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Evaluation of Schemes of Administration of Intravenous Ketamine in Depression

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03742557
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified September 2019 by Rodrigo Pérez Esparza, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : November 15, 2018
Last Update Posted : September 10, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Rodrigo Pérez Esparza, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE November 8, 2018
First Posted Date  ICMJE November 15, 2018
Last Update Posted Date September 10, 2019
Actual Study Start Date  ICMJE October 1, 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date January 1, 2020   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 14, 2018)
  • Depression Severity Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [ Time Frame: 4, 24, 72 hours, weekly up to 12 weeks or until relapse (Change from baseline to each measure) ]
    Depression Severity (10 - 13 mild; 14-17 mild to moderate; >17 moderate to severe). Higher values represent a worse severity, but not necessarily outcome.
  • Glutamate [ Time Frame: Basal, 10 minutes during intervention, 24 hours after, 4 weeks after (Change from baseline to each measure) ]
    Glutamate levels in the pgACC basal and after the last intervention with ketamine or placebo
  • GABA [ Time Frame: Basal, 10 minutes during intervention, 24 hours after, 4 weeks after (Change from baseline to each measure) ]
    GABA levels in the pgACC basal and after the last intervention with ketamine or placebo
  • Depression Severity Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) [ Time Frame: 4, 24, 72 hours, weekly up to 12 weeks or until relapse (Change from baseline to each measure). Higher values represent a worse severity, but not necessarily outcome. ]
    Depression Severity (9-17 = mild, 18-34 = moderate, and ≥ 35 = severe)
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Evaluation of Schemes of Administration of Intravenous Ketamine in Depression
Official Title  ICMJE Evaluation of Schemes of Administration of Intravenous Ketamine in Treatment-resistant Depression: Clinical-neuroimaging Correlation
Brief Summary

Mexico, prevalence reported for major depressive disorder (MDD) is of 7.2%. It is currently in the top 5 causes of disability worldwide. One third of patients will not achieve remission after two treatments, being classified as treatment-resistant. In a neurochemical level, evidence shows dysregulation of the excitatory neurotransmitter Glutamate in patients with MDD. Chronic stress has been related to this dysregulation. Ketamine, has shown to regulate glutamatergic neurotransmission, and specially promote the release and production of neurotrophic factors key in the causes of MDD inhibited by glutamate dysregulation), and allow restoration of areas affected.

Clinical studies of ketamine in MDD have shown robust, durable , and rapid effects (during the first 4-24 hours), allowing a great opportunity for patients who do not achieve benefits from antidepressants or patients with suicidal ideation . These results have been reported in metaanalysis.

To our knowledge, there are no studies using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, in areas related to MDD, after a series of ketamine administrations, which we think may show changes after this chronic administration and explain its antidepressant properties.

Goals: Provide clinical evidence of responseas well as a neurological basis or biomarker of response to a series of ketamine infusions.

Detailed Description

1. Background 1.1 Major depressive disorder (MDD) MDD is a clinical syndrome characterized by the presence of low modo, anhedonia, appetite and weight changes, sleep disturbances, psychomotor alterations, fatigue, guilt and low self-esteem, ideas related to death or suicide, and concentration difficulties.

MDD represents one of the first causes of disability worldwide. In Mexico, prevalence is estimated in 7.2% of the population. In accordance to the largest clinical trial of MDD, the STAR*D (Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression), up to one third of the patients will not achieve remission after 4 treatment strategies. These obligates research of new treatments for MDD and treatment-resistant depression TRD.

1.2 Treatment-resistant Depression (TRD) There is a lack of consensus to define TRD, with multiple criteria used by distinct authors. However, the most used definition is the failure to achieve response or remission after two consecutive treatments at an adequate dose and duration, considering the last episode.

1.3 Physiopathology of MDD. Historically, serotonin and noradrenaline disturbances in production, metabolism and reuptake have been implicated in MDD, as well as dopamine. However, this hypothesis seems insufficient in explaining the lack of immediate response, and the lack of response of up to one third of patients.

It is necessary to understand MDD as a multifactorial disorder (biological, psychological, and environmental agents). At a genetic level, some polymorphisms have been related to the appearance of MDD, such as the gen associated with the glucocorticoid receptor NR3C1, the one related to the monoaminooxidase-A, and the one related to the glucogen kinase-synthase 3. Heredability for MDD has been calculated around 37%.

In a molecular basis, there are three principal factors implicated in the genesis of MDD: neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1 beta, 6, tumoral necrosis factor alpha), and a dysregulation in the hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal axis.

Anatomically speaking, the majority of neuroimaging studies converge in the existence of a hyperactive amygdala, ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex to negative stimuli. Among regions of major interest are the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, the cingulate gyrus in its subgenual area and anterior or pregenual area (pgACC), ventral striatum, medial thalamus, posterior cingulate gyrus and anterior insulae.

1.5 Glutamate and GABA in MDD y GABA Glutamatergic and GABAergic dysfunction in affective disorders has increased interest in the last years, evidenced by clinical neuroimaging studies that demonstrate disturbances in such systems in patients with MDD, animal models of stress, and the role of glucocorticoids in the glutamatergic regulation secondary to chronic stress, as well as studies about the action of antidepressants in these systems.

1.6 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy H1-MRS in MDD H1-MRS studies coincide with the diminution of glutamate, glutamine and Glx (a composite measure of the previous two) in patients with MDD compared to controls in the pgCCA. Such finding has been correlated with the severity of MDD and anomalous connectivity with the anterior insulae.

Disturbed GABA neurotransmission has been also found in the occipital cortex in patients with MDD and TRD, suggesting a possible biomarker for differential diagnosis. Specifically in TRD patients, Glx in pgACC have been found to be altered, however more studies are needed.

1.7 pgACC in MDD pgACC in MDD refers to the rostral portion of the ACC that englobes the anterior portion of the corpus callosum, nominated sometimes as the medial prefrontal cortex. It comprises Brodmann's areas 24, 25, 32 and 33. The pgACC corresponds to the area 33. Through models of meta-analytic connectivity, its role in the production of interception and subjective feelings, coordinating responses appropriate to internal and external events along with the insulae, and its involvement in the representation of interoceptive information have been confirmed. It seems also to represent the area in with the distinction of cognition and affect takes place39. Such function is supported by evidence of structures connected to the pgACC (lateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortices, and limbic regions).

pgACC activity has been shown to be a predictor of response of some depression treatments such as pharmacological treatments and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Functional MRI (fMRI), has demonstrated an increased connectivty between pgACC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as a diminution in the connectivity of the pgACC and caudate. Such findings may be explained by an intense cognitive control over emotional regulation in MDD patients.

There is evidence of abnormal glutamatergic abnormalities in cerebral activity in resting state in MDD patients, finding a correlation between lower glutamate levels in the pgACC and a diminished connectivity of the same area with the anterior insulae compared to controls through H1-MRS and BOLD techniques.

Because of these findings, it is of great interest for the investigators to study this region in relation to ketamine interventions as an antidepressant therapy.

1.9 Ketamine as an antidepressant Ever since the first clinical study reporting the use of ketamine as an antidepressant for TRD patients, showing a rapid (in hours) and robust (in days) response after a unique administration, the literature has grown exponentially. However, mechanisms of action remain inconclusive.

Its antidepressant properties have been vinculated by ketamine's capacity to stimulate the release and expression of BDNF. Contrary to the result of chronic stress, inhibiting these results, ketamine seems to stimulate it. This molecule is involved in the modulation of neuroplasticity, specifically in the prefrontal cortices. Another of the explanations in a molecular level has been its regulation in the glycogen kinase-synthase 3 (GSK3), required for the pruning and synaptic reconsolidation50. Finally, ketamine has been shown to regulate the lateral habenula (implicated in MDD), probably also explaining its role in the down-regulation of monoamines.

Its clinical effects make ketamine a candidate to solve problems related to MDD in public health, confirmed by various systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

There are clinical trials reporting the efficacy of repeated administrations of ketamine (from 7 days up to 83 days after the last administration) with IV ketamine and intranasal esketamine. However, studies vary in the number of interventions, intervals, conditions to continue treatment, times of measurements, follow-up, making it impossible to obtain standardized results. Also, repeated doses have not been reported with H1-MRS technique to explore if there are durable changes after chronic administration of subanesthetic doses of ketamine in MDD.

1.10 Glutamatergic and GABAergic chances in pgACC before ketamine administration H1-MRS data concerning glutamate levels in healthy subjects show that after ketamine administration, there is a significative increase in glutamate in the pgACC, correlating with psychopathology scales such as the PANSS, supporting the idea that ketamine exerts an important effect in the neurotransmission related to its mechanism of action in this region of interest. Such findings propose the difference in this region of interest pre and postinfusion of ketamine and represent an important antecedent for the current proposal. In a similar way, in healthy subjects, hippocampal augments of Glx and a decreased of the fronto-temporal connectivity and temporo-parietal after the administration measured at 10 minutes after ketamine administration has been shown.

When measuring glutamate, Glx and GABA in the pgACC after ketamine in MDD patients, there have been mixed results. Some authors have found a significative increase of the same, correlating with clinical response when measuring during the infusion53. However, using major tesla MRI and measuring the effect of ketamine in glutamate at 24 hours after administration show no differences against placebo. Both findings are discussed concerning the time of measure, concluding that there is a rapid and robust increase, but a transitory one. However these changes do not persist.

To our knowledge no H1-MRS studies after a series of ketamine infusions to know if there are durable changes in glutamate of GABA levels that may explain the durable antidepressant effects of ketamine.

1.11 Experience in the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (NINN), Mexico Clinical experience with ketamine as an antidepressant and augmentation agent to conventional antidepressants has shown similar clinical results as reported previously, and even have shown longer times until relapse. There is extensive experience in the utilization of H1-MRS in other disorders. The investigators consider that this institution is ideal for the development of the current proposal.

2.1 Key questions

  1. Will patients with TRD have a clinical response (50%) after the infusion of ketamine as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) during the first 24 hours, and different to patients receiving placebo?
  2. Will TRD patients presenting response, present a significant increase in Glutamate and GABA in the pgACC measured by H1-MRS 24 hours after the last intervention, compared to the basal measure?
  3. Will this response, if achieved, be different than changes in Glutamate and GABA in the pgACC among patients receiving placebo?

3. METHODOLOGY 3.1 Design A double-blind randomized clinical trial will be performed 3.2 Sample During the sample selection, inclusion and exclusion criteria defined afterwards will be used. Sampling will be non-probabilistic in a consecutive case manner. Patients will participate voluntarily after informed consent is achieved.

Subjects treated in the NINN will be divided in two groups:

  1. Subjects with TRD, receiving ketamine infusions from start.
  2. Subjects with TRD, receiving placebo (saline solution 0.9%), and afterwards

3.3 Procedure

  1. Sampling.
  2. Previous evaluation:

    1. Psychiatric evaluation (HDRS-17, MADRS).
    2. Medical evaluation
  3. Randomization
  4. Basal 1H-MRS for GABA:
  5. Basal 1H-MRS for Glutamate:

    Similar to the GABA acquisition.

  6. Interventions

    1. All interventions will be done as an out-patient basis by a psychiatrist.
    2. A 0.5 mg/kg infusion of ketamine or placebo IV along 40 minutes will be performed. Vigilance will be strict (vital signs, adverse effects, subjective experience, clinimetry).
    3. After every intervention, the patient will be observed for 1 hour or more if considered necessary by the clinician, returning to their normal routine afterward.
    4. Such intervention will be done twice weekly in a prior of 4 weeks (day 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 19, 23, and 27) for a total of 8 infusions in patients receiving ketamine.

    i. In case of having received placebo, patients will then receive 8 infusions of ketamine.

    ii. In case of having received ketamine, they will continue until completing 8 infusions, and then receive 4 infusions of placebo.

  7. Posterior evaluation

    1. Psychiatric evaluation as explained earlier at 4, 24, 72 hours and weekly up to 12 weeks after the last infusion of relapse.
    2. Glutamate and GABA in pgACC measures with the parameters after 10 minutes of starting the infusion, 24 hours after, and 1 week after the last infusion of ketamine or placebo.
  8. Follow-up a. 12-week follow-up after last intervention or relapse, after which patients will end participation and their care will continue as usual.
Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 3
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description:
A double-blind randomized clinical trial (initially) will be performed, followed by an open-label trial.
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description:
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Treatment Resistant Depression
Intervention  ICMJE Drug: Ketamine 50 MG/ML Injectable Solution, 0.5 mg/kg IV
Ketamine 0.5 mg/kg IV
Other Names:
  • Ketalar
  • Anesket
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Active Comparator: Ketamine

    Ketamine 50 MG/ML - at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg IV diluted in 100cc of saline solution 0.9% over 40 minutes.

    The intervention will be done twice weekly for 8 weeks.

    Intervention: Drug: Ketamine 50 MG/ML Injectable Solution, 0.5 mg/kg IV
  • Placebo Comparator: Placebo
    Saline solution 0.9% over 40 minutes. The intervention will be done twice weekly for 2 weeks, and then patients will receive intervention with ketamine as described above in the Active Comparator.
    Intervention: Drug: Ketamine 50 MG/ML Injectable Solution, 0.5 mg/kg IV
Publications *

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Unknown status
Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 14, 2018)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE Same as current
Estimated Study Completion Date  ICMJE January 1, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date January 1, 2020   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Age: 18-65 years
  2. MDD diagnosis as provided by DSM-5 criteria
  3. TRD as defined by failure to achieve response to two consecutive antidepressant therapies at an adequate dose and duration
  4. Patients approving inclusion by signing the informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Comorbidity with other mental and neurological disorders (except generalized anxiety disorder)
  2. Substance use disorders at least 3 months prior to enrollment
  3. Evidence of structural abnormalities in basal MRI
  4. Pregnancy or lactation
  5. Hypersensitivity to ketamine
  6. Cardiac failure
  7. Personal history of psychosis
  8. First-degree relatives with history of psychosis
  9. Uncontrolled close-angle glaucoma
  10. Neurological disease (present)
  11. Uncontrolled Hypertension
  12. Contraindications for the realization of H1-MRS.
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Mexico
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT03742557
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE 74/18
Has Data Monitoring Committee Yes
U.S. FDA-regulated Product
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: Undecided.
Current Responsible Party Rodrigo Pérez Esparza, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico
Original Responsible Party Same as current
Current Study Sponsor  ICMJE National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico
Original Study Sponsor  ICMJE Same as current
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE
Principal Investigator: Rodrigo Pérez-Esparza, M.D., M.Sc. National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery
PRS Account National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico
Verification Date September 2019

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP