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Recent Findings on Ketamine’s Efficacy in Treating Severe Depression

Recent Findings on Ketamine’s Efficacy in Treating Severe Depression

Researchers from the University of New South Wales and the affiliated Black Dog Institute have recently unveiled results from a pivotal double-blind trial in the British Journal of Psychiatry:

Study Highlights:

  • 179 participants with treatment-resistant depression were recruited.
  • Over 20% achieved total symptom remission with bi-weekly injections of a low-cost version of ketamine for one month.
  • A third saw their symptoms improve by at least 50%.
  • In comparison to the 20% remission rate in the ketamine group, only 2% in the placebo group reported such results, marking a significant difference.

Methodological Notables:

  • The trial included participants who had undergone electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a rare approach in such studies.
  • The administration was subcutaneous, simplifying the process compared to traditional drips.
  • Midazolam, a sedative, was used as the placebo to ensure better blinding.

The researchers advocate for broader Medicare support given the treatment’s potential. Further trials and safety monitoring refinements are underway.

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