Ketamine Treatment in Depression: A Systematic Review of Clinical Characteristics Predicting Symptom Improvement

Author(s): Darby J.E. Lowe, Daniel J. Müller*, Tony P. George

Journal Name: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 20 , Issue 15 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Ketamine has been shown to be efficacious for the treatment of depression, specifically among individuals who do not respond to first-line treatments. There is still, however, a lack of clarity surrounding the clinical features and response periods across samples that respond to ketamine. This paper systematically reviews published randomized controlled trials that investigate ketamine as an antidepressant intervention in both unipolar and bipolar depression to determine the specific clinical features of the samples across different efficacy periods. Moreover, similarities and differences in clinical characteristics associated with acute versus longer-term drug response are discussed. Similarities across all samples suggest that the population that responds to ketamine’s antidepressant effect has experienced chronic, long-term depression, approaching ketamine treatment as a “last resort”. Moreover, differences between these groups suggest future research to investigate the potential of stronger efficacy towards depression in the context of bipolar disorder compared to major depression, and in participants who undergo antidepressant washout before ketamine administration. From these findings, suggestions for the future direction of ketamine research for depression are formed.

Keywords: Ketamine, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Clinical characteristics, Pharmacogenetics, Glutamatergic dysfunction.

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Year: 2020
Published on: 01 June, 2020
Page: [1398 - 1414]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1568026620666200423094423
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