*WINNER* Ketamine treatment for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


  • Haley Bearden
  • Lynette Harvey


Currently, 87% of veterans are exposed to traumatic events. Veterans that are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are 58% more likely to commit suicide than those without PTSD. SSRI antidepressants are the only first line pharmacological treatment for PTSD, and they only achieve remission of symptoms in 20-30% of patients. Ketamine, a medicine previously used as an anesthetic, was recently FDA approved to treat depression. Trials are being conducted showing favorable results in treating veterans with PTSD. Ketamine treats depression by antagonizing NMDA receptors in the brain, these same receptors are believed to play a role in PTSD symptoms and severity. The purpose of this focused literature review was to find the significance of ketamine treatments in veterans suffering from PTSD. In this focused literature review 8 quantitative articles and 2 qualitative articles were found using the keywords "ketamine", "therapy", and "PTSD". The 8 quantitative articles reveal that both veterans and civilians experienced reduction of PTSD severity and symptoms, suicidal ideation, depression, and even maladaptive alcohol consumption after receiving ketamine treatments. The two qualitative articles revealed both veterans and civilians self-reporting a reduction in PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation during and after ketamine treatments. These studies give promising evidence that raise hope for ketamine as a novel treatment for PTSD.