Last updated on February 2019

Intensive 7-day Treatment for PTSD Combining Ketamine With Exposure Therapy


Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to combine a single infusion of Ketamine with 7-days of trauma focus psychotherapy to relieve post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms more effectively. This treatment has the potential to produce a significant therapeutic effect that otherwise would take months to occur.

Detailed Study Description

Based on the current research findings on the therapeutic effectiveness of trauma focus psychotherapy and of ketamine, combining the two treatments may yield a promising new rapid 7-day treatment for PTSD. As PTSD symptoms' structure is comprised of several unique clusters which include re-experiencing, avoidance, numbing/depression and hypervigilance the investigators hypothesize that by combining Ketamine with prolonged exposure (PE) the investigators can address these symptoms clusters more effectively. This treatment has the potential to produce a significant therapeutic effect that otherwise would take months to occur by tapping on the enhanced neuroplasticity and the antidepressant effect of ketamine (which lasts between 24hrs to 7 days), to promote rapid changes in learning and memory using prolonged exposure therapy within this unique "window of opportunity".

During the first visit participants will undergo a clinical interview to establish a PTSD diagnosis and other eligibility criteria. If found eligible participants will be invited to take part in this 7-day rapid treatment trial for PTSD.

On the first therapy visits, participants will be educated about the psychological treatment that will be provided and the potential benefit of ketamine to enhance the psychotherapy outcomes.

On the second day of the study, participants will receive an infusion of ketamine and will undergo an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and will receive the second psychotherapy session.

On days 3-6 participants will attend a 60-90 minutes psychotherapy session to address their PTSD symptoms.

Day 7 will include another MRI scan and the last psychotherapy session.

Participants will be asked to come back for a follow up evaluation of their PTSD symptoms 30 and 90 days post discharge.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02727998

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Recruitment Status: Open


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