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Connectivity Networks Underlying Ketamine-Induced Improvements in Suicidal Ideation


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and U.S. military Veterans comprise almost one-quarter of these deaths. An estimated 22 Veterans die by suicide each day. Individuals with PTSD have significantly increased risk for suicidal ideation and behavior as compared to members of the general population. Currently, only two medications are FDA approved for PTSD and these require weeks to months to take effect and leave many individuals with persistent symptoms, including suicidal ideation (SI). A large body of research demonstrates that ketamine, an investigational antidepressant, may be effective at reducing symptoms of PTSD, and specifically SI in a rapid manner. Research suggests that ketamine’s effect begin within two hours after dosing and peak approximately 24-hours after treatment. Considering the incredible burden and risk for those with severe PTSD symptoms and SI, fast-tracked anti-suicidal effects are urgently needed. This study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), clinical, and cognitive assessment to examine neurobiological mechanisms underlying SI in Veterans with PTSD.

This study is an add-on trial to other studies in our research program. This means this study does not directly recruit – all participants in this study will be engaged in another study in our program (e.g., one of our ketamine trials).