Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics each offer the potential of fingerprinting potential neurotoxic compounds and thus find application to neurotoxicity screening. Abstract. By contrast, only 30% of patients younger than 60 years developed neurotoxicity over 96 months of follow-up. Clinical Charts; Drug Information Database ... Rambaud L, et al. The immediate conclusion is that there was something fundamentally flawed in the research. ‘Ecstasy’ users, statistically speaking, are not normal to start with. They declared that MDMA had to be placed in Schedule 1 (even after the judge reviewing the case had told them that it legally couldn’t be) and did just that. These alternative tests should serve as Tier 1 tests to allow the screening of compounds whose potential neurotoxicity is unknown. They got what they paid for: A scientist suggesting that human MDMA users were damaging their brains. [3] At first, it seemed as though the ‘dopamine’ camp had been right. ), Given a large enough dose under the wrong circumstances, MDMA can cause the destruction of the axons of serotonin neurons. If you use MDMA frequently, your brain doesn’t have enough time to re-set and gets pushed further and further from normal levels of serotonin sensitivity. [10] Buchert R, Thomasius R, Nebeling B, Petersen K, Obrocki J, Jenicke L, Wilke F, Wartberg L, Zapletalova P, Clausen M “Long-term effects of “Ecstasy” use on serotonin transporters of the brain investigated by PET.” J Nucl Med 44: 375-84 (2003). Abstract. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. There is increased signal throughout the cerebral white matter, cortical atrophy, and ventricular enlargement. Abstract. They showed no signs whatsoever of neurotoxicity. [37] Although humans are likely to take more time to recover from a pharmacologically equivalent dose than a rat, 14 weeks is somewhat of a stretch; other research has found that users who had been abstinent for 20 weeks had comparable serotonin receptor densities to non-users. The researchers concluded that it was “extremely unlikely that a moderate dose of MDMA leads to neurotoxic damage…” [11]. MAPS, which had been on the verge of finally having its MDMA post-traumatic stress disorder research approved, was stopped cold in the face of the apparent new evidence of MDMA’s horrific dangers. So what does science have to say about it? A.H. Ghodse, S. Galea, in Side Effects of Drugs Annual, 2010. It’s just the way that doctors work. However, its clinical applications for addiction medicine remain to be defined adequately. Current ecstasy users had slightly lower SERT density than non-users, but the former ecstasy users were indistinguishable from people who had never used the drug: So, how it possible that the original piece of Ricaurte research, so vaunted by the US government, trumpeted from every news outlet, and chronically referred to in prohibitionist literature as proof of the evils of MDMA was so badly off? [8] Chang L, Grob C, Ernst T, Itti L, Mishkin F, Jose-Melchor R, Poland RE “Effect of ecstasy (MDMA) on cerebral blood flow: a co-registered SPECT and MRI study”, Psychiatry Research (Neuroimaging Section), 2000; 98:15-28. Though there is still room for improvements and refinements, these in vivo tests have been shown, so far, to provide reliable indications on the potential neurotoxicity of chemical substances. 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