Enhancement of neurotransmission mediated at N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of glutamate receptors (NMDAR) may be beneficial in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). d-serine (DSR) is an endogenous full agonist at the NMDAR-associated glycine modulatory site. Twenty-two chronic PTSD outpatients were randomly assigned to participate in a 6-wk double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with 30 mg/kg x d DSR used as monotherapy or add-on pharmacotherapy. Outcome was assessed using the Clinician-Administered PTSD scale (CAPS), Hamilton Anxiety (HAMA) and Depression (HAMD) scales and the civilian version of the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD (MISS). DSR treatment was well tolerated and resulted in significantly (p=0.03) increased DSR serum levels. Compared with placebo administration, DSR treatment resulted in significantly reduced HAMA (p=0.007) and MISS (p=0.001) scores and a trend (p=0.07) towards improved CAPS total scores. These preliminary findings indicate that NMDAR glycine site-based pharmacotherapy may be effective in PTSD and warrant larger-sized clinical trials with optimized DSR dosages.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00215878.