Clinical trial of a novel treatment for PTSD | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Clinical trial of a novel treatment for PTSD

We conducted a clinical trial investigating if a six-week course of oral ketamine treatment is efficacious in reducing PTSD symptom frequency and severity in adults.

The trial also aims to determine if oral ketamine reduces suicidality, anhedonia, depression and anxiety, and improves sleep quality and social and occupational functioning.

The trial is examining the cognitive, neurobiological, and physiological effects of oral ketamine treatment in adult participants with PTSD.

Participation in this trial is now closed and our research team is analysing outcomes.
Why this study is important

Following the experience of a single or series of traumatic events, some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms can disrupt a person's normal activities and ability to function. Although individual symptoms may vary, many display neurological deficits which lead to decreased cognitive and social functioning, behavioral disturbances, sleep difficulties, avoidance of reminders and intrusion of unwanted memories.

Few treatments have been developed which are effective in treating PTSD; even less target the neural dysfunctions caused by PTSD. This study explores an avenue of treatment which previously has been underutilised in PTSD sufferers.

Assessments involved

Participants completed a range of assessments to help us to better understand PTSD and assess treatment response.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine belongs to a group of medicines known as anaesthetic agents that, for more than 50 years, have been used to put people to sleep for surgical procedures. . Ketamine has also been used in pain management. It is considered a safe and effective agent when used as an anaesthetic and pain killer, especially in emergency medicine. Ketamine can be given in a variety of ways, such as intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously (ie injection), or orally. Oral ketamine poses advantages in terms of accessibility and cost.

In this clinical trial a sub-anaesthetic dose of oral ketamine was provided.

What is next?

Our research team is analysing outcomes and preparing research papers to share the clinical trial's findings. We look forward to sharing these with you soon.

Participation in this trial has closed.

Prince Charles HREC approval: HREC/18/QPCH/288
Bellberry HREC Approval: 2020-07-653

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