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Ketamine Clinical Trials

Effects of a Single Dose of Intravenous Ketamine on Symptoms of Gulf War Illness in 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans

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Id: NCT04712071

Organisation Name: Baylor College of Medicine

Overal Status: Terminated

Start Date: February 1, 2021

Last Update: March 3, 2022

Lead Sponsor: Baylor College of Medicine

Brief Summary: Up to one third of the 700,000 U.S. military veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War have Gulf War Illness (GWI), a symptom complex characterized by a combination of chronic pain, cognitive impairment, debilitating fatigue, gastrointestinal complications, and other persistent symptoms. Epidemiologic studies of 1990-1991 Gulf War veterans have identified the short but intense combined exposure to insecticides (e.g., organophosphates, DEET, permethrin), pills with anti-nerve gas agent pyridostigmine bromide (PB), and low-level chemical nerve agents as likely candidates of GWI. Animal models have shown that these neurotoxicants could induce neuroinflammation which is marked by enhanced inflammatory cytokines, and activated microglia and astrocytes. Inflammation has been linked to GWI. Secondary effects of neuroinflammation and glia activation could be excessive glutamate-mediated neuronal activation. There is currently no treatment for symptoms of GWI. Ketamine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist. Besides blocking activation of NMDARs, a sub-anesthetic dose (0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes) of ketamine could be an anti-inflammatory agent, and could protect microglia and astrocytes from being activated by inflammatory agents. This low dose of ketamine has also been shown to improve fatigue within 24 hours after a single infusion, and to improve inflammatory pain. This makes ketamine a feasible candidate for the treatment of inflammation-associated symptoms of GWI. This pilot study will examine if GWI is related to NMDAR functioning, testing effects of a single 40-minute intravenous infusion of 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine on GWI symptom severity in 21 veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War who meet Kansas case definition criteria of GWI.

  • Gulf War Syndrome

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