What will treatment look like?

The purpose of this study is to find out if d-cycloserine improves the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in reducing symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder. Research subjects in this study will be randomly assigned (similar to a coin flip) to receive either d-cycloserine or a placebo pill.

The CBT (therapy) sessions are conducted by qualified therapists in groups of 4-6 people with 2 therapists per group. The treatment consists of 5 weekly sessions (2 hours each), as well as assigned activities in between sessions that offer the opportunity to solidify the knowledge learned in session on your own time.

The study lasts a totally of about 6 weeks with a visit about once a week. Then there are two follow-up visits 1 month and 3 months after the end of the study. Each study visit will take a few hours, and will take place in our clinic at Boston University.

You may also be given the option to participate in a fear extinction experiment. This paid, optional part of the experiment involves coming in for 3 consecutive days. The purpose of the fear extinction experiment is to determine if d-cycloserine enhances the brain’s ability to eliminate fear. This uses mild shocks to create a situation in which emotional learning may occur.


study treatments