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"New Hope for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Guessing Right on Ketamine" - Joshua Gordon

  • National Institutes of Mental Health
  • New York, NY
  • (August 15, 2019)

In March 2019, the FDA approved a remarkable new medication – esketamine – which targets treatment-resistant depression. TRD is a form of depression that doesn’t get better even after the patient has tried at least two antidepressant therapies. Dennis Charney, MD, the 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 made an educated guess: Let’s try glutamate. Dr. Charney noticed that a particular glutamate receptor blocker, ketamine, had profound psychological effects on people, inducing psychotic-like symptoms. The NIMH-funded Dr. Charney to continue his research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, to confirm that ketamine was useful in TRD, where it provides relief from depression in about half of patients.

— 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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