Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the leading psychotherapeutic treatment for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), yet not all patients improve. To address the treatment response gap, CBT may be augmented with cognitive enhancers such as d-cycloserine (DCS). DCS-augmented behavior therapy has been tested with mixed results in related disorders. To initially test whether DCS may augment CBT for BDD, we conducted the first preliminary efficacy trial of DCS versus placebo-augmented CBT for BDD, via a randomized, double-blind study. We analyzed data using mixed-effects models in a modified intent-to-treat sample (N = 26). Over 10 weeks of treatment, primary (BDD severity) and secondary (insight, depression) outcomes improved significantly across both conditions, but there were no significant group differences in response. Exploratory analysis revealed that BDD-related distress, specifically, reduced significantly more in the DCS condition compared to placebo. This is the first study testing DCS-augmented CBT for BDD. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00842309