Category: PTSD

Symposium

Effect of Ketamine Administration on Posttraumatic Cognitions: Preliminary Evidence

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Stress | Medication | Cognitive Biases / Distortions
Presentation Type: Symposium

The experience of dysfunctional posttraumatic cognitions (i.e. thoughts of guilt, self-blame, and global negative beliefs) has long been considered central to the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study examines the ability of ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, to affect rapid relief of posttraumatic cognitions and related distress. Participants are un-medicated adults recruited from the community who meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Following both medical and psychiatric screening, participants undergo administration of ketamine (0.5mg/kg over a 40-minute) under supervision of a study doctor. Psychological functioning, including PTSD symptom severity, is assessed before ketamine injection, shortly after injection is complete, and 1, 2, 7, and 30 days following injection using both self-report and clinician administered measures. Data collection is ongoing and complete results will be presented.  Preliminary analyses based on current data (n=7) suggest a beneficial effect of ketamine administration on overall PTSD symptom severity at all time points, persisting to 30-day follow-up. Reductions in both guilt and self-blame were significant immediately following ketamine administration and at both 24 and 48 hour follow-ups (p’s <.01), with an observed return to baseline severity at 7 and 30-day follow-up. However, no significant reductions in severity of global negative beliefs were observed at any time-point.  Observed differences in ketamine efficacy across demographic groups in the final study sample will be noted, and implications for the utility of ketamine for PTSD treatment will be discussed.

Margaret T. Davis

Postdoctoral Fellow
Yale School of Medicine

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