From the Editor

“Ketamine Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Depression in New Study”

 – The New York Times

The gold standard for treatment-refractory depression has been ECT. Last week, The New England Journal of Medicine published a new study by Dr. Amit Anand (of Harvard University) and his co-authors comparing ketamine with ECT. They did a noninferiority trial, with more than 400 people. The results have been widely reported, including in The New York Times. They write: “This randomized trial evaluating the comparative effectiveness of ketamine and ECT in patients with treatment-resistant depression without psychosis showed noninferiority of ketamine to ECT…” We discuss the paper and the accompanying Editorial.

A recent Canadian Medical Association survey found that the majority of physicians reported experiencing high levels of burnout. In the second selection, Dr. Srijan Sen (of the University of Michigan) discusses this timely topic in a new Quick Takes podcast. He talks about the definition(s) of burnout, and the overlap with depression. “Burnout has become a loose term that means different things to different people.”

And in the third selection, Dr. Thomas Insel (of the Steinberg Institute) and his co-authors discuss the life and death of New Yorker Jordan Neely. In an essay for The Washington Post, they argue for better care, in particular with a focus on rehabilitation services for those with schizophrenia. “People with other brain disorders are not abandoned to become homeless or incarcerated rather than receive medical help.”


Continue reading