Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Youth

The purpose of this study is to test a new treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.  All youth who qualify will be provided with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) counseling for 12 sessions, which is proven to treat PTSD. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive either D-cycloserine or placebo to take prior to seven of their counseling sessions to determine if D-cycloserine combined with psychotherapy works better and faster than counseling alone.  D-cycloserine is an antibiotic that has been used to treat infections for over 50 years, and was discovered to also have anti-anxiety properties.

The investigation is under the direction of Dr. Mike Scheeringa, of Tulane University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Typical types of life-threatening events that can lead to PTSD include:

  • Injuries, such as car accidents or falls
  • Community violence, assaulted, or raped
  • Witnessed domestic violence in your home
  • Child abuse
  • Hurricane Katrina and other disasters
  • There may be other things not on this list

To be eligible for this study you must:

  • Be 7-18 years old
  • Have at least 5 symptoms of PTSD
  • Speak English
  • Not have autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, moderate to severe
    mental retardation, epilepsy, kidney or liver ailments. 
  • Not be deaf or blind.
  • Live close enough to New Orleans to make weekly counseling appointments.

The project coordinator, Emily Roser, is available to answer questions about the study. She can be contacted at:(504) 988-1429 or at eroser@tulane.edu

This project is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression