Long-Term Neuropsychiatric Consequences of "Ecstasy" (MDMA): A Review
by
Montoya AG, Sorrentino R, Lukas SE, Price BH.
Department of Neurology (Drs. Montoya and Price) and the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory (Dr. Lukas), McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., the departments of Neurology (Drs. Montoya and Price) and Psychiatry (Dr. Sorrentino), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass., the departments of Neurology (Drs. Montoya and Price) and Psychiatry (Drs. Sorrentino and Lukas), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and The National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico City, Mexico (Dr. Montoya).
Harv Rev Psychiatry 2002 Jul;10(4):212-220


ABSTRACT

The recreational drug "ecstasy" (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA) is widely used by young people throughout the world. Experimental studies indicate that MDMA damages serotonergic neurons in animals and possibly in humans. Repeated use may induce long-term neurotoxic effects, with cognitive and behavioral implications. We reviewed both the preclinical and the clinical literature to assess the evidence for persistent neuropsychiatric sequelae in humans. We focused on studies of chronic recreational use and reports of presence or absence of neurological, psychiatric, and psychological problems related to MDMA exposure. These investigations show repeated use of ecstasy to be associated with sleep, mood, and anxiety disturbances, elevated impulsiveness, memory deficits, and attention problems, which may persist for up to 2 years after cessation. In a subset of humans, particularly adolescents, depletion of serotonin by MDMA use may hasten or enhance vulnerability to a wide array of neuropsychiatric problems. Together, the studies reviewed provide substantial evidence that MDMA causes neuronal damage in animals and humans. Additional research is necessary to determine whether the MDMA-induced destruction of serotonergic neurons can have long-term and possibly permanent neuropsychiatric consequences in humans.

History
MDMA/MDE
After-effects
Controversies
Protect and survive
MDMA and immunity
Ecstasy and mental disorders
Ecstasy and serotonin synthesis
Psychiatric disorders in Ecstasy users
Serotonin, noradrenline and dopamine


Refs
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Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

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