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New Canaan's Silver Hill Hospital adds Ketamine Treatment Program for those with severe depression

New Haven Register - 2/19/2024

Feb. 19—NEW CANAANSilver Hill Hospital has opened its Ketamine Treatment Program, joining a growing number of clinics throughout the country that offer ketamine as an option for patients with treatment-resistant depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 3 million people in the United States have treatment-resistant depression, a form of major depressive disorder that doesn't improve after trying at least two antidepressants.

In recent years, ketamine has emerged as an effective depression treatment for this patient population, delivering comparable results to electroconvulsive therapy, according to a release from Silver Hill.

"There's a growing body of research demonstrating ketamine's ability to alleviate symptoms of depression, and the patients we've worked with are experiencing the benefits in the form of decreased negative thinking and improved mood, sometimes after just a few sessions," Dr. William Prueitt, director of Silver Hill's Ketamine Treatment Program, said in the release. "Ketamine works differently than other antidepressants and is often effective for patients that have not improved with other medications."

Silver Hill's Ketamine Treatment Program includes a course of intravenous ketamine treatments administered under the supervision of an experienced medical team over the course of several weeks.

It's designed for patients 18 and older with moderate to severe depression who have been unresponsive to at least two prior antidepressant medication treatments.

The approach begins with a thorough psychiatric evaluation to develop a personalized treatment plan. Patients then receive a structured course of ketamine infusions administered and monitored twice weekly by a team of medical professionals. Following an initial four-week treatment course, patients will receive tapered maintenance doses to promote more lasting effects.

Treatments are administered in a secure patient setting, including soft lighting, reclining chairs, noise-canceling headphones, and other amenities, all under the continuous care and monitoring of a team of specially trained nurses and psychiatrists.

"At Silver Hill Hospital, we're always looking for and evaluating new, clinically validated therapies to expand the options available to patients with complex mental health diagnoses," said Dr. Andrew J. Gerber, president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital.

The Silver Hill Hospital Ketamine Treatment Program is available to outpatients, as well as inpatients and residential patients, and it is now accepting referrals.

Feb 19, 2024

By Amanda Cuda

Amanda Cuda is the editor of the Trumbull Times. Though she grew up in Michigan, Amanda is from Connecticut originally and moved here shortly after graduating from Michigan State University. She has worked for the Connecticut Post in a variety of positions, including town reporter, features writer, TV columnist and health editor. She's a married mother of twins who loves reading, watching TV and rooting for the Michigan State Spartans.

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