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Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2014;32(1):183-95. doi: 10.3233/RNN-139002.

Cognitive enhancers for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

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1
Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Traditional treatments for anxiety disorders include cognitive-behavioral therapy and anxiolytic medications. Although these treatments are more effective than placebo, there is still considerable room for further improvement. Unfortunately, combining these different modalities is generally not substantially better than monotherapies. Recently, researchers have turned their attention toward translating preclinical research on the neural circuitry underlying fear extinction to clinical applications for the treatment of anxiety disorders with the goal to augment the learning process during exposure-based procedures with cognitive enhancers. This review examines d-cycloserine, cortisol, catecholamines, yohimbine, oxytocin, modafinil, as well as nutrients and botanicals as agents to augment treatment for anxiety disorders. D-cycloserine shows the most empirical support. Other promising agents include cortisol, catecholamines, yohimbine, and possibly oxytocin. Less support comes from studies that examined nutrients and botanicals, such as caffeine, nicotine, and omega-3 fatty acid. Limitations of the exiting literature and future research directions are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive enhancers; anxiety disorders; augmentation strategies

PMID:
23542909
DOI:
10.3233/RNN-139002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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