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  • The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 5, Issue 4
  • December 2002, pp. 301-307

Pilot-controlled trial of D-cycloserine for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Uriel Heresco-Levy (a1), Ilana Kremer (a2), Daniel C. Javitt (a3), Rodica Goichman (a2), Alon Reshef (a2), Monica Blanaru (a2) and Tamar Cohen (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 28 November 2002

Dysfunction of glutamatergic neurotransmission may be relevant to the pathogenesis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that PTSD symptoms could be alleviated following enhancement of neurotransmission mediated at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptors. Eleven patients with chronic PTSD participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial with 50 mg/d D-cycloserine which acts as a partial agonist at the glycine regulatory site on the NMDA receptor. D-cycloserine treatment resulted in significant improvements in numbing, avoidance, and anxiety symptoms; however, similar effects were also observed during placebo treatment. In addition, D-cycloserine treatment resulted in a significant (p=0.03), reduction in the perseverative error scores as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. This pilot study is the first to assess the efficacy of a NMDA receptor modulator for PTSD treatment and its results warrant further, larger-scale investigation.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr U. Heresco-Levy, Psychiatry Division, Ezrath Nashim-Herzog Memorial Hospital, PO Box 35300, Jerusalem 91351, Israel. Tel.: +972-2-5316-906 Fax: +972-2-6536-075 E-mail:
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The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • ISSN: 1461-1457
  • EISSN: 1469-5111
  • URL: /core/journals/the-international-journal-of-neuropsychopharmacology
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