Samuel Gershon: Ketamine, the "new" breakthrough in the trestment of Depression

Samuel Gershon’s reply to David Janowsky’s and Edward Shorter’s comments


        I have read David Janowsky’s and Edward Shorter’s  comments on this topic and appreciate their expression of added concern for several aspects of this exuberant progression of the information on the several forms of ketamine.  

        Ketamine was studied in the ‘60s in comparison with other then available hallucinogens and was quite effective in these comparisons, but its delirious-like components were an added concern.  Also as mentioned, ketamine had a period of use as an anesthetic for animals and humans. The literature references by Janowsky and Shorter, however, add concern to a couple of key questions: Do we have here an important new anti-depressant? And, does the FDA review of the data on which they have given special approval justify the enthusiastic reception of this compound as a really safe and effective therapeutic agent for depression?

        I am in agreement with the total picture presented by Janowsky and Shorter that we are  not applying a careful, responsible and cautious approach to this “breakthrough” therapy and may well be launching a problematic set of new troubles.


April 30, 2020