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Ketamine as a Treatment for Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder

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Nearly 1 in 4 adolescents will experience major depressive disorder (MDD). Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in this age group. 40% of adolescents with MDD fail to respond to initial treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Of that SSRI-resistant population, nearly half remain depressed despite alternate medication and psychotherapy. Thus, better treatments for adolescent depression are urgently needed. Subanesthetic doses of ketamine, an NMDA antagonist, produce rapid antidepressant and anti-suicidal effects in depressed adults. There are few case reports and no prospective controlled trials of ketamine for the treatment of adolescent MDD.

Dwyer, J., Sanacora, G., & Bloch, M. (2017). 1002-Ketamine as a Treatment for Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 81(10), S405. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.02.729
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