Flint, MI — June 23, 2021
Forum Health, a nationwide provider of personalized healthcare, and Riverwoods Behavioral Health, a leading provider of ketamine assisted therapy, have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop and test a breakthrough ketamine treatment using a new integrative protocol. With promising results, the research could facilitate lasting changes in how ketamine is delivered across patient populations and inform other psychedelic-assisted interventions.
Under the collaboration, Forum Health and Riverwoods Behavioral Health will launch two stage 1 clinical trials to investigate the feasibility and potential of integrative ketamine assisted therapy for treating adults with major depression (trial 1) as well as older adults with co-occurring major depression and early cognitive decline (trial 2). The protocol, developed by Dr. Patricia Henrie-Barrus, Principal Investigator and Founding Director at Riverwoods Behavioral Health, combines repeated sessions of low-dose ketamine with therapy, mind-body skills, ambient music, and textile art. It is a novel approach compared to traditional ketamine treatment, where patients are typically left alone in clinics without psychiatrists or other mental health professionals on staff.
“Multiple studies have already shown the benefit of therapy adjunct to ketamine treatment. Now, we are seeing the positive effects of incorporating music, meditation, and brain stimulation to achieve better health outcomes; and how critical set and setting are. Developing an integrative and context-driven protocol just made sense,” says Dr. Henrie-Barrus. “Not only does iKAP have the potential to enhance ketamine’s antidepressant and pro-cognitive effects, but also standard of care delivery. This is increasingly important given the rapid emergence of ketamine clinics that are incentivized by the drug’s profit margins over the wellbeing of patients,” adds Anya Ragnhildstveit, Co-Principal Investigator and Program Director of the Ketamine Assisted Therapy Educational and Research Lab. “Evidence-based protocols for optimizing treatment and ensuring ethical practice are desperately needed, now more than ever.”
Currently, the two trials are being reviewed by the University of Utah Institutional Review Board, with recruitment from the Greater Salt Lake City area anticipated to start in late July of 2021. Data derived from each study will be used to adapt and refine the protocol in preparation for future randomized controlled trials.
“We are confident that our collaboration with Riverwoods Behavioral Health will enable us to drive critical developments for new promising mental health treatments,” says Dr. Andrew Petersen, Site Principal Investigator and Chief of Staff at Forum Health. Considering the psychological aftermath of COVID-19, I couldn’t be more excited about these studies and am optimistic they will make a real difference in people’s lives, both to those suffering from depression and those with early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The collaboration is supported by researchers at the University of Utah, Harvard University, Yale School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and Duke University. Industry partners are also participating, including Salt City Psychedelic Therapy and Research and Summit Ketamine Therapy Clinic.
About Forum Health
Forum Health LLC is a nationwide provider of personalized healthcare. Steeped in the powerful principles of functional and integrative medicine, Forum Health providers take a root-cause approach to care. They listen and dig deep — exploring lifestyle, environment, and genetics to help each patient achieve their ultimate health goals. Members have access to advanced medical treatments and technology, with care plans informed by data analytics and collaborative relationships. To learn more, visit forumhealth.com.
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