Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions

Version 1 : Received: 10 February 2022 / Approved: 11 February 2022 / Online: 11 February 2022 (04:30:04 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 6 March 2022 / Approved: 7 March 2022 / Online: 7 March 2022 (08:34:11 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Ragnhildstveit, A.; Slayton, M.; Jackson, L.K.; Brendle, M.; Ahuja, S.; Holle, W.; Moore, C.; Sollars, K.; Seli, P.; Robison, R. Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 382. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382 Ragnhildstveit, A.; Slayton, M.; Jackson, L.K.; Brendle, M.; Ahuja, S.; Holle, W.; Moore, C.; Sollars, K.; Seli, P.; Robison, R. Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 382. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382

Journal reference: Brain Sciences 2022, 12
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12030382

Abstract

Eating disorders (EDs) are serious, life-threatening psychiatric conditions associated with physical and psychosocial impairments, as well as high morbidity and mortality. Given the chronic refractory nature of EDs and the paucity of evidence-based treatments, there is a pressing need to identify novel approaches for this population. The noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ketamine, has recently been approved for treatment-resistant depression, which exhibits rapid and robust antidepressant effects, particularly among clinical non-responders. It is now being investigated for several new indications, including obsessive-compulsive, post-traumatic, and substance use disorder; and shows transdiagnostic potential for EDs. As such, the aim of this review is to examine contemporary findings on the treatment of EDs with ketamine, whether used as a primary, adjunctive, or combination pharmacotherapy. Avenues for future research are also discussed. Overall, results are encouraging and point to therapeutic value, yet are limited to case series and reports principally on anorexia nervosa. Further empirical work is thus needed to explore and establish ketamine efficacy for EDs, and to inform targeted treatment strategies.

Keywords

esketamine; ketamine; ketamine assisted psychotherapy; eating disorder; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder; pharmacology; psychedelics; treatment

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Psychiatry & Mental Health studies

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