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"For Those With Treatment-Resistant Depression, Ketamine Offers Hope" - Courtenay Harris Bone

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • New York, NY
  • (March 19, 2019)

According to studies, 50 to 80 percent of patients with treatment-resistant depression get relief from their symptoms with ketamine infusions, and no one knows exactly why. Esketamine is a nasal spray that contains half the active ingredients in a ketamine infusion, and it remains to be seen whether it is as powerful as ketamine at easing depression. Still, the early results are impressive. In one randomized trial in adults under 65 with treatment-resistant depression, about 70 percent responded to esketamine after a month – much higher than the 50 percent response rate that is generally considered successful. “One of the best things about ketamine and esketamine is that there’s definitely hope,” said Dennis Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and president of academic affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System. Dr. Charney was one of the original researchers in the development of esketamine. “Depression is one of the most painful of all diseases,” Dr. Charney added. Above all, Dr. Charney said, ketamine offers hope. “Now you have a new treatment that is going to help a whole lot of people.”

— Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, President, Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System

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