Yale University Post Traumatic Stress Treatment and Research Laboratory

950 Campbell Ave. West Haven, CT 06516

Ketamine and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Neural Networks

Our brains are made up of vast interconnected networks of cells called neurons. Essentially, different parts of the brain "talk" to one another through these connections. All of our memories, habits, and thought patterns rely on communication through neural networks.

Neural networks can be modified. They can change with experiences, age, and learning new things. We can work to change our neural networks to stop bad habits, negative thoughts, or unwanted memories.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved drug mainly used to induce anesthesia. But at much lower doses, it's been shown to rapidly alleviate symptoms of depression including suicidal thoughts.


Ketamine may promote neural plasticity: the brain's ability to change. It's possible that ketamine opens a window for neural networks to modify themselves. 


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

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged-Exposure therapy is an 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 study, the therapy will be delivered in daily sessions across one week.

About our Study

The current study combines a one-time low-dose infusion of medication with Prolonged Exposure psychotherapy. Participants will be randomly assigned to either receive the study drug (ketamine) or a placebo drug (midazolam).


Participants will create trauma narratives that will be played over headphones during an MRI scan. Completion of the study involves screening, creation of the trauma narrative, 2 MRI scans, infusion, one-week PE psychotherapy, and 2 follow-up MRI sessions.

HIC# 1509016530

Neural Networks

Our brains are made up of vast interconnected networks of cells called neurons. Essentially, different parts of the brain "talk" to one another through these connections. All of our memories, habits, and thought patterns rely on communication through neural networks.

Neural networks can be modified. They can change with experiences, age, and learning new things. We can work to change our neural networks to stop bad habits, negative thoughts, or unwanted memories.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved drug mainly used to induce anesthesia. But at much lower doses, it's been shown to rapidly alleviate symptoms of depression including suicidal thoughts.


Ketamine may promote neural plasticity: the brain's ability to change. It's possible that ketamine opens a window for neural networks to modify themselves. 


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

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged-Exposure therapy is an 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 study, the therapy will be delivered in daily sessions across one week.

About our Study

The current study combines a one-time low-dose infusion of medication with Prolonged Exposure psychotherapy. Participants will be randomly assigned to either receive the study drug (ketamine) or a placebo drug (midazolam).


Participants will create trauma narratives that will be played over headphones during an MRI scan. Completion of the study involves screening, creation of the trauma narrative, 2 MRI scans, infusion, one-week PE psychotherapy, and 2 follow-up MRI sessions.

Are you eligible? Click the link below to take our pre-screening survey!

 

Yale HIC#: 150916530