The Application of Exposure Therapy and D-Cycloserine to the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa: A Preliminary Trial

College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Journal of Psychiatric Practice (Impact Factor: 1.34). 08/2007; 13(4):238-45. DOI: 10.1097/01.pra.0000281484.89075.a8
Source: PubMed


Novel approaches to the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN) are needed. This preliminary study examined the utility and safety of an exposure therapy intervention and D-cycloserine (DCS) in a population of patients with AN.
Eleven participants completed a series of 6 laboratory meals, including pre- and post-exposure test meals and four exposure sessions. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either DCS or placebo in double-blind fashion before each of the 4 exposure sessions. These results were compared to data from a previously studied group of patients who received treatment as usual.
Total caloric intake increased significantly from the baseline meal session to the post-test meal session in the patients who received the exposure therapy intervention. Caloric intake did not increase significantly in the comparison group.
These data suggest that an exposure therapy intervention specifically focused on meal consumption may be helpful in increasing intake of a test meal.

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Available from: Janet Schebendach, Oct 08, 2014
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    • "In support of this model, a previous study by our group found that patients, even after weight restoration and improvement in many psychological symptoms, continued to significantly restrict their eating during a laboratory test meal (Sysko, et al., 2005). A subsequent study demonstrated that repeated presentation of the same laboratory meal, with a therapist present for encouragement, led to increases in total intake (Steinglass, et al., 2007). To begin to address the question of the relationship between pre-meal anxiety and food intake in weight restored individuals with AN, we combined data from three ongoing studies that each include a laboratory-based eating assessment. "
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