Article

Family History of Alcohol Dependence and Initial Antidepressant Response to an N-methyl-D-aspartate Antagonist

Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health/DHHS, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1282, USA.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 12/2008; 65(2):181-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.09.029
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A high rate of comorbidity exists between mood disorders and alcohol dependence. Furthermore, both ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic with a recently described rapid-onset antidepressant effect, and ethanol are N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists. Previous investigations of healthy individuals with a family history of alcohol dependence have found that these individuals have an attenuated response to ketamine's perceptual disturbance and dysphoric effects similar to that found in individuals with a self-reported history of alcohol dependence. This study investigated whether a family history of alcohol dependence influences ketamine's initial antidepressant effect.
Twenty-six subjects with DSM-IV treatment-resistant major depression were given an open-label intravenous infusion of ketamine hydrochloride (.5 mg/kg) and rated using various depression scales at baseline, 40, 80, 120, and 230 min postinfusion. The primary outcome measure was Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores.
Subjects with a family history of alcohol dependence showed significantly greater improvement in MADRS scores compared with subjects who had no family history of alcohol dependence.
A family history of alcohol dependence appears to predict a rapid initial antidepressant response to an NMDA receptor antagonist.

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