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Use of the partial NMDA receptor agonist d-Cycloserine (DCS) to increase extinction to feared cues among anxious adults has shown mixed, although overall positive effects. Few studies have extended this effect to youth and none have addressed young people with broad-based anxiety such as separation anxiety, social anxiety, or generalised anxiety. In the current trial 51 children and adolescents with diagnosed anxiety disorders, aged 7–14 years received four sessions of graduated, experimenter-led, in vivo exposure to a hierarchy of feared cues relevant to their primary fear. They were randomly allocated to receive either 50 mg of DCS or a matched placebo capsule in a fully double-blind design. Both groups showed large reductions across sessions in their primary fear according to both parent and child report, but there were no significant differences between conditions at any session. The results are consistent with most studies to date of DCS-augmented exposure in young people.
- in vivo exposure
- Child anxiety
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