Principal Investigator: Michael F. Grunebaum, M.D.
Purpose of Study: The goal of this study is to compare the effectiveness of ketamine for rapidly relieving suicidal thoughts in people suffering from bipolar depression. Ketamine is an experimental antidepressant that rapidly reduced depression and suicidal thoughts in several early studies. It will be compared to a control medication, midazolam, which is not thought to reduce symptoms of depression. Ketamine and midazolam have been used for many years in anesthesia at much higher doses than are used in this study.
Treatment Offered: Patients may continue their current psychiatric medication while participating in this study. Participants are randomly assigned to receive a low dose (should not cause sleep) of ketamine or midazolam once through a vein. The study requires a brief admission at no cost to an inpatient unit at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Patients who do not respond to the infusion and received midazolam are offered an optional ketamine infusion prior to continuing standard antidepressant treatment. 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.
Eligibility: Currently depressed with suicidal thoughts; 18-65 years old.
Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Contact Information: Julia Marver, B.A.