Healthy Living: A Pill For OCD?

Taking a pill to help get rid of fear? For many people with OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other anxiety disorders it sounds too good to be true. But now an antibiotic once used to treat tuberculosis, could change the way doctors treat fear disorders. In today's Healthy Living, Robyn Haines tells us how it changed one boy's life forever. 

 

While Nathaniel Ray still has tics from his Tourette's Syndrome and occasional OCD pop ups, they're nothing compared to five years ago. Then, his pencils had to be in perfect order, he'd walk in certain patterns, and his most challenging symptom was his incessant apologizing.

 

Nathaniel was the first to join Doctor Eric Storch's study. Storch has been working to see if the tuberculosis medication D-Cycloserine, can be combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce OCD symptoms in kids and help them face their fears. The pill is taken one hour before therapy. It's thought to affect receptors in the brain that are associated with how people learn to become afraid of something or not.

 

While other anxiety meds are taken daily, the pill is discontinued after the program ends. After Nathaniel's 10 week session, his mom says he was a different child.

 

Early results from the study show the group of kids who used the drug *plus therapy had a 72-percent reduction in symptoms versus only 58-percent in those who only received therapy.