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Ketamine and Prolonged Exposure in PTSD

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03960658
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 23, 2019
Results First Posted : March 22, 2021
Last Update Posted : March 22, 2021
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Paulo Shiroma, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE May 20, 2019
First Posted Date  ICMJE May 23, 2019
Results First Submitted Date  ICMJE February 24, 2021
Results First Posted Date  ICMJE March 22, 2021
Last Update Posted Date March 22, 2021
Actual Study Start Date  ICMJE April 3, 2019
Actual Primary Completion Date November 18, 2019   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: March 19, 2021)
Change in Severity of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
The overall severity of PTSD symptoms would be measured by the mean change in the Past Month (current) total scores on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (CAPS-5) from baseline to post-treatment (10 weeks). The CAPS-5 is a structured interview with higher values representing worse outcomes. The CAPS-5 total symptom severity score ranges from 0 to 80 and it is calculated by summing severity scores for the 20 DSM-5 PTSD symptoms.
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: May 21, 2019)
Severity of PTSD symptoms [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
Past Month (current) total scores on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (CAPS-5), a 30-item structured interview with higher values representing worse outcomes.
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: March 19, 2021)
  • Change in Severity of Depressive Symptoms [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    Total score on the Montgomery- Åsberg Depression Rating Scale , a semi- structured 10-item scale. Range 0-60. Higher values represent worse outcomes. The total score is obtained by summing the severity score of each item.
  • Change in PTSD Symptoms for DSM-5 [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL5) is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses the 20 DSM-5 symptoms of PTSD. Range from 0-80. Higher values represent worse outcomes.
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: May 21, 2019)
  • Severity of depressive symptoms [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    Total score on the Montgomery- Åsberg Depression Rating Scale , a semi- structured 10-item scale. Range 0-60. Higher values represent worse outcomes.
  • Illness severity and improvement [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    The Clinical Global Impression is rated on a 7-point scale, with the severity of illness scale using a range of responses from 1 (normal) through to 7 (amongst the most severely ill patients). CGI-C scores range from 1 (very much improved) through to 7 (very much worse).
  • 1.Change in Mean Computer-based Cognitive Assessment (CogState) Composite Score [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    CogState is a simple, brief computerized neuropsychological battery to evaluate cognitive performance. We will include attention, executive and memory functions. CogState CogState scores are measured on a linear scale (with no maximum score) and a reduction in scores compared to baseline indicates an improvement in cognitive functions.
  • Fear activation and extinction during PE sessions [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    Subjective units of distress (SUDS), a self-rating measure of distress ranging from 0 (complete relaxation) to 100 (maximum distress). and will measure activation of fear structure, decrease in fear during exposure sessions (within-session extinction); and decrease in initial reactions to the feared stimuli across sessions (between- session extinction). SUDS ratings correspond well with other indices of fear expression, including physiological indicators.
  • General Adverse Events [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    Frequency, Intensity, and Burden of Side Effects Rating (FIBSER), a self-reported questionnaire of the burden due to side effects in a 7-point Likert-type scale. Higher values represents worse outcome.
  • Credibility/Expectation of Outcome Treatment (CEQ). [ Time Frame: pre-intervention ]
    CEQ is an 8-item scale of belief in the rationale and logic of a treatment (credibility) and belief in a likely positive outcome from a treatment (expectancy). Higher values represent better credibility and expectations.
  • Severity of Anxiety [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    Beck Anxiety Inventory, a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of anxiety. Range: 0-63. Higher values represent worse outcomes.
  • PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) [ Time Frame: 10 weeks ]
    The PCL-5 is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses the 20 DSM-5 symptoms of PTSD. Range from 0-80. Higher values represent worse outcomes.
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Ketamine and Prolonged Exposure in PTSD
Official Title  ICMJE Repeated Sub-anesthetic Ketamine to Enhance Prolonged Exposure Therapy in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A Proof-of-concept Study
Brief Summary This study aims at investigating the effectiveness of the drug, Ketamine, in combination with Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy for people suffering from PTSD. Participation in the study includes Ketamine infusions, which occur once a week for three weeks. PE therapy sessions will be scheduled one day after each infusion, and may continue up to 12 weeks. After completely therapy, there will be two monthly follow-up assessment visits.
Detailed Description

Study location: Minneapolis VA Medical Center

The study is an open-label interventional study designed to inform and strengthen the feasibility of protocol implementation on sub-anesthetic doses of intravenous Ketamine as augmenting strategy of standardized, manually-driven Prolonged Exposure therapy in PTSD.

Timeline: Eligible individuals can expect their participation to last up to 5 months. Compensation will be given for participation per session that is attended. Potential participants will be provided with information about the study and asked a series of questions to determine if they meet basic inclusion/exclusion criteria (e.g., indicators of current PTSD). They will be informed that the treatment involves multiple infusions of sedatives at subanesthetic doses followed by PE therapy. Those interested will be scheduled for an in-person, baseline session.

Voluntary informed consent will be obtained in accordance with local IRB approvals. During the baseline, all assessments, computer tasks, and information on treatment will be explained. Participants will also undergo a urine toxicology analysis during this session. Ketamine infusions and PE therapy appointments will be scheduled within two weeks of the baseline.

The day of the infusion, patients will arrive in the morning after an overnight fast of at least 8 hours. An IV will be placed in the non-dominant arm for medication administration. Vitals will be recorded throughout the entire medication treatment. Subjects will then receive IV infusion of 0.5mg/Kg of ketamine hydrochloride solution over 40 minutes. The dose of ketamine will be calculated by ideal body weight. Any altered sensory or dissociative effects will be measured before and after each infusion. Vitals will be monitored for another hour, until all side-effects have subsided. Participants are required not to drive or use heavy machinery until the following morning.

One day after the infusion, patients will come back for study assessments and Prolonged Exposure therapy with a VA psychologist. PE is an evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD that is based on the Emotional Processing Theory of PTSD; the four components of PE are: 1) exposure to safe situations, objects, or people that cause distress and are avoided because they are trauma reminders (in vivo exposure), 2) revisiting and processing of the trauma memory (imaginal exposure), 3) psycho-education about trauma-related symptoms, and 4) breathing retraining. Session 1 includes the presentation of treatment rationale and program overview, information gathering, and breathing retraining. Session 2 includes education about common reactions to trauma, rationale for in vivo exposure, and construction of an in vivo exposure hierarchy. The hierarchy includes safe or low-risk activities and situations that were avoided because of their association with the trauma. Throughout the treatment, participants will be assigned homework to confront items on the hierarchy in a gradual fashion, working up to the most anxiety-arousing situations. During Session 3, the rationale for confronting the trauma memory in imagination is presented and initiation of imaginal exposure and processing is conducted. In this procedure, participants will be asked to close their eyes, visualize the trauma, and recount it aloud in the present tense for 45-60 min. The memory recounting will be repeated if necessary to allow total reliving of 45-60 min. The exposure will be audiotaped; participants will be instructed to listen daily to the tape. Sessions 4-10 will be conducted in a similar fashion: therapists review homework, conduct imaginal exposure to trauma memory for 30-45 min, discuss the imaginal exposure, and assigned in vivo and imaginal exposure homework. In the final session, participants summarize learning in treatment, discuss their progress, plans, and relapse prevention.

Upon PE completion, participants are asked to come back for 2 follow-up sessions over two months. Familiar study and PTSD assessments will be administered during this time.

Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 1
Phase 2
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Intervention Model Description:
Open-label study
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Intervention  ICMJE Drug: ketamine-enhanced prolonged exposure
Subjects will receive a single infusion of racemic ketamine at 0.5mg/kg (ideal body weight) for 40 minutes. The next day, patients will have a standardized prolonged exposure session which lasts approximately 90 minutes. This co-jointed intervention will be repeated for 3 weeks. Then, patients will continue with therapy sessions to complete a total of 10-12 sessions.
Study Arms  ICMJE Experimental: Ketamine and PE
ketamine treatment followed by a standardized prolonged exposure session for the first 3 weeks; then, weekly prolonged exposure as usual.
Intervention: Drug: ketamine-enhanced prolonged exposure
Publications * Shiroma PR, Thuras P, Wels J, Erbes C, Kehle-Forbes S, Polusny M. A Proof-of-Concept Study of Subanesthetic Intravenous Ketamine Combined With Prolonged Exposure Therapy Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 10;81(6). pii: 20l13406. doi: 10.4088/JCP.20l13406.

*   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 Completed
Actual Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: March 19, 2021)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: May 21, 2019)
Actual Study Completion Date  ICMJE December 4, 2019
Actual Primary Completion Date November 18, 2019   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Diagnosis of chronic (minimum of three months) PTSD (Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 -CAPS-5 score>33).
  2. Voluntarily eligible to participate in PE.
  3. Severity of PTSD symptoms defined by PCL-5>33.
  4. Psychotropic medications on stable doses (no dosing adjustments/changes for ≥4 weeks; ≥6 weeks for fluoxetine) prior to prior to beginning of the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Unwillingness/unable to sign informed consent.
  2. Previous or current participation in trauma-exposed therapy and/or ketamine treatment.
  3. Evidence of mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder and/or moderate/severe cognitive impairment (MMSE scores ≤27).
  4. Any unstable medical or non-psychiatric CNS condition.
  5. Lifetime history of psychosis-related disorder, bipolar disorder I or II disorder, or any condition other than PTSD judged to be the primary presenting psychiatric diagnosis.
  6. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (mental status change or loss of consciousness>30 min; Glasgow Coma Scale <13; post-traumatic amnesia>24hours; visible lesion on CT/MRI brain scan).
  7. Active alcohol/illicit substance use disorder within 6 months of initial assessment; presence of illicit drugs by positive urine toxicology.
  8. For women: pregnancy (confirmed by lab test), initiation of female hormonal treatments within 3 months of screening, or inability/ unwillingness to use a medically accepted contraceptive method during the study.
  9. Imminent risk of suicidal/homicidal ideation and/or behavior with intent and/or plan
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years to 75 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 United States
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT03960658
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE VAM-18-00333
Has Data Monitoring Committee No
U.S. FDA-regulated Product
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: Yes
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE
Plan to Share IPD: No
Current Responsible Party Paulo Shiroma, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Original Responsible Party Same as current
Current Study Sponsor  ICMJE Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Original Study Sponsor  ICMJE Same as current
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE
Principal Investigator: Paulo R Shiroma, MD Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center
PRS Account Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Verification Date March 2021

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