Ask The Doctor: “Ketamine For Depression: Progress And Pitfalls” With Dr. Cristina Cusin, M.D.
NAMI's Medical Director, Dr. Ken Duckworth, hosts mental health professionals and advocates on a quarterly basis as they present on a topic in his or her area of expertise. Ask The Doctor is a program of NAMI.
Dr. Cusin addresses Ketamine,* an anesthetic drug that in very small doses has been shown to relieve symptoms of depression within hours—even in patients who did not improve with other treatments. In this presentation, we briefly review the literature from clinical trials supporting the efficacy of ketamine for patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Depression.
We then review the numerous limitations of current knowledge and future lines of research on the effects of ketamine. An interactive Q&A follows.
Dr. Cristina Cusin is the Director of Translational Studies in Depression at MGH and is Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is originally from Milan, Italy where she obtained her Medical Degree and after moving to U.S. she completed the residency program in Psychiatry at MGH/McLean in Boston.
Dr. Cusin's clinical and research interests are focused on the most severe and difficult to treat forms of depression. She performs consultations for patients with treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. She has specific expertise in psychopharmacology and in device-based therapies including ECT, VNS, DBS. She is the Director of the MGH Ketamine clinic for treatment-resistant depression and she is the primary investigator in research studies on the use of ketamine at MGH.
*Please note that Ketamine has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression