D-Cycloserine and Social Skills Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders

This study has been completed.
United States Department of Defense
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Indiana University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: March 10, 2010
Last updated: June 16, 2015
Last verified: June 2015
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of D-cycloserine for improving social impairment in child with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).

Condition Intervention Phase
Autistic Disorder
Asperger's Disorder
Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS
Drug: D-cycloserine
Drug: Placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of D-Cycloserine for the Enhancement of Social Skills Training in Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Indiana University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) [ Time Frame: Completed at Basline, Week 6, Week 11 and Week 22 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Clinical Global Impressions Improvement Scale [ Time Frame: Will be completed at each of the Ten Medication Assessment Visits, at the Post-Treatment Assessment and at the 3-month Follow-up Assessment ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 78
Study Start Date: March 2010
Study Completion Date: November 2014
Primary Completion Date: November 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: D-cycloserine
Subjects randomized to D-cycloserine will be administered 50 mg 30 minutes prior to each of ten Social Skills Training Sessions
Drug: D-cycloserine
50 mg dose administered 30 minutes prior to each of the ten Social Skill Training Sessions
Other Name: Seromycin
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Subjects randomized to placebo arm will receive placebo pill 30 minutes prior to each of ten Social Skills Training Sessions
Drug: Placebo
Placebo pill administered 30 minutes prior to each of the ten Social Skill Training Sessions
Other Name: Sugar pill

Detailed Description:
This study will evaluate the efficacy of D-Cycloserine given 30 minutes prior to each of 10 weekly Social Skills Training Sessions for the treatment of social impairment in children (ages 5-11 years) with PDD during a randomized placebo-controlled trial. This will examine our central hypothesis that D-cycloserine will enhance learning of social skills in children with PDD's.

Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years to 11 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of autism, Asperger's disorder, or PDD not otherwise specified (NOS) base on a semi-structured review of DSM-IV-R criteria and mental status examination as wll as a complete parental history obtained from the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and a complete systematic patient interview utilizing the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
  • Males and females ages 5-11 years.
  • Significant social impairment as evidenced by a parent-rated Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) T-score of 60 or greater.
  • TSSA score of 70% or less on both parent questionnaire and child assessment. Children not showing significant impairment in the four specific social skill areas (greetings/goodbyes, conversations, game play, and understanding emotions) targeted by the SST are less likely to benefit from treatment.
  • Communication Standard Score of 70 or greater on the Vineland-II.
  • Full Scale IQ greater than 70.
  • Subjects must not be taking any psychotropic drugs affecting glutamate neurotransmission (riluzole, memantine, acamprosate, topiramate, amantadine, among others). Subjects may not be taking more than two psychotropic drugs. Dosing of all concomitant psychotropic drugs targeting core social and/or communication impairment must be stable for eight weeks prior to randomization. Dosing of all concomitant psychotropic drugs treating other features associated with pervasive developmental disorders (insomnia, inattention, hyperactivity, anxiety, irritability among others0 must be stable for two weeks (with the exception of four weeks for fluoxetine) prior to randomization.
  • Able to participate in group SST based on semi-structured parent and child interview.
  • Legal guardian has provided written informed consent and the subject has provided written informed assent. Expectation that a majority of subjects will be able to assent but the potential for the younger children and/or those that are cognitively impaired will not be able to assent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects with diagnoses of Rett's disorder or childhood integrative disorder will not be enrolled since these disorders have a different etiology, course, and treatment response. Furthermore, children with these disorders may not function at a high enough level in terms of cognition or language in order to benefit from the SST.
  • Initiation of a new psychosocial intervention within 90 days prior to randomization. Participants who have recently had a significant change in their psychosocial interventions will not be eligible until this intervention has been stable for 90 days in order to avoid confounding results of the study. Stable interventions (e.g., speech and occupational therapy), with the exception of concurrent social skills training, will be allowed to continue during the course of the study. Minor changes in ongoing treatment (e.g., missed therapy sessions due to holiday/vacation; planned break in therapy due to school holidays) are not considered significant.
  • Subjects exhibiting significant disruptive, aggressive, self-injurious, or sexually inappropriate behavior will not be eligible for enrollment.
  • Presence of current DSM-IV-TR psychiatric disorders that require alternative pharmacotherapy or different treatment including psychotic disorders, or major affective disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or substance related disorders.
  • Presence of any medical condition that would make treatment with DCS less safe. Subjects with significant cardiac, hepatic, or renal disease will be excluded due to concerns about pharmacokinetic alterations or adverse effects. Subjects with a history of a seizure disorder are permitted if the subject has been seizure free for 6 months and is currently treated with an anticonvulsant that has been stable for 4 weeks. D-Cycloserine is an U.S. FDA Pregnancy Category C drug. Because of the unknown effects of DCS on the developing human fetus, females of childbearing potential will be given a urine pregnancy test and required to use a suitable form of birth control during the study. A positive pregnancy test result excludes the subject.
  • Presence of any other condition that would make the participants unable to comply with the requirements of the study for any reason.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01086475

United States, Indiana
Riley Hospital for Children
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
United States, Ohio
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45229
Sponsors and Collaborators
Indiana University
United States Department of Defense
Principal Investigator: Noha F. Minshawi, Ph.D. Indiana University School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Craig A. Erickson, M.D. Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Indiana University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01086475     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 0906-09 
Study First Received: March 10, 2010
Last Updated: June 16, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Asperger Syndrome
Autistic Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Developmental Disabilities
Mental Disorders
Mental Disorders Diagnosed in Childhood
Pathologic Processes
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
Antibiotics, Antitubercular
Antitubercular Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Renal Agents
Therapeutic Uses

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on February 08, 2016