Study finds potential treatment to reduce chronic suicidality

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A new study from USC Australia has found that oral doses of ketamine administered in a clinical setting can provide a rapid-acting treatment for chronic suicidality.

The study from USC’s Thompson Institute, published in Translational Psychiatry, showed that within the first six weeks, 69 percent of participants achieved a clinical reduction in suicide ideation.

Principal investigator psychiatrist Dr Adem Can, who led the research at USC, said the findings were significant, given the difficulty of treating chronic suicidality, and had the potential to save lives.

“On average, patients experienced a significant reduction in suicide ideation, from a high level before the trial to below the clinical threshold by week six of the trial,” Dr Can said.

“In medicine, this response rate is significant, particularly given it was experienced by patients with chronic suicidality, which can be difficult to treat.

“These patients had lived with suicidality for a very long time and presented a range of psychiatric conditions, including mood, anxiety and personality disorders, and many of them had lost hope of recovery.”

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