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The world's first ever ketamine trials for depression have been “incredibly effective”

Patients' previous treatments had been unsuccessful

  • Louis Anderson-Rich
  • 25 July 2017

The world’s first ketamine trial has proven “incredibly effective” in curing depression in elderly patients.

Led by researchers from UNSW Sydney and Black Dog Institute, the randomised control trial involved a total of 16 patients aged 60 or above whose previous treatments proved unsuccessful.

Participants began with low doses of the drug via an injection under the skin before the dose was increased depending on the individual over a period of five weeks.

Program leader Professor Colleen Loo told ABC News: “What we noticed was that ketamine worked incredibly quickly and incredibly effectively. By incredibly effectively we mean going rapidly from severely depressed to being completely well in one day.

“Some people think, ‘oh maybe it was just a drug induced high’ – and it wasn’t. You had the woozy effects in the first hour or so, but the anti-depressant kicked in later.”

The trial comes after a paper written by Dr Rupert McShane in The Lancet called for the use of ketamine when treating severe depression.

Read our article about the rise and fall and rise again of ketamine over the last few years.

[Via: Black Dog Institute]

Louis Anderson-Rich is Mixmag's Digital Intern. Follow him on Twitter here

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