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The KARMA-Dep Trial: Ketamine as an adjunctive therapy for Major Depression - a randomised controlled pilot trial

The KARMA-Dep Trial will investigate whether patients recover more quickly from depression with ketamine rather than with a placebo.

Ketamine is an anaesthetic drug routinely used in clinical practice. It acts as an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) receptor and thus targets the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate. Of interest in mental health research, a single infusion of a low sub-anaesthetic dose of ketamine can improve depressive symptoms with efficacy onset within one hour post infusion.

The effect of a single infusion can be sustained for up to several days. Because of these remarkable findings, there is now great interest in assessing ketamine as a novel therapy for depression.

The KARMA-Dep Trial will investigate whether patients recover more quickly from depression with ketamine rather than with a placebo. Treatments prescribed by their treating team will continue as usual. The study will also be investigating potential biomarkers associated with depression. We will be exploring a sample of participants with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.

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