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The PD Ketamine Trial

In this Michael J Fox Foundation funded clinical trial, we will examine the efficacy of ketamine in treating depression in Parkinson’s disease for the first time. We are looking for volunteers with Parkinson’s disease and symptoms of depression (age 40-75).

Why are we conducting this research?

Depression affects around half of people with Parkinson’s disease and significantly adds to the burden of the disease. However, existing antidepressants are not effective in treating depression in Parkinson’s disease and new treatments are urgently needed. Ketamine is a drug that has been traditionally used as an anesthetic, but is now being used as an antidepressant, based on the discovery that it rapidly reduces symptoms of depression. Ketamine hold significant potential for effectively treating depression in Parkinson’s disease. We will test this for the first time in a controlled, clinical trial. We will also use brain imaging to determine how it works in the brain.

What’s involved?

The trial will involve coming to Yale for a total of 9 visits, in which you will receive 6 infusions of either ketamine or placebo (administered twice per week for 3 weeks). You will also have the option to take part in brain imaging before and after treatment, which will help us determine its effects on the brain.

You will be reimbursed up to $2000 for your participation in this trial, and taking part could help with the discovery of important new treatments for depression in Parkinson’s disease.

Where are we based?

The screening and treatment visits will take place at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, 184 Liberty St, New Haven.