Neurocognitive effects of ketamine and association with antidepressant response in individuals with treatment-resistant depression: a randomized controlled trial

James W Murrough, Katherine E Burdick, Cara F Levitch, Andrew M Perez, Jess W Brallier, Lee C Chang, Alexandra Foulkes, Dennis S Charney, Sanjay J Mathew, Dan V Iosifescu
Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 March 13, 40 (5): 1084-90
The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine displays rapid antidepressant effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD); however, the potential for adverse neurocognitive effects in this population has not received adequate study. The current study was designed to investigate the delayed neurocognitive impact of ketamine in TRD and examine baseline antidepressant response predictors in the context of a randomized controlled trial. In the current study, 62 patients (mean age = 46.2 ± 12.2) with TRD free of concomitant antidepressant medication underwent neurocognitive assessments using components of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) before and after a single intravenous infusion of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg) or midazolam (0.045 mg/kg). Participants were randomized to ketamine or midazolam in a 2:1 fashion under double-blind conditions and underwent depression symptom assessments at 24, 48, 72 h, and 7 days post treatment using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Post-treatment neurocognitive assessment was conducted once at 7 days. Neurocognitive performance improved following the treatment regardless of treatment condition. There was no differential effect of treatment on neurocognitive performance and no association with antidepressant response. Slower processing speed at baseline uniquely predicted greater improvement in depression at 24 h following ketamine (t = 2.3, p = 0.027), while controlling for age, depression severity, and performance on other neurocognitive domains. In the current study, we found that ketamine was devoid of adverse neurocognitive effects at 7 days post treatment and that slower baseline processing speed was associated with greater antidepressant response. Future studies are required to further define the neurocognitive profile of ketamine in clinical samples and to identify clinically useful response moderators.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"