JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Dose-Related Effects of Adjunctive Ketamine in Taiwanese Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression

Tung-Ping Su, Mu-Hong Chen, Cheng-Ta Li, Wei-Chen Lin, Chen-Jee Hong, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Pei-Chi Tu, Ya-Mei Bai, Chih-Ming Cheng, John H Krystal
Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2017, 42 (13): 2482-2492
28492279
The antidepressant effects of ketamine are thought to depend on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) genotype and dose. The purpose of this study was to characterize the dose-related antidepressant effects of ketamine in patients with treatment-resistant depression drawn from a Chinese population predominately possessing lower activity BDNF genotypes (Val/Met, Met/Met). We conducted a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial of a single ketamine infusion (saline, 0.2 mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg). Patients (N=71; BDNF genotype: Val/Val (N=12, 17%), Val/Met (N=40, 56.3%), and Met/Met (N=19, 26.8%)) received mood ratings before infusion, after infusion, and for the subsequent 14 days. Plasma ketamine levels and BDNF genotypes were assessed. This study found a significant dose-related ketamine effect on scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). The responder analysis (>50% reduction from baseline HAMD on at least 2 days between days 2 and 5) also revealed a significant dose-related effect (saline: 12.5%, 0.2 mg/kg: 39.1%; 0.5 mg/kg: 45.8%). This is the first report to our knowledge to demonstrate the dose-related efficacy of R/S-ketamine for treatment-resistant depression and the first to characterize ketamine effects in a genotyped Chinese population in which most (83%) patients possessed at least one copy of the lower functioning Met allele of the BDNF gene.

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