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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024

2024 Feb 24

Sci Rep




Hippocampal volume changes after (R,S)-ketamine administration in patients with major depressive disorder and healthy volunteers.


Evans JW, Graves MC, Nugent AC, Zarate CA


The hippocampus and amygdala have been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Preclinical models suggest that stress-related changes in these regions can be reversed by antidepressants, including ketamine. Clinical studies have identified reduced volumes in MDD that are thought to be potentiated by early life stress and worsened by repeated depressive episodes. This study used 3T and 7T structural magnetic resonance imaging data to examine longitudinal changes in hippocampal and amygdalar subfield volumes associated with ketamine treatment. Data were drawn from a previous double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of healthy volunteers (HVs) unmedicated individuals with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) (3T: 18 HV, 26 TRD, 7T: 17 HV, 30 TRD) who were scanned at baseline and twice following either a 40 min IV ketamine (0.5 mg/kg) or saline infusion (acute: 1-2 days, interim: 9-10 days post infusion). No baseline differences were noted between the two groups. At 10 days post-infusion, a slight increase was observed between ketamine and placebo scans in whole left amygdalar volume in individuals with TRD. No other differences were found between individuals with TRD and HVs at either field strength. These findings shed light on the timing of ketamine’s effects on cortical structures.