Variants of exposure therapy are effective for treating obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRDs).
However, significant numbers of patients do not respond adequately to exposure therapy resulting in continued distress
and functional impairment. Therefore, novel approaches to augmenting exposure therapy are needed to adequately treat
non- and partial-responders. Emerging research suggests that interventions that augment learning and memory processes
associated with exposure therapy (i.e., extinction training) may display promise in enhancing treatment response in
OCRDs. As the most studied example, d-cycloserine (DCS) is a relatively safe cognitive enhancer that appears to
accelerate treatment gains associated with exposure therapy. This article reviews research on the use of DCS and other
putative cognitive modifiers as they relate to the treatment (or prospective treatment) of obsessive-compulsive disorder
and other OCRDs.
Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cognitive enhancer, D-cycloserine, glucocorticoids, memory reconsolidation,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, yohimbine.
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