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posted by martyb on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the improved-outlook dept.

Study: Suicidal Thoughts Rapidly Reduced with Ketamine

Ketamine was significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). They also found that ketamine's anti-suicidal effects occurred within hours after its administration.

The findings were published online last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060647) (DX)

The reduction in SSI score at day 1 was 4.96 points greater for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (95% CI=2.33, 7.59; Cohen's d=0.75). The proportion of responders (defined as having a reduction ≥50% in SSI score) at day 1 was 55% for the ketamine group and 30% for the midazolam group (odds ratio=2.85, 95% CI=1.14, 7.15; number needed to treat=4.0). Improvement in the Profile of Mood States depression subscale was greater at day 1 for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (estimate=7.65, 95% CI=1.36, 13.94), and this effect mediated 33.6% of ketamine's effect on SSI score. Side effects were short-lived, and clinical improvement was maintained for up to 6 weeks with additional optimized standard pharmacotherapy in an uncontrolled follow-up.

Wikipedia's entry on midazolam notes:

Midazolam, marketed under the trade name Versed, among others, is a medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping, and severe agitation. It works by inducing sleepiness, decreasing anxiety, and causing a loss of ability to create new memories. It is also useful for the treatment of seizures

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  • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

    by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:06PM (#611066)

    It's a dissociator. I've heard their effects described as thinking "Wow. That's a lot of pain. I'm glad it's not happening to me."

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pav on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:03PM

    by Pav (114) on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:03PM (#611089)

    Vilanor Ramachandrin, the brain anatomist (and excellent communicator) talks about Capgras delusion - thinking that someone close to you is an imposter, often after a brain injury. His theory is that emotion becomes disassociated from vision because a "wire" has been cut somewhere, and the person in question develops a theory on-the-fly as to why this is. Having been administered ketamine it's certainly a strange experience, and I would have never otherwise understood how fundamental emotion is to the perception of pain.