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Ketamine in Bipolar Depression

Principal Investigator: Michael F. Grunebaum, M.D.

Purpose of Study:

The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of an experimental antidepressant drug, ketamine, on brain activity in persons with bipolar depression and suicidal thoughts. Small studies have found ketamine reduced depression and/or suicidal thoughts in bipolar depression within hours and lasting several days. Ketamine has been used for many years in anesthesia at much higher doses than are used in this study. We will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain activity before and after a low-dose ketamine infusion.


Patients may continue most current psychiatric medication while participating in this study. Participants will receive a low dose (should not cause sleep) of ketamine once through a vein. The study requires an approximately one week admission at no cost to an inpatient unit at New York State Psychiatric Institute. After the infusion we offer up to 6 months of treatment in our clinic with visits at no cost. After this, referrals are made for ongoing care.


Current bipolar depression with suicidal thoughts; 18-65 years old.


Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF)

Contact Information:

Michelle Parris, B. S.
Phone: 646-774-7627
Fax: 646-774-7589

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