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DALKETCLIN (Clinical Predictors of Intravenous Ketamine Response in Treatment-Resistant Depression) is a research study being conducted at Nova Scotia Health. The principal investigator (lead psychiatrist) is

Dr. Abraham Nunes.

Why is there a need for DALKETCLIN?

Approximately 16,000 Nova Scotians suffer from treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Recent studies have shown that a single low dose of intravenous (IV) ketamine can help relieve symptoms as quickly as within 24 hours. The main problem with IV ketamine for TRD is that the effect is short-lived, lasting only days to 1 or 2 weeks. Furthermore, IV ketamine is a resource intensive treatment, and the safety of long-term, repeated use for depression is unknown.

What is the aim of DALKETCLIN?

To provide ketamine treatment in a safe and cost-effective way for Nova Scotians, it must be allocated efficiently to those patients who have the greatest need and probability of benefit. The goal of DALKETCLIN is to find clinical features (signs, symptoms, and aspects of patient history) that will help predict which patients are most likely to respond to a single dose of IV ketamine to help guide patient selection and triaging as this treatment becomes available.

What does participation involve?

Interested participants will first be assessed to see if this project might be a good fit for them (see Who is eligible? below). Likely-eligible candidates will be asked to come in for a screening visit which will involve an assessment with a study clinician.


Following the screening visit, participants found eligible will participate in several research visits and receive IV ketamine treatment. Overall participation will be approximately two months. Research assessments will vary in length and include clinical visits, self-report questionnaires, interviews, physical activity measurement, neurocognitive testing and brain imaging. Interested participants will need to attend the majority of study visits in person in Halifax (in the Abbie J Lane building of the QEII, 5909 Veterans' Memorial Lane). Interested participants from outside the HRM should contact the DCRP for information on travel accommodations.

Who is eligible?

This study is recruiting people ages 18 to 65 in Nova Scotia who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder and are currently experiencing depression. Individuals who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding will not be eligible. Certain additional criteria must be met, which will be assessed at the screening visit.


How do I get in touch?

If you are interested in participating in DALKETCLIN or would like to find out more, you can get in touch with the DCRP via our contact form or email (, or using the "Contact the study team" feature at Nova Studies Connect. To chat with us, you can send us a message on Facebook Messenger.


We also welcome referrals from GPs and community health services. Our referral form for use by healthcare professionals can be found here. A referral is required to participate in this project.


DCRP personnel for DALKETCLIN

Vanessa Pardo, Research Coordinator

Abraham Nunes, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator

Additional resources

You can read more about this project at the links below: (NCT05625555)

Nova Studies Connect 

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