Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

D-cycloserine May Improve Behavioral Therapy Treatment For Anxiety

Date:
July 22, 2008
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Anxiety is a normal human response to stress, but in some, it can develop into a disabling disorder of excessive and irrational fears, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Effective treatments are available and can involve either behavioral therapy or medications.

Anxiety is a normal human response to stress, but in some, it can develop into a disabling disorder of excessive and irrational fears, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder. Effective treatments are available and can involve either behavioral therapy or medications.

Although "it makes intuitive sense that combining these two treatments would result in even better results," David Tolin, Ph.D. notes that has unfortunately not yet been the case and the majority of the evidence suggests that combined therapy is no more effective than behavior therapy alone, and in some cases can even be less effective. However, Dr. Tolin is one of the three authors on a meta-analysis scheduled for publication on June 15th in Biological Psychiatry, in which they evaluated a potentially important new treatment paradigm for anxiety.

Dr. Tolin explains the impetus behind their analysis: "Recently, several researchers have tried a radically different approach: instead of just throwing two effective monotherapies at the problem, they have instead looked at medications that specifically target the biological mechanisms that make psychotherapy work in the first place." John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and another of the study's authors, adds that "there has now been a sufficient amount of research in this area to take a step back to look at the basic research conducted in animals and the initial clinical trials."

This research effort has involved the addition of D-cycloserine, an old drug long approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of tuberculosis, to exposure-based fear treatment in animals and humans. The meta-analysis, a pooling of the published literature on this approach, provides evidence that D-cycloserine enhances the learning process in the brain, indicating that, unlike many other medications, it may improve the effectiveness of behavioral therapy.

There is a caveat, however, as the authors also discovered that tolerance may develop to this effect. Dr. Krystal comments that, if so, "it may be best used before therapy sessions to 'warm up the brain' and make it more responsive to the treatment sessions rather than as a daily treatment."

Dr. Tolin makes an additional, important observation regarding this line of work: "Another very exciting aspect of this work is that it's one of the few really good examples of translational research in psychiatry: taking basic science from the laboratory, in this case animal studies, and translating that research into useful interventions for humans." Although additional research is clearly necessitated, this confirmation of the effectiveness of D-cycloserine is a positive step forward in improving treatments for individuals suffering with anxiety disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Norberg et al. A Meta-Analysis of D-Cycloserine and the Facilitation of Fear Extinction and Exposure Therapy. Biological Psychiatry, 2008; 63 (12): 1118 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.01.012

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "D-cycloserine May Improve Behavioral Therapy Treatment For Anxiety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080716101303.htm>.
Elsevier. (2008, July 22). D-cycloserine May Improve Behavioral Therapy Treatment For Anxiety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080716101303.htm
Elsevier. "D-cycloserine May Improve Behavioral Therapy Treatment For Anxiety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080716101303.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins