patients.
- In these subjects, ketamine infusion produced mild psychotomimetic symptoms and euphoria that dissipated within 120 minutes, while the antidepressant effects of ketamine infusion emerged over the first 180 minutes and persisted over 72 hours.
- Fifty percent of depressed patients receiving ketamine were treatment responders at Day 3 compared to 12.5% in the placebo infusion group.
- These results have been replicated in a recent double-blind study performed at NIMH and a third unpublished study conducted by members of our group at Yale.
Roughly one-third of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not experience significant clinical benefit from first-line interventions such as pharmacotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Furthermore, OCD patients typically experience the full treatment benefits of first-line interventions only after a time-lag of two to three months. Inadequate symptom relief and delay of symptom relief from first-line treatments are sources of substantial morbidity and decreased quality of life in OCD patients. Converging lines of evidence from neuroimaging, genetic, and pharmacological studies support the importance of glutamate abnormalities in the pathogenesis of OCD.
The investigators are conducting an open, uncontrolled study of ketamine in treatment-refractory OCD. Ketamine is a potent antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and has been demonstrated to have rapid anti-depressant effects in patients with Major Depressive Disorder. The investigators have additionally provided evidence for rapid improvement of comorbid OCD and trichotillomania after ketamine infusion in a depressed woman.
Failure of symptom relief and delay of symptom relief from first-line treatments are a source of substantial morbidity and decreased quality of life in OCD patients. Ketamine represents the possibility of providing rapid symptom relief to OCD patients and may provide the mechanism for future drug development to treat OCD more rapidly and effectively.