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DCS for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (DCS Trial)

Phase 2
Waitlist Available
Led By Lindsey Bergman
Research Sponsored by University of California, Los Angeles
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Be younger than 18 years old
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up post-treatment (study day 9)
Awards & highlights

DCS Trial Summary

Pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a relatively common and often severe condition that can become chronic if untreated. One of the most effective treatments for OCD is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP involves presenting a patient with feared objects or situations (the content of their obsessional fears) in a gradual manner while helping them use coping techniques to refrain from engaging in rituals (compulsions). Despite several studies suggesting that ERP is an effective treatment for pediatric OCD, many youngsters fail to respond to this treatment, or respond only partially. An exciting recent finding from animal research is the ability of an established antibiotic (traditionally used to treat Tuberculosis), D-cycloserine (trade name: Seromycin) to enhance certain types of learning among rats. The type of learning that is enhanced is called extinction learning and many researchers believe that extinction learning is the equivalent process to what occurs during ERP; it is the process whereby repeated exposure to the object of fear without any bad outcome causes the object to cease being associated with danger. Several clinical trials using ERP and other forms of exposure treatment for adults with anxiety disorders reproduced this finding from the animal literature; pairing DCS with exposure treatment (comparable to extinction learning) resulted in greater fear reduction than when no DCS was administered. The effects of DCS on exposure treatment for anxiety disorders among children has been tested only preliminarily in one study of children with OCD and results were unclear with children who received DCS augmentation showing non-significant but increased levels of improvement as compared with children who did not receive DCS augmentation. In this study, 26 youngsters ages 7-17 with a primary diagnosis of OCD will be recruited and assigned at random to one of the two treatment conditions. Youth in the DCS condition of the study will receive 50 mg DCS 1 hr prior to each treatment session, while youth in the placebo condition receive an identical placebo capsule 1 hr prior to each treatment augmentation session. All participants will receive 180 minutes of CBT for OCD 4 days per week for 2 weeks during their study participation (as included in IOP already). All families complete a thorough evaluation no more than 5 days prior to receiving DCS on their 9th treatment visit in IOP (third week), and at mid-treatment augmentation (after the 12th IOP treatment session), post-treatment augmentation (after the 16th IOP treatment session), and 3-month follow-up (12 weeks after the 16th IOP treatment session). The primary aim of this study is to obtain preliminary data comparing the effects of the acute administration of DCS versus placebo on symptom response to exposure treatment for pediatric OCD. Results from this study will help to inform and refine future studies, and eventually, impact treatments for pediatric OCD.

Eligible Conditions
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

DCS Trial Timeline

Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~post-treatment (study day 9)
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and post-treatment (study day 9) for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
OCD symptom severity on the Children's Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CYBOCS)

DCS Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Active Control
Placebo Group
Group I: DCSActive Control1 Intervention
Participant takes one pill of D-Cycloserine a day 4 times weekly immediately preceding the treatment session for two weeks of treatment (4 sessions weekly).
Group II: PlaceboPlacebo Group1 Intervention
Participant takes one pill of placebo a day 4 times weekly immediately preceding the treatment session for two weeks of treatment (4 sessions weekly).

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Who is running the clinical trial?

University of California, Los AngelesLead Sponsor
1,537 Previous Clinical Trials
10,266,945 Total Patients Enrolled
10 Trials studying Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
635 Patients Enrolled for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Lindsey BergmanPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los Angeles

Frequently Asked Questions

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~2 spots leftby May 2025