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Cognitive Enhancers

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the gold standard treatment for anxiety disorders, and one of the active components of this treatment is exposure to a feared stimulus. Generally, patients with anxiety disorders avoid confronting a feared stimulus, and thus, no new learning can occur to teach them that the feared stimulus is safe. For new learning to occur, exposure to the feared stimulus must take place until anxiety decreases, after which subsequent exposures are conducted. The patient learns with each exposure that the stimulus is not dangerous, and his or her anxiety decreases as a result. This new learning is what creates behavior change and a decrease in anxiety. Cognitive enhancers are medications that are used in conjunction with behavioral exposure therapy to increase retention ...

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