D-Cycloserine for Treatment Nonresponders With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Case Report

Melissa M. Norberg, Christina M. Gilliam, Anna Villavicencio, Godfrey D. Pearlson, David F. Tolin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Despite being the most effective treatment available, as many as one third of patients who receive exposure and response prevention (ERP) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not initially respond to treatment. Recent research suggests that the n-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor partial agonist D-Cycloserine (DCS) may speed up the course of ERP for OCD rather than enhance it. Thus, it is unclear whether DCS would benefit patients who have proven nonresponsive to ERP and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The present study evaluated the ability of DCS to enhance ERP for 2 patients with OCD who previously had failed to show adequate response to treatment using time-series analysis. Both patients experienced greater reductions with DCS augmented ERP than they did with prior treatment; however, 1 patient relapsed by the 1-month follow-up. DCS augmented ERP might be an effective method for boosting outcomes in individuals who do not readily respond to ERP.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)338-345
    Number of pages8
    JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 1 2012


    • Behavior therapy
    • D-Cycloserine
    • Exposure and response prevention
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Treatment nonresponder

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology

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