Ketamine and Prolonged Exposure Therapy Study

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved drug, that is mainly used to induce anesthesia. However, at much lower doses, it has been shown to rapidly alleviate symptoms of depression.

Ketamine has been shown to potentially promote neural plasticity and neurogenesis which is the brain's ability to change. It is possible that ketamine opens a window for neural networks to develop and modify themselves.

Ketamine administration may induce feelings of euphoria, dizziness, or confusion, and these effects subside within 1-2 hours.

What is Prolonged Exposure Therapy?

Prolonged exposure therapy is evidence-based psychotherapy that is currently the gold standard in PTSD treatment. 

The therapy process involves identifying situations or stimuli that provoke anxiety, and then building comfort with these triggers through a series of imagined and real-life exposures. These exposures may occur in-session with a clinician, or through assigned "homework" exercises. 

For this specific study, the therapy will be delivered in six, 90 minute daily sessions across one week.

About Our Study:

This is our pharmaceutical clinical trail to test ketamine's effectiveness as a drug treatment for PTSD to help enhance the effects of the first line psychotherapy treatment, prolonged exposure therapy. Participants will be randomly assigned to either receive the study drug, ketamine, or our active placebo drug, midazolam

This infusion is combined with two MRI scans, six prolonged exposure psychotherapy appointments, and two follow-up MRI scans. In the MRI scanner, you will hear scripts from a traumatic memory, a sad memory, and a neutral memory that you will have previously discussed with our clinician. 

You have the potential to earn up to $850.00 over the course of 11 appointments.

Who Can Enroll?

This study is open to participants aged 21-70 who are currently suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Participants must be medically healthy, not pregnant or breastfeeding, and not have any recent heavy alcohol consumption or recreational drug use. 

Individuals with substance abuse, psychotic disorders, severe claustrophobia, or embedded metal may not participate.

What Will I Do?

Participants will be asked to take part in the following procedures: 

  • Psychological interview

  • Medical evaluation (blood draw, urine test, EKG, and history and physical).

  • Self report questionnaires

  • 2-3 hour scripting appointment 

  • 3-4 hour psycho-education session

  • Infusion and MRI Scan 

  • Five 90 minute prolonged exposure therapy sessions 

  • Two follow up appointments (at 30 days and 90 days post infusion)

Screening

Procedure:

1) Click the link below to complete our pre-screening survey.

2) If you screen in, you will be directed to our contact form. We will then contact you for a brief 5-15 minute over the phone, phone screen consisting of basic demographics, mental health, and physical health questions to help determine your eligibility.

3) Should you remain interested and eligible, we will bring you in for an in person screening appointment.

HIC# 1509016530

Yale University Post Traumatic Stress Treatment and Research Laboratory

950 Campbell Ave. West Haven, CT 06516