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The Future of D-Cycloserine and Other Cognitive Modifiers in Obsessive- Compulsive and Related Disorders

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Variants of exposure therapy are effective for treating obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRDs). However, significant numbers of patients do not respond adequately to exposure therapy resulting in continued distress and functional impairment. Therefore, novel approaches to augmenting exposure therapy are needed to adequately treat non- and partial-responders. Emerging research suggests that interventions that augment learning and memory processes associated with exposure therapy (i.e., extinction training) may display promise in enhancing treatment response in OCRDs. As the most studied example, d-cycloserine (DCS) is a relatively safe cognitive enhancer that appears to accelerate treatment gains associated with exposure therapy. This article reviews research on the use of DCS and other putative cognitive modifiers as they relate to the treatment (or prospective treatment) of obsessive-compulsive disorder and other OCRDs.
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Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; D-cycloserine; cognitive enhancer; glucocorticoids; memory reconsolidation; obsessive-compulsive disorder; yohimbine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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  • Current Psychiatry Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on clinical psychiatry and its related areas e.g. pharmacology, epidemiology, clinical care, and therapy. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all clinicians, psychiatrists and researchers in psychiatry.
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