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Contemp Clin Trials. 2016 May;48:146-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2016.03.009. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Examining the efficacy of d-cycloserine to augment therapeutic learning in depression.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, United States.
Institute for Mental Health Research and Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, United States.
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, United States.
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, United States.


Despite advances in individual and combined treatments for major depression, issues with non-response and partial-response remain relatively common, motivating the search for new treatment strategies. This study aims to develop one such novel treatment. In this proof-of-concept study, we are investigating whether the treatment enhancing effects of d-cycloserine (DCS) administration can be extended outside the extinction-learning paradigms where they have been primarily examined. Using uniform delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) content via computer-administered interventions for depression, we are assessing the value of pre-session administrations of DCS for retention of therapeutic learning. Recall of this information is evaluated in conjunction with performance on standardized tests of memory recall with both emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Specifically, in a randomized, double-blind trial we will compare the benefits of two pre-session administrations of DCS augmentation to those achieved by similar administrations of modafinil or placebo. Because modafinil is associated with a number of discriminable effects in addition to cognitive enhancement (e.g., feelings of vigor, alertness, positive mood); whereas these effects would not be expected with DCS, we will assess drug context effects in relation to memory augmentation effects.



Cognitive behavioral therapy; Declarative memory; Depression; Modafinil; d-cycloserine

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