Yale Trial Looks at Ketamine Treatment for Parkinson Patients With Depression

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Mindbloom Review Board
Published on 
July 26, 2022
Updated on 

Yale researchers are working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to explore how ketamine can potentially help Parkinson’s patients who suffer from depression. 

The nervous system disorder includes symptoms like tremors, loss of balance, and stiffness, which worsen over time, and significantly impact patients’ quality of life. 

That’s why half of people with the disease also suffer from depression, Sophie Holmes, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale, told News8 WTNH.

“This is really the first study that is looking at a new intervention which I think should draw up the discovery of hopefully a new generation of antidepressants for depression in Parkinson’s disease,” Holmes said

The ketamine trial will compare brain scans before and after treatment.

“[Ketamine] is actually a drug that looks like it’s working by modifying the way the cells in the brain are actually communicating with each other, allowing them to become more adaptive,” said Dr. Gerard Sanacora, director of the Yale Depression Research Program, told the outlet. 

The patients enrolled in the study have an early progression of the disease. Sanacora added that other studies have centered on motor issues prompted by the illness, rather than the emotional impact it can also have. He credited the potential benefits of ketamine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder, which in some cases has been life saving. 


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.

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