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Augmenting Exposure Therapy With an N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Agonist for Panic Disorder

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Hartford Hospital Identifier:
First received: August 16, 2005
Last updated: August 25, 2009
Last verified: August 2009
This study involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a medication called D-cycloserine (DCS), which is thought to help reduce panic symptoms more effectively by interacting with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, facilitating many forms of learning including the extinction of fear. Participants will be randomly assigned (like flipping a coin) to receive either DCS or a placebo in addition to CBT.

Condition Intervention
Panic Disorder Behavioral: Cognitive behavioral therapy Drug: D-cycloserine

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Placebo-Controlled Evaluation of the Efficacy of D-Cycloserine for Enhancing the Effects of CBT for Panic Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Hartford Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • significant reduction in panic symptoms after completion of treatment

Estimated Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: November 2004
Study Completion Date: March 2007
Detailed Description:

This study consists of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) including exposure to physical sensations and feared situations, which have been demonstrated to be effective for many individuals with panic disorder.

All assessments and treatment sessions are free of charge. Half of the patients will be randomly assigned to receive D-cycloserine (DCS) and half wll be assigned to receive a placebo. Although DCS is used in humans to treat tuberculosis, it has not been FDA approved for this indication. Recent research in other anxiety disorders has shown that DCS plus behavior therapy is more effective than behavior therapy alone.

This treatment study had two active interventions. All patients will receive CBT and the researchers expect that everybody will improve from this treatment. However, it may be that those patients in the DCS intervention will improve somewhat more than those in the placebo intervention.

The treatment will be structured with at home practice and repeated assessments. Assessments are extremely important as they guide the treatment and provide the study investigators necessary information about the treatment. The treatment consists of 5 sessions (once a week) plus a one week post-treatment assessment and follow-up assessments at one month and six months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Principal diagnosis of panic disorder

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of psychotic disorders or bipolar disorder
  • Substance dependence
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • History of a medical condition that may increase the risks of taking the study drug
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00131339

United States, Connecticut
Hartford Hospital
Hartford, Connecticut, United States, 06106
United States, Massachusetts
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hartford Hospital
Principal Investigator: Michael W. Otto, Ph.D. Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00131339     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TOLI001428HI
Study First Received: August 16, 2005
Last Updated: August 25, 2009

Keywords provided by Hartford Hospital:
panic disorder
cognitive behavioral therapy
treatment trial

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Panic Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders
Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
Anti-Infective Agents
Renal Agents
Antibiotics, Antitubercular
Antitubercular Agents
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on September 21, 2017