Long-term effect of sub-anesthetic ketamine in reducing L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in a preclinical model

Mitchell J. Bartlett, Ria M. Joseph, Lindsey M. LePoidevin, Kate L. Parent, Nicholas D. Laude, Levi B. Lazarus, Michael L. Heien, Miguel Estevez, Scott J. Sherman, Torsten Falk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Low-dose sub-anesthetic ketamine infusion treatment has led to a long-term reduction of treatment-resistant depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, as well as reduction of chronic pain states, including migraine headaches. Ketamine also is known to change oscillatory electric brain activity. One commonality between migraine headaches, depression, PTSD, Parkinson's disease (PD) and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LID) is hypersynchrony of electric activity in the brain, including the basal ganglia. Therefore, we investigated the use of low-dose sub-anesthetic ketamine in the treatment of LID. In a preclinical rodent model of LID, ketamine (5-20. mg/kg) led to long-term dose-dependent reduction of abnormal involuntary movements, only when low-dose ketamine was given for 10. h continuously (5× i.p. injections two hours apart) and not after a single acute low-dose ketamine i.p. injection. Pharmacokinetic analysis of plasma levels showed ketamine and its major metabolites were not detectable any more at time points when a lasting anti-dyskinetic effect was seen, indicating a plastic change in the brain. This novel use of low-dose sub-anesthetic ketamine infusion could lead to fast clinical translation, and since depression and comorbid pain states are critical problems for many PD patients could open up the road to a new dual therapy for patients with LID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016


  • Hypersynchrony
  • NMDA Receptors
  • Opioid receptors
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Preclinical rodent model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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