Augmentation of behavior therapy with D-cycloserine for obsessive-compulsive disorder
ABSTRACT This study examined whether d-cycloserine, a partial agonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamatergic receptor, enhances the efficacy of behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating D-cycloserine versus placebo augmentation of behavior therapy was conducted in 23 OCD patients. Patients first underwent a diagnostic interview and pretreatment evaluation, followed by a psychoeducational/treatment planning session. Then they received 10 behavior therapy sessions. Treatment sessions were conducted twice per week. One hour before each of the behavior therapy sessions, the participants received either D-cycloserine, 100 mg, or a placebo.
Relative to the placebo group, the D-cycloserine group's OCD symptoms were significantly more improved at mid-treatment, and the D-cycloserine group's depressive symptoms were significantly more improved at posttreatment.
These data provide support for the use of D-cycloserine as an augmentation of behavior therapy for OCD and extend findings in animals and other human disorders suggesting that behavior therapy acts by way of long-term potentiation of glutamatergic pathways and that the effects of behavior therapy are potentiated by an NMDA agonist.
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ABSTRACT: Pathological fear and anxiety are highly debilitating and, despite considerable advances in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy they remain insufficiently treated in many patients with PTSD, phobias, panic and other anxiety disorders. Increasing preclinical and clinical evidence indicates that pharmacological treatments including cognitive enhancers, when given as adjuncts to psychotherapeutic approaches [cognitive behavioral therapy including extinction-based exposure therapy] enhance treatment efficacy, while using anxiolytics such as benzodiazepines as adjuncts can undermine long-term treatment success. The purpose of this review is to outline the literature showing how pharmacological interventions targeting neurotransmitter systems including serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, histamine, glutamate, GABA, cannabinoids, neuropeptides (oxytocin, neuropeptides Y and S, opioids) and other targets (neurotrophins BDNF and FGF2, glucocorticoids, L-type-calcium channels, epigenetic modifications) as well as their downstream signaling pathways, can augment fear extinction and strengthen extinction memory persistently in preclinical models. Particularly promising approaches are discussed in regard to their effects on specific aspects of fear extinction namely, acquisition, consolidation and retrieval, including long-term protection from return of fear (relapse) phenomena like spontaneous recovery, reinstatement and renewal of fear. We also highlight the promising translational value of the preclinial research and the clinical potential of targeting certain neurochemical systems with, for example D-cycloserine, yohimbine, cortisol, and L-DOPA. The current body of research reveals important new insights into the neurobiology and neurochemistry of fear extinction and holds significant promise for pharmacologically-augmented psychotherapy as an improved approach to treat trauma and anxiety-related disorders in a more efficient and persistent way promoting enhanced symptom remission and recovery.Pharmacology [?] Therapeutics 12/2014; 122. DOI:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2014.12.004 · 7.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the overall effect of D-cycloserine (DCS) augmentation on exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Clinical studies on the effect of DCS augmentation on ERP therapy for OCD compared to placebo were included for meta analysis. The primary outcome was the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). Meta-analyses were performed with a random-effect model or a fixed-effect model using the Cochrane Review Manager (RevMan, version 5.2) to calculate the odds ratio and the mean difference, with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals. A total of six studies was included in the current meta-analyses, and their data were extracted. Among them, four were for analyses of DCS and Y-BOCS at midtreatment, six for analysis at posttreatment, and four at 3-month follow-up. Besides, three of the six eligible studies were included in the meta-analysis of the DCS and Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale at posttreatment, and three in the meta-analysis of DCS and proportions of treatment responders and of subjects attaining clinical remission status criteria at posttreatment. Our meta-analyses do not reveal a significant effect of DCS augmentation in ERP therapy for OCD patients, except when measured at midtreatment. Compared to the placebo group, DCS augmentation did show a trend toward significantly lower/decreased Y-BOCS; when measured at posttreatment and in the subpopulation of DCS taken before some of the ERP sessions, DCS augmentation showed a trend toward significantly lower/decreased Y-BOCS. Our result suggested that with the careful optimization of DCS-augmented ERP therapy by fine-tuning timing and dosing of DCS administration and number and frequency of ERP sessions, DCS may enhance the efficacy of ERP therapy in reducing the symptomatic severity of OCD patients, especially at early stage of the treatment; therefore, DCS augmentation could possibly reduce treatment cost, reduce treatment drop and refusal rate, and help to improve access to the limited number of experienced therapists.Drug Design, Development and Therapy 01/2015; 9:2101-17. DOI:10.2147/DDDT.S68994 · 3.03 Impact Factor