Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services

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Product Update

Intravenously Administered Ketamine Shown to Reduce Symptoms of Chronic PTSD

Researchers have found evidence that a single dose of intravenously administered ketamine was associated with the rapid reduction of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with chronic PTSD. Findings from the original investigation were first published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Patients enrolled in the study were between 18 and 55 years old, and they had a primary diagnosis of PTSD and a score of at least 50 on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Study participants were free of concomitant psychotropic medications for 2 weeks prior to randomization and for the duration of the study.

For each procedure day, patients were assigned to receive a single intravenous infusion of ketamine hydrochloride or midazolam administered over 40 minutes. The order of infusions was randomly assigned, and administrations were made 2 weeks apart. Midazolam was chosen as the active placebo because its pharmacokinetic parameters and nonspecific behavioral effects are similar to those of ketamine, which is used for anesthesia at doses of 2 mg/kg or higher and as an analgesic at subanesthetic doses.

Ketamine hydrochloride and midazolam were administered at pre-infusion baseline and 24 hours after infusion before patients were discharged from the hospital, 48 hours after infusion, 72 hours after infusion, and 7 days after infusion.

The primary outcome was PTSD symptom severity 24 hours after infusion, assessed with the Impact of Event Scale–Revised (IES-R). Total IES-R scores 24 hours after infusion were significantly improved with ketamine compared with midazolam (mean difference, 12.7 [95% CI, 2.5–22.8]; p = 0.02). No evidence existed of any period or residual effects for the crossover. In addition, symptoms in seven patients randomly assigned to ketamine first remained significantly reduced 2 weeks after infusion, compared with only one patient randomly assigned to midazolam first.

Previously, few pharmacotherapies, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors—both of which are associated with significant levels of nonresponse and persistent residual symptoms of PTSD—have been shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic PTSD. However, these treatments were not shown to have the same rapid effects on symptoms of PTSD as intravenously administered ketamine.

An article in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services discussed how intravenously administered ketamine could be conceptualized as a clinical-based procedural therapy for treatment-resistant forms of depression.

Sources.“Intravenously Administered Ketamine Shown to Reduce Symptoms of Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” (2014, April 16). Retrieved June 13, 2014, from

Howland, R. (2013). Ketamine for the treatment of depression. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 51(1), 11–14. doi:10.3928/02793695-20121219-01

New Color Therapy App Combats Depression and Anxiety

Dovivo has announced a new mobile wellness application, or app, that taps into the power of color, light, and sound to combat depression and anxiety.

ColorBoost, Dovivo’s iPhone® app, offers a series of daily therapy sessions with scientifically created audiovisual designs to promote Qi balance and a positive outlook on life.

Each ColorBoost therapy session lasts 10 minutes. Session settings include “Energizing”, “Calming,” and “Relaxation.” As the session begins, the user selects positive music and colors to start. Throughout the session, colors interchange gently and slowly, creating a sense of calm for the user. Users will feel more energetic, refreshed, and confident after sessions. Regular therapy is recommended for long-term improvements.

According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults report depression. Color therapy (also known as chromotherapy) has emerged as one of the leading, and safest, alternative depression therapies to standard medication. With color therapy, different colors are used to evoke positive emotional responses, and health care practitioners frequently use color and light therapies to promote energetic realignment, self-healing, and fatigue reduction.

The music featured in ColorBoost was created by 9-time Grammy nominee and multiplatinum selling pianist and composer Peter Kater.

ColorBoost is available for free in the App Store, with different in-app therapies available for purchase.

Source.“Introducing ColorBoost: The iPhone’s First and Only Color and Sound Therapy Mobile App.” (2014, April 24). Retrieved June 13, 2014, from

Topline Results for Novel Antidepressant Released; Oral Agent Advances into Phase II of Depression Study

Naurex Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, has announced that its two lead antidepressant programs achieved major milestones. Topline results from a Phase IIb clinical study of the company’s lead compound, GLYX-13, showed that the drug was well-tolerated and that the rapid, robust, and sustained antidepressant effects observed in an earlier single-dose study were achieved and maintained with repeat dosing in patients with difficult-to-treat depression.

The company also reported that it initiated a Phase IIa study of its second-generation, orally active agent NRX-1074, based on positive results from a recently completed Phase I study. NRX-1074 is in development for treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).

The Phase IIb GLYX-13 study was conducted across 25 U.S. sites that enrolled more than 400 patients with MDD who had an inadequate response to their current antidepressant medications. The topline results confirmed that repeat dosing of GLYX-13 resulted in the maintenance of marked and clinically meaningful antidepressant effects. No drug-related serious adverse events (AEs) were reported, no patients dropped out of the study due to drug-related AEs, and no signs existed of the psychotomimetic side effects associated with N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, such as ketamine.

The objectives of the Phase IIa study, now underway for NRX-1074, are to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a single dose of the compound administered to patients with MDD. NRX-1074 is considerably more potent than GLYX-13, and in preclinical studies, it has shown activity similar to GLYX-13, including signs of rapid onset and long-acting duration of antidepressant-like effect. The Phase IIa study of NRX-1074 follows successful completion of a randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase I study in which NRX-1074 was well-tolerated by normal volunteers.

Sources.“Naurex Reports Positive Top-Line Phase 2b Results for Novel Antidepressant GLYX-13 and Advances NRX-1074 into Phase 2 Depression Study.” (2014, May 6). Retrieved June 13, 2014, from


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