D-cycloserine for the augmentation of an attentional training intervention for trait anxiety.

Abstract

The present study investigates the combination of two novel strategies for the treatment of anxiety that resulted from translational research. We examined whether the putative memory enhancer, d-cycloserine (DCS), offered benefit to procedures designed to train attention away from threat. Participants were 44 adults selected on the basis of high trait anxiety. In this randomized study, DCS or placebo was administered 1h prior to attentional training away from threat using the dot probe task. On the following day, the effectiveness of this training was assessed along with emotional reactivity following two stressful tasks. We found that the addition of DCS resulted in significantly stronger reduction in attentional bias toward threat relative to placebo, but found no additive effects for the DCS condition on subsequent emotional reactivity. These results provide initial support for the efficacy of DCS for augmenting attentional training tasks; potential strategies for enhancing these results are discussed.

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