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Effects of Ketamine in Treatment-Refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Effects of Ketamine in Treatment-Refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  1. Calliope
    Michael H. Bloch, Suzanne Wasylink, Angeli Landeros-Weisenberger, Kaitlyn E. Panza, Eileen Billingslea,
    James F. Leckman, John H. Krystal, Zubin Bhagwagar, Gerard Sanacora, and Christopher Pittenger

    Background: Treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) usually lead to incomplete symptom relief and take a long-time to reach full effect. Convergent evidence suggests that glutamate abnormalities contribute to the pathogenesis of OCD. Ketamine is a potent noncompetitive antagonist of the N-methyl-D aspartate glutamate receptor. Trials have reported rapid antidepressant effects after lowdose ketamine infusion. Methods: We conducted an open-label trial of ketamine (.5 mg/kg IV over 40 min) in 10 subjects with treatment-refractory OCD. Response was defined as35%improvement inOCDsymptoms and50%improvement in depression symptoms from baseline at any time between 1 and 3 days after infusion. Results: None of 10 subjects experienced a response in OCD symptoms in the first 3 days after ketamine. Four of seven patients with comorbid depression experienced an antidepressant response to ketamine in the first 3 days after infusion. Both OCD and depression symptoms demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the first 3 days after infusion compared with baseline, but the OCD response was12%. The percentage reduction in depressive symptoms in the first 3 days after ketamine infusion was significantly greater than the reduction in OCD symptoms. Conclusions: Ketamine effects on OCD symptoms, in contrast to depressive symptoms, did not seem to persist or progress after the acute effects of ketamine had dissipated.