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Sample records for methylenedioxymethamphetamine mdma ecstasy

  1. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy': Neurodegeneration versus Neuromodulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Puerta

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The amphetamine analogue 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’ is widely abused as a recreational drug due to its unique psychological effects. Of interest, MDMA causes long-lasting deficits in neurochemical and histological markers of the serotonergic neurons in the brain of different animal species. Such deficits include the decline in the activity of tryptophan hydroxylase in parallel with the loss of 5-HT and its main metabolite 5-hydoxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA along with a lower binding of specific ligands to the 5-HT transporters (SERT. Of concern, reduced 5-HIAA levels in the CSF and SERT density have also been reported in human ecstasy users, what has been interpreted to reflect the loss of serotonergic fibers and terminals. The neurotoxic potential of MDMA has been questioned in recent years based on studies that failed to show the loss of the SERT protein by western blot or the lack of reactive astrogliosis after MDMA exposure. In addition, MDMA produces a long-lasting down-regulation of SERT gene expression; which, on the whole, has been used to invoke neuromodulatory mechanisms as an explanation to MDMA-induced 5-HT deficits. While decreased protein levels do not necessarily reflect neurodegeneration, the opposite is also true, that is, neuroregulatory mechanisms do not preclude the existence of 5-HT terminal degeneration.

  2. In vivo imaging of cerebral serotonin transporter and serotonin(2A) receptor binding in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") and hallucinogen users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erritzoe, David; Frøkjær, Vibe; Holst, Klaus K

    2011-01-01

    Both hallucinogens and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") have direct agonistic effects on postsynaptic serotonin(2A) receptors, the key site for hallucinogenic actions. In addition, MDMA is a potent releaser and reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin.......Both hallucinogens and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") have direct agonistic effects on postsynaptic serotonin(2A) receptors, the key site for hallucinogenic actions. In addition, MDMA is a potent releaser and reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin....

  3. Memory performance in abstinent 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth-Marnat, Gary; Howchar, Hennedy; Marsh, Ali

    2007-02-01

    Research with animals and humans has suggested that acute and subacute use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA "ecstasy") may lead to memory impairment. However, research is limited by (1) low power due to small sample sizes, (2) the possible confound of polydrug use, and (3) the failure to consider intelligence as a covariate. The present study compared the memory performance on the Wechsler Memory Scale-III of 26 abstinent (2-wk. minimum) recreational MDMA users with 26 abstinent (2-wk. minimum) recreational polydrug users. Despite significantly greater polydrug use amongst these MDMA users, no significant group differences in memory were observed. Regression of total lifetime amount of MDMA use also did not predict memory performance after accounting for intelligence. In addition, the length of time since abstinence (at least 2 wk.) was not associated with an increase in memory performance. Greater total lifetime cocaine use, rather than total lifetime MDMA use, was significantly associated with greater decrements in General Memory and Delayed Verbal Memory performance.

  4. In Vivo Imaging of Cerebral Serotonin Transporter and Serotonin(2A) Receptor Binding in 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") and Hallucinogen Users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erritzoe, David; Frokjaer, Vibe G.; Holst, Klaus K.

    2011-01-01

    Context: Both hallucinogens and 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine( MDMA or "ecstasy") have direct agonistic effects on postsynaptic serotonin(2A) receptors, the key site for hallucinogenic actions. In addition, MDMA is a potent releaser and reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin.Objective: ......Context: Both hallucinogens and 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine( MDMA or "ecstasy") have direct agonistic effects on postsynaptic serotonin(2A) receptors, the key site for hallucinogenic actions. In addition, MDMA is a potent releaser and reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin...

  5. Ecstasy (MDMA) and oral health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brand, H.S.; Dun, S.N.; Nieuw Amerongen, A.V.

    2008-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly known as 'ecstasy' or XTC, is frequently used by young adults in the major cities. Therefore, it is likely that dentists might be confronted with individuals who use ecstasy. This review describes systemic and oral effects of ecstasy.

  6. Behavioral effects and pharmacokinetics of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) after intragastric administration to baboons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Amy K; Mueller, Melanie; Shell, Courtney D; Ricaurte, George A; Ator, Nancy A

    2013-06-01

    (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is a popular drug of abuse. We aimed to characterize the behavioral effects of intragastric MDMA in a species closely related to humans and to relate behavioral effects to plasma MDMA and metabolite concentrations. Single doses of MDMA (0.32-7.8 mg/kg) were administered via an intragastric catheter to adult male baboons (N = 4). Effects of MDMA on food-maintained responding were assessed over a 20-hour period, whereas untrained behaviors and fine-motor coordination were characterized every 30 minutes until 3 hours postadministration. Levels of MDMA and metabolites in plasma were measured in the same animals (n = 3) after dosing on a separate occasion. MDMA decreased food-maintained responding over the 20-hour period, and systematic behavioral observations revealed increased frequency of bruxism as the dose of MDMA was increased. Drug blood level determinations showed no MDMA after the lower doses of MDMA tested (0.32-1.0 mg/kg) and modest levels after higher MDMA doses (3.2-7.8 mg/kg). High levels of 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA) were detected after all doses of MDMA, suggesting extensive first-pass metabolism of MDMA in the baboon. The present results demonstrate that MDMA administered via an intragastric catheter produced behavioral effects that have also been reported in humans. Similar to humans, blood levels of MDMA after oral administration may not be predictive of the behavioral effects of MDMA. Metabolites, particularly HHMA, may play a significant role in the behavioral effects of MDMA.

  7. Depression, impulsiveness, sleep, and memory in past and present polydrug users of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taurah, Lynn; Chandler, Chris; Sanders, Geoff

    2014-02-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a worldwide recreational drug of abuse. Unfortunately, the results from human research investigating its psychological effects have been inconsistent. The present study aimed to be the largest to date in sample size and 5HT-related behaviors; the first to compare present ecstasy users with past users after an abstinence of 4 or more years, and the first to include robust controls for other recreational substances. A sample of 997 participants (52 % male) was recruited to four control groups (non-drug (ND), alcohol/nicotine (AN), cannabis/alcohol/nicotine (CAN), non-ecstasy polydrug (PD)), and two ecstasy polydrug groups (present (MDMA) and past users (EX-MDMA). Participants completed a drug history questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised which, in total, provided 13 psychometric measures. While the CAN and PD groups tended to record greater deficits than the non-drug controls, the MDMA and EX-MDMA groups recorded greater deficits than all the control groups on ten of the 13 psychometric measures. Strikingly, despite prolonged abstinence (mean, 4.98; range, 4-9 years), past ecstasy users showed few signs of recovery. Compared with present ecstasy users, the past users showed no change for ten measures, increased impairment for two measures, and improvement on just one measure. Given this record of impaired memory and clinically significant levels of depression, impulsiveness, and sleep disturbance, the prognosis for the current generation of ecstasy users is a major cause for concern.

  8. Cortical serotonin transporter density and verbal memory in individuals who stopped using 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"): preliminary findings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, L.; Lavalaye, J.; Schmand, B.; de Wolff, F. A.; van den Brink, W.; den Heeten, G. J.; Booij, J.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Although the popular drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") has been shown to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in animals, the fate and functional consequences of 5-HT neurons after MDMA injury are not known in humans. We investigated the long-term effects of

  9. Human pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) after repeated doses taken 4 h apart Human pharmacology of MDMA after repeated doses taken 4 h apart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Magí; Tomillero, Angels; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Yubero, Samanta; Papaseit, Esther; Roset, Pere-Nolasc; Pujadas, Mitona; Torrens, Marta; Camí, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a popular psychostimulant, frequently associated with multiple administrations over a short period of time. Repeated administration of MDMA in experimental settings induces tolerance and metabolic inhibition. The aim is to determine the acute pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetics resulting from two consecutive 100mg doses of MDMA separated by 4h. Ten male volunteers participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial. The four conditions were placebo plus placebo, placebo plus MDMA, MDMA plus placebo, and MDMA plus MDMA. Outcome variables included pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetic parameters. After a second dose of MDMA, most effects were similar to those after a single dose, despite a doubling of MDMA concentrations (except for systolic blood pressure and reaction time). After repeated MDMA administration, a 2-fold increase was observed in MDMA plasma concentrations. For a simple dose accumulation MDMA and MDA concentrations were higher (+23.1% Cmax and +17.1% AUC for MDMA and +14.2% Cmax and +10.3% AUC for MDA) and HMMA and HMA concentrations lower (-43.3% Cmax and -39.9% AUC for HMMA and -33.2% Cmax and -35.1% AUC for HMA) than expected, probably related to MDMA metabolic autoinhibition. Although MDMA concentrations doubled after the second dose, most pharmacological effects were similar or slightly higher in comparison to the single administration, except for systolic blood pressure and reaction time which were greater than predicted. The pharmacokinetic-effects relationship suggests that when MDMA is administered at a 4h interval there exists a phenomenon of acute tolerance to its effects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  10. Social Cognition and Interaction in Chronic Users of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy").

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    Wunderli, Michael D; Vonmoos, Matthias; Treichler, Lorena; Zeller, Carmen; Dziobek, Isabel; Kraemer, Thomas; Baumgartner, Markus R; Seifritz, Erich; Quednow, Boris B

    2018-04-01

    The empathogen 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is the prototypical prosocial club drug inducing emotional openness to others. It has recently been shown that acutely applied 3,4-MDMA in fact enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior, while it simultaneously decreases cognitive empathy. However, the long-term effects of 3,4-MDMA use on socio-cognitive functions and social interactions have not been investigated yet. Therefore, we examined emotional and cognitive empathy, social decision-making, and oxytocin plasma levels in chronic 3,4-MDMA users. We tested 38 regular but recently abstinent 3,4-MDMA users and 56 3,4-MDMA-naïve controls with the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition, the Multifaceted Empathy Test, and the Distribution Game and the Dictator Game. Drug use was objectively quantified by 6-month hair analyses. Furthermore, oxytocin plasma levels were determined in smaller subgroups (24 3,4-MDMA users, 9 controls). 3,4-MDMA users showed superior cognitive empathy compared with controls in the Multifaceted Empathy Test (Cohen's d=.39) and in the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (d=.50), but they did not differ from controls in emotional empathy. Moreover, 3,4-MDMA users acted less self-serving in the Distribution Game. However, within 3,4-MDMA users, multiple regression analyses showed that higher 3,4-MDMA concentrations in hair were associated with lower cognitive empathy (βMDMA=-.34, t=-2.12, P<.05). Oxytocin plasma concentrations did not significantly differ between both groups. We conclude that people with high cognitive empathy abilities and pronounced social motivations might be more prone to 3,4-MDMA consumption. In contrast, long-term 3,4-MDMA use might nevertheless have a detrimental effect on cognitive empathy capacity.

  11. Cerebral (1)H MRS alterations in recreational 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, L; Ernst, T; Grob, C S; Poland, R E

    1999-10-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an illicit drug that has been associated with serotonergic axonal degeneration in animals. This study evaluates neurochemical abnormalities in recreational MDMA users. Twenty-two MDMA users and 37 normal subjects were evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) in the mid-frontal, mid-occipital, and parietal brain regions. (1)H MRS showed normal N-acetyl (NA) compounds in all brain regions. The myo-inositol (MI) concentration (+16.3%, P = 0.04) and the MI to creatine (CR) ratio (+14.1%, P = 0. 01) were increased in the parietal white matter of MDMA users. The cumulative lifetime MDMA dose showed significant effects on [MI] in the parietal white matter and the occipital cortex. The normal NA concentration suggests a lack of significant neuronal injury in recreational MDMA users. However, the usage-related increase in MI suggests that exposure to MDMA, even at recreational doses, may cause increased glial content. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 1999;10:521-526. Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): current perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Jerry

    2013-01-01

    Jerrold S Meyer Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA Abstract: Ecstasy is a widely used recreational drug that usually consists primarily of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Most ecstasy users consume other substances as well, which complicates the interpretation of research in this field. The positively rated effects of MDMA consumption include euphoria, arousal, enhanced mood, increased sociability, and heighten...

  13. Distribution of temperature changes and neurovascular coupling in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") exposure.

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    Coman, Daniel; Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G; Jiang, Lihong; Hyder, Fahmeed; Behar, Kevin L

    2015-10-01

    (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is an abused psychostimulant that produces strong monoaminergic stimulation and whole-body hyperthermia. MDMA-induced thermogenesis involves activation of uncoupling proteins (UCPs), primarily a type specific to skeletal muscle (UCP-3) and absent from the brain, although other UCP types are expressed in the brain (e.g. thalamus) and might contribute to thermogenesis. Since neuroimaging of brain temperature could provide insights into MDMA action, we measured spatial distributions of systemically administered MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in rat cortex and subcortex using a novel magnetic resonance method, Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation in Shifts (BIRDS), with an exogenous temperature-sensitive probe (thulium ion and macrocyclic chelate 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetramethyl-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate (DOTMA(4-))). The MDMA-induced temperature rise was greater in the cortex than in the subcortex (1.6 ± 0.4 °C versus 1.3 ± 0.4 °C) and occurred more rapidly (2.0 ± 0.2 °C/h versus 1.5 ± 0.2 °C/h). MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in the cortex and body were correlated, although the body temperature exceeded the cortex temperature before and after MDMA. Temperature, neuronal activity, and blood flow (CBF) were measured simultaneously in the cortex and subcortex (i.e. thalamus) to investigate possible differences of MDMA-induced warming across brain regions. MDMA-induced warming correlated with increases in neuronal activity and blood flow in the cortex, suggesting that the normal neurovascular response to increased neural activity was maintained. In contrast to the cortex, a biphasic relationship was seen in the subcortex (i.e. thalamus), with a decline in CBF as temperature and neural activity rose, transitioning to a rise in CBF for temperature above 37 °C, suggesting that MDMA affected CBF and neurovascular coupling differently in subcortical regions

  14. Differential behavioral outcomes of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA-ecstasy in anxiety-like responses in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Ferraz-de-Paula

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Anxiolytic and anxiogenic-like behavioral outcomes have been reported for methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy in rodents. In the present experiment, we attempted to identify behavioral, hormonal and neurochemical outcomes of MDMA treatment to clarify its effects on anxiety-related responses in 2-month-old Balb/c male mice (25-35 g; N = 7-10 mice/group. The behavioral tests used were open field, elevated plus maze, hole board, and defensive behavior against predator odor. Moreover, we also determined striatal dopamine and dopamine turnover, and serum corticosterone levels. MDMA was injected ip at 0.2, 1.0, 5.0, 8.0, 10, or 20 mg/kg. MDMA at 10 mg/kg induced the following significant (P < 0.05 effects: a a dose-dependent increase in the distance traveled and in the time spent moving in the open field; b decreased exploratory activity in the hole board as measured by number of head dips and time spent in head dipping; c increased number of open arm entries and increased time spent in open arm exploration in the elevated plus maze; d increased time spent away from an aversive stimulus and decreased number of risk assessments in an aversive odor chamber; e increased serum corticosterone levels, and f increased striatal dopamine level and turnover. Taken together, these data suggest an anxiogenic-like effect of acute MDMA treatment, despite the fact that behavioral anxiety expression was impaired in some of the behavioral tests used as a consequence of the motor stimulating effects of MDMA.

  15. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) produces edema due to BBB disruption induced by MMP-9 activation in rat hippocampus.

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    Pérez-Hernández, Mercedes; Fernández-Valle, María Encarnación; Rubio-Araiz, Ana; Vidal, Rebeca; Gutiérrez-López, María Dolores; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, María Isabel

    2017-05-15

    The recreational drug of abuse, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) disrupts blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity in rats through an early P2X 7 receptor-mediated event which induces MMP-9 activity. Increased BBB permeability often causes plasma proteins and water to access cerebral tissue leading to vasogenic edema formation. The current study was performed to examine the effect of a single neurotoxic dose of MDMA (12.5 mg/kg, i.p.) on in vivo edema development associated with changes in the expression of the perivascular astrocytic water channel, AQP4, as well as in the expression of the tight-junction (TJ) protein, claudin-5 and Evans Blue dye extravasation in the hippocampus of adult male Dark Agouti rats. We also evaluated the ability of the MMP-9 inhibitor, SB-3CT (25 mg/kg, i.p.), to prevent these changes in order to validate the involvement of MMP-9 activation in MDMA-induced BBB disruption. The results show that MDMA produces edema of short duration temporally associated with changes in AQP4 expression and a reduction in claudin-5 expression, changes which are prevented by SB-3CT. In addition, MDMA induces a short-term increase in both tPA activity and expression, a serine-protease which is involved in BBB disruption and upregulation of MMP-9 expression. In conclusion, this study provides evidence enough to conclude that MDMA induces edema of short duration due to BBB disruption mediated by MMP-9 activation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Yohimbine reinstates extinguished 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) seeking in rats with prior exposure to chronic yohimbine.

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    Ball, Kevin T; Jarsocrak, Hanna; Hyacinthe, Johanna; Lambert, Justina; Lockowitz, James; Schrock, Jordan

    2015-11-01

    Although exposure to acute stress has been shown to reinstate extinguished responding for a wide variety of drugs, no studies have investigated stress-induced reinstatement in animals with a history of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) self-administration. Thus, rats were trained to press a lever for MDMA (0.50 mg/kg/infusion) in daily sessions, and lever pressing was subsequently extinguished in the absence of MDMA and conditioned cues (light and tone). We then tested the ability of acute yohimbine (2.0 mg/kg), a pharmacological stressor, to reinstate lever-pressing under extinction conditions. Additionally, to model chronic stress, some rats were injected daily with yohimbine (5.0 mg/kg × 10 days) prior to reinstatement tests. To assess dopaminergic involvement, chronic yohimbine injections were combined with injections of SCH-23390 (0.0 or 10.0 μg/kg), a dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist. In a separate experiment, rats with a history of food self-administration were treated and tested in the same way. Results showed that acute yohimbine injections reinstated extinguished MDMA and food seeking, but only in rats with a history of chronic yohimbine exposure. Co-administration of SCH-23390 with chronic yohimbine injections prevented the potentiation of subsequent food seeking, but not MDMA seeking. These results suggest that abstinent MDMA users who also are exposed to chronic stress may be at increased risk for future relapse, and also that the effects of chronic stress on relapse may be mediated by different mechanisms depending on one's drug use history. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Serotonin mediates rapid changes of striatal glucose and lactate metabolism after systemic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") administration in awake rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gramsbergen, Jan Bert; Cumming, Paul

    2007-01-01

     The pathway for selective serotonergic toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is poorly understood, but has been linked to hyperthermia and disturbed energy metabolism. We investigated the dose-dependency and time-course of MDMA-induced perturbations of cerebral glucose...... was monitored by telemetry. A single dose of MDMA (2-10-20 mg/kg i.v.) evoked a transient increase of interstitial glucose concentrations in striatum (139-223%) with rapid onset and of less than 2h duration, a concomitant but more prolonged lactate increase (>187%) at the highest MDMA dose and no significant...... depletions of striatal serotonin. Blood glucose and lactate levels were also transiently elevated (163 and 135%) at the highest MDMA doses. The blood glucose rises were significantly related to brain glucose and brain lactate changes. The metabolic perturbations in striatum and the hyperthermic response (+1...

  18. Behavioral Effects and Pharmacokinetics of (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) after Intragastric Administration to Baboons

    OpenAIRE

    Goodwin, Amy K.; Mueller, Melanie; Shell, Courtney D.; Ricaurte, George A.; Ator, Nancy A.

    2013-01-01

    (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”) is a popular drug of abuse. We aimed to characterize the behavioral effects of intragastric MDMA in a species closely related to humans and to relate behavioral effects to plasma MDMA and metabolite concentrations. Single doses of MDMA (0.32–7.8 mg/kg) were administered via an intragastric catheter to adult male baboons (N = 4). Effects of MDMA on food-maintained responding were assessed over a 20-hour period, whereas untrained behaviors...

  19. Sprague-Dawley rats display metabolism-mediated sex differences in the acute toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonsart, Julien; Menet, Marie-Claude; Decleves, Xavier; Galons, Herve; Crete, Dominique; Debray, Marcel; Scherrmann, Jean-Michel; Noble, Florence

    2008-01-01

    The use of the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has been associated with unexplained deaths. Male humans and rodents are more sensitive to acute toxicity than are females, including a potentially lethal hyperthermia. MDMA is highly metabolized to five main metabolites, by the enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP2D. The major metabolite in rats, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), also causes hyperthermia. We postulated that the reported sex difference in rats is due to a sexual dimorphism(s). We therefore determined (1) the LD50 of MDMA and MDA, (2) their hyperthermic effects, (3) the activities of liver CYP1A2 and CYP2D, (4) the liver microsomal metabolism of MDMA and MDA, (5) and the plasma concentrations of MDMA and its metabolites 3 h after giving male and female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats MDMA (5 mg.kg -1 sc). The LD50 of MDMA was 2.4-times lower in males than in females. MDMA induced greater hyperthermia (0.9 deg. C) in males. The plasma MDA concentration was 1.3-fold higher in males, as were CYP1A2 activity (twice) and N-demethylation to MDA (3.3-fold), but the plasma MDMA concentration (1.4-fold) and CYP2D activity (1.3-fold) were higher in females. These results suggest that male SD rats are more sensitive to MDMA acute toxicity than are females, probably because their CYP1A2 is more active, leading to higher N-demethylation and plasma MDA concentration. This metabolic pathway could be responsible for the lethality of MDMA, as the LD50 of MDA is the same in both sexes. These data strongly suggest that the toxicity of amphetamine-related drugs largely depends on metabolic differences

  20. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA: current perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meyer JS

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Jerrold S Meyer Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA Abstract: Ecstasy is a widely used recreational drug that usually consists primarily of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA. Most ecstasy users consume other substances as well, which complicates the interpretation of research in this field. The positively rated effects of MDMA consumption include euphoria, arousal, enhanced mood, increased sociability, and heightened perceptions; some common adverse reactions are nausea, headache, tachycardia, bruxism, and trismus. Lowering of mood is an aftereffect that is sometimes reported from 2 to 5 days after a session of ecstasy use. The acute effects of MDMA in ecstasy users have been attributed primarily to increased release and inhibited reuptake of serotonin (5-HT and norepinephrine, along with possible release of the neuropeptide oxytocin. Repeated or high-dose MDMA/ecstasy use has been associated with tolerance, depressive symptomatology, and persisting cognitive deficits, particularly in memory tests. Animal studies have demonstrated that high doses of MDMA can lead to long-term decreases in forebrain 5-HT concentrations, tryptophan hydroxylase activity, serotonin transporter (SERT expression, and visualization of axons immunoreactive for 5-HT or SERT. These neurotoxic effects may reflect either a drug-induced degeneration of serotonergic fibers or a long-lasting downregulation in 5-HT and SERT biosynthesis. Possible neurotoxicity in heavy ecstasy users has been revealed by neuroimaging studies showing reduced SERT binding and increased 5-HT2A receptor binding in several cortical and/or subcortical areas. MDMA overdose or use with certain other drugs can also cause severe morbidity and even death. Repeated use of MDMA may lead to dose escalation and the development of dependence, although such dependence is usually not as profound as is seen with many other drugs of abuse

  1. The hyperthermia mediated by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is sensitive to sex differences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyeth, Richard P.; Mills, Edward M.; Ullman, Alison; Kenaston, M. Alexander; Burwell, Johanna; Sprague, Jon E.

    2009-01-01

    Female subjects have been reported to be less sensitive to the hyperthermic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamine (MDMA) than males. Studies were designed to examine the cellular mechanisms involved in these sex sensitive differences. Gonadectomized female and male rats were treated with a 200 μg 100 μL -1 of estrogen or 100 μg 100 μL -1 of testosterone respectively every 5 days for a total of three doses. Rats were then challenged with either saline or MDMA (20 mg kg -1 , sc). Rats were then euthanized and aortas were constricted, in vitro, by serial phenylephrine (Phe) addition with or without the inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, g-nitro-L-Arginine-Methyl Ester (L-NAME). Skeletal muscle uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3) expression was measured as well as plasma norepinephrine (NE) levels. All males but no females developed hyperthermia following MDMA treatment. The EC 50 for Phe dose response curves increased only in the females treated with MDMA and T max for Phe increased following L-NAME only in the females. Both males and females demonstrated an increase in plasma NE following MDMA treatment; however, males displayed a significantly greater NE concentration. Skeletal muscle UCP3 expression was 80% less in females than in males. These results suggest that the inability of MDMA to induce a thermogenic response in the female subjects may be due to four sex-specific mechanisms: 1) Female subjects have reduced sympathetic activation following MDMA challenge; 2) Female vasculature is less sensitive to α 1 -AR stimulation following MDMA challenge; 3) Female vasculature has an increased sensitivity to NO; 4) UCP3 expression in skeletal muscle is less in females

  2. Amnesic syndrome and severe ataxia following the recreational use of 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and other substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopelman, M D; Reed, L J; Marsden, P; Mayes, A R; Jaldow, E; Laing, H; Isaac, C

    2001-01-01

    A 26-year-old woman suffered disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and a brief respiratory arrest following recreational use of 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy'), together with amyl nitrate, lysergic acid (LSD), cannabis and alcohol. She was left with residual cognitive and physical deficits, particularly severe anterograde memory disorder, mental slowness, severe ataxia and dysarthria. Follow-up investigations have shown that these have persisted, although there has been some improvement in verbal recognition memory and in social functioning. Magnetic resonance imaging and quantified positron emission tomography investigations have revealed: (i) severe cerebellar atrophy and hypometabolism accounting for the ataxia and dysarthria; (ii) thalamic, retrosplenial and left medial temporal hypometabolism to which the anterograde amnesia can be attributed; and (iii) some degree of fronto-temporal-parietal hypometabolism, possibly accounting for the cognitive slowness. The putative relationship of these abnormalities to the direct and indirect effects of MDMA toxicity, hypoxia and ischaemia is considered.

  3. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): current perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Jerrold S

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy is a widely used recreational drug that usually consists primarily of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Most ecstasy users consume other substances as well, which complicates the interpretation of research in this field. The positively rated effects of MDMA consumption include euphoria, arousal, enhanced mood, increased sociability, and heightened perceptions; some common adverse reactions are nausea, headache, tachycardia, bruxism, and trismus. Lowering of mood is an aftereffect that is sometimes reported from 2 to 5 days after a session of ecstasy use. The acute effects of MDMA in ecstasy users have been attributed primarily to increased release and inhibited reuptake of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine, along with possible release of the neuropeptide oxytocin. Repeated or high-dose MDMA/ecstasy use has been associated with tolerance, depressive symptomatology, and persisting cognitive deficits, particularly in memory tests. Animal studies have demonstrated that high doses of MDMA can lead to long-term decreases in forebrain 5-HT concentrations, tryptophan hydroxylase activity, serotonin transporter (SERT) expression, and visualization of axons immunoreactive for 5-HT or SERT. These neurotoxic effects may reflect either a drug-induced degeneration of serotonergic fibers or a long-lasting downregulation in 5-HT and SERT biosynthesis. Possible neurotoxicity in heavy ecstasy users has been revealed by neuroimaging studies showing reduced SERT binding and increased 5-HT2A receptor binding in several cortical and/or subcortical areas. MDMA overdose or use with certain other drugs can also cause severe morbidity and even death. Repeated use of MDMA may lead to dose escalation and the development of dependence, although such dependence is usually not as profound as is seen with many other drugs of abuse. MDMA/ecstasy-dependent patients are treated with standard addiction programs, since there are no specific programs for this substance and no proven

  4. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) disrupts blood-brain barrier integrity through a mechanism involving P2X7 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Araiz, Ana; Perez-Hernandez, Mercedes; Urrutia, Andrés; Porcu, Francesca; Borcel, Erika; Gutierrez-Lopez, Maria Dolores; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, Maria Isabel

    2014-08-01

    The recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') produces a neuro-inflammatory response in rats characterized by an increase in microglial activation and IL-1β levels. The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is important in preserving the homeostasis of the brain and has been shown to be affected by neuro-inflammatory processes. We aimed to study the effect of a single dose of MDMA on the activity of metalloproteinases (MMPs), expression of extracellular matrix proteins, BBB leakage and the role of the ionotropic purinergic receptor P2X7 (P2X7R) in the changes induced by the drug. Adult male Dark Agouti rats were treated with MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and killed at several time-points in order to evaluate MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity in the hippocampus and laminin and collagen-IV expression and IgG extravasation in the dentate gyrus. Microglial activation, P2X7R expression and localization were also determined in the dentate gyrus. Separate groups were treated with MDMA and the P2X7R antagonists Brilliant Blue G (BBG; 50 mg/kg, i.p.) or A-438079 (30 mg/kg, i.p.). MDMA increased MMP-3 and MMP-9 activity, reduced laminin and collagen-IV expression and increased IgG immunoreactivity. In addition, MDMA increased microglial activation and P2X7R immunoreactivity in these cells. BBG suppressed the increase in MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity, prevented basal lamina degradation and IgG extravasation into the brain parenchyma. A-438079 also prevented the MDMA-induced reduction in laminin and collagen-IV immunoreactivity. These results indicate that MDMA alters BBB permeability through an early P2X7R-mediated event, which in turn leads to enhancement of MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity and degradation of extracellular matrix.

  5. Investigating the potential neurotoxicity of Ecstasy (MDMA): an imaging approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; Booij, Jan; Majoie, Charles B. L. M.; van den Brink, Wim; den Heeten, Gerard J.

    2001-01-01

    Human users of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') users may be at risk of developing MDMA-induced neuronal injury. Previously, no methods were available for directly evaluating the neurotoxic effects of MDMA in the living human brain. However, development of in vivo neuroimaging

  6. Ecstasy (MDMA) dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, K L

    1999-01-07

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is generally described as non-addictive. However, this report describes three cases in which criteria for dependence were met. A wider understanding that MDMA can be addictive in rare cases is important as very heavy use may cause lasting neuronal changes. This risk could be reduced with effective identification and treatment of dependent persons. In one case dependence was linked with self-medication of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  7. Mechanisms and environmental factors that underlying the intensification of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)-induced serotonin syndrome in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Rui; Shokry, Ibrahim M.; Callanan, John J.; Adams, H. Daniel; Ma, Zhiyuan

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Illicit use of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; Ecstasy) may cause a mild or severe form of the serotonin syndrome. The syndrome intensity is not just influenced by drug doses but also by environmental factors. Objectives Warm environmental temperatures and physical activity are features of raves. The purpose of this study was to assess how these two factors can potentially intensify the syndrome. Methods Rats were administered MDMA at doses of 0.3, 1 or 3 mg/kg, and examined in the absence or presence of warm temperature and physical activity. The syndrome intensity was estimated by visual scoring for behavioral syndrome and also instrumentally measuring changes in symptoms of the syndrome. Results Our results showed that MDMA at 3 mg/kg, but not 0.3 or 1 mg/kg, caused a mild serotonin syndrome in rats. Each environmental factor alone moderately intensified the syndrome. When the two factors were combined, the intensification became more severe than each factor alone highlighting a synergistic effect. This intensification was blocked by the 5-HT2A receptor antagonist M100907, competitive NMDA receptor antagonist CGS19755, autonomic ganglionic blocker hexamethonium, and the benzodiazepine-GABAA receptor agonist midazolam, but not by the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY100635 or nicotinic receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine. Conclusions Our data suggest that, in the absence of environmental factors, the MDMA-induced syndrome is mainly mediated through the serotonergic transmission (5HT-dependent mechanism), and therefore, is relatively mild. Warm temperature and physical activity facilitate serotonergic and other neural systems such as glutamatergic and autonomic transmissions, resulting in intensification of the syndrome (non-5HT mechanisms). PMID:25300903

  8. Validação de método para determinação de 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (MDMA em comprimidos de ecstasy por cromatografia em fase gasosa Validation of a gas-chromatographic method for the determination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA in ecstasy tablets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Fernandes Lapachinske

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available O ecstasy é comercializado, de maneira ilegal, normalmente sob a forma de comprimidos, com cores, aspectos, dimensões e logotipos variados. Quimicamente, é a metilenodioximetanfetamina (MDMA, um composto sintético com propriedades estimulante central e alucinogênicas. Devido à grande expansão do abuso de ecstasy, também tem aumentado o número de casos de intoxicações, decorrentes diretamente da droga (MDMA e análogas e/ou de eventuais adulterantes. Algumas substâncias análogas à MDMA, já identificadas em comprimidos de ecstasy são: metilenodioxietilanfetamina (MDEA, metilenodioxianfetamina (MDA, metanfetamina e anfetamina. Como possíveis adulterantes, geralmente são encontradas cafeína e efedrinas. O objetivo deste trabalho foi a validação de um método analítico para quantificar a MDMA em comprimidos ou cápsulas de ecstasy, através da cromatografia em fase gasosa com detector de nitrogênio/fósforo (GC/NPD. Além disso, substâncias análogas à MDMA e adulterantes também foram identificados. O método, que consiste na dissolução direta da amostra em metanol, centrifugação e diluição do sobrenadante, demonstrou ser simples, rápido e eficiente. Os limites de detecção e quantificação para a MDMA foram respectivamente de 1,5 e 3,0 mg/100 mg de comprimido. Amostras de comprimidos e cápsulas apreendidos como sendo ecstasy provenientes de 25 lotes foram analisadas, apresentando considerável variabilidade na composição e na quantidade de MDMA.Ecstasy is illegally commercialized in the form of tablets with different aspects, colors, sizes, and logotypes. Chemically, ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, a synthetic compound with stimulant and hallucinogenic proprieties. Due to the great expansion of ecstasy abuse, the number of cases of intoxications by MDMA, analogs and eventual adulterant compounds has also increased. Some MDMA analog substances, such as 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA

  9. MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Molly often actually get other drugs such as synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") instead (see " Added Risk of MDMA "). Some people take MDMA in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana. How does MDMA affect the brain? MDMA increases ...

  10. Rhabdomyolysis in MDMA intoxication : A rapid and underestimated killer. "clean" Ecstasy, a safe party drug?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eede, Herve Vanden; Montenij, Leon J.; Touw, Daan J.; Norris, Elizabeth M.

    Background: Ecstasy is a popular drug among young adults. It is often thought to be safe. The dose of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in a tablet of Ecstasy varies greatly, and there is also a difference in individual response to a dose of MDMA. Objectives: To increase the awareness of

  11. Untargeted metabolomics applied retrospectively to UPLC-HR-TOFMS data of whole blood samples from Danish drivers exposed to 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirstine Lykke; Telving, Rasmus; Andreasen, Mette Findal

    to evaluate the drug metabolism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”). Despite of the untraditional experimental setup, and a very heterogeneous population with different concentrations of MDMA/kg blood weight, as well as unknown information about amount and time of administration in relation...... to blood sampling, it was possible to extract meaningful information. Various statistical methods were tested and their predictability was validated by the positive identification of MDMA blood metabolites. In addition, endogenous metabolites that may be related to energy metabolism, the serotonergic...

  12. MDMA, cortisol, and heightened stress in recreational ecstasy users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C; Montgomery, Cathy; Wetherell, Mark A; Downey, Luke A; Stough, Con; Scholey, Andrew B

    2014-09-01

    Stress develops when an organism requires additional metabolic resources to cope with demanding situations. This review will debate how recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') can increase some aspects of acute and chronic stress in humans. Laboratory studies on the acute effects of MDMA on cortisol release and neurohormone levels in drug-free regular ecstasy/MDMA users have been reviewed, and the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic changes in anxiety, stress, and cognitive coping is debated. In the laboratory, acute ecstasy/MDMA use can increase cortisol levels by 100-200%, whereas ecstasy/MDMA-using dance clubbers experience an 800% increase in cortisol levels, because of the combined effects of the stimulant drug and dancing. Three-month hair samples of abstinent users revealed cortisol levels 400% higher than those in controls. Chronic users show heightened cortisol release in stressful environments and deficits in complex neurocognitive tasks. Event-related evoked response potential studies show altered patterns of brain activation, suggestive of increased mental effort, during basic information processing. Chronic mood deficits include more daily stress and higher depression in susceptible individuals. We conclude that ecstasy/MDMA increases cortisol levels acutely and subchronically and that changes in the HPA axis may explain why recreational ecstasy/MDMA users show various aspects of neuropsychobiological stress.

  13. Neuroimaging findings with MDMA/ecstasy: technical aspects, conceptual issues and future prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; de Win, Maartje M. L.; van den Brink, Wim; Booij, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J.

    2006-01-01

    Users of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) may be at risk of developing MDMA-induced injury to the serotonin (5-HT) system. Previously, there were no methods available for directly evaluating the neurotoxic effects of MDMA in the living human brain. However, development of in

  14. Causes and consequences of the loss of serotonergic presynapses elicited by the consumption of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") and its congeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huether, G; Zhou, D; Rüther, E

    1997-01-01

    The massive and prolonged stimulation of serotonin (5-HT)-release and the increased dopaminergic activity are responsible for the acute psychomimetic and psychostimulatory effects of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") and its congeners. In vulnerable subjects, at high doses or repeated use, and under certain unfavorable conditions (crowding, high ambient temperature), severe, in some cases fatal, averse systemic reactions (hyperthermia, serotonin-syndrome) may occur during the first few hours. Animal experiments revealed the existence of similar differences in vulnerability and similar dose- and context-related influences on a similar sequence of acute responses. The severity of these acute systemic responses is closely related to the severity of the long-term damage to 5-HT axon terminals caused by the administration of substituted amphetamines. Attempts to identify the mechanisms involved in this selective degeneration of 5-HT presynapses brought to light a multitude of different factors and conditions which either attenuate or potentiate the loss of 5-HT terminals caused by MDMA and related amphetamine derivatives. These puzzling observations suggest that the degeneration of 5-HT presynapses represents only the final step in a sequence of events which compromise the ability of 5-HT terminals to maintain their functional and structural integrity. Substituted amphetamines selectively tax energy metabolism in 5-HT presynapses through their ability to exchange with 5-HT and to dissipate transmembrane ion gradients. The active carrier systems in the vesicular and presynaptic membrane operate at a permanently activated state. The resulting energy deficit can no longer adequately restored by the 5-HT presynapses when their availability of substrates for ATP production is additionally reduced by the hyperthermic and other energy consuming reactions which are elicited by the systemic administration of substituted amphetamines. The exhaustion of energy

  15. Determinação de 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (MDMA em comprimidos de Ecstasy por cromatografia líquida de alta eficiência com detecção por fluorescência (CLAE-DF Determination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA in Ecstasy tablets by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luiz da Costa

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the development and validation of simple and selective analytical method for determination of 3.4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA in Ecstasy tablets, using high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Analysis was performed in a reversed phase column (LiChrospher 100 C18, 150 x 4.6 mm, 5 µm, isocratic elution with phosphate buffer 25 mmol/L pH 3.0 and acetonitrile (95:5, v/v. The method presents adequate linearity, selectivity, precision and accuracy. MDMA concentration in analyzed tablets showed a remarkable variability (from 8.5 to 59.5 mg/tablet although the tablet weights were uniform, indicating poor manufacturing control thus imposing additional health risks to the users.

  16. A PET study of effects of chronic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") on serotonin markers in Göttingen minipig brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cumming, Paul; Møller, Mette; Benda, Kjeld

    2007-01-01

    The psychostimulant 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") evokes degeneration of telencephalic serotonin innervations in rodents, nonhuman primates, and human recreational drug users. However, there has been no alternative to nonhuman primates for studies of the cognitive and neuroch......The psychostimulant 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") evokes degeneration of telencephalic serotonin innervations in rodents, nonhuman primates, and human recreational drug users. However, there has been no alternative to nonhuman primates for studies of the cognitive...... with MDMA (i.m.), administered at a range of doses. In parallel PET studies, [(11)C]WAY-100635 was used to map the distribution of serotonin 5HT(1A) receptors. The acute MDMA treatment in awake pigs evoked 1 degrees C of hyperthermia. MDMA at total doses greater than 20 mg/kg administered over 2-4 days...... reduced the binding potential (pB) of [(11)C]DASB for serotonin transporters in porcine brain. A mean total dose of 42 mg/kg MDMA in four animals evoked a mean 32% decrease in [(11)C]DASB pB in mesencephalon and diencephalon, and a mean 53% decrease in telencephalic structures. However, this depletion...

  17. MDMA and the "ecstasy paradigm".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Jon C

    2014-01-01

    For nearly 30 years, there has been a steady flow of research papers highlighting the dangers of MDMA and the implications for ecstasy users. After such a long time, it would be reasonable to expect that these dangers would be obvious due to the large number of ecstasy users. The available evidence does not indicate that there are millions of ecstasy users experiencing any problems linked to their ecstasy use. The "precautionary principle" suggests that, in the absence of knowing for certain, "experts" should argue that MDMA be avoided. However, this may have been taken too far, as the dire warnings do not seem to be reducing with the lack of epidemiological evidence of clinically relevant problems. The "ecstasy paradigm" is one way of articulating this situation, in that the needs of research funders and publication bias lead to a specific set of subcultural norms around what information is acceptable in the public domain. By digging a little deeper, it is easy to find problems with the evidence base that informs the public debate around MDMA. The key question is whether it is acceptable to maintain this status quo given the therapeutic potential of MDMA.

  18. Variability in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine content of 'ecstasy' tablets in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, David Michael; Stribley, Vasoulla; Dargan, Paul Ivor; Davies, Susannah; Holt, David W; Ramsey, John

    2011-09-01

    Toxicity, such as hyperpyrexia, associated with the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') appears to be related to serum MDMA concentrations. However, there does not appear to be a similar association with the number of tablets ingested, suggesting variation in the tablet content of MDMA. Although work has shown this variation in other areas of the world, no studies have reported on the variation of MDMA content in UK ecstasy tablets. Ecstasy tablets seized from individuals attending nightclubs were analysed qualitatively to determine if they contained MDMA and quantitatively to determine the MDMA content per tablet. The mean amount of MDMA hydrochloride in 101 seized ecstasy tablets was 58.7±22.9 mg per tablet, with a range of 20 mg to 131 mg per tablet. The majority (96.0%) of tablets contained less than 100 mg MDMA per tablet. There appeared to be a bimodal distribution of MDMA content at approximately 20-40 mg per tablet and 60-80 mg per tablet. There is variability in the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK. This variability could potentially put users at increased risk of acute harm due to inadvertent excess ingestion of MDMA, as they are unaware of the differences in the MDMA content. Repeat sampling and quantification of MDMA content of ecstasy tablets in the UK will allow better education of users about the potential harms associated with the variability in the MDMA content. In addition, it will provide information to allow the monitoring of changes in not only the MDMA content, but also other adulterants, in ecstasy tablets.

  19. Memory function and serotonin transporter promoter gene polymorphism in ecstasy (MDMA) users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; Schilt, T.; de Win, Maartje M.; Booij, Jan; Schmand, Ben; van den Brink, Wim; Bakker, Onno

    2006-01-01

    Although 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) has been shown to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in animals and possibly humans, little is known about the long-term consequences of MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxic lesions on functions in which 5-HT is involved, such as cognitive

  20. Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, CTJ; Ramaekers, JG; Muntjewerff, ND; Sikkema, KL; Samyn, N; Read, NL; Brookhuis, KA; Riedel, WJ

    2003-01-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition,

  1. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine's (MDMA's) Impact on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, C Michael

    2014-07-01

    Review the current literature assessing the role of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). OVID MEDLINE search (1960-February 2014) using the terms MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Molly, and Ecstasy crossed with posttraumatic stress disorder with backwards citation tracking using references from procured articles. English language studies assessing MDMA in patients with PTSD. Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted along with follow-up open-label and extension evaluations. In the 3 RCTs, therapy with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is promising, with reductions in PTSD rating scale scores (Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, Severity of Symptoms Scale for PTSD Scale), although 2 of 3 trials did not show significant results, and all three had methodological limitations. The direction of effect for all trials was toward benefit in patients who were refractory to other PTSD therapies; the percentage reductions on rating scores ranged from 23% to 68%; and in 1 trial, the effect was sustained over a long period of time. MDMA ingestion without sustained psychotherapy over a 6- to 8-hour period is unlikely to be beneficial; trying to prolong the duration of effect with supplemental dosing is unlikely to provide additional benefits; and there are adverse effects on blood pressure and heart rate that should be appreciated. These studies used unadulterated MDMA with known and reproducible potency, which may not happen with street purchase of the product. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be an effective therapy in refractory PTSD but needs further evaluation to determine its place in contemporary therapy. © The Author(s) 2014.

  2. Increased oxytocin concentrations and prosocial feelings in humans after ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) administration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G J H; Sweep, F C G J; van der Steen, R; Hermsen, R; Donders, A R T; Touw, D J; van Gerven, J M A; Buitelaar, J K; Verkes, R J

    2009-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or "ecstasy") is a recreationally used drug with remarkable and characteristic prosocial effects. In spite of abundant attention in the scientific literature, the mechanism of its prosocial effects has not been elucidated in humans. Recently, research in

  3. Reduced N-acetylaspartate levels in the frontal cortex of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) users: preliminary results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; Majoie, Charles B. L. M.; Flick, Herman; den Heeten, Gerard J.

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The perceived safety of the recreational drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), or Ecstasy, conflicts with animal evidence indicating that MDMA damages cortical serotonin (5-HT) neurons at doses similar to those used by humans. Few data are available about the effects of

  4. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ecstasy (MDMA) users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daumann, Jörg; Fischermann, Thomas; Pilatus, Ulrich; Thron, Armin; Moeller-Hartmann, Walter; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne

    2004-05-20

    The popular recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has well-recognized neurotoxic effects upon central serotonergic systems in animal studies. In humans, the use of MDMA has been linked to cognitive problems, particularly to deficits in long-term memory and learning. Recent studies with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) have reported relatively low levels of the neuronal marker N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in MDMA users, however, these results have been ambiguous. Moreover, the only available 1H MRS study of the hippocampus reported normal findings in a small sample of five MDMA users. In the present study, we compared 13 polyvalent ecstasy users with 13 matched controls. We found no differences between the NAA/creatine/phosphocreatine (Cr) ratios of users and controls in neocortical regions, and only a tendency towards lower NAA/Cr ratios in the left hippocampus of MDMA users. Thus, compared with cognitive deficits, 1H MRS appears to be a less sensitive marker of potential neurotoxic damage in ecstasy users. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  5. Simultaneous polysubstance use among Danish 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and hallucinogen users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, Cecilie L; Christoffersen, Maria; Okholm, Mads

    2012-01-01

    To describe patterns of simultaneous polysubstance use (SPU) among Danish 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) ("Ecstasy") and hallucinogen users.......To describe patterns of simultaneous polysubstance use (SPU) among Danish 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) ("Ecstasy") and hallucinogen users....

  6. Neuroimaging in human MDMA (Ecstasy) users: A cortical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ronald L; Roberts, Deanne M; Joers, James M

    2009-01-01

    MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) has been used by millions of people worldwide as a recreational drug. MDMA and Ecstasy are often used synonymously but it is important to note that the purity of Ecstasy sold as MDMA is not certain. MDMA use is of public health concern, not so much because MDMA produces a common or severe dependence syndrome, but rather because rodent and non-human primate studies have indicated that MDMA (when administered at certain dosages and intervals) can cause long-lasting reductions in markers of brain serotonin (5-HT) that appear specific to fine diameter axons arising largely from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR). Given the popularity of MDMA, the potential for the drug to produce long-lasting or permanent 5-HT axon damage or loss, and the widespread role of 5-HT function in the brain, there is a great need for a better understanding of brain function in human users of this drug. To this end, neuropsychological, neuroendocrine, and neuroimaging studies have all suggested that human MDMA users may have long-lasting changes in brain function consistent with 5-HT toxicity. Data from animal models leads to testable hypotheses regarding MDMA effects on the human brain. Because neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings have focused on the neocortex, a cortical model is developed to provide context for designing and interpreting neuroimaging studies in MDMA users. Aspects of the model are supported by the available neuroimaging data but there are controversial findings in some areas and most findings have not been replicated across different laboratories and using different modalities. This paper reviews existing findings in the context of a cortical model and suggests directions for future research. PMID:18991874

  7. Severe Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity in Primates After a Common Recreational Dose Regimen of MDMA (``Ecstasy'')

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricaurte, George A.; Yuan, Jie; Hatzidimitriou, George; Cord, Branden J.; McCann, Una D.

    2002-09-01

    The prevailing view is that the popular recreational drug (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ``ecstasy'') is a selective serotonin neurotoxin in animals and possibly in humans. Nonhuman primates exposed to several sequential doses of MDMA, a regimen modeled after one used by humans, developed severe brain dopaminergic neurotoxicity, in addition to less pronounced serotonergic neurotoxicity. MDMA neurotoxicity was associated with increased vulnerability to motor dysfunction secondary to dopamine depletion. These results have implications for mechanisms of MDMA neurotoxicity and suggest that recreational MDMA users may unwittingly be putting themselves at risk, either as young adults or later in life, for developing neuropsychiatric disorders related to brain dopamine and/or serotonin deficiency.

  8. Cortisol and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine: Neurohormonal Aspects of Bioenergetic Stress in Ecstasy Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, A.C.

    2009-01-01

    Aims 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) can affect both neurotransmitter and neurohormonal activity. This review will debate the role of the metabolic activation hormone cortisol for the psychobiological effects of ecstasy/MDMA. Methods The empirical literature on cortisol release following acute MDMA administration and cortisol functioning in drug-free recreational ecstasy/MDMA users will be reviewed. This will be followed by an overview of cortisol as a bioenergetic stress neurohormone, and a debate on how it could be modulating the acute and chronic psychobiological effects of MDMA. Results Cortisol release is increased by stimulatory factors, including physical activity, thermal stress and stimulant drugs. In laboratory studies MDMA leads to an acute cortisol increase of around 150% in sedentary humans. In MDMA-using dance clubbers, the cortisol levels are increased by around 800%, possibly due to the combined factors of stimulant drug, physical exertion and psychosocial stimulation. Regular ecstasy/MDMA users also demonstrate changes in baseline cortisol levels and cortisol reactivity, with compromised hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity. Nonpharmacological research has shown how cortisol is important for psychological aspects such as memory, cognition, sleep, impulsivity, depression and neuronal damage. These same functions are often impaired in recreational ecstasy/MDMA users, and cortisol may be an important modulatory co-factor. Conclusions The energizing hormone cortisol is involved in the psychobiology of MDMA, probably via its effects on energy metabolism. Acute cortisol release may potentiate the stimulating effects of MDMA in dance clubbers. Chronically, cortisol may contribute to the variance in functional and structural consequences of repeated ecstasy usage. PMID:19893332

  9. Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, C T J; Ramaekers, J G; Muntjewerff, N D; Sikkema, K L; Samyn, N; Read, N L; Brookhuis, K A; Riedel, W J

    2003-12-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition, psychomotor performance and driving-related task performance. Twelve healthy recreational ecstasy users participated in an experimental study conducted according to a double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled three-way cross-over design. MDMA improved psychomotor performance, such as movement speed and tracking performance in a single task, as well as in a divided attention task. MDMA impaired the ability to predict object movement under divided attention. However, the inability to accurately predict object movement after MDMA may indicate impairment of particular performance skills relevant to driving. There was no effect of MDMA on visual search, planning or retrieval from semantic memory.

  10. Effects of dose, sex, and long-term abstention from use on toxic effects of MDMA (ecstasy) on brain serotonin neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, L.; Booij, J.; de Bruin, K.; Reitsma, J. B.; de Wolff, F. A.; Gunning, W. B.; den Heeten, G. J.; van den Brink, W.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is a popular recreational drug that has been shown to damage brain serotonin neurons in high doses. However, effects of moderate MDMA use on serotonin neurons have not been studied, and sex differences and the long-term effects of MDMA

  11. Involvement of autophagy upregulation in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('ecstasy')-induced serotonergic neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, I-Hsun; Ma, Kuo-Hsing; Kao, Tzu-Jen; Lin, Yang-Yi; Weng, Shao-Ju; Yen, Ting-Yin; Chen, Lih-Chi; Huang, Yuahn-Sieh

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that autophagy plays pathogenetic roles in cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative disorders. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is an illicit drug that causes long-term serotonergic neurotoxicity in the brain. Apoptosis and necrosis have been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, but the role of autophagy in MDMA-elicited serotonergic toxicity has not been investigated. The present study aimed to examine the contribution of autophagy to neurotoxicity in serotonergic neurons in in vitro and in vivo animal models challenged with MDMA. Here, we demonstrated that in cultured rat serotonergic neurons, MDMA exposure induced LC3B-densely stained autophagosome formation, accompanying by a decrease in neurite outgrowth. Autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) significantly attenuated MDMA-induced autophagosome accumulation, and ameliorated MDMA-triggered serotonergic neurite damage and neuron death. In contrast, enhanced autophagy flux by rapamycin or impaired autophagosome clearance by bafilomycin A1 led to more autophagosome accumulation in serotonergic neurons and aggravated neurite degeneration. In addition, MDMA-induced autophagy activation in cultured serotonergic neurons might be mediated by serotonin transporter (SERT). In an in vivo animal model administered MDMA, neuroimaging showed that 3-MA protected the serotonin system against MDMA-induced downregulation of SERT evaluated by animal-PET with 4-[(18)F]-ADAM, a SERT radioligand. Taken together, our results demonstrated that MDMA triggers upregulation of autophagy in serotonergic neurons, which appears to be detrimental to neuronal growth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Oxytocin and MDMA ('Ecstasy') enhance social reward in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Linnet; Hicks, Callum; Caminer, Alex; Goodwin, Jack; McGregor, Iain S

    2015-07-01

    Oxytocin (OT), vasopressin (AVP) and 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') all increase social interaction in rats, perhaps by enhancing the rewarding value of social encounters. Here, we used the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to assess the intrinsic rewarding effects of OT, AVP and MDMA, and whether these effects are enhanced by the presence of a conspecific, or a dynamic, tactile object (a tennis ball). Adult male rats received conditioning sessions in a CPP apparatus twice a day (vehicle at 10 a.m., drug at 3 p.m.). Experiment 1 involved conditioning with OT (0.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)), AVP (0.005 mg/kg, i.p.) or MDMA (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Experiments 2 and 3 involved conditioning with the same treatments but in the presence of a conspecific receiving the same treatment (social-CPP) or in the presence of a tennis ball (object-CPP), respectively. Conditioned place preference was assessed 24 h, 2 weeks and 4 weeks later. OT, AVP and MDMA did not produce a conventional CPP. However, when the conditioning environment also contained a conspecific both OT and MDMA induced a significant CPP lasting for at least 4 weeks. Rats given OT and MDMA also developed a more modest yet significant CPP for the environment where they encountered a tennis ball. These results indicate that OT and MDMA can augment the rewarding effects of social interaction, but also interaction with a dynamic and tactile non-social object. AVP does not condition social- or object-CPPs and may promote social proximity by inducing generalized anxiety and defensive aggregation.

  13. The Role of MDMA (Ecstasy) in Coping with Negative Life Situations Among Urban Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonzwe, Lwendo S.; Schensul, Jean J.; Kostick, Kristin M.

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the role of Ecstasy (MDMA or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) as a drug used for self-medication and coping with both short- and long-term negative life situations. We show that urban youth who do not have a specific diagnosed mental illness are more likely than those who have been diagnosed and have received treatment to use Ecstasy to cope with both situational stress and lifetime trauma. Diagnosed and treated youth sometimes self-medicate with other drugs, but do not choose Ecstasy for mediation of their psychological stress. We discuss the implications of self-medication with Ecstasy for mental health services to urban youth experiencing mental health disparities, and for the continued testing and prescription of MDMA for therapeutic use in controlled clinical settings. PMID:22111403

  14. Tolerance to the locomotor-activating effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) predicts escalation of MDMA self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA seeking in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Ball, Kevin T.; Slane, Mylissa

    2014-01-01

    Pre-clinical studies of individual differences in addiction vulnerability have been increasing over recent years, but the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) has received relatively little attention in this regard. Previously, we reported large individual differences both in rats' initial behavioral response to experimenter-administered MDMA and their degree of behavioral sensitization to repeated administration. To determine whether these differences coul...

  15. Oral fluid and plasma 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and metabolite correlation after controlled oral MDMA administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desrosiers, Nathalie A; Barnes, Allan J; Hartman, Rebecca L; Scheidweiler, Karl B; Kolbrich-Spargo, Erin A; Gorelick, David A; Goodwin, Robert S; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2013-05-01

    Oral fluid (OF) offers a noninvasive sample collection for drug testing. However, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in OF has not been adequately characterized in comparison to plasma. We administered oral low-dose (1.0 mg/kg) and high-dose (1.6 mg/kg) MDMA to 26 participants and collected simultaneous OF and plasma specimens for up to 143 h after dosing. We compared OF/plasma (OF/P) ratios, time of initial detection (t first), maximal concentrations (C max), time of peak concentrations (t max), time of last detection (t last), clearance, and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)-to-MDMA ratios over time. For OF MDMA and MDA, C max was higher, t last was later, and clearance was slower compared to plasma. For OF MDA only, t first was later compared to plasma. Median (range) OF/P ratios were 5.6 (0.1-52.3) for MDMA and 3.7 (0.7-24.3) for MDA. OF and plasma concentrations were weakly but significantly correlated (MDMA: R(2) = 0.438, MDA: R(2) = 0.197, p MDMA low = 5.2 (0.1-40.4), high = 6.0 (0.4-52.3, p MDMA ratios in plasma were higher than those in OF (p MDMA ratios significantly increased over time in OF and plasma. The MDMA and MDA concentrations were higher in OF than in plasma. OF and plasma concentrations were correlated, but large inter-subject variability precludes the estimation of plasma concentrations from OF.

  16. Use of amphetamine by recreational users of ecstasy (MDMA) is associated with reduced striatal dopamine transporter densities: a [123I]beta-CIT SPECT study--preliminary report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; Booij, Jan; Lavalaye, Jules; de Bruin, Kora; Reitsma, Johannes B.; Gunning, BoudewijnW; den Heeten, Gerard J.; van den Brink, Wim

    2002-01-01

    RATIONALE: Tablets sold as ecstasy often contain not only 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) but other compounds well known to cause dopaminergic neurotoxicity, such as (meth)amphetamine. Furthermore, the use of ecstasy in the Netherlands is often combined with the use of amphetamine. However,

  17. Oxytocin, cortisol and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine: neurohormonal aspects of recreational 'ecstasy'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2016-12-01

    Most research into 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has debated its psychobiological effects in relation to neurotransmission. This article debates the contributory roles of the neurohormones oxytocin and cortisol for their psychobiological effects in humans. The empirical literature on these neurohormones is reviewed and suggestions for future research outlined. Acute MDMA or 'ecstasy' can generate increased levels of oxytocin and cortisol, and these neurohormonal changes may be important for its mood-enhancing and energy-activation effects in humans. However, an initial finding of enhanced sociability correlating with oxytocin levels has not been replicated. Potential reasons are debated. There may be dynamic interactions between the two neurohormones, with greater activation under cortisol, facilitating stronger positive feelings under oxytocin. Chronic regular use of MDMA can adversely affect cortisol in several ways. Regular users show increased cortisol in 3-month hair samples, changes to the cortisol awakening response, and indications of greater daily stress. Furthermore, these cortisol findings suggest changes to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The effects of chronic MDMA usage on oxytocin still need to be investigated. It is concluded that the neurohormones oxytocin and cortisol contribute in various ways to the psychobiological effects of recreational ecstasy/MDMA.

  18. Human ecstasy (MDMA) polydrug users have altered brain activation during semantic processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Tristan J; Raj, Vidya; Lee, Junghee; Dietrich, Mary S; Cao, Aize; Blackford, Jennifer U; Salomon, Ronald M; Park, Sohee; Benningfield, Margaret M; Di Iorio, Christina R; Cowan, Ronald L

    2013-05-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) polydrug users have verbal memory performance that is statistically significantly lower than that of control subjects. Studies have correlated long-term MDMA use with altered brain activation in regions that play a role in verbal memory. The aim of our study was to examine the association of lifetime ecstasy use with semantic memory performance and brain activation in ecstasy polydrug users. A total of 23 abstinent ecstasy polydrug users (age = 24.57 years) and 11 controls (age = 22.36 years) performed a two-part functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) semantic encoding and recognition task. To isolate brain regions activated during each semantic task, we created statistical activation maps in which brain activation was greater for word stimuli than for non-word stimuli (corrected p ecstasy polydrug users had greater activation during semantic encoding bilaterally in language processing regions, including Brodmann areas 7, 39, and 40. Of this bilateral activation, signal intensity with a peak T in the right superior parietal lobe was correlated with lifetime ecstasy use (r s = 0.43, p = 0.042). Behavioral performance did not differ between groups. These findings demonstrate that ecstasy polydrug users have increased brain activation during semantic processing. This increase in brain activation in the absence of behavioral deficits suggests that ecstasy polydrug users have reduced cortical efficiency during semantic encoding, possibly secondary to MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity. Although pre-existing differences cannot be ruled out, this suggests the possibility of a compensatory mechanism allowing ecstasy polydrug users to perform equivalently to controls, providing additional support for an association of altered cerebral neurophysiology with MDMA exposure.

  19. Quantitative determination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine by thin-layer chromatography in ecstasy illicit pills in Tehran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetab Boushehri, Seyed Vahid; Tamimi, Maryam; Kebriaeezadeh, Abbas

    2009-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is the major ingredient of ecstasy illicit pills. It is a hallucinogen, central nervous system stimulant, and serotonergic neurotoxin that strongly releases serotonin from serotonergic nerves terminals. Moreover, it releases norepinephrine and dopamine from nerves terminal, but to a lesser extent than serotonin. Poisoning and even death from abusing MDMA-containing ecstasy illicit pills among abusers is usual. Thus, quantitative determination of MDMA content of ecstasy illicit pills in illicit drug bazaar must be done regularly to find the most high dose ecstasy illicit pills and removing them from illicit drug bazaar. In the present study, MDMA contents of 13 most abundant ecstasy illicit pills were determined by quantitative thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Two procedures for quantitative determination of MDMA contents of ecstasy illicit pills by TLC were used: densitometric and so-called 'scraping off' methods. The former was done in a reflection mode at 285 nm and the latter was done by absorbance measurement of eluted scraped off spots. Limit of detection (LOD), considering signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 2, and limit of quantification (LOQ), regarding S/N of 10, of densitometric and scraping off methods were 0.40 microg, 1.20 microg, and 6.87 mug, 20.63 microg, respectively. Repeatabilities (within-laboratory error) of densitometric and scraping off methods were 0.5% and 3.6%, respectively. The results showed that the ecstasy illicit pills contained 24-124.5 mg and 23.9-122.2 mg MDMA by densitometric and scraping off methods, respectively.

  20. The Prosocial Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Controlled Studies in Humans and Laboratory Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar-Britt, Philip; Bedi, Gillinder

    2015-01-01

    Users of ±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ‘ecstasy’) report prosocial effects such as sociability and empathy. Supporting these apparently unique social effects, data from controlled laboratory studies indicate that MDMA alters social feelings, information processing, and behavior in humans, and social behavior in rodents. Here, we review this growing body of evidence. In rodents, MDMA increases passive prosocial behavior (adjacent lying) and social reward while decreasing aggression, effects that may involve serotonin 1A receptor mediated oxytocin release interacting with vasopressin receptor 1A. In humans, MDMA increases plasma oxytocin and produces feelings of social affiliation. It decreases identification of negative facial expressions (cognitive empathy) and blunts responses to social rejection, while enhancing responses to others’ positive emotions (emotional empathy) and increasing social approach. Thus, consistent with drug folklore, laboratory administration of MDMA robustly alters social processing in humans and increases social approach in humans and animals. Effects are consistent with increased sociability, with mixed evidence about enhanced empathy. These neurobiologically-complex prosocial effects likely motivate recreational ecstasy use. PMID:26408071

  1. Psychiatric profiles of mothers who take Ecstasy/MDMA during pregnancy: reduced depression 1 year after giving birth and quitting Ecstasy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John J D; Parrott, Andrew C; Goodwin, Julia; Moore, Derek G; Fulton, Sarah; Min, Meeyoung O; Singer, Lynn T

    2014-01-01

    The recreational drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or 'Ecstasy' is associated with heightened psychiatric distress and feelings of depression. The Drugs and Infancy Study (DAISY) monitored the psychiatric symptom profiles of mothers who used Ecstasy/MDMA while pregnant, and followed them over the first year post-partum. We compared 28 young women whom took MDMA during their pregnancy with a polydrug control group of 68 women who took other psychoactive drugs while pregnant. The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was completed for several periods: The first trimester of pregnancy; and 1, 4 and 12 months after childbirth. Recreational drug use was monitored at each time point. During the first trimester of pregnancy, MDMA-using mothers reported higher depression scores than the polydrug controls. At 1 year after childbirth, their BSI depression scores were significantly lower, now closer to the control group values. At the same time point, their self-reported use of MDMA became nearly zero, in contrast to their continued use of Cannabis/marijuana, nicotine and alcohol. We found significant symptom reductions in those with BSI obsessive-compulsive and interpersonal sensitivity, following Ecstasy/MDMA cessation. The findings from this unique prospective study of young recreational drug-using mothers are consistent with previous reports of improved psychiatric health after quitting MDMA.

  2. Neuroimaging findings with MDMA/ecstasy: technical aspects, conceptual issues and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; de Win, Maartje M L; van den Brink, Wim; Booij, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J

    2006-03-01

    Users of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) may be at risk of developing MDMA-induced injury to the serotonin (5-HT) system. Previously, there were no methods available for directly evaluating the neurotoxic effects of MDMA in the living human brain. However, development of in vivoneuroimaging tools have begun to provide insights into the effects of ecstasy on the human brain. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission computed tomography (PET) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) studies which have evaluated ecstasy's neurotoxic potential will be reviewed and discussed in terms of technical aspects, conceptual issues and future prospects. Although PET and SPECT may be limited by several factors such as the low cortical uptake and the use of a non-optimal reference region (cerebellum) the few studies conducted so far provide suggestive evidence that people who heavily use ecstasy are at risk of developing subcortical, and probably also cortical reductions in serotonin transporter (SERT) densities, a marker of 5-HT neurotoxicity. There seem to be dose-dependent and transient reductions in SERT for which females may be more vulnerable than males. 1H-MRS appears to be a less sensitive technique for studying ecstasy's neurotoxic potential. Whether individuals with a relatively low ecstasy exposure also demonstrate loss of SERT needs to be determined. Because most studies have had a retrospective design, in which evidence is indirect and differs in the degree to which any causal links can be implied, longitudinal studies in human ecstasy users are needed to draw definite conclusions.

  3. MDMA ("Ecstasy") and its association with cerebrovascular accidents: preliminary findings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reneman, L.; Habraken, J. B.; Majoie, C. B.; Booij, J.; den Heeten, G. J.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Abuse of the popular recreational drug "Ecstasy" (MDMA) has been linked to the occurrence of cerebrovascular accidents. It is known that MDMA alters brain serotonin (5-HT) concentrations and that brain postsynaptic 5-HT(2) receptors play a role in the regulation of brain

  4. Studies of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) metabolism and disposition in rats and mice: relationship to neuroprotection and neurotoxicity profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Melanie; Maldonado-Adrian, Concepcion; Yuan, Jie; McCann, Una D; Ricaurte, George A

    2013-02-01

    The neurotoxicity of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") is influenced by temperature and varies according to species. The mechanisms underlying these two features of MDMA neurotoxicity are unknown, but differences in MDMA metabolism have recently been implicated in both. The present study was designed to 1) assess the effect of hypothermia on MDMA metabolism, 2) determine whether the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia is related to inhibition of MDMA metabolism, and 3) determine if different neurotoxicity profiles in mice and rats are related to differences in MDMA metabolism and/or disposition in the two species. Rats and mice received single neurotoxic oral doses of MDMA at 25°C and 4°C, and body temperature, pharmacokinetic parameters, and serotonergic and dopaminergic neuronal markers were measured. Hypothermia did not alter MDMA metabolism in rats and only modestly inhibited MDMA metabolism in mice; however, it afforded complete neuroprotection in both species. Rats and mice metabolized MDMA in a similar pattern, with 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine being the major metabolite, followed by 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine and 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine, respectively. Differences between MDMA pharmacokinetics in rats and mice, including faster elimination in mice, did not account for the different profile of MDMA neurotoxicity in the two species. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that inhibition of MDMA metabolism is not responsible for the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia in rodents, and that different neurotoxicity profiles in rats and mice are not readily explained by differences in MDMA metabolism or disposition.

  5. Agony of the ecstasy: report of five cases of MDMA smuggling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, V H S; Dillon, E K

    2005-10-01

    The international smuggling of illicit drugs by the ingestion or rectal insertion of drug-filled packages is recognized in the trafficking of heroin and cocaine. Customs authorities, with suspicion of such activities, presented five subjects. The legally allowed radiological examination comprising one supine abdominal radiograph was performed. Radiographic findings demonstrated the presence of multiple enteric oval, capsule-shaped packages of soft tissue density. This was confirmed following supervised evacuation of bowel contents induced by the administration of laxatives. Analysis of the concealed material identified ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)), a substance not previously reported as transported by this route.

  6. Memory deficits in abstinent MDMA (ecstasy) users: neuropsychological evidence of frontal dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quednow, Boris B; Jessen, Frank; Kuhn, Kai-Uwe; Maier, Wolfgang; Daum, Irene; Wagner, Michael

    2006-05-01

    Chronic administration of the common club drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is associated with long-term depletion of serotonin (5-HT) and loss of 5-HT axons in the brains of rodents and non-human primates, and evidence suggests that recreational MDMA consumption may also affect the human serotonergic system. Moreover, it was consistently shown that abstinent MDMA users have memory deficits. Recently, it was supposed that these deficits are an expression of a temporal or rather hippocampal dysfunction caused by the serotonergic neurotoxicity of MDMA. The aim of this study is to examine the memory deficits of MDMA users neuropsychologically in order to evaluate the role of different brain regions. Nineteen male abstinent MDMA users, 19 male abstinent cannabis users and 19 male drug-naive control subjects were examined with a German version of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). MDMA users showed widespread and marked verbal memory deficits, compared to drug-naive controls as well as compared to cannabis users, whereas cannabis users did not differ from control subjects in their memory performance. MDMA users revealed impairments in learning, consolidation, recall and recognition. In addition, they also showed a worse recall consistency and strong retroactive interference whereby both measures were previously associated with frontal lobe function. There was a significant correlation between memory performance and the amount of MDMA taken. These results suggest that the memory deficits of MDMA users are not only the result of a temporal or hippocampal dysfunction, but also of a dysfunction of regions within the frontal cortex.

  7. Hair MDMA samples are consistent with reported ecstasy use: findings from a study investigating effects of ecstasy on mood and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, A B; Owen, L; Gates, J; Rodgers, J; Buchanan, T; Ling, J; Heffernan, T; Swan, P; Stough, C; Parrott, A C

    2011-01-01

    Our group has conducted several Internet investigations into the biobehavioural effects of self-reported recreational use of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or Ecstasy) and other psychosocial drugs. Here we report a new study examining the relationship between self-reported Ecstasy use and traces of MDMA found in hair samples. In a laboratory setting, 49 undergraduate volunteers performed an Internet-based assessment which included mood scales and the University of East London Drug Use Questionnaire, which asks for history and current drug use. They also provided a hair sample for determination of exposure to MDMA over the previous month. Self-report of Ecstasy use and presence in hair samples were consistent (p happiness and higher self-reported stress. Self-reported Ecstasy use, but not presence in hair, was also associated with decreased tension. Different psychoactive drugs can influence long-term mood and cognition in complex and dynamically interactive ways. Here we have shown a good correspondence between self-report and objective assessment of exposure to MDMA. These data suggest that the Internet has potentially high utility as a useful medium to complement traditional laboratory studies into the sequelae of recreational drug use. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Autophagy activation is involved in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('ecstasy'--induced neurotoxicity in cultured cortical neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I-Hsun Li

    Full Text Available Autophagic (type II cell death, characterized by the massive accumulation of autophagic vacuoles in the cytoplasm of cells, has been suggested to play pathogenetic roles in cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative disorders. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy is an illicit drug causing long-term neurotoxicity in the brain. Apoptotic (type I and necrotic (type III cell death have been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, while the role of autophagy in MDMA-elicited neurotoxicity has not been investigated. The present study aimed to evaluate the occurrence and contribution of autophagy to neurotoxicity in cultured rat cortical neurons challenged with MDMA. Autophagy activation was monitored by expression of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3; an autophagic marker using immunofluorescence and western blot analysis. Here, we demonstrate that MDMA exposure induced monodansylcadaverine (MDC- and LC3B-densely stained autophagosome formation and increased conversion of LC3B-I to LC3B-II, coinciding with the neurodegenerative phase of MDMA challenge. Autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA pretreatment significantly attenuated MDMA-induced autophagosome accumulation, LC3B-II expression, and ameliorated MDMA-triggered neurite damage and neuronal death. In contrast, enhanced autophagy flux by rapamycin or impaired autophagosome clearance by bafilomycin A1 led to more autophagosome accumulation in neurons and aggravated neurite degeneration, indicating that excessive autophagosome accumulation contributes to MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore, MDMA induced phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK and its downstream unc-51-like kinase 1 (ULK1, suggesting the AMPK/ULK1 signaling pathway might be involved in MDMA-induced autophagy activation.

  9. NEURAL AND CARDIAC TOXICITIES ASSOCIATED WITH 3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE (MDMA)

    OpenAIRE

    Baumann, Michael H.; Rothman, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a commonly abused illicit drug which affects multiple organ systems. In animals, high-dose administration of MDMA produces deficits in serotonin (5-HT) neurons (e.g., depletion of forebrain 5-HT) that have been viewed as neurotoxicity. Recent data implicate MDMA in the development of valvular heart disease (VHD). The present paper reviews several issues related to MDMA-associated neural and cardiac toxicities. The hypothesis of MDMA neurotoxicit...

  10. Motor delays in MDMA (ecstasy) exposed infants persist to 2 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Lynn T; Moore, Derek G; Min, Meeyoung O; Goodwin, Julia; Turner, John J D; Fulton, Sarah; Parrott, Andrew C

    2016-01-01

    Recreational use of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy, MDMA) is increasing worldwide. Its use by pregnant women causes concern due to potentially harmful effects on the developing fetus. MDMA, an indirect monoaminergic agonist and reuptake inhibitor, affects the serotonin and dopamine systems. Preclinical studies of fetal exposure demonstrate effects on learning, motor behavior, and memory. In the first human studies, we found prenatal MDMA exposure related to poorer motor development in the first year of life. In the present study we assessed the effects of prenatal exposure to MDMA on the trajectory of child development through 2 years of age. We hypothesized that exposure would be associated with poorer mental and motor outcomes. The DAISY (Drugs and Infancy Study, 2003-2008) employed a prospective longitudinal cohort design to assess recreational drug use during pregnancy and child outcomes in the United Kingdom. Examiners masked to drug exposures followed infants from birth to 4, 12, 18, and 24 months of age. MDMA, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other drugs were quantified through a standardized clinical interview. The Bayley Scales (III) of Mental (MDI) and Motor (PDI) Development and the Behavior Rating Scales (BRS) were primary outcome measures. Statistical analyses included a repeated measures mixed model approach controlling for multiple confounders. Participants were pregnant women volunteers, primarily white, of middle class socioeconomic status, average IQ, with some college education, in stable partner relationships. Of 96 women enrolled, children of 93 had at least one follow-up assessment and 81 (87%) had ≥ two assessments. Heavier MDMA exposure (M=1.3±1.4 tablets per week) predicted lower PDI (pMDMA use during pregnancy had motor delays from 4 months to two years of age that were not attributable to other drug or lifestyle factors. Women of child bearing age should be cautioned about the use of MDMA and MDMA-exposed infants

  11. Reduced N-acetylaspartate levels in the frontal cortex of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) users: preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reneman, Liesbeth; Majoie, Charles B L M; Flick, Herman; den Heeten, Gerard J

    2002-02-01

    The perceived safety of the recreational drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), or Ecstasy, conflicts with animal evidence indicating that MDMA damages cortical serotonin (5-HT) neurons at doses similar to those used by humans. Few data are available about the effects of MDMA on the human brain. This study was designed to evaluate MDMA-related alterations in metabolite ratios with single-voxel proton ((1)H) MR spectroscopy. Fifteen male MDMA users (mean lifetime exposure, 723 tablets; mean time since last tablet, 12.0 weeks) and 12 age-matched control subjects underwent single-voxel (1)H MR spectroscopy. N-Acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr), NAA/Choline (Cho), and myoinositol (MI)/Cr ratios were measured in midfrontal gray matter, midoccipital gray matter, and right parietal white matter. Data were analyzed with linear model-based multivariate analysis of variance. NAA/Cr (P =.04) and NAA/Cho (P =.03) ratios, markers associated with neuronal loss or dysfunction, were reduced in the frontal cortex of MDMA users. Neither NAA/Cr (P =.72) nor NAA/Cho (P =.12) ratios were different between both groups in occipital gray matter and parietal white matter (P =.18). Extent of previous MDMA use and frontal cortical NAA/Cr (rho = -.50, P =.012) or NAA/Cho (rho = -.550, P spectroscopy provide evidence for neuronal abnormality in the frontal cortex of MDMA users; these are correlated with the degree of MDMA exposure. These data suggest that MDMA may be a neurotoxin in humans, as it is in animals.

  12. Is ecstasy an "empathogen"? Effects of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine on prosocial feelings and identification of emotional states in others.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedi, Gillinder; Hyman, David; de Wit, Harriet

    2010-12-15

    Users of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), "ecstasy," report that the drug produces unusual psychological effects, including increased empathy and prosocial feelings. These "empathogenic" effects are cited as reasons for recreational ecstasy use and also form the basis for the proposed use of MDMA in psychotherapy. However, they have yet to be characterized in controlled studies. Here, we investigate effects of MDMA on an important social cognitive capacity, the identification of emotional expression in others, and on socially relevant mood states. Over four sessions, healthy ecstasy-using volunteers (n = 21) received MDMA (.75, 1.5 mg/kg), methamphetamine (METH) (20 mg), and placebo under double-blind, randomized conditions. They completed self-report ratings of relevant affective states and undertook tasks in which they identified emotions from images of faces, pictures of eyes, and vocal cues. MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) significantly increased ratings of feeling "loving" and "friendly", and MDMA (.75 mg/kg) increased "loneliness". Both MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) and METH increased "playfulness"; only METH increased "sociability". MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) robustly decreased accuracy of facial fear recognition relative to placebo. The drug MDMA increased "empathogenic" feelings but reduced accurate identification of threat-related facial emotional signals in others, findings consistent with increased social approach behavior rather than empathy. This effect of MDMA on social cognition has implications for both recreational and therapeutic use. In recreational users, acute drug effects might alter social risk-taking while intoxicated. Socioemotional processing alterations such as those documented here might underlie possible psychotherapeutic benefits of this drug; further investigation of such mechanisms could inform treatment design to maximize active components of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All

  13. Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its main metabolites on cardiovascular function in conscious rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Charles W; Thorndike, Eric B; Blough, Bruce E; Tella, Srihari R; Goldberg, Steven R; Baumann, Michael H

    2014-01-01

    The cardiovascular effects produced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy') contribute to its acute toxicity, but the potential role of its metabolites in these cardiovascular effects is not known. Here we examined the effects of MDMA metabolites on cardiovascular function in rats. Radiotelemetry was employed to evaluate the effects of s.c. administration of racemic MDMA and its phase I metabolites on BP, heart rate (HR) and locomotor activity in conscious male rats. MDMA (1-20 mg·kg(-1)) produced dose-related increases in BP, HR and activity. The peak effects on HR occurred at a lower dose than peak effects on BP or activity. The N-demethylated metabolite, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), produced effects that mimicked those of MDMA. The metabolite 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA; 1-10 mg·kg(-1)) increased HR more potently and to a greater extent than MDMA, whereas 3,4-dihydroxyamphetamine (HHA) increased HR, but to a lesser extent than HHMA. Neither dihydroxy metabolite altered motor activity. The metabolites 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyamphetamine (HMA) did not affect any of the parameters measured. The tachycardia produced by MDMA and HHMA was blocked by the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol. Our results demonstrate that HHMA may contribute significantly to the cardiovascular effects of MDMA in vivo. As such, determining the molecular mechanism of action of HHMA and the other hydroxyl metabolites of MDMA warrants further study. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  14. MDMA and heightened cortisol: a neurohormonal perspective on the pregnancy outcomes of mothers used 'Ecstasy' during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C; Moore, Derek G; Turner, John J D; Goodwin, Julia; Min, Meeyoung O; Singer, Lynn T

    2014-01-01

    The illicit recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or Ecstasy has strong neurohormonal effects. When taken by recreational users at dance clubs and raves, it can generate an 800% increase in the stress hormone cortisol, whereas drug-free users show chronically raised levels of cortisol. The aim here is to critically debate this neurohormonal influence for the children of pregnant MDMA-using mothers. High levels of cortisol are known to be damaging for neuropsychobiological well-being in adult humans. MDMA can damage foetal development in laboratory animals, and the prospective Drugs and Infancy Study was established to monitor the effects of MDMA taken recreationally by pregnant women. The Drugs and Infancy Study revealed that young mothers, who took MDMA during the first trimester of pregnancy, gave birth to babies with significant gross psychomotor retardation. These mothers would have experienced high levels of cortisol due to Ecstasy/MDMA use, and since cortisol can cross the placenta, this is likely to have also occurred in the foetus. In terms of causation, the developmental problems may reflect a combination of neurotransmitter and neurohormonal effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, with serotonergic activity being influenced by the high levels of cortisol. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Non-Serotonergic Neurotoxicity by MDMA (Ecstasy in Neurons Derived from Mouse P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina Popova

    Full Text Available 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy is a commonly abused recreational drug that causes neurotoxic effects in both humans and animals. The mechanism behind MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is suggested to be species-dependent and needs to be further investigated on the cellular level. In this study, the effects of MDMA in neuronally differentiated P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cells have been examined. MDMA produces a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent toxicity in differentiated P19 neurons, as measured by intracellular MTT reduction and extracellular LDH activity assays. The P19-derived neurons express both the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT, that is functionally active, and the serotonin metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A. The involvement of these proteins in the MDMA-induced toxicity was investigated by a pharmacological approach. The MAO inhibitors clorgyline and deprenyl, and the SERT inhibitor fluoxetine, per se or in combination, were not able to mimic the toxic effects of MDMA in the P19-derived neurons or block the MDMA-induced cell toxicity. Oxidative stress has been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, but pre-treatment with the antioxidants α-tocopherol or N-acetylcysteine did not reveal any protective effects in the P19 neurons. Involvement of mitochondria in the MDMA-induced cytotoxicity was also examined, but MDMA did not alter the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm in the P19 neurons. We conclude that MDMA produce a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent neurotoxicity and our results suggest that the mechanism behind MDMA-induced toxicity in mouse-derived neurons do not involve the serotonergic system, oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction.

  16. Non-Serotonergic Neurotoxicity by MDMA (Ecstasy) in Neurons Derived from Mouse P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Dina; Forsblad, Andréas; Hashemian, Sanaz; Jacobsson, Stig O P

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is a commonly abused recreational drug that causes neurotoxic effects in both humans and animals. The mechanism behind MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is suggested to be species-dependent and needs to be further investigated on the cellular level. In this study, the effects of MDMA in neuronally differentiated P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cells have been examined. MDMA produces a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent toxicity in differentiated P19 neurons, as measured by intracellular MTT reduction and extracellular LDH activity assays. The P19-derived neurons express both the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT), that is functionally active, and the serotonin metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). The involvement of these proteins in the MDMA-induced toxicity was investigated by a pharmacological approach. The MAO inhibitors clorgyline and deprenyl, and the SERT inhibitor fluoxetine, per se or in combination, were not able to mimic the toxic effects of MDMA in the P19-derived neurons or block the MDMA-induced cell toxicity. Oxidative stress has been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, but pre-treatment with the antioxidants α-tocopherol or N-acetylcysteine did not reveal any protective effects in the P19 neurons. Involvement of mitochondria in the MDMA-induced cytotoxicity was also examined, but MDMA did not alter the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in the P19 neurons. We conclude that MDMA produce a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent neurotoxicity and our results suggest that the mechanism behind MDMA-induced toxicity in mouse-derived neurons do not involve the serotonergic system, oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction.

  17. Pseudorotaxane capped mesoporous silica nanoparticles for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) detection in water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lozano-Torres, Beatriz; Pascual, Lluís; Bernardos, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with fluorescein and capped by a pseudorotaxane, formed between a naphthalene derivative and cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) (CBPQT4+), were used for the selective and sensitive fluorogenic detection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).......Mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with fluorescein and capped by a pseudorotaxane, formed between a naphthalene derivative and cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) (CBPQT4+), were used for the selective and sensitive fluorogenic detection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)....

  18. Duloxetine inhibits effects of MDMA ("ecstasy" in vitro and in humans in a randomized placebo-controlled laboratory study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric M Hysek

    Full Text Available This study assessed the effects of the serotonin (5-HT and norepinephrine (NE transporter inhibitor duloxetine on the effects of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy in vitro and in 16 healthy subjects. The clinical study used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, four-session, crossover design. In vitro, duloxetine blocked the release of both 5-HT and NE by MDMA or by its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine from transmitter-loaded human cells expressing the 5-HT or NE transporter. In humans, duloxetine inhibited the effects of MDMA including elevations in circulating NE, increases in blood pressure and heart rate, and the subjective drug effects. Duloxetine inhibited the pharmacodynamic response to MDMA despite an increase in duloxetine-associated elevations in plasma MDMA levels. The findings confirm the important role of MDMA-induced 5-HT and NE release in the psychotropic effects of MDMA. Duloxetine may be useful in the treatment of psychostimulant dependence.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00990067.

  19. Differential response of nNOS knockout mice to MDMA ("ecstasy")- and methamphetamine-induced psychomotor sensitization and neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itzhak, Yossef; Anderson, Karen L; Ali, Syed F

    2004-10-01

    It has been shown that mice deficient in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene are resistant to cocaine-induced psychomotor sensitization and methamphetamine (METH)-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity. The present study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that nNOS has a major role in dopamine (DA)- but not serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT)-mediated effects of psychostimulants. The response of nNOS knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice to the psychomotor-stimulating and neurotoxic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") and METH were investigated. Repeated administration of MDMA for 5 days resulted in psychomotor sensitization in both WT and nNOS KO mice, while repeated administration of METH caused psychomotor sensitization in WT but not in KO mice. Sensitization to both MDMA and METH was persistent for 40 days in WT mice, but not in nNOS KO mice. These findings suggest that the induction of psychomotor sensitization to MDMA and METH is NO independent and NO dependent, respectively, while the persistence of sensitization to both drugs is NO dependent. For the neurochemical studies, a high dose of MDMA caused marked depletion of 5-HT in several brain regions of both WT and KO mice, suggesting that the absence of the nNOS gene did not afford protection against MDMA-induced depletion of 5-HT. Striatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity caused by high doses of MDMA and METH in WT mice was partially prevented in KO mice administered with MDMA, but it was fully precluded in KO mice administered with METH. The differential response of nNOS KO mice to the behavioral and neurotoxic effects of MDMA and METH suggests that the nNOS gene is required for the expression and persistence of DA-mediated effects of METH and MDMA, while 5-HT-mediated effects of MDMA (induction of sensitization and 5-HT depletion) are not dependent on nNOS.

  20. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): interindividual differences due to polymorphisms and drug-drug interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietjens, S.J.; Hondebrink, L.; Westerink, R.H.S.; Meulenbelt, J.

    2012-01-01

    Clinical outcome following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) intake ranges from mild entactogenic effects to a life-threatening intoxication. Despite ongoing research, the clinically most relevant mechanisms causing acute MDMA-induced adverse effects remain largely unclear. This complicates

  1. Reduced efficacy of fluoxetine following MDMA ("Ecstasy")-induced serotonin loss in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durkin, Sarah; Prendergast, Alison; Harkin, Andrew

    2008-12-12

    Long-term serotonin (5-HT) neuronal loss is currently a major cause of concern associated with recreational use of the substituted amphetamine 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy"). Such loss may be problematic considering that psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety and responses to first line treatments for these disorders are associated with 5-HT. In this study the effects of prior exposure to MDMA on behavioural and central neurochemical changes induced by the serotonin (5-HT) re-uptake inhibitor and antidepressant fluoxetine were examined in rats. Animals were administered MDMA (10 mg/kg. i.p.) four times daily for two consecutive days. One week later the animals were subjected to treatment with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). Fluoxetine treatment groups received either acute (saline injections for 20 days followed by 3 fluoxetine treatments over 24 h) or chronic (once daily fluoxetine for 21 days) drug administration. Prior exposure to MDMA resulted in an attenuation of fluoxetine-induced swimming behaviour in the modified forced swimming test (FST); a behavioural test of antidepressant action. In parallel MDMA treatment resulted in significant regional depletions of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) accompanied by a reduction in cortical [3H] paroxetine binding to nerve terminal 5-HT transporters. MDMA-induced 5-HT loss was enhanced in animals following chronic fluoxetine administration. Elimination of fluoxetine and its metabolite norfluoxetine from the brain abolished this interaction between MDMA and fluoxetine treatment. Fluoxetine administration reduced both 5-HIAA and the 5-HIAA:5-HT metabolism ratio, which was attenuated in animals pre-treated with MDMA. Overall the results show that MDMA induces long-term 5-HT loss in the rodent brain and consequently diminishes behaviour and reductions in 5-HT metabolism induced by the antidepressant fluoxetine. These results have potential clinical relevance

  2. Sprague-Dawley rats display sex-linked differences in the pharmacokinetics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonsart, Julien; Menet, Marie-Claude; Debray, Marcel; Hirt, Deborah; Noble, Florence; Scherrmann, Jean-Michel; Decleves, Xavier

    2009-01-01

    The use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has increased in recent years; it can lead to life-threatening hyperthermia and serotonin syndrome. Human and rodent males appear to be more sensitive to acute toxicity than are females. MDMA is metabolized to five main metabolites by the enzymes CYP1A2, CYP2D and COMT. Little is presently known about sex-dependent differences in the pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its metabolites. We therefore analyzed MDMA disposition in male and female rats by measuring the plasma and urine concentrations of MDMA and its metabolites using a validated LC-MS method. MDA AUC last and C max were 1.6- to 1.7-fold higher in males than in females given MDMA (5 mg/kg sc), while HMMA C max and AUC last were 3.2- and 3.5-fold higher, respectively. MDMA renal clearance was 1.26-fold higher in males, and that of MDA was 2.2-fold higher. MDMA AUC last and t 1/2 were 50% higher in females given MDMA (1 mg/kg iv). MDA C max and AUC last were 75-82% higher in males, with a 2.8-fold higher metabolic index. Finally, the AUC last of MDA was 0.73-fold lower in males given 1 mg/kg iv MDA. The volumes of distribution of MDMA and MDA at steady-state were similar in the two sexes. These data strongly suggest that differences in the N-demethylation of MDMA to MDA are major influences on the MDMA and MDA pharmacokinetics in male and female rats. Hence, males are exposed to significantly more toxic MDA, which could explain previously reported sexual dysmorphism in the acute effects and toxicity of MDMA in rats.

  3. A Case of 3,4-Dimethoxyamphetamine (3,4-DMA) and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Toxicity with Possible Metabolic Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darracq, Michael A; Thornton, Stephen L; Minns, Alicia B; Gerona, Roy R

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of "ecstasy" ingestion revealing 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-dimethoxyamphetamine (3,4-DMA) and absence of cytochrome P450 (CYP)-2D6 MDMA metabolites. A 19-year-old presented following a seizure. Initial vital signs were normal. Laboratories were normal with the exception of sodium 127 mEq/L and urine drugs of abuse screen positive for amphetamines. Twelve hours later, serum sodium was 114 mEq/L and a second seizure occurred. After receiving hypertonic saline (3%), the patient had improvement in mental status and admitted to taking "ecstasy" at a rave prior to her initial presentation. Liquid chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF/MS) of serum and urine revealed MDMA, 3,4-DMA, and the CYP-2B6 MDMA metabolites 3,4-methylendioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyamphetamine (HMA). The CYP2D6 metabolites of MDMA, 3,4-dihydromethamphetamine (HHMA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), were detected at very low levels. This case highlights the polypharmacy which may exist among users of psychoactive illicit substances and demonstrates that concurrent use of MDMA and 3,4-DMA may predispose patients to severe toxicity. Toxicologists and other healthcare providers should be aware of this potential toxicity.

  4. Chronic exposure to MDMA (Ecstasy elicits behavioral sensitization in rats but fails to induce cross-sensitization to other psychostimulants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swann Alan C

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The recreational use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy among adolescents and young adults has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. While evidence suggests that the long-term consequences of MDMA use include neurodegeneration to serotonergic and, possibly, dopaminergic pathways, little is known about susceptibility, such as behavioral sensitization, to MDMA. Methods The objectives of this study were to examine the dose-response characteristics of acute and chronic MDMA administration in rats and to determine whether MDMA elicits behavioral sensitization and whether it cross-sensitizes with amphetamine and methylphenidate. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three MDMA dosage groups (2.5 mg/kg, 5.0 mg/kg, and 10.0 mg/kg and a saline control group (N = 9/group. All three MDMA groups were treated for six consecutive days, followed by a 5-day washout, and subsequently re-challenged with their respective doses of MDMA (day 13. Rats were then given an additional 25-day washout period, and re-challenged (day 38 with similar MDMA doses as before followed by either 0.6 mg/kg amphetamine or 2.5 mg/kg methylphenidate on the next day (day 39. Open-field locomotor activity was recorded using a computerized automated activity monitoring system. Results Acute injection of 2.5 mg/kg MDMA showed no significant difference in locomotor activity from rats given saline (control group, while animals receiving acute 5.0 mg/kg or 10.0 mg/kg MDMA showed significant increases in locomotor activity. Rats treated chronically with 5.0 mg/kg and 10.0 mg/kg MDMA doses exhibited an augmented response, i.e., behavioral sensitization, on experimental day 13 in at least one locomotor index. On experimental day 38, all three MDMA groups demonstrated sensitization to MDMA in at least one locomotor index. Amphetamine and methylphenidate administration to MDMA-sensitized animals did not elicit any significant change

  5. From ecstasy to MDMA: Recreational drug use, symbolic boundaries, and drug trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edland-Gryt, Marit; Sandberg, Sveinung; Pedersen, Willy

    2017-12-01

    Ecstasy pills with MDMA as the main ingredient were introduced in many European countries in the 1980s, and were often linked to the rave and club scenes. However, use gradually levelled off, in part as a response to increased concerns about possible mental health consequences and fatalities. Extensive use of MDMA now seems to be re-emerging in many countries. In this study, we investigated the cultural and social meaning associated with MDMA use in Oslo, Norway, with an emphasis on how users distinguish MDMA crystals and powder from "old ecstasy pills". Qualitative in-depth interviews (n=31, 61,3% males) were conducted with young adult party-goers and recreational MDMA/ecstasy users (20-34 years old, mean age 26.2 years). Research participants emphasised three important perceived differences between the MDMA crystals and ecstasy pills: (i) The effects of MDMA were described as better than ecstasy; (ii) MDMA was regarded as a safer drug; (iii) Users of MDMA crystals were described as more distinct from and less anchored in out-of-fashion rave culture than those using ecstasy. These differences were an important part of the symbolic boundary work MDMA users engaged in when justifying their drug use. MDMA has re-emerged as an important psychoactive substance in Oslo's club scene. One important reason for this re-emergence seems to be its perceived differentiation from ecstasy pills, even though the active ingredient in both drugs is MDMA. This perceived distinction between MDMA and ecstasy reveals the importance of social and symbolic meanings in relation to psychoactive substance use. Insights from this study can be important in terms of understanding how trends in drug use develop and how certain drugs gain or lose popularity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Procedural and declarative memory performance, and the memory consolidation function of sleep, in recent and abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blagrove, Mark; Seddon, Jennifer; George, Sophie; Parrott, Andrew C.; Stickgold, Robert; Walker, Matthew; Jones, Katy; Morgan, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of ecstasy/MDMA on declarative memory (Rivermead Behavioral Memory task - RBMT), on procedural learning (Finger Tapping Task - FTT), and on the memory consolidation function of sleep for these two tasks. Testing occurred in 2 afternoon testing sessions, 24 hours apart so that a full period of sleep was allowed between them. Groups were: Non-drug taking Controls (n=24); Recent Ecstasy/MDMA users, who had taken ecstasy and/or MDMA 2–3 days before the first testing session (n=25), and Abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users, who had not taken ecstasy/MDMA for at least 8 days before the first session (n=17). The recent ecstasy/MDMA users performed significantly worse than controls on the RBMT (mean recall 76.1% of control group recall), but did not differ from controls on FTT performance. Correspondingly there was a significant regression between the continuous variable of recency of ecstasy/MDMA use and RBMT performance. However, there was an interaction between ecstasy/MDMA use and subsequent other drug use. Controls had similar RBMT scores to recent ecstasy/MDMA users who did not take other drugs 48 – 24 hours before testing, but scored significantly better than recent ecstasy/MDMA users who took various other drugs (mainly cannabis) 48 – 24 hours before testing. For both tasks the control, recent ecstasy/MDMA and abstinent ecstasy/MDMA users did not differ in their change of performance across 24 hours; there was thus no evidence that ecstasy/MDMA impairs the memory consolidation function of sleep for either declarative or procedural memory. For participants in the two ecstasy/MDMA groups greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy tablets was associated with significantly more deficits in procedural memory. Furthermore, greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy tablets and of cocaine, were also associated with significantly more deficits in declarative memory. PMID:20615932

  7. Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 'ecstasy': Current perspective and future research prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C; Downey, Luke A; Roberts, Carl A; Montgomery, Cathy; Bruno, Raimondo; Fox, Helen C

    2017-08-01

    The purpose of this article is to debate current understandings about the psychobiological effects of recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'), and recommend theoretically-driven topics for future research. Recent empirical findings, especially those from novel topic areas were reviewed. Potential causes for the high variance often found in group findings were also examined. The first empirical reports into psychobiological and psychiatric aspects from the early 1990s concluded that regular users demonstrated some selective psychobiological deficits, for instance worse declarative memory, or heightened depression. More recent research has covered a far wider range of psychobiological functions, and deficits have emerged in aspects of vision, higher cognitive skill, neurohormonal functioning, and foetal developmental outcomes. However, variance levels are often high, indicating that while some recreational users develop problems, others are less affected. Potential reasons for this high variance are debated. An explanatory model based on multi-factorial causation is then proposed. A number of theoretically driven research topics are suggested, in order to empirically investigate the potential causes for these diverse psychobiological deficits. Future neuroimaging studies should study the practical implications of any serotonergic and/or neurohormonal changes, using a wide range of functional measures.

  8. Caffeine promotes hyperthermia and serotonergic loss following co-administration of the substituted amphetamines, MDMA ("Ecstasy") and MDA ("Love").

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Ruth; Kerans, Aoife; O'Neill, Barry; Harkin, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The present study determined the effect of caffeine co-administration on the core body temperature response and long-term serotonin (5-HT) loss induced by methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") and its metabolite methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA; "Love") to rats. In group-housed animals, caffeine (10 mg/kg) enhanced the acute toxicity of MDMA (15 mg/kg) and MDA (7.5 mg/kg), resulting in an exaggerated hyperthermic response (+2 degrees C for 5 h following MDMA and +1.5 degrees C for 3 h following MDA) when compared to MDMA (+1 degree C for 3 h) and MDA (+1 degree C for 1 h) alone. Co-administration of caffeine with MDMA or MDA was also associated with increased lethality. To reduce the risk of lethality, doses of MDMA and MDA were reduced in further experiments and the animals were housed individually. To examine the effects of repeated administration, animals received MDMA (10 mg/kg) or MDA (5 mg/kg) with or without caffeine (10 mg/kg) twice daily for 4 consecutive days. MDMA and MDA alone induced hypothermia (fall of 1 to 2 degrees C) over the 4 treatment days. Co-administration of caffeine with MDMA or MDA resulted in hyperthermia (increase of up to 2.5 degrees C) following acute administration compared to animals treated with caffeine or MDMA/MDA alone. This hyperthermic response to caffeine and MDMA was not observed with repeated administration, unlike caffeine + MDA, where hyperthermia was obtained over the 4 day treatment period. In addition, 4 weeks after the last treatment, co-administration of caffeine with MDA (but not MDMA) induced a reduction in 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) concentrations in frontal cortex (to 61% and 58% of control, respectively), hippocampus (48% and 60%), striatum (79% and 64%) and amygdala (63% and 37%). However, when caffeine (10 mg/kg) and MDMA (2.5 mg/kg) were co-administered four times daily for 2 days to group-housed animals, both hyperthermia and hippocampal 5-HT loss were observed (reduced to 68% of

  9. Effects of alcohol (BAC 0.5‰) and ecstasy (MDMA 100 mg) on simulated driving performance and traffic safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldstra, Janet L; Brookhuis, Karel A; de Waard, Dick; Molmans, Barbara H W; Verstraete, Alain G; Skopp, Gisela; Jantos, Ricarda

    2012-08-01

    An increasing number of fatal road-accidents have been reported in which ecstasy was found in the blood of drivers. Although, ecstasy is frequently found to have been used in combination with alcohol, studies on the acute effects of ecstasy co-administered with alcohol on driving performance are relatively rare. The present study was designed to establish the extent of driver impairment as a consequence of ecstasy or combined ecstasy and alcohol use as compared to driving under the influence of 0.3‰, 0.5‰ and 0.8‰ alcohol. Furthermore, subjective performance was also assessed. Alcohol and ecstasy mainly influenced automated driving performance such as lateral and speed control. However, small to no effects of the substances were found on more complex driving behaviour. Overall, variance within the different driving measures was high especially when participants were treated with 3.4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and alcohol. Furthermore, equivalence testing showed that combined use may lead to impaired driving for some, but not all, drivers. Participants rated their own performance to be slightly worse than normal in both studies. Since driving was actually seriously deteriorated, this was a falsely positive assessment of their condition. The dissociation between subjective perceptions and objective performance decrements are important notions for traffic safety since this may affect a driver's judgement of whether or not it is safe to drive. For example, an intoxicated individual might decide to drive because the feelings of alertness caused by MDMA cloud the impairing effects of other drugs such as alcohol, thereby creating a potentially serious risk for traffic safety.

  10. Residual effects of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) on low level visual processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Elizabeth; Bruno, Raimondo; Brown, John

    2012-03-01

    'Ecstasy' (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) induces impaired functioning in the serotonergic system, including the occipital lobe. This study employed the 'tilt aftereffect' paradigm to operationalise the function of orientation-selective neurons among ecstasy consumers and controls as a means of investigating the role of reduced serotonin on visual orientation processing. The magnitude of the tilt aftereffect reflects the extent of lateral inhibition between orientation-selective neurons and is elicited to both 'real' contours, processed in visual cortex area V1, and illusory contours, processed in V2. The magnitude of tilt aftereffect to both contour types was examined among 19 ecstasy users (6 ecstasy only; 13 ecstasy-plus-cannabis users) and 23 matched controls (9 cannabis-only users; 14 drug-naive). Ecstasy users had a significantly greater tilt magnitude than non-users for real contours (Hedge's g = 0.63) but not for illusory contours (g = 0.20). These findings provide support for literature suggesting that residual effects of ecstasy (and reduced serotonin) impairs lateral inhibition between orientation-selective neurons in V1, which however suggests that ecstasy may not substantially affect this process in V2. Multiple studies have now demonstrated ecstasy-related deficits on basic visual functions, including orientation and motion processing. Such low-level effects may contribute to the impact of ecstasy use on neuropsychological tests of visuospatial function. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Nonlinear pharmacokinetics of (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its pharmacodynamic consequences in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concheiro, Marta; Baumann, Michael H; Scheidweiler, Karl B; Rothman, Richard B; Marrone, Gina F; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a widely abused illicit drug that can cause severe and even fatal adverse effects. However, interest remains for its possible clinical applications in posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety treatment. Preclinical studies to determine MDMA's safety are needed. We evaluated MDMA's pharmacokinetics and metabolism in male rats receiving 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg s.c. MDMA, and the associated pharmacodynamic consequences. Blood was collected via jugular catheter at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, and 24 hours, with simultaneous serotonin (5-HT) behavioral syndrome and core temperature monitoring. Plasma specimens were analyzed for MDMA and the metabolites (±)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA), (±)-4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), and (±)-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. After 2.5 mg/kg MDMA, mean MDMA Cmax was 164 ± 47.1 ng/ml, HHMA and HMMA were major metabolites, and MDMA was metabolized to MDA. After 5- and 10-mg/kg doses, MDMA areas under the curve (AUCs) were 3- and 10-fold greater than those after 2.5 mg/kg; HHMA and HMMA AUC values were relatively constant across doses; and MDA AUC values were greater than dose-proportional. Our data provide decisive in vivo evidence that MDMA and MDA display nonlinear accumulation via metabolic autoinhibition in the rat. Importantly, 5-HT syndrome severity correlated with MDMA concentrations (r = 0.8083; P MDMA's behavioral and hyperthermic effects may involve distinct mechanisms. Given key similarities between MDMA pharmacokinetics in rats and humans, data from rats can be useful when provided at clinically relevant doses.

  12. Effects of salicylate on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-induced neurotoxicity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, S Y

    1997-11-01

    The drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a serotonergic neurotoxicant that causes hyperthermia and depletion of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxy-indole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the central nervous system. Formation of neurotoxic metabolites of MDMA, e.g., 2,4,5-trihydroxy-methamphetamine and 2,4,5-trihydroxyamphetamine, involves hydroxyl and/or superoxide free radicals. The present study was designed to determine whether the hydroxyl free-radical-trapping agent salicylate could provide protection against MDMA neurotoxicity in rats. In the acute studies, sodium salicylate (12.5-400 mg/kg, calculated as free acid) was injected interperitoneally (i.p.) 1 h before subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of MDMA (20 mg/kg as base). In the chronic studies, sodium salicylate (3.1-100 mg/kg) was injected i.p. 1 h before repeated s.c. injections of MDMA (10 mg/kg as base, twice daily, at 0830 and 1730 h for 4 consecutive days). Repeated MDMA administration depleted contents of 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the frontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Coadministration of salicylate plus MDMA did not significantly alter MDMA-induced depletion of 5-HT and 5-HIAA in these tissues. Thus, salicylate, a hydroxyl free-radical-trapping agent, does not protect against MDMA-induced hyperthermia and depletion of 5-HT and 5-HIAA. These observations suggest that MDMA-induced neurotoxicity may occur mainly through the production of superoxide or other radicals rather than hydroxyl free radicals. Salicylate actually potentiated MDMA-induced hyperthermia and lethality, findings that might be of clinical relevance.

  13. Developing electrodes chemically modified with cucurbit[6]uril to detect 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) by voltammetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tadini, Maraine Catarina; Balbino, Marco Antonio; Eleoterio, Izabel Cristina; Siqueirade Oliveira, Laura; Dias, Luis Gustavo; Jean-François Demets, Grégoire; Firmino de Oliveira, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • A new stand in forensic chemistry. • Voltammetric method for the determination of MDMA in seized samples. • A new voltammetric sensor for MDMA. - Abstract: This study aimed to develop an electrode chemically modified with cucurbit[6]uril to detect 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the main active principle of ecstasy samples, by voltammetry. We modified the electrode surface with a film containing cucurbit[6]uril, Nafion, and methanol, using the dip coating or the spin coating technique. During analysis, we employed an electrochemical cell with a conventional three-electrode system and KCl solution (0.1 mol L −1 ) as the supporting electrolyte. We conducted cyclic voltammetry at concentrations ranging from 4.2 × 10 −6 to 4.8 × 10 −5 mol L −1 . We also accomplished scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the structural behavior of the film that originated on the electrode surface. We obtained the following results when we used dip coating to prepare the modified electrode: standard deviation (SD) = 0.024 μA, limit of detection (LOD) = 3.5 μmol L −1 , limit of quantification (LOQ) = 11.7 μmol L −1 , and amperometric sensitivity (m) = 20.9 × 10 3 μA L mol −1 . As for spin coating, we obtained SD = 0.024 μA, LOD = 2.7 μmol L −1 , LOQ = 9.1 μmol L −1 and m = 25.9 × 10 3 μA mol L −1 . These are very promising data: the modified electrode is more sensitive than the conventional glassy carbon electrode under the studied experimental conditions

  14. Organic impurity profiling of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) synthesised from catechol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, Erin; Shimmon, Ronald; McDonagh, Andrew M

    2015-03-01

    This work examines the organic impurity profile of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) that has been synthesised from catechol (1,2-dihydroxybenzene), a common chemical reagent available in industrial quantities. The synthesis of MDMA from catechol proceeded via the common MDMA precursor safrole. Methylenation of catechol yielded 1,3-benzodioxole, which was brominated and then reacted with magnesium allyl bromide to form safrole. Eight organic impurities were identified in the synthetic safrole. Safrole was then converted to 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (MDP2P) using two synthetic methods: Wacker oxidation (Route 1) and an isomerisation/peracid oxidation/acid dehydration method (Route 2). MDMA was then synthesised by reductive amination of MDP2P. Thirteen organic impurities were identified in MDMA synthesised via Route 1 and eleven organic impurities were identified in MDMA synthesised via Route 2. Overall, organic impurities in MDMA prepared from catechol indicated that synthetic safrole was used in the synthesis. The impurities also indicated which of the two synthetic routes was utilised. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Cognition in novice ecstasy users with minimal exposure to other drugs: a prospective cohort study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilt, Thelma; de Win, Maartje M. L.; Koeter, Maarten; Jager, Gerry; Korf, Dirk J.; van den Brink, Wim; Schmand, Ben

    2007-01-01

    CONTEXT: Ecstasy (street name for [+/-]-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) use has been associated with cognitive deficits, especially in verbal memory. However, owing to the cross-sectional and retrospective nature of currently available studies, questions remain regarding the causal

  16. Symptoms of anxiety and depression in childhood and use of MDMA: prospective, population based study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huizink, A.C.; Ferdinand, R.F.; Ende, J. van den; Verhulst, F.C.

    2006-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether using ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is preceded by symptoms of behavioural and emotional problems in childhood and early adolescence. Design Prospective, longitudinal, population based study. Setting The Dutch province of

  17. Symptoms of anxiety and depression in childhood and use of MDMA: prospective, population based study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.C. Huizink (Anja); R.F. Ferdinand (Robert); J. van der Ende (Jan); F.C. Verhulst (Frank)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractOBJECTIVE: To investigate whether using ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is preceded by symptoms of behavioural and emotional problems in childhood and early adolescence. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal, population based study SETTING: The Dutch

  18. Nonlinear Pharmacokinetics of (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Its Pharmacodynamic Consequences in the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concheiro, Marta; Baumann, Michael H.; Scheidweiler, Karl B.; Rothman, Richard B.; Marrone, Gina F.

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a widely abused illicit drug that can cause severe and even fatal adverse effects. However, interest remains for its possible clinical applications in posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety treatment. Preclinical studies to determine MDMA’s safety are needed. We evaluated MDMA’s pharmacokinetics and metabolism in male rats receiving 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg s.c. MDMA, and the associated pharmacodynamic consequences. Blood was collected via jugular catheter at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, and 24 hours, with simultaneous serotonin (5-HT) behavioral syndrome and core temperature monitoring. Plasma specimens were analyzed for MDMA and the metabolites (±)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA), (±)-4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), and (±)-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. After 2.5 mg/kg MDMA, mean MDMA Cmax was 164 ± 47.1 ng/ml, HHMA and HMMA were major metabolites, and MDMA was metabolized to MDA. After 5- and 10-mg/kg doses, MDMA areas under the curve (AUCs) were 3- and 10-fold greater than those after 2.5 mg/kg; HHMA and HMMA AUC values were relatively constant across doses; and MDA AUC values were greater than dose-proportional. Our data provide decisive in vivo evidence that MDMA and MDA display nonlinear accumulation via metabolic autoinhibition in the rat. Importantly, 5-HT syndrome severity correlated with MDMA concentrations (r = 0.8083; P MDMA’s behavioral and hyperthermic effects may involve distinct mechanisms. Given key similarities between MDMA pharmacokinetics in rats and humans, data from rats can be useful when provided at clinically relevant doses. PMID:24141857

  19. Increased cortisol levels in hair of recent Ecstasy/MDMA users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, A C; Sands, H R; Jones, L; Clow, A; Evans, P; Downey, L A; Stalder, T

    2014-03-01

    Previous research has revealed an acute 8-fold increase in salivary cortisol following self-administrated Ecstasy/MDMA in dance clubbers. It is currently not known to what extent repeated usage impacts upon activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis over a more prolonged period of time. This study investigated the integrated cortisol levels in 3-month hair samples from recent Ecstasy/MDMA users and non-user controls. One hundred and one unpaid participants (53 males, 48 females; mean age 21.75 years) completed the University of East London recreational drug use questionnaire, modified to cover the past 3-months of usage. They comprised 32 light recent Ecstasy/MDMA users (1-4 times in last 3 months), 23 recent heavy MDMA users (+5 times in last 3 months), and 54 non-user controls. Volunteers provided 3 cm hair samples for cortisol analysis. Hair cortisol levels were observed to be significantly higher in recent heavy MDMA users (mean = 55.0 ± 80.1 pg/mg), compared to recent light MDMA users (19.4 ± 16.0 pg/mg; p=0.015), and to non-users (13.8 ± 6.1 pg/mg; pEcstasy/MDMA was associated with almost 4-fold raised hair cortisol levels, in comparison with non-user controls. The present results are consistent with the bio-energetic stress model for Ecstasy/MDMA, which predicts that repeated stimulant drug use may increase cortisol production acutely, and result in greater deposits of the hormone in hair. These data may also help explain the neurocognitive, psychiatric, and other psychobiological problems of some abstinent users. Future study design and directions for research concerning the psychoneuroendocrinological impact of MDMA are also discussed. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.

  20. Investigation of the mechanisms mediating MDMA "Ecstasy"-induced increases in cerebro-cortical perfusion determined by btASL MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouine, J; Kelly, M E; Jennings-Murphy, C; Duffy, P; Gorman, I; Gormley, S; Kerskens, C M; Harkin, Andrew

    2015-05-01

    Acute administration of the recreational drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; Ecstasy) has previously been shown to increase cerebro-cortical perfusion as determined by bolus-tracking arterial spin labelling (btASL) MRI. The purpose of the current study was to assess the mechanisms mediating these changes following systemic administration of MDMA to rats. Pharmacological manipulation of serotonergic, dopaminergic and nitrergic transmission was carried out to determine the mechanism of action of MDMA-induced increases in cortical perfusion using btASL MRI. Fenfluramine (10 mg/kg), like MDMA (20 mg/kg), increased cortical perfusion. Increased cortical perfusion was not obtained with the 5-HT2 receptor agonist 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl-aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI) (1 mg/kg). Depletion of central 5-HT following systemic administration of the tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor para-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) produced effects similar to those observed with MDMA. Pre-treatment with the 5-HT receptor antagonist metergoline (4 mg/kg) or with the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram (30 mg/kg), however, failed to produce any effect alone or influence the response to MDMA. Pre-treatment with the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (1 mg/kg) failed to influence the changes in cortical perfusion obtained with MDMA. Treatment with the neuronal nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) (25 mg/kg) provoked no change in cerebral perfusion alone yet attenuated the MDMA-related increase in cortical perfusion. Cortical 5-HT depletion is associated with increases in perfusion although this mechanism alone does not account for MDMA-related changes. A role for NO, a key regulator of cerebrovascular perfusion, is implicated in MDMA-induced increases in cortical perfusion.

  1. The prevalence, intensity, and assessment of craving for MDMA/ecstasy in recreational users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Alan K; Rosenberg, Harold

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the prevalence, intensity, and correlates of craving for MDMA/ecstasy among recreational users employing a new multi-item, self-report questionnaire reflecting experiences of desire, intention to use, and anticipated loss of control. Using a web-based data collection procedure, we recruited MDMA/ecstasy users (n = 240) to rate their agreement with eight craving statements immediately before and immediately following 90 seconds of exposure to either ecstasy-related or control stimuli. Participants then completed questionnaires to measure ecstasy refusal self-efficacy, passionate engagement in ecstasy use, substance use history, and demographic information. Fifty percent of participants indicated some level of agreement with at least two (out of eight) statements indicative of craving and 30% agreed at some level with six or more such statements. The questionnaire used to assess craving was internally consistent, unidimensional, and had excellent one-week test-retest reliability. Craving scores varied as a function of both cue exposure and frequency of ecstasy use, and were significantly associated with ecstasy-related attitudes. Recreational users of MDMA/ecstasy endorse some experiences indicative of craving for this drug, even though only a minority report intense craving following explicit cue exposure.

  2. Cannabis co-administration potentiates MDMA effects on temperature and heart rate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G.; Kramers, C.; Sweep, E.; Touw, D.; Van Hasselt, J.; De Kam, M.; Van Gerven, J.; Buitelaar, J.; Verkes, R.J.

    2009-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “ecstasy”) is a frequently used club-drug in Western societies. Ecstasy users generally are multi-drug users, and cannabis (THC) is commonly combined with MDMA. MDMA is a potent psychostimulant, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

  3. Effects of (± 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA on Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Una D. McCann

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abuse of stimulant drugs invariably leads to a disruption in sleep-wake patterns by virtue of the arousing and sleep-preventing effects of these drugs. Certain stimulants, such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, may also have the potential to produce persistent alterations in circadian regulation and sleep because they can be neurotoxic toward brain monoaminergic neurons involved in normal sleep regulation. In particular, MDMA has been found to damage brain serotonin (5-HT neurons in a variety of animal species, including nonhuman primates, with growing evidence that humans are also susceptible to MDMA-induced brain 5-HT neurotoxicity. 5-HT is an important modulator of sleep and circadian rhythms and, therefore, individuals who sustain MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity may be at risk for developing chronic abnormalities in sleep and circadian patterns. In turn, such abnormalities could play a significant role in other alterations reported in abstinent in MDMA users (e.g., memory disturbance. This paper will review preclinical and clinical studies that have explored the effects of prior MDMA exposure on sleep, circadian activity, and the circadian pacemaker, and will highlight current gaps in knowledge and suggest areas for future research.

  4. Rediscovering MDMA (ecstasy): the role of the American chemist Alexander T. Shulgin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzenhöfer, Udo; Passie, Torsten

    2010-08-01

    Alexander T. Shulgin is widely thought of as the 'father' of +/-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). This paper re-assesses his role in the modern history of this drug. We analysed systematically Shulgin's original publications on MDMA, his publications on the history of MDMA and his laboratory notebook. According to Shulgin's book PIHKAL (1991), he synthesized MDMA in 1965, but did not try it. In the 1960s Shulgin also synthesized MDMA-related compounds such as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3-methoxy-4,5-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MMDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), but this had no impact on his rediscovery of MDMA. In the mid-1970s Shulgin learned of a 'special effect' caused by MDMA, whereupon he re-synthesized it and tried it himself in September 1976, as confirmed by his laboratory notebook. In 1977 he gave MDMA to Leo Zeff PhD, who used it as an adjunct to psychotherapy and introduced it to other psychotherapists. Shulgin was not the first to synthesize MDMA, but he played an important role in its history. It seems plausible that he was so impressed by its effects that he introduced it to psychotherapist Zeff in 1977. This, and the fact that in 1978 he published with David Nichols the first paper on the pharmacological action of MDMA in humans, explains why Shulgin is sometimes (erroneously) called the 'father' of MDMA.

  5. Pill content, dose and resulting plasma concentrations of 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in recreational 'ecstasy' users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morefield, Kate M; Keane, Michael; Felgate, Peter; White, Jason M; Irvine, Rodney J

    2011-07-01

    To improve our understanding of the pharmacology of 'ecstasy' in recreational environments; in particular, to describe the composition of ecstasy pills, patterns of ecstasy use and the relationship between dose of 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and resulting plasma concentrations. A naturalistic observational study of 56 experienced 'ecstasy' users in recreational settings in Australia. Drug use patterns (number of pills consumed, other drugs consumed). drug content of pills and resultant plasma concentrations of MDMA and related drugs were assessed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Ecstasy pills generally contained MDMA, but this was often combined with other drugs such as 3,4-ethylendioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) and methamphetamine. The dose of MDMA per pill ranged from 0 to 245 mg and users consumed from one-half to five pills, with the total dose consumed ranging up to 280 mg. Plasma concentrations of MDMA increased with number of pills consumed and cumulative MDMA dose. Use of larger numbers of pills was associated with extended exposure to the drug. MDMA is the major active drug in ecstasy pills, but there is a high degree of variation in doses. Use of multiple pills over the course of one session is common and results in a sustained increase in MDMA plasma concentrations over a number of hours. This is likely to lead to a much greater exposure of the brain to MDMA than would be predicted from controlled single-dose pharmacokinetic studies. © 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  6. Mood disorders and serotonin transporter density in ecstasy users - the influence of long-term abstention, dose, and gender

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Reitsma, Johannes B.; den Heeten, Gerard J.; Booij, Jan; van den Brink, Wim

    2004-01-01

    Rationale. Neurotoxic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") on the serotonin (5-HT) system have been described in animals and humans, but little is known about long-term effects of ecstasy use on mood. Objectives. To investigate short-term and long-term effects of ecstasy

  7. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning

    OpenAIRE

    Young, M B; Andero, R; Ressler, K J; Howell, L L

    2015-01-01

    Acutely administered 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ?ecstasy') has been proposed to have long-term positive effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms when combined with psychotherapy. No preclinical data support a mechanistic basis for these claims. Given the persistent nature of psychotherapeutic gains facilitated by MDMA, we hypothesized that MDMA improves fear extinction learning, a key process in exposure-based therapies for PTSD. In these experiments, mice were ...

  8. A mechanistic insight into MDMA-mediated hepatotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antolino Lobo, I.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304833088

    2011-01-01

    methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a popular drug of abuse among young people that can induce adverse effects. However, these effects lack a specific pattern, as consumption quantities are not correlated with the initiation and severity of the injury. MDMA can cause drug-induced liver

  9. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of amphetamine-like drugs: Application to the screening of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its synthetic precursors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milhazes, Nuno; Martins, Pedro; Uriarte, Eugenio; Garrido, Jorge; Calheiros, Rita; Marques, M. Paula M.; Borges, Fernanda

    2007-01-01

    A complete physicochemical characterisation of MDMA and its synthetic precursors MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (piperonal) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-β-methyl-β-nitrostyrene was carried out through voltammetric assays and Raman spectroscopy combined with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The former provided important analytical redox data, concluding that the oxidative mechanism of the N-demethylation of MDMA involves the removal of an electron from the amino-nitrogen atom, leading to the formation of a primary amine and an aldehyde. The vibrational spectroscopic experiments enable to afford a rapid and reliable detection of this type of compounds, since they yield characteristic spectral patterns that lead to an unequivocal identification. Moreover, the rational synthesis of the drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') from one of its most relevant precursors 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (MDA), is reported. In addition, several approaches for the N-methylation of MDA, a limiting synthetic step, were attempted and the overall yields compared

  10. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of amphetamine-like drugs: Application to the screening of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its synthetic precursors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milhazes, Nuno [CEQOFFUP, Faculdade de Farmacia, Universidade do Porto (Portugal); Departamento de Quimica Organica, Faculdade de Farmacia, Universidade do Porto (Portugal); Instituto Superior de Ciencias da Saude-Norte, Gandra, Paredes (Portugal); Martins, Pedro [Departamento de Quimica Organica, Facultade de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Uriarte, Eugenio [Departamento de Quimica Organica, Facultade de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Garrido, Jorge [Unidade I and D ' Quimica-Fisica Molecular' (Portugal); Departamento de Engenharia Quimica, ISEP, Instituto Politecnico do Porto (Portugal); Calheiros, Rita [Unidade I and D ' Quimica-Fisica Molecular' (Portugal); Marques, M. Paula M. [Unidade I and D ' Quimica-Fisica Molecular' (Portugal); Departamento de Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal); Borges, Fernanda [Departamento de Quimica Organica, Faculdade de Farmacia, Universidade do Porto (Portugal) and Unidade I and D ' Quimica-Fisica Molecular' (Portugal)]. E-mail: fborges@ff.up.pt

    2007-07-23

    A complete physicochemical characterisation of MDMA and its synthetic precursors MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (piperonal) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-{beta}-methyl-{beta}-nitrostyrene was carried out through voltammetric assays and Raman spectroscopy combined with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The former provided important analytical redox data, concluding that the oxidative mechanism of the N-demethylation of MDMA involves the removal of an electron from the amino-nitrogen atom, leading to the formation of a primary amine and an aldehyde. The vibrational spectroscopic experiments enable to afford a rapid and reliable detection of this type of compounds, since they yield characteristic spectral patterns that lead to an unequivocal identification. Moreover, the rational synthesis of the drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') from one of its most relevant precursors 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (MDA), is reported. In addition, several approaches for the N-methylation of MDA, a limiting synthetic step, were attempted and the overall yields compared.

  11. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of amphetamine-like drugs: application to the screening of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its synthetic precursors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milhazes, Nuno; Martins, Pedro; Uriarte, Eugenio; Garrido, Jorge; Calheiros, Rita; Marques, M Paula M; Borges, Fernanda

    2007-07-23

    A complete physicochemical characterisation of MDMA and its synthetic precursors MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (piperonal) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-beta-methyl-beta-nitrostyrene was carried out through voltammetric assays and Raman spectroscopy combined with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The former provided important analytical redox data, concluding that the oxidative mechanism of the N-demethylation of MDMA involves the removal of an electron from the amino-nitrogen atom, leading to the formation of a primary amine and an aldehyde. The vibrational spectroscopic experiments enable to afford a rapid and reliable detection of this type of compounds, since they yield characteristic spectral patterns that lead to an unequivocal identification. Moreover, the rational synthesis of the drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") from one of its most relevant precursors 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (MDA), is reported. In addition, several approaches for the N-methylation of MDA, a limiting synthetic step, were attempted and the overall yields compared.

  12. Êxtase (MDMA: efeitos farmacológicos e tóxicos, mecanismo de ação e abordagem clínica Ecstasy (MDMA: pharmacological and toxic effects, mechanism of action and clinical management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Addison Carvalho Xavier

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available CONTEXTO: O 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (MDMA, êxtase é um derivado da anfetamina, cujo consumo por jovens tem aumentado. OBJETIVOS: Conduzir uma revisão de literatura sobre os aspectos farmacológicos e fisiopatológicos do MDMA, incluindo o mecanismo de ação que possa explicar os efeitos neurotóxicos e a toxicidade aguda e a longo prazo. MÉTODOS: Revisão da literatura usando as palavras-chave: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy, neurotoxicity, intoxication, drug abuse, por intermédio do MEDLINE e LILACS. A busca incluiu todos os artigos publicados no período entre 1985 e 2007. RESULTADOS: Ainda existem muitas questões sem respostas sobre a farmacologia do êxtase e a fisiopatologia dos efeitos tóxicos dessa substância. A simples descrição do mecanismo de ação é insuficiente para explicar todos os efeitos induzidos pelo êxtase. O mecanismo exato responsável por mediar os efeitos tóxicos do MDMA sobre os neurônios da serotonina precisa ser elucidado. CONCLUSÕES: Existem poucas informações na literatura sobre a farmacologia e o mecanismo de ação do MDMA que possam explicar os efeitos neurotóxicos e outros efeitos fisiopatológicos. São necessários mais estudos para que o profissional de saúde possa obter informações e conhecimentos a fim de combater os efeitos terríveis do êxtase na população jovem vulnerável.BACKGROUND: The consumption of the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy by young people increased in the past years. OBJECTIVES: To conduct a literature review on the pharmacology of MDMA and particularly with respect to the putative mechanism of action implicated in the acute and long-term toxicity and neurotoxic effects. METHODS: A literature review using the key words: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy, neurotoxicity, intoxication, abuse drugs was performed in the databases MEDLINE and LILACS. The search covered all articles published between 1985

  13. There's something about Molly: The underresearched yet popular powder form of ecstasy in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J

    2017-01-01

    Molly has been the street name for powder or crystalline ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) in the United States since the early 2000s; however, few studies have examined Molly use or included Molly in the definition of ecstasy/MDMA. Prevalence of self-reported ecstasy use is being underreported on surveys due to the lack of inclusion of "Molly," although Molly is often so adulterated with novel psychoactive substances such as synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") that the name "Molly" may no longer adequately represent ecstasy/MDMA. The author recommends that Molly use and Molly purity be further studied to more adequately inform prevention and harm reduction.

  14. Human psychobiology of MDMA or 'Ecstasy': an overview of 25 years of empirical research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2013-07-01

    This paper aimed to review how scientific knowledge about the human psychobiology of MDMA has developed over time. In this paper, the empirical findings from earlier and later studies will be reviewed. When MDMA was a 'novel psychoactive substance', it was not seen as a drug of abuse, as it displayed loss of efficacy. However, recreational users display a unique pattern of increasing doses, deteriorating cost-benefit ratios, and voluntary cessation. MDMA increases body temperature and thermal stress, with cortisol levels increased by 800% in dance clubbers. It can be extremely euphoric, although negative moods are also intensified. MDMA causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) and has been investigated for cancer therapy because of its anti-lymphoma properties. Recreational users show deficits in retrospective memory, prospective memory, higher cognition, problem solving, and social intelligence. Basic cognitive skills remain intact. Neuroimaging studies show reduced serotonin transporter levels across the cerebral cortex, which are associated with neurocognitive impairments. Deficits also occur in sleep architecture, sleep apnoea, complex vision, pain, neurohormones, and psychiatric status. Ecstasy/MDMA use during pregnancy leads to psychomotor impairments in the children. The damaging effects of Ecstasy/MDMA are far more widespread than was realized a few years ago, with new neuropsychobiological deficits still emerging. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Altered visual perception in long-term ecstasy (MDMA) users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Claire; Brown, John; Edwards, Mark

    2013-09-01

    The present study investigated the long-term consequences of ecstasy use on visual processes thought to reflect serotonergic functions in the occipital lobe. Evidence indicates that the main psychoactive ingredient in ecstasy (methylendioxymethamphetamine) causes long-term changes to the serotonin system in human users. Previous research has found that amphetamine-abstinent ecstasy users have disrupted visual processing in the occipital lobe which relies on serotonin, with researchers concluding that ecstasy broadens orientation tuning bandwidths. However, other processes may have accounted for these results. The aim of the present research was to determine if amphetamine-abstinent ecstasy users have changes in occipital lobe functioning, as revealed by two studies: a masking study that directly measured the width of orientation tuning bandwidths and a contour integration task that measured the strength of long-range connections in the visual cortex of drug users compared to controls. Participants were compared on the width of orientation tuning bandwidths (26 controls, 12 ecstasy users, 10 ecstasy + amphetamine users) and the strength of long-range connections (38 controls, 15 ecstasy user, 12 ecstasy + amphetamine users) in the occipital lobe. Amphetamine-abstinent ecstasy users had significantly broader orientation tuning bandwidths than controls and significantly lower contour detection thresholds (CDTs), indicating worse performance on the task, than both controls and ecstasy + amphetamine users. These results extend on previous research, which is consistent with the proposal that ecstasy may damage the serotonin system, resulting in behavioral changes on tests of visual perception processes which are thought to reflect serotonergic functions in the occipital lobe.

  16. Evidence for chronically altered cortical serotonin function in human female recreational ecstasy (MDMA) polydrug users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Iorio, Christina R; Watkins, Tristan J; Dietrich, Mary S; Cao, Aize; Blackford, Jennifer U; Rogers, Baxter; Ansari, Mohammed S; Baldwin, Ronald M; Li, Rui; Kessler, Robert M; Salomon, Ronald M; Benningfield, Margaret; Cowan, Ronald L

    2012-01-01

    Context MDMA (ecstasy) is a popular recreational drug that produces loss of serotonin (5-HT) axons in animal models. Whether MDMA produces chronic reductions in 5-HT signaling in humans remains controversial. Objective To determine if MDMA use is associated with chronic reductions in serotonin signaling in female human cerebral cortex as reflected by increased 5-HT2A receptors. Design Cross sectional case-control study comparing 5-HT2A receptor levels in abstinent female MDMA polydrug users to MDMA-naive females; within-group design assessing the association of lifetime MDMA use and 5-HT2A receptors. Subjects had at least 90 days abstinence from MDMA use as verified by hair sampling. Cortical 5-HT2A receptor levels were assayed with the 5HT2A-specific Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radioligand [18F]setoperone. Setting Academic Medical Center Research Laboratory. Participants Volunteer female MDMA users (N=14) and MDMA-naive controls (N=10). Main exclusion criteria were non-drug-related DSM-IV axis I psychiatric disorders and general medical illness. Main Outcome Measure Cortical 5-HT2A receptor non-displaceable binding potential (5-HT2ABPND). Results MDMA users had increased 5-HT2ABPND in occipital-parietal (19.7%), temporal (20.5%), occipito-temporal-parietal (18.3%), frontal (16.6%), and fronto-parietal (18.5%) regions (pMDMA use associated positively with 5-HT2ABPND in fronto-parietal (β=0.665;p=0.007), occipito-temporal (β=0.798;p=0.002), fronto-limbic (β=0.634;p=0.024), and frontal (β=0.691;p=0.008) regions. In contrast, there were no regions in which MDMA use was inversely associated with receptor levels. There were no statistically significant effects of the duration of MDMA abstinence on 5-HT2ABPND. Conclusions Human recreational MDMA use is associated with long-lasting increases in 5-HT2A receptor density. 5-HT2A receptor levels correlate positively with lifetime MDMA use and do not decrease with abstinence. These results suggest that MDMA produces

  17. Impact of Cytochrome P450 2D6 Function on the Chiral Blood Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Its Phase I and II Metabolites in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steuer, Andrea E; Schmidhauser, Corina; Tingelhoff, Eva H; Schmid, Yasmin; Rickli, Anna; Kraemer, Thomas; Liechti, Matthias E

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) metabolism is known to be stereoselective, with preference for S-stereoisomers. Its major metabolic step involves CYP2D6-catalyzed demethylenation to 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA), followed by methylation and conjugation. Alterations in CYP2D6 genotype and/or phenotype have been associated with higher toxicity. Therefore, the impact of CYP2D6 function on the plasma pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its phase I and II metabolites was tested by comparing extensive metabolizers (EMs), intermediate metabolizers (IMs), and EMs that were pretreated with bupropion as a metabolic inhibitor in a controlled MDMA administration study. Blood plasma samples were collected from 16 healthy participants (13 EMs and three IMs) up to 24 h after MDMA administration in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period, cross-over design, with subjects receiving 1 week placebo or bupropion pretreatment followed by a single placebo or MDMA (125 mg) dose. Bupropion pretreatment increased the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC24) of R-MDMA (9% and 25%, respectively) and S-MDMA (16% and 38%, respectively). Bupropion reduced the Cmax and AUC24 of the CYP2D6-dependently formed metabolite stereoisomers of DHMA 3-sulfate, DHMA 4-sulfate, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA sulfate and HMMA glucuronide) by approximately 40%. The changes that were observed in IMs were generally comparable to bupropion-pretreated EMs. Although changes in stereoselectivity based on CYP2D6 activity were observed, these likely have low clinical relevance. Bupropion and hydroxybupropion stereoisomer pharmacokinetics were unaltered by MDMA co-administration. The present data might aid further interpretations of toxicity based on CYP2D6-dependent MDMA metabolism.

  18. Impact of Cytochrome P450 2D6 Function on the Chiral Blood Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA and Its Phase I and II Metabolites in Humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea E Steuer

    Full Text Available 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy metabolism is known to be stereoselective, with preference for S-stereoisomers. Its major metabolic step involves CYP2D6-catalyzed demethylenation to 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA, followed by methylation and conjugation. Alterations in CYP2D6 genotype and/or phenotype have been associated with higher toxicity. Therefore, the impact of CYP2D6 function on the plasma pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its phase I and II metabolites was tested by comparing extensive metabolizers (EMs, intermediate metabolizers (IMs, and EMs that were pretreated with bupropion as a metabolic inhibitor in a controlled MDMA administration study. Blood plasma samples were collected from 16 healthy participants (13 EMs and three IMs up to 24 h after MDMA administration in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period, cross-over design, with subjects receiving 1 week placebo or bupropion pretreatment followed by a single placebo or MDMA (125 mg dose. Bupropion pretreatment increased the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC24 of R-MDMA (9% and 25%, respectively and S-MDMA (16% and 38%, respectively. Bupropion reduced the Cmax and AUC24 of the CYP2D6-dependently formed metabolite stereoisomers of DHMA 3-sulfate, DHMA 4-sulfate, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA sulfate and HMMA glucuronide by approximately 40%. The changes that were observed in IMs were generally comparable to bupropion-pretreated EMs. Although changes in stereoselectivity based on CYP2D6 activity were observed, these likely have low clinical relevance. Bupropion and hydroxybupropion stereoisomer pharmacokinetics were unaltered by MDMA co-administration. The present data might aid further interpretations of toxicity based on CYP2D6-dependent MDMA metabolism.

  19. Inhibition of serotonin transporters disrupts the enhancement of fear memory extinction by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Matthew B; Norrholm, Seth D; Khoury, Lara M; Jovanovic, Tanja; Rauch, Sheila A M; Reiff, Collin M; Dunlop, Boadie W; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Howell, Leonard L

    2017-10-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) persistently improves symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when combined with psychotherapy. Studies in rodents suggest that these effects can be attributed to enhancement of fear memory extinction. Therefore, MDMA may improve the effects of exposure-based therapy for PTSD, particularly in treatment-resistant patients. However, given MDMA's broad pharmacological profile, further investigation is warranted before moving to a complex clinical population. We aimed to inform clinical research by providing a translational model of MDMA's effect, and elucidating monoaminergic mechanisms through which MDMA enhances fear extinction. We explored the importance of monoamine transporters targeted by MDMA to fear memory extinction, as measured by reductions in conditioned freezing and fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in mice. Mice were treated with selective inhibitors of individual monoamine transporters prior to combined MDMA treatment and fear extinction training. MDMA enhanced the lasting extinction of FPS. Acute and chronic treatment with a 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) inhibitor blocked MDMA's effect on fear memory extinction. Acute inhibition of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) transporters had no effect. 5-HT release alone did not enhance extinction. Blockade of MDMA's effect by 5-HTT inhibition also downregulated 5-HT 2A -mediated behavior, and 5-HT 2A antagonism disrupted MDMA's effect on extinction. We validate enhancement of fear memory extinction by MDMA in a translational behavioral model, and reveal the importance of 5-HTT and 5-HT 2A receptors to this effect. These observations support future clinical research of MDMA as an adjunct to exposure therapy, and provide important pharmacological considerations for clinical use in a population frequently treated with 5-HTT inhibitors.

  20. Neurotoxicity of drugs of abuse - the case of methylenedioxy amphetamines (MDMA, ecstasy ), and amphetamines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne; Daumann, Joerg

    2009-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA, 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine) and the stimulants methamphetamine (METH, speed) and amphetamine are popular drugs among young people, particularly in the dance scene. When given in high doses both MDMA and the stimulant amphetamines are clearly neurotoxic in laboratory animals. MDMA causes selective and persistent lesions of central serotonergic nerve terminals, whereas amphetamines damage both the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. In recent years, the question of ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity and possible functional sequelae has been addressed in several studies in drug users. Despite large methodological problems, the bulk of evidence suggests residual alterations of serotonergic transmission in MDMA users, although at least partial recovery may occur after long-term abstinence. However, functional sequelae may persist even after longer periods of abstinence. To date, the most consistent findings associate subtle cognitive impairments with ecstasy use, particularly with memory. In contrast, studies on possible long-term neurotoxic effects of stimulant use have been relatively scarce. Preliminary evidence suggests that alterations of the dopaminergic system may persist even after years of abstinence from METH, and may be associated with deficits in motor and cognitive performance. In this paper, we will review the literature focusing on human studies. PMID:19877498

  1. MDMA, serotonergic neurotoxicity, and the diverse functional deficits of recreational 'Ecstasy' users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2013-09-01

    Serotonergic neurotoxicity following MDMA is well-established in laboratory animals, and neuroimaging studies have found lower serotonin transporter (SERT) binding in abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users. Serotonin is a modulator for many different psychobiological functions, and this review will summarize the evidence for equivalent functional deficits in recreational users. Declarative memory, prospective memory, and higher cognitive skills are often impaired. Neurocognitive deficits are associated with reduced SERT in the hippocampus, parietal cortex, and prefrontal cortex. EEG and ERP studies have shown localised reductions in brain activity during neurocognitive performance. Deficits in sleep, mood, vision, pain, psychomotor skill, tremor, neurohormonal activity, and psychiatric status, have also been demonstrated. The children of mothers who take Ecstasy/MDMA during pregnancy have developmental problems. These psychobiological deficits are wide-ranging, and occur in functions known to be modulated by serotonin. They are often related to lifetime dosage, with light users showing slight changes, and heavy users displaying more pronounced problems. In summary, abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users can show deficits in a wide range of biobehavioral functions with a serotonergic component. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. MDMA (Ecstasy) Decreases the Number of Neurons and Stem Cells in Embryonic Cortical Cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kindlundh-Högberg, Anna M S; Pickering, Chris; Wicher, Grzegorz

    2010-01-01

    Ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA), is a recreational drug used among adolescents, including young pregnant women. MDMA passes the placental barrier and may therefore influence fetal development. The aim was to investigate the direct effect of MDMA on cortical cells using dissociated...... CNS cortex of rat embryos, E17. The primary culture was exposed to a single dose of MDMA and collected 5 days later. MDMA caused a dramatic, dose-dependent (100 and 400 muM) decrease in nestin-positive stem cell density, as well as a significant reduction (400 muM) in NeuN-positive cells. By q......PCR, MDMA (200 muM) caused a significant decrease in mRNA expression of the 5HT3 receptor, dopamine D(1) receptor, and glutamate transporter EAAT2-1, as well as an increase in mRNA levels of the NMDA NR1 receptor subunit and the 5HT(1A) receptor. In conclusion, MDMA caused a marked reduction in stem cells...

  3. Toward an Ecstasy and Other Club Drug (EOCD) Prevention Intervention for Rave Attendees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacoubian, George S., Jr.; Miller, Sarah; Pianim, Selwyn; Kunz, Michael; Orrick, Erin; Link, Tanja; Palacios, Wilson R.; Peters, Ronald J.

    2004-01-01

    A growing body of recent research has identified that "rave" attendees are at high risk for the use of "club drugs," such as 3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"). Rave attendees, however, comprise only one of several club-going populations. In the current study, we explore the prevalence of ecstasy and other club drug (EOCD) use…

  4. Acute psychomotor effects of MDMA and ethanol (co-) administration over time in healthy volunteers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G J H; Schoemaker, R C; Touw, D J; Sweep, F C G J; Buitelaar, J K; van Gerven, J M A; Verkes, R J

    In Western societies, a considerable percentage of young people use 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'). The use of alcohol (ethanol) in combination with ecstasy is common. The aim of the present study was to assess the acute psychomotor and subjective effects of (co-)

  5. Acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and methylphenidate on circulating steroid levels in healthy subjects.

    OpenAIRE

    Seibert Julia; Hysek Cédric M; Penno Carlos A; Schmid Yasmin; Kratschmar Denise V; Liechti Matthias E; Odermatt Alex

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and methylphenidate are widely used psychoactive substances. MDMA primarily enhances serotonergic neurotransmission, and methylphenidate increases dopamine but has no serotonergic effects. Both drugs also increase norepinephrine, resulting in sympathomimetic properties. Here we studied the effects of MDMA and methylphenidate on 24-h plasma steroid profiles. Sixteen healthy subjects (eight men, eight women) were treated with single doses of M...

  6. The combined effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and selected substituted methcathinones on measures of neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miner, Nicholas B; O'Callaghan, James P; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2017-05-01

    The rise in popularity of substituted methcathinones (aka "bath salts") has increased the focus on their neurotoxic effects. Two commonly abused methcathinones, 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone, MDMC) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), are often concomitantly ingested with the illicit drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). To examine potential neurotoxic effects of these drug combinations, C57BL/6J mice were administered 4 i.p. injection of the drugs, at 2h intervals, either singularly: MDMA 15 or 30mg/kg, methylone 20mg/kg, MDPV 1mg/kg; or in combination: methylone/MDMA 20/15mg/kg, MDPV/MDMA 1/15mg/kg. Drug effects on thermoregulation were characterized and striatal tissue analyzed after 2 or 7days for dopamine (DA) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) levels, as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression. Two days following drug administration, DA and TH were decreased only in the MDMA 30mg/kg group, whereas GFAP expression was dose-dependently increased by MDMA alone. While the combination of the methcathinones with the lower MDMA dose did not affect DA or TH levels, both blocked the MDMA-induced increase in GFAP expression. Seven days following drug administration, there were no significant differences in DA, TH, or GFAP for any treatment group, indicating that changes in DA, TH, and GFAP were transient. Five of the six drug groups exhibited acute hypothermia followed by gradually increasing temperatures. Animals treated with MDPV did not exhibit these biphasic temperature changes, and resembled the saline group. These results indicate that specific effects of both methylone and MDPV on DA depletion or astrocyte activation in the striatum are not additive with effects of MDMA, but block astrogliosis caused by MDMA alone. Additionally, MDPV modulates thermoregulation through a different mechanism than methylone or MDMA. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. MDMA induces oxytocin release in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G.; Sweep, F.C.G.J.; Van Der Steen, R.V.; Hermsen, R.; Touw, D.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verkes, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: Appropriate social behavior is vital for human health and well-being, nevertheless the neurobiological mechanisms which mediate social behavior remain poorly understood. Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)) is a street drug which gained widespread use in the 'club' scene,

  8. The identification of a chlorinated MDMA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marešová, V.; Hampl, J.; Chundela, Z.; Zrcek, F.; Polášek, Miroslav; Chadt, J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 5 (2005), s. 353-358 ISSN 0146-4760 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40400503 Keywords : designer drugs ecstasy * 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine MDMA * psychomot performance * clinical pharmacology Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 1.785, year: 2005

  9. Cardiac effects of MDMA on the metabolic profile determined with 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the rat†

    OpenAIRE

    Perrine, Shane A.; Michaels, Mark S.; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Hyde, Elisabeth M.; Tancer, Manuel E.; Galloway, Matthew P.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the potential for deleterious (even fatal) effects on cardiac physiology, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) abuse abounds driven mainly by its euphoric effects. Acute exposure to MDMA has profound cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and heart rate in humans and animals. To determine the effects of MDMA on cardiac metabolites in rats, MDMA (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg) was injected every 2 h for a total of four injections; animals were sacrificed 2 h after the last injection...

  10. 5-HT loss in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), p-chloroamphetamine and fenfluramine administration and effects of chlormethiazole and dizocilpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colado, M I; Murray, T K; Green, A R

    1993-03-01

    1. The present study has investigated whether the neurotoxic effects of the relatively selective 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurotoxins, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'Ecstasy'), p-chloroamphetamine (PCA) and fenfluramine on hippocampal and cortical 5-HT terminals in rat brain could be prevented by administration of either chlormethiazole or dizocilpine. 2. Administration of MDMA (20 mg kg-1, i.p.) resulted in an approximate 30% loss of cortical and hippocampal 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) content 4 days later. Injection of chlormethiazole (50 mg kg-1) 5 min before and 55 min after the MDMA provided complete protection in both regions, while dizocilpine (1 mg kg-1, i.p.) protected only the hippocampus. 3. Administration of a single dose of chlormethiazole (100 mg kg-1) 20 min after the MDMA also provided complete protection to the hippocampus but not the cortex. This regime also attenuated the sustained hyperthermia (approx +2.5 degrees C) induced by the MDMA injection. 4. Injection of PCA (5 mg kg-1, i.p.) resulted in a 70% loss of 5-HT and 5-HIAA content in hippocampus and cortex 4 days later. Injection of chlormethiazole (100 mg kg-1, i.p.) or dizocilpine (1 mg kg-1, i.p.) 5 min before and 55 min after the PCA failed to protect against the neurotoxicity, nor was protection afforded by chlormethiazole when a lower dose of PCA (2.5 mg kg-1, i.p.) was given which produced only a 30% loss of 5-HT content. Chlormethiazole did prevent the hyperthermia induced by PCA (5 mg kg-1), while the lower dose of PCA (2.5 mg kg-1) did not produce a change in body temperature.5. Neither chlormethiazole nor dizocilpine prevented the neurotoxic loss of hippocampal or cortical 5-HT neurones measured 4 days following administration of fenfluramine (25 mg kg-1, i.p.).6. In general, chlormethiazole and dizocilpine were effective antagonists of the 5-HT-mediated behaviours of head weaving and forepaw treading which appeared following injection of all three

  11. MDMA ("ecstasy") abuse as an example of dopamine neuroplasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Susan

    2011-04-01

    A number of reviews have focused on the short- and long-term effects of MDMA and, in particular, on the persistent deficits in serotonin neurotransmission that accompany some exposure regimens. The mechanisms underlying the serotonin deficits and their relevance to various behavioral and cognitive consequences of MDMA use are still being debated. It has become clear, however, that some individuals develop compulsive and uncontrolled drug-taking that is consistent with abuse. For other drugs of abuse, this transition has been attributed to neuroadaptations in central dopamine mechanisms that occur as a function of repeated drug exposure. A question remains as to whether similar neuroadaptations occur as a function of exposure to MDMA and the impact of serotonin neurotoxicity in the transition from use to abuse. This review focuses specifically on this issue by first providing an overview of human studies and then reviewing the animal literature with specific emphasis on paradigms that measure subjective effects of drugs and self-administration as indices of abuse liability. It is suggested that serotonin deficits resulting from repeated exposure to MDMA self-administration lead to a sensitized dopaminergic response to the drug and that this sensitized response renders MDMA comparable to other drugs of abuse. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Contribution of Impulsivity and Serotonin Receptor Neuroadaptations to the Development of an MDMA ('Ecstasy') Substance Use Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Susan; Aronsen, Dane

    As is the case with other drugs of abuse, a proportion of ecstasy users develop symptoms consistent with a substance use disorder (SUD). In this paper, we propose that the pharmacology of MDMA, the primary psychoactive component of ecstasy tablets, changes markedly with repeated exposure and that neuroadaptations in dopamine and serotonin brain systems underlie the shift from MDMA use to MDMA misuse in susceptible subjects. Data from both the human and laboratory animal literature are synthesized to support the idea that (1) MDMA becomes a less efficacious serotonin releaser and a more efficacious dopamine releaser with the development of behaviour consistent with an SUD and (2) that upregulated serotonin receptor mechanisms contribute to the development of the MDMA SUD via dysregulated inhibitory control associated with the trait of impulsivity.

  13. Acute psychomotor, memory and subjective effects of MDMA and THC co-administration over time in healthy volunteers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G.J.H.; Van Hasselt, J.G.C.; De Kam, M.; Van Gerven, J.M.A.; Touw, D.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verkes, R.J.

    In Western societies a considerable percentage of young people expose themselves to the combination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') and cannabis. The aim of the present study was to assess the acute effects of co-administration of MDMA and THC (the main psychoactive compound

  14. Navigating intimacy with ecstasy: The emotional, \\ud spatial and boundaried dynamics of couples’ MDMA \\ud experiences

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, Katie

    2017-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or ‘ecstasy’) is well-known for its\\ud empathic and sociable effects (Bogt, Engels, Hibbel & Van Wel, 2002). Indeed, there \\ud is a body of work that discusses the role the drug plays in social bonding (Beck &\\ud Rosenbaum, 1998; Duff, 2008; Farrugia, 2015; Hinchliff, 2001; Solowij, Hall & Lee, \\ud 1992). However, there has been extremely limited research looking at MDMA’s \\ud impact specifically on romantic relationships (Vervaeke & Korf, 2006). Hence...

  15. Sex differences in abuse-related neurochemical and behavioral effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazenka, M F; Suyama, J A; Bauer, C T; Banks, M L; Negus, S S

    2017-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a substrate for dopamine (DA), norepinephrine and serotonin (5HT) transporters that produces greater pharmacological effects on certain endpoints in females than males in both clinical and rodent preclinical studies. To evaluate potential for sex differences in abuse-related MDMA effects, the present study compared MDMA effects on intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and on in vivo microdialysis measurements of DA or 5HT in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in female and male Sprague-Dawley rats. For ICSS studies, electrodes were implanted in the medial forebrain bundle and rats trained to press for electrical stimulation over a range of frequencies (56-158Hz, 0.05 log increments) under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule, and the potency (0.32-3.2mg/kg, 10min pretreatment) and time course (3.2. mg/kg, 10-180min pretreatment) of MDMA effects were determined. For in vivo microdialysis, rats were implanted with bilateral guide cannulae targeting the NAc, and the time course of MDMA effects (1.0-3.2mg/kg, 0-180min) on DA and 5HT was determined. MDMA produced qualitatively similar effects in both sexes on ICSS (both increases in low ICSS rates maintained by low brain-stimulation frequencies and decreases in high ICSS rates maintained by high brain-stimulation frequencies) and microdialysis (increases in both DA and 5HT). The duration and peak levels of both abuse-related ICSS facilitation and increases in NAc DA were longer in females. MDMA was also more potent to increase 5HT in females. These results provide evidence for heightened sensitivity of females to abuse-related behavioral and neurochemical effects of MDMA in rats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Occipital cortical proton MRS at 4 Tesla in human moderate MDMA polydrug users

    OpenAIRE

    Cowan, Ronald L.; Bolo, Nicolas R.; Dietrich, Mary; Haga, Erica; Lukas, Scott E.; Renshaw, Perry F.

    2007-01-01

    The recreational drug MDMA (3,4, methylenedioxymethamphetamine; sold under the street name of Ecstasy) is toxic to serotonergic axons in some animal models of MDMA administration. In humans, MDMA use is associated with alterations in markers of brain function that are pronounced in occipital cortex. Among neuroimaging methods, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies of brain metabolites N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and myoinositol (MI) at a field strength of 1.5 Tesla (T) reveal inconsistent...

  17. The external gate of the human and Drosophila serotonin transporters requires a basic/acidic amino acid pair for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) translocation and the induction of substrate efflux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sealover, Natalie R; Felts, Bruce; Kuntz, Charles P; Jarrard, Rachel E; Hockerman, Gregory H; Lamb, Patrick W; Barker, Eric L; Henry, L Keith

    2016-11-15

    The substituted amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), is a widely used drug of abuse that induces non-exocytotic release of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine through their cognate transporters as well as blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitter by the same transporters. The resulting dramatic increase in volume transmission and signal duration of neurotransmitters leads to psychotropic, stimulant, and entactogenic effects. The mechanism by which amphetamines drive reverse transport of the monoamines remains largely enigmatic, however, promising outcomes for the therapeutic utility of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder and the long-time use of the dopaminergic and noradrenergic-directed amphetamines in treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy increases the importance of understanding this phenomenon. Previously, we identified functional differences between the human and Drosophila melanogaster serotonin transporters (hSERT and dSERT, respectively) revealing that MDMA is an effective substrate for hSERT but not dSERT even though serotonin is a potent substrate for both transporters. Chimeric dSERT/hSERT transporters revealed that the molecular components necessary for recognition of MDMA as a substrate was linked to regions of the protein flanking transmembrane domains (TM) V through IX. Here, we performed species-scanning mutagenesis of hSERT, dSERT and C. elegans SERT (ceSERT) along with biochemical and electrophysiological analysis and identified a single amino acid in TM10 (Glu394, hSERT; Asn484, dSERT, Asp517, ceSERT) that is primarily responsible for the differences in MDMA recognition. Our findings reveal that an acidic residue is necessary at this position for MDMA recognition as a substrate and serotonin releaser. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Inhibition of mirtazapine metabolism by Ecstasy (MDMA) in isolated perfused rat liver model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamshidfar, Sanaz; Ardakani, Yalda H; Lavasani, Hoda; Rouini, Mohammadreza

    2017-06-28

    Nowadays MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine), known as ecstasy, is widely abused among the youth because of euphoria induction in acute exposure. However, abusers are predisposed to depression in chronic consumption of this illicit compound. Mirtazapine (MRZ), an antidepressant agent, may be prescribed in MDMA-induced depression. MRZ is extensively metabolized in liver by CYP450 isoenzymes. 8-hydroxymirtazapine (8-OH) is mainly produced by CYP2D6. N-desmethylmirtazapine (NDES) is generated by CYP3A4. MDMA is also metabolized by the mentioned isoenzymes and demonstrates mechanism-based inhibition (MBI) in association with CYP2D6. Several studies revealed that MDMA showed inhibitory effects on CYP3A4. In the present study, our aim was to evaluate the impact of MDMA on the metabolism of MRZ in liver. Therefore, isolated perfused rat liver model was applied as our model of choice in this assessment. The subjects of the study were categorized into two experimental groups. Rats in the control group received MRZ-containing Krebs-Henselit buffer (1 μg/ml). Rats in the treatment group received aqueous solution of 1 mg/ml MDMA (3 mg/kg) intraperitoneally 1 hour before receiving MRZ. Perfusate samples were analyzed by HPLC. Analyses of perfusate samples showed 80% increase in the parent drug concentrations and 50% decrease in the concentrations of both metabolites in our treatment group compared to the control group. In the treatment group compared to the control group, AUC (0-120) of the parent drug demonstrated 50% increase and AUC (0-120) of 8-OH and NDES showed 70% and 60% decrease, respectively. Observed decrease in metabolic ratios were 83% and 79% for 8-OH and NDES in treatment group compared to control group, respectively. Hepatic clearance (CL h ) and intrinsic clearance (Cl int ) showed 20% and 60% decrease in treatment group compared to control group. All findings prove the inhibitory effects of ecstasy on both CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 hepatic isoenzymes. In

  19. Two Simulation Cases to Prepare for a Public Festival: Pediatric Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Ingestion and Alcohol Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, Karen; Cochran, Christina

    2018-01-01

    Introduction Emergency departments (EDs) see a surge of intoxicated patients during large public summer events. These patients can be distracting and complicated for ED staff to care for. Methods We developed two cases to prepare emergency department staff for an anticipated surge of patients related to a large music festival that occurs proximal to our pediatric hospital. We developed and performed cases of simulated patients with alcohol intoxication and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) ingestion to review medical management of these patients, as well as to review many of the social aspects of the cases. We surveyed simulation (sim) session participants to assess the degree to which the sessions were helpful and to glean ideas on how to improve sessions for future use. Results Over the course of two years, we have hosted eight simulations, for a total of 57 participants comprising various healthcare roles. We achieved an 85% response rate in the post-simulation surveys. The sessions were overall well-received and left participants feeling better prepared to care for intoxicated patients. Discussion Despite having a large number of staff from many disciplines working varied schedules, we were able to provide simulation training to many of them in preparation for an expected surge of intoxicated patients. Participants appreciated the training and gave feedback to improve sessions in the future. PMID:29686959

  20. Mixtures of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) and its major human metabolites act additively to induce significant toxicity to liver cells when combined at low, non-cytotoxic concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Diana Dias; Silva, Elisabete; Carvalho, Félix; Carmo, Helena

    2014-06-01

    Hepatic injury after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) intoxications is highly unpredictable and does not seem to correlate with either dosage or frequency of use. The mechanisms involved include the drug metabolic bioactivation and the hyperthermic state of the liver triggered by its thermogenic action and exacerbated by the environmental circumstances of abuse at hot and crowded venues. We became interested in understanding the interaction between ecstasy and its metabolites generated in vivo as users are always exposed to mixtures of parent drug and metabolites. With this purpose, Hep G2 cells were incubated with MDMA and its main human metabolites methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), α-methyldopamine (α-MeDA) and N-methyl-α-methyldopamine (N-Me-α-MeDA), individually and in mixture (drugs combined in proportion to their individual EC01 ), at normal (37 °C) and hyperthermic (40.5 °C) conditions. After 48 h, viability was assessed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Extensive concentration-response analysis was performed with single drugs and the parameters of the individual non-linear logit fits were used to predict joint effects using the well-founded models of concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA). Experimental testing revealed that mixture effects on cell viability conformed to CA, for both temperature settings. Additionally, substantial combination effects were attained even when each substance was present at concentrations that individually produced unnoticeable effects. Hyperthermic incubations dramatically increased the toxicity of the tested drug and metabolites, both individually and combined. These outcomes suggest that MDMA metabolism has hazard implications to liver cells even when metabolites are found in low concentrations, as they contribute additively to the overall toxic effect of MDMA. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Distribution of temperature changes and neurovascular coupling in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,‘ecstasy’) exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coman, Daniel; Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G.; Jiang, Lihong; Hyder, Fahmeed; Behar, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    (+/−)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) is an abused psychostimulant producing strong monoaminergic stimulation and whole-body hyperthermia. MDMA-induced thermogenesis involves activation of uncoupling proteins (UCP), primarily a type specific to skeletal muscle (UCP-3) and which is absent in brain, although other UCP types are expressed in brain (e.g., thalamus) and might contribute to thermogenesis. Since neuroimaging of brain temperature could provide insights of MDMA action, we measured spatial distributions of systemically-administered MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in rat cortex and subcortex using a novel magnetic resonance method, Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation of Shifts (BIRDS), with an exogenous temperature-sensitive probe (thulium ion and macrocyclic chelate 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetramethyl-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate (DOTMA4−)). The MDMA-induced temperature rise in cortex was greater than in subcortex (1.6±0.4°C vs. 1.3±0.4°C) and occurred more rapidly (2.0±0.2°C/h vs. 1.5±0.2°C/h). MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in cortex and body were correlated, although body temperature exceeded cortex before and after MDMA. Temperature, neuronal activity, and blood flow (CBF) were measured simultaneously in cortex and subcortex (i.e., thalamus) to investigate possible differences of MDMA-induced warming across brain regions. MDMA-induced warming correlated with increases in neuronal activity and blood flow in cortex, suggesting that the normal neurovascular response to increased neural activity was maintained. In contrast to cortex, a biphasic relationship was seen in subcortex (i.e., thalamus), with a decline in CBF as temperature and neural activity rose, transitioning to a rise in CBF for temperature >37°C, suggesting that MDMA affected CBF and neurovascular coupling differently in subcortical regions. Considering that MDMA effects on CBF and heat dissipation (as well as

  2. Ecstasy tablets intoxication with lethal autcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đorđević Snežana

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, is a synthetic compound increasingly popular as a recreational drug. Tablets known as ecstasy contain MDMA, but may also contain caffeine, ephedrine, paramethoxyamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and ketamine. After absorption MDMA is metabolized to MDA, 4-hydroxy-3- metoxymetamphetamine (HMMA and 4-hydroxy-3- metoxyamphetamine (HMA. After that HMMA and HMA are conjugated and excreted by urine. The aim of this report was to confirm by toxicological post mortem analyses of poisoned person organs that ecstasy had been the cause of his death. Case report. We reported the death of a 17-year-old boy after the ingestion of ecstasy. MDMA and metabolites were determined by multicolumn high performance liquid chromatography with UV spectral detection (HPLC-UV. Toxicological tests showed the presence of MDMA in all samples. When examining post mortem material (the organs, the highest concentrations were measured in the stomach (835,97 μg/g and kidney (801,14 μg/g. The minimal concentration was in the liver (22,26 μg/g. Conclusion. The obtained results of MDMA and its metabolites concentrations showed abuse of a high dose of ecstasy. .

  3. Ecstasy (MDMA) Alters Cardiac Gene Expression and DNA Methylation: Implications for Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction in the Heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koczor, Christopher A; Ludlow, Ivan; Hight, Robert S; Jiao, Zhe; Fields, Earl; Ludaway, Tomika; Russ, Rodney; Torres, Rebecca A; Lewis, William

    2015-11-01

    MDMA (ecstasy) is an illicit drug that stimulates monoamine neurotransmitter release and inhibits reuptake. MDMA's acute cardiotoxicity includes tachycardia and arrhythmia which are associated with cardiomyopathy. MDMA acute cardiotoxicity has been explored, but neither long-term MDMA cardiac pathological changes nor epigenetic changes have been evaluated. Microarray analyses were employed to identify cardiac gene expression changes and epigenetic DNA methylation changes. To identify permanent MDMA-induced pathogenetic changes, mice received daily 10- or 35-day MDMA, or daily 10-day MDMA followed by 25-day saline washout (10 + 25 days). MDMA treatment caused differential gene expression (p 1.5) in 752 genes following 10 days, 558 genes following 35 days, and 113 genes following 10-day MDMA + 25-day saline washout. Changes in MAPK and circadian rhythm gene expression were identified as early as 10 days. After 35 days, circadian rhythm genes (Per3, CLOCK, ARNTL, and NPAS2) persisted to be differentially expressed. MDMA caused DNA hypermethylation and hypomethylation that was independent of gene expression; hypermethylation of genes was found to be 71% at 10 days, 68% at 35 days, and 91% at 10 + 25 days washout. Differential gene expression paralleled DNA methylation in 22% of genes at 10-day treatment, 17% at 35 days, and 48% at 10 + 25 days washout. We show here that MDMA induced cardiac epigenetic changes in DNA methylation where hypermethylation predominated. Moreover, MDMA induced gene expression of key elements of circadian rhythm regulatory genes. This suggests a fundamental organism-level event to explain some of the etiologies of MDMA dysfunction in the heart. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. MDMA (ecstasy/molly) use among African Americans: The perceived influence of hip-hop/rap music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigg, Khary K; Estreet, Anthony T

    2018-02-12

    Over the past two decades, the demographic profile of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) users has changed. In particular, African American MDMA use has risen in some cities. One explanation of this new trend is the drug's recent popularity (as molly) in hip-hop/rap (HHR) music. Several top rappers endorse the drug as a way to have fun or get women "loose." There are currently no studies, however, that investigate the extent to which African American MDMA users listen to HHR music or the influence that these pro-MDMA messages have on their use of the drug. To address this gap, the current study used survey data to (a) identify the extent to which HHR music is listened to by African American MDMA users and (b) assess the perceived influence of HHR music on their decision to begin using. Qualitative interview data are also presented to contextualize the influence of these messages on their use of MDMA. The findings of this study suggest that African American MDMA users are high consumers of HHR music and that pro-MDMA messages in HHR music are influencing their expectations of the drug and their decision to initiate use. These findings add to the limited amount of research on African American MDMA use and have the potential to inform future interventions.

  5. Detection of "bath salts" and other novel psychoactive substances in hair samples of ecstasy/MDMA/"Molly" users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Salomone, Alberto; Vincenti, Marco; Cleland, Charles M

    2016-04-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) in the US is commonly adulterated with other drugs, but research has not focused on purity of ecstasy since the phenomenon of "Molly" (ecstasy marketed as pure MDMA) arose in the US. We piloted a rapid electronic survey in 2015 to assess use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other drugs among 679 nightclub/festival-attending young adults (age 18-25) in New York City. A quarter (26.1%) of the sample provided a hair sample to be analyzed for the presence of select synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") and some other NPS. Samples were analyzed using fully validated UHPLC-MS/MS methods. To examine consistency of self-report, analyses focused on the 48 participants with an analyzable hair sample who reported lifetime ecstasy/MDMA/Molly use. Half (50.0%) of the hair samples contained MDMA, 47.9% contained butylone, and 10.4% contained methylone. Of those who reported no lifetime use of "bath salts", stimulant NPS, or unknown pills or powders, about four out of ten (41.2%) tested positive for butylone, methylone, alpha-PVP, 5/6-APB, or 4-FA. Racial minorities were more likely to test positive for butylone or test positive for NPS after reporting no lifetime use. Frequent nightclub/festival attendance was the strongest predictor of testing positive for MDMA, butylone, or methylone. Results suggest that many ecstasy-using nightclub/festival attendees may be unintentionally using "bath salts" or other NPS. Prevention and harm reduction education is needed for this population and "drug checking" (e.g., pill testing) may be beneficial for those rejecting abstinence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Caffeine provokes adverse interactions with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) and related psychostimulants: mechanisms and mediators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanattou-Saïfoudine, N; McNamara, R; Harkin, A

    2012-01-01

    Concomitant consumption of caffeine with recreational psychostimulant drugs of abuse can provoke severe acute adverse reactions in addition to longer term consequences. The mechanisms by which caffeine increases the toxicity of psychostimulants include changes in body temperature regulation, cardiotoxicity and lowering of the seizure threshold. Caffeine also influences the stimulatory, discriminative and reinforcing effects of psychostimulant drugs. In this review, we consider our current understanding of such caffeine-related drug interactions, placing a particular emphasis on an adverse interaction between caffeine and the substituted amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’), which has been most recently described and characterized. Co-administration of caffeine profoundly enhances the acute toxicity of MDMA in rats, as manifested by high core body temperature, tachycardia and increased mortality. In addition, co-administration of caffeine enhances the long-term serotonergic neurotoxicity induced by MDMA. Observations to date support an interactive model of drug-induced toxicity comprising MDMA-related enhancement of dopamine release coupled to a caffeine-mediated antagonism of adenosine receptors in addition to inhibition of PDE. These experiments are reviewed together with reports of caffeine-related drug interactions with cocaine, d-amphetamine and ephedrine where similar mechanisms are implicated. Understanding the underlying mechanisms will guide appropriate intervention strategies for the management of severe reactions and potential for increased drug-related toxicity, resulting from concomitant caffeine consumption. PMID:22671762

  7. Motivations for Using MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) among African Americans: Implications for Prevention and Harm-Reduction Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigg, Khary K

    2017-01-01

    Despite the growing popularity of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) among African Americans, their motives for using the drug are still largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the most salient motivations for using MDMA among this understudied population. In-depth interviews (n = 15) were conducted with a sample of African American young adults in Southwest Florida between August 2014 and November 2015. The primary motivations for using MDMA included: (1) altering the effects of marijuana and alcohol; (2) lasting longer sexually; (3) enhancing sexual pleasure; and (4) facilitating "freaky" sexual experiences. This is the first study to directly examine MDMA motivations specifically among African American drug users, and findings shed light on why some African Americans use MDMA. A better understanding of why African Americans use this drug should help to inform prevention and harm-reduction efforts. Study findings show the need for health messages that include the potential consequences of mixing MDMA with other drugs, and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors after taking MDMA. These data contrast with motivations (e.g., introspection, self-enlightenment, getting into the music) commonly reported among groups of largely White MDMA users, suggesting that interventions tailored specifically for African American users are needed.

  8. The solid-state terahertz spectrum of MDMA (Ecstasy) - A unique test for molecular modeling assignments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allis, Damian G.; Hakey, Patrick M.; Korter, Timothy M.

    2008-10-01

    The terahertz (THz, far-infrared) spectrum of 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine hydrochloride (Ecstasy) is simulated using solid-state density functional theory. While a previously reported isolated-molecule calculation is noteworthy for the precision of its solid-state THz reproduction, the solid-state calculation predicts that the isolated-molecule modes account for only half of the spectral features in the THz region, with the remaining structure arising from lattice vibrations that cannot be predicted without solid-state molecular modeling. The molecular origins of the internal mode contributions to the solid-state THz spectrum, as well as the proper consideration of the protonation state of the molecule, are also considered.

  9. Ecstasy-Associated Pneumomediastinum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marasco, Silvana F; Lim, H Kiat

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Ecstasy, also known as MDMA (3,4, methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a popular illicit party drug amongst young adults. The drug induces a state of euphoria secondary to its stimulant activity in the central nervous system. PATIENTS AND METHODS A database review at two major inner city hospitals was undertaken to identify patients presenting with pneumomediastinum and their charts reviewed. A Medline review of all reported cases of pneumomediastinum associated with ecstasy abuse was undertaken. RESULTS A total of 56 patients presenting with pneumomediastinum were identified over a 5-year period. Review of the charts revealed a history of ecstasy use in the hours prior to presentation in six of these patients, representing the largest series reported to date. CONCLUSIONS Review of previously reported cases reveals the likely mechanism is due to Valsalva manoeuvre during periods of extreme physical exertion, and not a direct pharmacological effect of the drug. PMID:17535617

  10. The Effects of Ecstasy (MDMA) on Brain Serotonin Transporters Are Dependent on Age-of-First Exposure in Recreational Users and Animals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klomp, Anne; den Hollander, Bjørnar; de Bruin, Kora; Booij, Jan; Reneman, Liesbeth

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Little is known on the effects of ecstasy (MDMA, a potent 5-HT-releaser and neurotoxin) exposure on brain development in teenagers. The objective of this study was to investigate whether in humans, like previous observations made in animals, the effects of MDMA on the 5-HT system are

  11. Separating the agony from ecstasy: R(-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine has prosocial and therapeutic-like effects without signs of neurotoxicity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Daniel W; Young, Matthew B; Tran, Andrew N; Daoud, Georges E; Howell, Leonard L

    2018-01-01

    S,R(+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (SR-MDMA) is an amphetamine derivative with prosocial and putative therapeutic effects. Ongoing clinical trials are investigating it as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions. However, its potential for adverse effects such as hyperthermia and neurotoxicity may limit its clinical viability. We investigated the hypothesis that one of the two enantiomers of SR-MDMA, R-MDMA, would retain the prosocial and therapeutic effects but with fewer adverse effects. Using male Swiss Webster and C57BL/6 mice, the prosocial effects of R-MDMA were measured using a social interaction test, and the therapeutic-like effects were assessed using a Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction paradigm relevant to PTSD. Locomotor activity and body temperature were tracked after administration, and neurotoxicity was evaluated post-mortem. R-MDMA significantly increased murine social interaction and facilitated extinction of conditioned freezing. Yet, unlike racemic MDMA, it did not increase locomotor activity, produce signs of neurotoxicity, or increase body temperature. A key pharmacological difference between R-MDMA and racemic MDMA is that R-MDMA has much lower potency as a dopamine releaser. Pretreatment with a selective dopamine D1 receptor antagonist prevented SR-MDMA-induced hyperthermia, suggesting that differential dopamine signaling may explain some of the observed differences between the treatments. Together, these results indicate that the prosocial and therapeutic effects of SR-MDMA may be separable from the stimulant, thermogenic, and potential neurotoxic effects. To what extent these findings translate to humans will require further investigation, but these data suggest that R-MDMA could be a more viable therapeutic option for the treatment of PTSD and other disorders for which SR-MDMA is currently being investigated. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The effect of the substituted amphetamines, 2.4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and P-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), on platelet aggregation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sluggett, A.J.; Irvine, R.J.; Bochner, F.; Rodgers, S.; Lloyd, J.V.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: Illicit substituted amphetamines such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and p-methoxyamphetamine (PMA) can cause severe toxicity. Disruption of normal coagulation mechanisms have been observed in most fatal cases. However, the precise mechanisms underlying these events are not clearly understood. MDMA and PMA are known to inhibit serotonin transporter function in the central nervous system (Daws et al 2000) and platelet serotonin transporter sites (Rudnick and Wall 1992). Serotonin is in high concentrations in platelets and activation of 5HT 2 receptors on the platelet surface potentiates aggregation of platelets. Therefore, we postulated that MDMA and PMA may have effects on coagulation via inhibition of normal platelet function. Human citrated platelets were incubated in the presence of MDMA (43- 435μM) or PMA (49-498μM) and their aggregator y response to a critical dose of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) determined. These responses were compared to the serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (13-130μM). All 3 compounds were found to inhibit platelet aggregation. The IC50s for % aggregation at 5 minutes were MDMA 197μM ± 63μM PMA 344μM ±76μM and fluoxetine 24μM ±1 1μM (n=4). The effect of these drugs on the uptake of 14 C-5HT (0.9 μM /ml) into platelets was also determined and the IC50s observed were MDMA 62.3 μM ±11μM , PMA 24μM ±6μM and fluoxetine 2.5μM ± 0.6μM (n=4). The in vitro effects of MDMA and PMA on aggregation and uptake observed here are close to concentrations reported to have occurred in human fatalities. Therefore it is possible that direct effects of these drugs on coagulation mechanisms may contribute to the toxicity of these compounds. Copyright (2001) Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists

  13. Ecstasy (MDMA and its effects on kidneys and their treatment: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feyza Bora

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Ecstasy (MDMA; 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine is an illicit drug that has been increasingly abused by young people. Its effects include euphoria, enhanced sociability and heightened mental awareness. These come about via the increase of serotonin in both the central nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. Despite the drug’s prevalent abuse, serious or adverse effects are rare. Due to personal pharmacokinetics, effects from the same dosage vary according to the individual. Fatal instances may include acute hyponatremia, hyperthermia (>42 °C, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC resulting from hyperthermia affecting the kidneys, and non-traumatic rhabdomyolysis. However, it is seldom the case that hyponatremia and hyperthermia co-exist. Hyponatremia is thought to be caused by HMMA – a metabolite of MDMA. Hyponatremia is caused by the inappropriate secretion of arginine vasopressin (AVP and the excessive intake of hypotonic liquid accompanied by increased hyperthermia. Symptomatic, even deadly hyponatremia is seen more frequently in females, with the effects of oestrogen on arginine vasopressin believed to be the cause. Onset in such cases is acute, and treatment should be given to symptomatic patients as quickly as possible, with 3% saline administered when necessary. Reasons for acute kidney injury may include rhabdomyolysis, malign hypertension, and necrotizing vasculitis.

  14. Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) or 'ecstasy' and self-focused compassion: Preliminary steps in the development of a therapeutic psychopharmacology of contemplative practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamboj, Sunjeev K; Kilford, Emma J; Minchin, Stephanie; Moss, Abigail; Lawn, Will; Das, Ravi K; Falconer, Caroline J; Gilbert, Paul; Curran, H Valerie; Freeman, Tom P

    2015-09-01

    3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) produces diverse pro-social effects. Cognitive training methods rooted in Eastern contemplative practices also produce these effects through the development of a compassionate mindset. Given this similarity, we propose that one potential mechanism of action of MDMA in psychotherapy is through enhancing effects on intrapersonal attitudes (i.e. pro-social attitudes towards the self). We provide a preliminary test of this idea. Recreational MDMA (ecstasy) users were tested on two occasions, having consumed or not consumed ecstasy. Self-critical and self-compassionate responses to self-threatening scenarios were assessed before (T1) and after (T2) ecstasy use (or non-use), and then after compassionate imagery (T3). Moderating roles of dispositional self-criticism and avoidant attachment were examined. Separately, compassionate imagery and ecstasy produced similar sociotropic effects, as well as increases in self-compassion and reductions in self-criticism. Higher attachment-related avoidance was associated with additive effects of compassionate imagery and ecstasy on self-compassion. Findings were in line with MDMA's neuropharmacological profile, its phenomenological effects and its proposed adjunctive use in psychotherapy. However, although conditions were balanced, the experiment was non-blind and MDMA dose/purity was not determined. Controlled studies with pharmaceutically pure MDMA are still needed to test these effects rigorously. © The Author(s) 2015.

  15. Warning against co-administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) with methamphetamine from the perspective of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluations in rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuki, Fuchigami; Rie, Ikeda; Miki, Kuzushima; Mitsuhiro, Wada; Naotaka, Kuroda; Kenichiro, Nakashima

    2013-04-11

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine often cause serious adverse effects (e.g., rhabdomyolysis, and cardiac disease) following hyperthermia triggered by release of brain monoamines such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, evaluation of brain monoamine concentrations is useful to predict these drugs' risks in human. This study aimed to evaluate risks of co-administration of MDMA and methamphetamine, both of which are abused frequently in Japan, based on drug distribution and monoamine level in the rat brain. Rats were allocated to three groups: (1) sole MDMA administration (12 or 25 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), (2) sole methamphetamine administration (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) and (3) co-administration of MDMA (12 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) and methamphetamine (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). We monitored pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variables for drugs and monoamines in the rat brain. Area under the curve for concentration vs. time until 600 min from drug administration (AUC₀₋₆₀₀) increased from 348.0 to 689.8 μgmin/L for MDMA and from 29.9 to 243.4 μMmin for dopamine in response to co-administration of methamphetamine and MDMA compared to sole MDMA (12 mg/kg) administration. After sole methamphetamine or that with MDMA administration, AUC₀₋₆₀₀ of methamphetamine were 401.8 and 671.1 μgmin/L, and AUC₀₋₆₀₀ of dopamine were 159.9 and 243.4 μMmin. In conclusion, the brain had greater exposure to MDMA, methamphetamine and dopamine after co-administration of MDMA and methamphetamine than when these two drugs were given alone. This suggests co-administration of MDMA with methamphetamine confers greater risk than sole administration, and that adverse events of MDMA ingestion may increase when methamphetamine is co-administered. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Tracking Ecstasy Trends in the United States with Data from Three National Drug Surveillance Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacoubian, George S., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    Anecdotal reports have suggested that the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is a prodigious problem across the United States. Unfortunately, no longitudinal evidence exists to support this contention. In the current study, data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), Monitoring the Future (MTF), and…

  17. Cannabis coadministration potentiates the effects of "ecstasy" on heart rate and temperature in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G J; Kramers, C; Sweep, F C; Touw, D J; van Hasselt, J G; de Kam, M; van Gerven, J M; Buitelaar, J K; Verkes, R J

    This study assessed the acute physiologic effects over time of (co)administration of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) (the main psychoactive compound of cannabis) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") in 16 healthy volunteers. Pharmacokinetics and cardiovascular,

  18. Dorsal hippocampal NMDA receptors mediate the interactive effects of arachidonylcyclopropylamide and MDMA/ecstasy on memory retrieval in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaderi, Marzieh; Rezayof, Ameneh; Vousooghi, Nasim; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-04-03

    A combination of cannabis and ecstasy may change the cognitive functions more than either drug alone. The present study was designed to investigate the possible involvement of dorsal hippocampal NMDA receptors in the interactive effects of arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA) and ecstasy/MDMA on memory retrieval. Adult male Wistar rats were cannulated into the CA1 regions of the dorsal hippocampus (intra-CA1) and memory retrieval was examined using the step-through type of passive avoidance task. Intra-CA1 microinjection of a selective CB1 receptor agonist, ACPA (0.5-4ng/rat) immediately before the testing phase (pre-test), but not after the training phase (post-training), impaired memory retrieval. In addition, pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of MDMA (0.5-1μg/rat) dose-dependently decreased step-through latency, indicating an amnesic effect of the drug by itself. Interestingly, pre-test microinjection of a higher dose of MDMA into the CA1 regions significantly improved ACPA-induced memory impairment. Moreover, pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of a selective NMDA receptor antagonist, D-AP5 (1 and 2μg/rat) inhibited the reversal effect of MDMA on the impairment of memory retrieval induced by ACPA. Pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of the same doses of D-AP5 had no effect on memory retrieval alone. These findings suggest that ACPA or MDMA consumption can induce memory retrieval impairment, while their co-administration improves this amnesic effect through interacting with hippocampal glutamatergic-NMDA receptor mechanism. Thus, it seems that the tendency to abuse cannabis with ecstasy may be for avoiding cognitive dysfunction. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. MDMA enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M; Schmid, Yasmin; Simmler, Linda D; Domes, Gregor; Heinrichs, Markus; Eisenegger, Christoph; Preller, Katrin H; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') releases serotonin and norepinephrine. MDMA is reported to produce empathogenic and prosocial feelings. It is unknown whether MDMA in fact alters empathic concern and prosocial behavior. We investigated the acute effects of MDMA using the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET), dynamic Face Emotion Recognition Task (FERT) and Social Value Orientation (SVO) test. We also assessed effects of MDMA on plasma levels of hormones involved in social behavior using a placebo-controlled, double-blind, random-order, cross-over design in 32 healthy volunteers (16 women). MDMA enhanced explicit and implicit emotional empathy in the MET and increased prosocial behavior in the SVO test in men. MDMA did not alter cognitive empathy in the MET but impaired the identification of negative emotions, including fearful, angry and sad faces, in the FERT, particularly in women. MDMA increased plasma levels of cortisol and prolactin, which are markers of serotonergic and noradrenergic activity, and of oxytocin, which has been associated with prosocial behavior. In summary, MDMA sex-specifically altered the recognition of emotions, emotional empathy and prosociality. These effects likely enhance sociability when MDMA is used recreationally and may be useful when MDMA is administered in conjunction with psychotherapy in patients with social dysfunction or post-traumatic stress disorder. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. The effects of 'ecstasy' (MDMA) on visuospatial memory performance: findings from a systematic review with meta-analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Philip N; Bruno, Raimondo; Ryland, Ida; Wareing, Michele; Fisk, John E; Montgomery, Catharine; Hilton, Joanne

    2012-03-01

    To review, with meta-analyses where appropriate, performance differences between ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users and non-users on a wider range of visuospatial tasks than previously reviewed. Such tasks have been shown to draw upon working memory executive resources. Abstract databases were searched using the United Kingdom National Health Service Evidence Health Information Resource. Inclusion criteria were publication in English language peer-reviewed journals and the reporting of new findings regarding human ecstasy-users' performance on visuospatial tasks. Data extracted included specific task requirements to provide a basis for meta-analyses for categories of tasks with similar requirements. Fifty-two studies were identified for review, although not all were suitable for meta-analysis. Significant weighted mean effect sizes indicating poorer performance by ecstasy users compared with matched controls were found for tasks requiring recall of spatial stimulus elements, recognition of figures and production/reproduction of figures. There was no evidence of a linear relationship between estimated ecstasy consumption and effect sizes. Given the networked nature of processing for spatial and non-spatial visual information, future scanning and imaging studies should focus on brain activation differences between ecstasy users and non-users in the context of specific tasks to facilitate identification of loci of potentially compromised activity in users. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Critical Role of Peripheral Vasoconstriction in Fatal Brain Hyperthermia Induced by MDMA (Ecstasy) under Conditions That Mimic Human Drug Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Albert H.; Wakabayashi, Ken T.; Baumann, Michael H.; Shaham, Yavin

    2014-01-01

    MDMA (Ecstasy) is an illicit drug used by young adults at hot, crowed “rave” parties, yet the data on potential health hazards of its abuse remain controversial. Here, we examined the effect of MDMA on temperature homeostasis in male rats under standard laboratory conditions and under conditions that simulate drug use in humans. We chronically implanted thermocouple microsensors in the nucleus accumbens (a brain reward area), temporal muscle, and facial skin to measure temperature continuously from freely moving rats. While focusing on brain hyperthermia, temperature monitoring from the two peripheral locations allowed us to evaluate the physiological mechanisms (i.e., intracerebral heat production and heat loss via skin surfaces) that underlie MDMA-induced brain temperature responses. Our data confirm previous reports on high individual variability and relatively weak brain hyperthermic effects of MDMA under standard control conditions (quiet rest, 22−23°C), but demonstrate dramatic enhancements of drug-induced brain hyperthermia during social interaction (exposure to male conspecific) and in warm environments (29°C). Importantly, we identified peripheral vasoconstriction as a critical mechanism underlying the activity- and state-dependent potentiation of MDMA-induced brain hyperthermia. Through this mechanism, which prevents proper heat dissipation to the external environment, MDMA at a moderate nontoxic dose (9 mg/kg or ∼1/5 of LD50 in rats) can cause fatal hyperthermia under environmental conditions commonly encountered by humans. Our results demonstrate that doses of MDMA that are nontoxic under cool, quiet conditions can become highly dangerous under conditions that mimic recreational use of MDMA at rave parties or other hot, crowded venues. PMID:24899699

  2. Release of [3H]-monoamines from superfused rat striatal slices by methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levin, J.A.; Schmidt, C.J.; Lovenberg, W.

    1986-01-01

    MDMA is a phenylisopropylamine which is reported to have unique behavioral effects in man. Because of its structural similarities to the amphetamines the authors have compared the effects of MDMA and two related amphetamines on the spontaneous release of tritiated dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5HT) from superfused rat striatal slices. At concentrations of 10 -7 - 10 -5 M MDMA and the serotonergic neurotoxin, p-chloroamphetamine, were equipotent releasers of [ 3 H]5HT being approximately 10x more potent than methamphetamine. However, methamphetamine was the more potent releaser of [ 3 H]DA by a factor of approximately 10x. MDMA-induced release of both [ 5 H]5HT and [ 3 H]DA was Ca 2+ -independent and inhibited by selective monoamine uptake blockers suggesting a carrier-dependent release mechanism. Synaptosomal uptake experiments with (+)[ 3 H]MDMA indicated no specific uptake of the drug further suggesting the effect of uptake blockers may be to inhibit the carrier-mediated export of amines displaced by MDMA

  3. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) alters acute gammaherpesvirus burden and limits Interleukin 27 responses in a mouse model of viral infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Daniel A.; Singh, Sam J.; Young, Amy B.; Tolbert, Melanie D.; Bost, Kenneth L.

    2011-01-01

    Aims To test whether 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”) abuse might increase the susceptibility, or alter the immune response, to murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (HV-68) and/or bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Methods Groups of experimental and control mice were subjected to three day binges of MDMA, and the effect of this drug abuse on acute and latent HV-68 viral burden were assessed. In vitro and in vivo studies were also performed to assess the MDMA effect on IL-27 expression in virally infected or LPS-exposed macrophages and dendritic cells, and latently infected animals, exposed to this drug of abuse. Results Acute viral burden was significantly increased in MDMA-treated mice when compared to controls. However the latent viral burden, and physiological and behavioral responses were not altered in infected mice despite repeated bingeing with MDMA. MDMA could limit the IL-27 response of HV-68 infected or LPS-exposed macrophages and dendritic cells in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating the ability of this drug to alter normal cytokine responses in the context of a viral infection and/or a TLR4 agonist. Conclusion MDMA bingeing could alter the host’s immune response resulting in greater acute viral replication and reductions in the production of the cytokine, IL-27 during immune responses. PMID:21269783

  4. Chiral separation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) enantiomers using batch chromatography with peak shaving recycling and its effects on oxidative stress status in rat liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Tiago C; Bósio, Graziela C; Cassiano, Neila M; Cass, Quezia B; Moreau, Regina L M

    2013-01-25

    This work reports the multimiligram separation of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) enantiomers using batch chromatography with peak shaving recycling. The effect of both enantiomers compared to the racemic mixture was examined on the oxidative stress status of rat liver. The enantiomeric purification was performed using a based cyclodextrin chiral selector and methanol:ammonium acetate buffer (pH 6.0, 100mM) (30:70, v/v) as mobile phase. The average mass rate obtained was 40.0mg/day, providing 45.0mg of the (R)-(-)-MDMA (e.r. 99.0%) and 75.0mg (e.r. 96.0%) of (S)-(+)-MDMA. Racemic MDMA and both enantiomers were administered per orally to Wistar rats and oxidative stress status parameters, as liver total glutathione levels and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in liver were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in hepatic glutathione content in the racemic MDMA and the (R)-(-)-MDMA-treated rats when compared to the control and to (S)-(+)-MDMA. These results demonstrate that the R-enantiomer is the enantiomer that contributes to the depletion of hepatic glutathione induced by the racemic mixture. The high reactivity of the R-enantiomer of MDMA in the liver can also be observed in animals treated with (R)-(-)-MDMA. The production of malondialdehyde (MDA) by (R)-(-)-MDMA was significantly higher when compared to the other treated groups and control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Changes in interleukin-1 signal modulators induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA: regulation by CB2 receptors and implications for neurotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Shea Esther

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA produces a neuroinflammatory reaction in rat brain characterized by an increase in interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β and microglial activation. The CB2 receptor agonist JWH-015 reduces both these changes and partially protects against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. We have examined MDMA-induced changes in IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra levels and IL-1 receptor type I (IL-1RI expression and the effects of JWH-015. The cellular location of IL-1β and IL-1RI was also examined. MDMA-treated animals were given the soluble form of IL-1RI (sIL-1RI and neurotoxic effects examined. Methods Dark Agouti rats received MDMA (12.5 mg/kg, i.p. and levels of IL-1ra and expression of IL-1RI measured 1 h, 3 h or 6 h later. JWH-015 (2.4 mg/kg, i.p. was injected 48 h, 24 h and 0.5 h before MDMA and IL-1ra and IL-1RI measured. For localization studies, animals were sacrificed 1 h or 3 h following MDMA and stained for IL-1β or IL-1RI in combination with neuronal and microglial markers. sIL-1RI (3 μg/animal; i.c.v. was administered 5 min before MDMA and 3 h later. 5-HT transporter density was determined 7 days after MDMA injection. Results MDMA produced an increase in IL-ra levels and a decrease in IL-1RI expression in hypothalamus which was prevented by CB2 receptor activation. IL-1RI expression was localized on neuronal cell bodies while IL-1β expression was observed in microglial cells following MDMA. sIL-1RI potentiated MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. MDMA also increased IgG immunostaining indicating that blood brain-barrier permeability was compromised. Conclusions In summary, MDMA produces changes in IL-1 signal modulators which are modified by CB2 receptor activation. These results indicate that IL-1β may play a partial role in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity.

  6. The Variety of Ecstasy/MDMA Users: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Li-Tzy; Parrott, Andy C.; Ringwalt, Christopher L.; Yang, Chongming; Blazer, Dan G.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the potential heterogeneity of ecstasy or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) users. Data came from the 2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression procedures were used to identify subtypes of ecstasy users. Approximately 1.6% (n=562) of adult participants (N=43,093) reported lifetime ecstasy use. LCA identified three subtypes of ecstasy users. Class 1 exhibited pervasive use of most drug classes (ecstasy–polydrug users, 37%). Class 2 reported a high rate of use of marijuana and cocaine and a moderate use of amphetamines (ecstasy–marijuana–stimulant users, 29%). Class 3 was characterized by a high rate of use of marijuana and a low use of primarily prescription-type drugs (ecstasy– marijuana users, 34%). Subtypes were distinguished by family income, history of substance abuse treatment, and familial substance abuse. Class 1 exhibited the highest prevalence of disorders related to the use of marijuana (77%), tobacco (66%), amphetamines (36%), opioids (35%), sedatives (31%), and tranquilizers (30%). The recent resurgence in ecstasy use among adults underscores the need to monitor trends in its use. PMID:19874166

  7. High Suicide Risk after the Development of Cognitive and Working Memory Deficits Caused by Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompili, Maurizio; Lester, David; Girardi, Paolo; Tatarelli, Roberto

    2007-01-01

    We report the case of attempted suicide by a 30-year-old man who had significant cognitive deficits that developed after at least three years of polysubstance use with cannabis, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") and cocaine. The patient reported increasing difficulties in his professional and interpersonal life which may have been…

  8. Determination of amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA and MDMA in human hair by GC-EI-MS after derivatization with perfluorooctanoyl chloride

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Sys Stybe; Jornil, Jakob

    2009-01-01

    ), methamphetamine (MA), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy). An intra-day precision of 3-6% RSD and an inter-day precision of 3-17% RSD were observed. Trueness was between 96 % and 106% for the target compounds. The limit of detection ranged from 0.07 to 0.14 ng...

  9. Acute psychomotor, memory and subjective effects of MDMA and THC (co-) administration over time in healthy volunteers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G.; Van Hasselt, J.; De Kam, M.; Van Gerven, J.; Touw, D.; Buitelaar, J.; Verkes, R.

    Introduction: In Western societies a considerable percentage of young people expose themselves to the combination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “ecstasy”). Cannabis (main active compound D9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is frequently co-used with ecstasy (Parrott et al., 2007).

  10. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of methylphenidate and MDMA administered alone or in combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M; Simmler, Linda D; Schillinger, Nathalie; Meyer, Nicole; Schmid, Yasmin; Donzelli, Massimiliano; Grouzmann, Eric; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-03-01

    Methylphenidate and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') are widely misused psychoactive drugs. Methylphenidate increases brain dopamine and norepinephrine levels by blocking the presynaptic reuptake transporters. MDMA releases serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine through the same transporters. Pharmacodynamic interactions of methylphenidate and MDMA are likely. This study compared the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of methylphenidate and MDMA administered alone or in combination in healthy subjects using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Methylphenidate did not enhance the psychotropic effects of MDMA, although it produced psychostimulant effects on its own. The haemodynamic and adverse effects of co-administration of methylphenidate and MDMA were significantly higher compared with MDMA or methylphenidate alone. Methylphenidate did not change the pharmacokinetics of MDMA and vice versa. Methylphenidate and MDMA shared some subjective amphetamine-type effects; however, 125 mg of MDMA increased positive mood more than 60 mg of methylphenidate, and methylphenidate enhanced activity and concentration more than MDMA. Methylphenidate and MDMA differentially altered facial emotion recognition. Methylphenidate enhanced the recognition of sad and fearful faces, whereas MDMA reduced the recognition of negative emotions. Additionally, the present study found acute pharmacodynamic tolerance to MDMA but not methylphenidate. In conclusion, the combined use of methylphenidate and MDMA does not produce more psychoactive effects compared with either drug alone, but potentially enhances cardiovascular and adverse effects. The findings may be of clinical importance for assessing the risks of combined psychostimulant misuse. Trial registration identification number: NCT01465685 (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01465685).

  11. Self-Reported Ecstasy/MDMA/“Molly” Use in a Sample of Nightclub and Dance Festival Attendees in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J.; Acosta, Patricia; Ompad, Danielle C.; Cleland, Charles M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Ecstasy (MDMA) use has regained popularity in the United States, particularly in the form of “Molly,” which is often marketed as pure MDMA. Surveys have generally not included “Molly” in the definition of ecstasy, so rates of use may be underestimated. As popularity of ecstasy increases, research is needed to examine use among those at highest risk for use—nightlife attendees. Methods We surveyed 679 young adults (age 18–25) entering nightclubs and festivals holding electronic dance music (EDM) parties in New York City in 2015. A variation of time-space sampling was utilized. We examined prevalence and correlates of self-reported lifetime ecstasy use. Results Self-reported lifetime ecstasy use was common (42.8%, 95% CI: 32.8, 52.7). Use was most common among older participants, frequent party attendees, and those reporting higher levels of exposure to users. Those surveyed outside of festivals were less likely to report use compared to those surveyed outside of nightclubs (AOR=0.37, p = .015). Over a third of ecstasy users (36.8%) reported use in pill, powder, and crystal form. Ecstasy users were also more likely to report use of other drugs, including novel psychoactive substances (e.g., 2C series drugs, synthetic cathinones [“bath salts”]). Half (50.4%) reported suspecting (21.9%) or finding out (28.5%) that their ecstasy had ever contained a drug other than MDMA. Conclusion A large percentage of nightlife attendees in NYC report lifetime ecstasy use. Findings should inform prevention and harm reduction programming. Further research is needed as ecstasy continues to change (e.g., in form, purity, and name). PMID:27661470

  12. Self-Reported Ecstasy/MDMA/"Molly" Use in a Sample of Nightclub and Dance Festival Attendees in New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Acosta, Patricia; Ompad, Danielle C; Cleland, Charles M

    2017-01-02

    Ecstasy (MDMA) use has regained popularity in the United States, particularly in the form of "Molly," which is often marketed as pure MDMA. Surveys have generally not included "Molly" in the definition of ecstasy, so rates of use may be underestimated. As popularity of ecstasy increases, research is needed to examine use among those at highest risk for use-nightlife attendees. We surveyed 679 young adults (age 18-25) entering nightclubs and festivals holding electronic dance music (EDM) parties in New York City in 2015. A variation of time-space sampling was utilized. We examined prevalence and correlates of self-reported lifetime ecstasy use. Self-reported lifetime ecstasy use was common (42.8%, 95% CI: 32.8, 52.7). Use was most common among older participants, frequent party attendees, and those reporting higher levels of exposure to users. Those surveyed outside of festivals were less likely to report use compared to those surveyed outside of nightclubs (AOR = 0.37, p = .015). Over a third of ecstasy users (36.8%)reported use in pill, powder, and crystal form. Ecstasy users were also more likely to report use of other drugs, including novel psychoactive substances (e.g., 2C series drugs, synthetic cathinones ["bath salts"]). Half (50.4%) reported suspecting (21.9%) or finding out (28.5%) that their ecstasy had ever contained a drug other than MDMA. A large percentage of nightlife attendees in NYC report lifetime ecstasy use. Findings should inform prevention and harm reduction programming. Further research is needed as ecstasy continues to change (e.g., in form, purity, and name).

  13. Inhibition potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolites on the in vitro monoamine oxidase (MAO)-catalyzed deamination of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steuer, Andrea E; Boxler, Martina I; Stock, Lorena; Kraemer, Thomas

    2016-01-22

    Neurotoxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is still controversially discussed. Formation of reactive oxygen species e.g. based on elevated dopamine (DA) concentrations and DA quinone formation is discussed among others. Inhibition potential of MDMA metabolites regarding neurotransmitter degradation by catechol-O-methyltransferase and sulfotransferase was described previously. Their influence on monoamine oxidase (MAO) - the major DA degradation pathway-has not yet been studied in humans. Therefore the inhibition potential of MDMA and its metabolites on the deamination of the neurotransmitters DA and serotonin (5-HT) by MAO-A and B using recombinant human enzymes in vitro should be investigated. In initial studies, MDMA and MDA showed relevant inhibition (>30%) toward MAO A for 5-HT and DA. No relevant effects toward MAO B were observed. Further investigation on MAO-A revealed MDMA as a competitive inhibitor of 5-HT and DA deamination with Ki 24.5±7.1 μM and 18.6±4.3 μM respectively and MDA as a mixed-type inhibitor with Ki 7.8±2.6 μM and 8.4±3.2 μM respectively. Although prediction of in vivo relevance needs to be done with care, relevant inhibitory effects at expected plasma concentrations after recreational MDMA consumption seems unlikely based on the obtained data. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning NMR Study of the Enantiodiscrimination of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA by an Immobilized Polysaccharide-Based Chiral Phase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana C Barreiro

    Full Text Available This paper reports the investigation of the chiral interaction between 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA enantiomers and an immobilized polysaccharide-based chiral phase. For that, suspended-state high-resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H HR-MAS NMR was used. 1H HR-MAS longitudinal relaxation time and Saturation Transfer Difference (STD NMR titration experiments were carried out yielding information at the molecular level of the transient diastereoisomeric complexes of MDMA enantiomers and the chiral stationary phase. The interaction of the enantiomers takes place through the aromatic moiety of MDMA and the aromatic group of the chiral selector by π-π stacking for both enantiomers; however, a stronger interaction was observed for the (R-enantiomer, which is the second one to elute at the chromatographic conditions.

  15. Linking the pharmacological content of ecstasy tablets to the subjective experiences of drug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunt, Tibor M; Koeter, Maarten W; Niesink, Raymond J M; van den Brink, Wim

    2012-04-01

    Most studies on the subjective effects of ecstasy are based on the assumption that the substance that was taken is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). However, many tablets sold as ecstasy contain other substances and MDMA in varying doses. So far, few attempts have been made to take this into account while assessing subjective effects. This study aims to link the pharmacological content of tablets sold as ecstasy to the subjective experiences reported by ecstasy users. Self-reported effects on ecstasy tablets were available from 5,786 drug users who handed in their tablets for chemical analysis at the Drug Information and Monitoring System (DIMS) in the Netherlands. Logistic regression was employed to link the pharmacological content of ecstasy tablets to the self-reported subjective effects and compare effects with MDMA to other substances present. MDMA showed a strong association with desirable subjective effects, unparalleled by any other psychoactive substance. However, the association of MDMA was dose-dependent, with higher doses (>120 mg/tablet) likely to evoke more adverse effects. The novel psychostimulants mephedrone and p-fluoroamphetamine were considered relatively desirable, whereas meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) and p-methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) were strongly associated with adverse subjective effects. Also, 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (MDA) and benzylpiperazine (BZP) were not appreciated as replacement for MDMA. Linking the pharmacological content of ecstasy sold on the street to subjective experiences contributes to a better understanding of the wide range of subjective effects ascribed to ecstasy and provides a strong rationale for the prolonged endurance of MDMA as the key ingredient of the ecstasy market.

  16. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict implementation of harm reduction strategies among MDMA/ecstasy users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Alan K; Rosenberg, Harold

    2016-06-01

    This prospective study was designed to test whether the variables proposed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were associated with baseline intention to implement and subsequent use of 2 MDMA/ecstasy-specific harm reduction interventions: preloading/postloading and pill testing/pill checking. Using targeted Facebook advertisements, an international sample of 391 recreational ecstasy users were recruited to complete questionnaires assessing their ecstasy consumption history, and their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, habit strength (past strategy use), and intention to use these two strategies. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were significantly associated with baseline intention to preload/postload and pill test/pill check. Out of the 391 baseline participants, 100 completed the two-month follow-up assessment. Baseline habit strength and frequency of ecstasy consumption during the three months prior to baseline were the only significant predictors of how often participants used the preloading/postloading strategy during the follow-up. Baseline intention to pill test/pill check was the only significant predictor of how often participants used this strategy during the follow-up. These findings provide partial support for TPB variables as both correlates of baseline intention to implement and predictors of subsequent use of these two strategies. Future investigations could assess whether factors related to ecstasy consumption (e.g., subjective level of intoxication, craving, negative consequences following consumption), and environmental factors (e.g., accessibility and availability of harm reduction resources) improve the prediction of how often ecstasy users employ these and other harm reduction strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. There’s Something About Molly: The Under-Researched yet Popular Powder Form of Ecstasy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J.

    2017-01-01

    Molly has been the street name for powder or crystalline ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) in the United States since at least 2008; however, few studies have examined Molly use or included Molly in the definition of ecstasy/MDMA. Prevalence of self-reported ecstasy use is being underreported on surveys due to the lack of inclusion of “Molly”, although Molly is often so adulterated with novel psychoactive substances such as synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) that the name “Molly” may no longer adequately represent ecstasy/MDMA. The author recommends that Molly use and Molly purity be further studied to more adequately inform prevention and harm reduction. PMID:27925866

  18. Neurochemical and neuroanatomic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Virus, R.; Commins, D.; Vosmer, G.; Woolverton, W.; Schuster, C.; Seiden, L.

    1986-01-01

    Rats injected s.c. twice daily for 4 consecutive days with 10,20, or 40 mg/kg MDMA or saline and sacrificed 2 weeks after the last injection showed dose-dependent reductions in serotonin (5-HT) concentrations in hypothalamus, hippocampus (HIP), striatum (STR), somatosensory cortex (SC) and other cortical areas (CTX). 5-HT depletion was maximal in HIP (11.5 +/- 1.7%) and SC (15.3 +/- 3.2%, p 3 H)5-HT uptake sites (V/sub max/ 35.2% of control) without affecting the affinity (K/sub m/) in HIP. Fink-Heimer staining showed that rats injected s.c. twice daily for 2 days with 80 mg/kg MDMA had greater degeneration of nerve terminals in STR (p<0.005) and pyramidal cells in Layer III of SC (p<0.01) than did control rats. These results clearly suggest that repeated exposure to MDMA selectively damages serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system of rats

  19. Identification and quantitation of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in human urine by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Application to five cases of intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jonathan; Decatur, John; Proni, Gloria; Champeil, Elise

    2010-01-30

    Identification of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in five cases of intoxication using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of human urine is reported. A new water suppression technique PURGE (Presaturation Utilizing Relaxation Gradients and Echoes) was used. A calibration curve was obtained using spiked samples. The method gave a linear response (correlation coefficient of 0.992) over the range 0.01-1mg/mL. Subsequently, quantitation of the amount of MDMA present in the samples was performed. The benefit and reliability of NMR investigations of human urine for cases of intoxication with MDMA are discussed. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  20. Exploring functional data analysis and wavelet principal component analysis on ecstasy (MDMA wastewater data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Salvatore

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE is a novel approach in drug use epidemiology which aims to monitor the extent of use of various drugs in a community. In this study, we investigate functional principal component analysis (FPCA as a tool for analysing WBE data and compare it to traditional principal component analysis (PCA and to wavelet principal component analysis (WPCA which is more flexible temporally. Methods We analysed temporal wastewater data from 42 European cities collected daily over one week in March 2013. The main temporal features of ecstasy (MDMA were extracted using FPCA using both Fourier and B-spline basis functions with three different smoothing parameters, along with PCA and WPCA with different mother wavelets and shrinkage rules. The stability of FPCA was explored through bootstrapping and analysis of sensitivity to missing data. Results The first three principal components (PCs, functional principal components (FPCs and wavelet principal components (WPCs explained 87.5-99.6 % of the temporal variation between cities, depending on the choice of basis and smoothing. The extracted temporal features from PCA, FPCA and WPCA were consistent. FPCA using Fourier basis and common-optimal smoothing was the most stable and least sensitive to missing data. Conclusion FPCA is a flexible and analytically tractable method for analysing temporal changes in wastewater data, and is robust to missing data. WPCA did not reveal any rapid temporal changes in the data not captured by FPCA. Overall the results suggest FPCA with Fourier basis functions and common-optimal smoothing parameter as the most accurate approach when analysing WBE data.

  1. Effects of MDMA (ecstasy), and multiple drugs use on (simulated) driving performance and traffic safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brookhuis, KA; de Waard, D; Samyn, N

    Rationale. The effects of MDMA on driving behaviour are not clear, since the direct effects of MDMA on cognitive performance are reported as not generally negative. Objectives. To assess in an advanced driving simulator acute effects on simulated driving behaviour and heart rate of MDMA, and effects

  2. MDMA ('Ecstasy'), oxytocin and vasopressin modulate social preference in rats: A role for handling and oxytocin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Linnet; Hicks, Callum; Caminer, Alex; Couto, Kalliu; Narlawar, Rajeshwar; Kassiou, Michael; McGregor, Iain S

    In laboratory rats, peripheral administration of the neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) induces similar prosocial effects (i.e. increased adjacent lying) to the party drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which are sensitive to vasopressin V 1A receptor (V 1A R) antagonism. Here, we employed a social preference paradigm to further compare the prosocial effects of OT, AVP and MDMA. We also investigated the possible involvement of the V 1A R and oxytocin receptor (OTR) in rodent social preference. The social preference paradigm measures investigation times towards an empty wire cage (presented for 4min) followed by an identical cage containing a novel rat (also presented for 4min). Social preference is defined as greater investigation time towards the inhabited cage than the empty cage. Results indicated that well-handled rats exhibited no social preference at baseline, while intraperitoneally injected MDMA (5mg/kg), OT (0.5mg/kg) and AVP (0.005mg/kg) increased social preference. However, this effect was primarily due to reduced investigation of the empty cage. In contrast, rats that received minimal prior handling displayed a social preference at baseline, while MDMA (5mg/kg), OT (0.5mg/kg) and AVP (0.005mg/kg) reduced investigation times towards both the empty and inhabited cages. Lower doses of MDMA, OT and AVP were ineffective. The OTR antagonist Compound 25 (C25, 5mg/kg), but not the V 1A R antagonist SR49059 (1mg/kg), reduced the baseline social preference seen in minimally-handled rats and prevented the social preference induced by OT and AVP (but not MDMA) in well-handled rats. Overall, these results further confirm prosocial actions of MDMA, OT and AVP, which are dependent on handling history. These findings also indicate that social preference is sensitive to OTR rather than V 1A R modulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) induce differential cytotoxic effects in bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas-Hernandez, Hector; Cuevas, Elvis; Lantz, Susan M; Rice, Kenner C; Gannon, Brenda M; Fantegrossi, William E; Gonzalez, Carmen; Paule, Merle G; Ali, Syed F

    2016-08-26

    Designer drugs such as synthetic psychostimulants are indicative of a worldwide problem of drug abuse and addiction. In addition to methamphetamine (METH), these drugs include 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and commercial preparations of synthetic cathinones including 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), typically referred to as "bath salts." These psychostimulants exert neurotoxic effects by altering monoamine systems in the brain. Additionally, METH and MDMA adversely affect the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB): there are no current reports on the effects of MDPV on the BBB. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of METH, MDMA and MDPV on bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells (bBMVECs), an accepted in vitro model of the BBB. Confluent bBMVEC monolayers were treated with METH, MDMA and MDPV (0.5mM-2.5mM) for 24h. METH and MDMA increased lactate dehydrogenase release only at the highest concentration (2.5mM), whereas MDPV induced cytotoxicity at all concentrations. MDMA and METH decreased cellular proliferation only at 2.5mM, with similar effects observed after MDPV exposures starting at 1mM. Only MDPV increased reactive oxygen species production at all concentrations tested whereas all 3 drugs increased nitric oxide production. Morphological analysis revealed different patterns of compound-induced cell damage. METH induced vacuole formation at 1mM and disruption of the monolayer at 2.5mM. MDMA induced disruption of the endothelial monolayer from 1mM without vacuolization. On the other hand, MDPV induced monolayer disruption at doses ≥0.5mM without vacuole formation; at 2.5mM, the few remaining cells lacked endothelial morphology. These data suggest that even though these synthetic psychostimulants alter monoaminergic systems, they each induce BBB toxicity by different mechanisms with MDPV being the most toxic. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  4. Transcriptomic configuration of mouse brain induced by adolescent exposure to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eun, Jung Woo; Kwack, Seung Jun; Noh, Ji Heon; Jung, Kwang Hwa; Kim, Jeong Kyu; Bae, Hyun Jin; Xie Hongjian; Ryu, Jae Chun; Ahn, Young Min; Min, Jin-Hye; Park, Won Sang; Lee, Jung Young; Rhee, Gyu Seek; Nam, Suk Woo

    2009-01-01

    The amphetamine derivative (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is a synthetic amphetamine analogue used recreationally to obtain an enhanced affiliative emotional response. MDMA is a potent monoaminergic neurotoxin with the potential to damage brain serotonin and/or dopamine neurons. As the majority of MDMA users are young adults, the risk that users may expose the fetus to MDMA is a concern. However, the majority of studies on MDMA have investigated the effects on adult animals. Here, we investigated whether long-term exposure to MDMA, especially in adolescence, could induce comprehensive transcriptional changes in mouse brain. Transcriptomic analysis of mouse brain regions demonstrated significant gene expression changes in the cerebral cortex. Supervised analysis identified 1028 genes that were chronically dysregulated by long-term exposure to MDMA in adolescent mice. Functional categories most represented by this MDMA characteristic signature are intracellular molecular signaling pathways of neurotoxicity, such as, the MAPK signaling pathway, the Wnt signaling pathway, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, long-term potentiation, and the long-term depression signaling pathway. Although these resultant large-scale molecular changes remain to be studied associated with functional brain damage caused by MDMA, our observations delineate the possible neurotoxic effects of MDMA on brain function, and have therapeutic implications concerning neuro-pathological conditions associated with MDMA abuse.

  5. Application of the Passionate Attachment Model to Recreational Use of MDMA/Ecstasy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Alan K; Rosenberg, Harold

    2015-01-01

    Those who are not addicted to ecstasy, but who use it persistently over time, could be viewed as having a "passionate attachment" to a highly valued activity. To evaluate the associations of obsessive and harmonious passion with psychological and behavioral aspects of ecstasy consumption, we recruited a community sample of ecstasy users to complete a modified version of the Passion Scale (Vallerand et al. 2003) and other questionnaires assessing their substance use history, self-efficacy to refuse ecstasy, and use of ecstasy to cope with worries and problems. Both Obsessive and Harmonious passion scores were negatively correlated with self-efficacy to refuse ecstasy and positively correlated with using ecstasy to cope with worries and problems. The findings also provided partial support for our hypotheses that scores on the Obsessive Passion subscale would be associated with number of times participants had used ecstasy, the frequency of use, and the typical number of pills consumed. Participants agreed more strongly with statements indicative of Harmonious Passion to consume ecstasy, but Harmonious subscale scores were not associated with several measures of consumption. As a supplemental measure, the modified questionnaire could provide a more comprehensive picture of the psychology of one's ecstasy use.

  6. Detection of “Bath Salts” and Other Novel Psychoactive Substances in Hair Samples of Ecstasy/MDMA/“Molly” Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J.; Salomone, Alberto; Vincenti, Marco; Cleland, Charles M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Ecstasy (MDMA) in the US is commonly adulterated with other drugs, but research has not focused on purity of ecstasy since the phenomenon of “Molly” (ecstasy marketed as pure MDMA) arose in the US. Methods We piloted a rapid electronic survey in 2015 to assess use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other drugs among 679 nightclub/festival-attending young adults (age 18–25) in New York City. A quarter (26.1%) of the sample provided a hair sample to be analyzed for the presence of select synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) and some other NPS. Samples were analyzed using fully validated UHPLC-MS/MS methods. To examine consistency of self-report, analyses focused on the 48 participants with an analyzable hair sample who reported lifetime ecstasy/MDMA/Molly use. Results Half (50.0%) of the hair samples contained MDMA, 47.9% contained butylone, and 10.4% contained methylone. Of those who reported no lifetime use of “bath salts”, stimulant NPS, or unknown pills or powders, about four out of ten (41.2%) tested positive for butylone, methylone, alpha-PVP, 5/6-APB, or 4-FA. Racial minorities were more likely to test positive for butylone or test positive for NPS after reporting no lifetime use. Frequent nightclub/festival attendance was the strongest predictor of testing positive for MDMA, butylone, or methylone. Discussion Results suggest that many ecstasy-using nightclub/festival attendees may be unintentionally using “bath salts” or other NPS. Prevention and harm reduction education is needed for this population and “drug checking” (e.g., pill testing) may be beneficial for those rejecting abstinence. PMID:26883685

  7. The variability of ecstasy tablets composition in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Togni, Loraine R; Lanaro, Rafael; Resende, Rodrigo R; Costa, Jose L

    2015-01-01

    The content of ecstasy tablets has been changing over the years, and nowadays 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is not always present in the tablets. The aim of this study was to investigate the chemical composition in the seized tablets labeled as ecstasy. We analyzed samples from 150 different seizures made by Sao Paulo's State Police by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. MDMA was present in 44.7% of the analyzed samples, and another twenty different active substances were identified in these tablets, such as caffeine, 2C-B, piperazines, amphetamines, phencyclidine, and others. Methamphetamine was present in 22% of these samples. The results demonstrate a huge shift in the pattern of trafficking of synthetic drugs, where MDMA has been replaced in tablets mostly by illicit psychoactive substances, in a clear attempt to bypass the law. The great variability in the tablets composition may lead to an increased risk of drug poisoning. © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  8. Occipital cortical proton MRS at 4 Tesla in human moderate MDMA polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ronald L; Bolo, Nicolas R; Dietrich, Mary; Haga, Erica; Lukas, Scott E; Renshaw, Perry F

    2007-08-15

    The recreational drug MDMA (3,4, methylenedioxymethamphetamine; sold under the street name of Ecstasy) is toxic to serotonergic axons in some animal models of MDMA administration. In humans, MDMA use is associated with alterations in markers of brain function that are pronounced in occipital cortex. Among neuroimaging methods, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies of brain metabolites N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and myoinositol (MI) at a field strength of 1.5 Tesla (T) reveal inconsistent results in MDMA users. Because higher field strength proton MRS has theoretical advantages over lower field strengths, we used proton MRS at 4.0 T to study absolute concentrations of occipital cortical NAA and MI in a cohort of moderate MDMA users (n=9) versus non-MDMA using (n=7) controls. Mean NAA in non-MDMA users was 10.47 mM (+/-2.51), versus 9.83 mM (+/-1.94) in MDMA users. Mean MI in non-MDMA users was 7.43 mM (+/-.68), versus 6.57 mM (+/-1.59) in MDMA users. There were no statistical differences in absolute metabolite levels for NAA and MI in occipital cortex of MDMA users and controls. These findings are not supportive of MDMA-induced alterations in NAA or MI levels in this small sample of moderate MDMA users. Limitations to this study suggest caution in the interpretation of these results.

  9. Greater sexual risk-taking in female and male recreational MDMA/ecstasy users compared with alcohol drinkers: a questionnaire study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Aimee L; Parrott, Andrew C

    2015-07-01

    Previous studies have shown increased sexual risk-taking in experienced MDMA/ecstasy users. The main objectives of this study were to compare levels of sexual risk-taking between a young student sample of predominantly heterosexual MDMA users and alcohol-drinker controls and investigate potential gender differences. Recreational drug use and sexual risk questionnaires were completed by 20 MDMA users (10 females, 10 males) and 20 non-user controls (10 females, 10 males). They were predominantly university students, aged between 20-22 years, mainly heterosexual (n = 37), with three bisexual participants. MDMA users displayed significantly greater levels of sexual risk-taking than the alcohol-drinker controls. It involved significantly higher rates of casual sex, non-condom use during sex, and penetrative sexual risks. This increase in sexual riskiness occurred to a similar extent in males and females. These findings indicate that both female and male ecstasy/MDMA users reported more risky sexual behaviours, than the non-user controls. Further research into the sexual behaviour and sexual risk-taking of heterosexual MDMA users should be conducted because much of the past literature has focused on homosexual participants. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Why Psychiatry Needs 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine: A Child Psychiatrist's Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessa, Ben

    2017-07-01

    Since the late 1980s the psychoactive drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has had a well-known history as the recreationally used drug ecstasy. What is less well known by the public is that MDMA started its life as a therapeutic agent and that in recent years an increasing amount of clinical research has been undertaken to revisit the drug's medical potential. MDMA has unique pharmacological properties that translate well to its proposed agent to assist trauma-focused psychotherapy. Psychological trauma-especially that which arises early in life from child abuse-underpins many chronic adult mental disorders, including addictions. Several studies of recent years have investigated the potential role of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, with ongoing plans to see MDMA therapy licensed and approved within the next 5 years. Issues of safety and controversy frequently surround this research, owing to MDMA's often negative media-driven bias. However, accurate examination of the relative risks and benefits of clinical MDMA-in contrast to the recreational use of ecstasy-must be considered when assessing its potential benefits and the merits of future research. In this review, the author describes these potential benefits and explores the relatives risks of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the context of his experience as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, having seen the relative limitations of current pharmacotherapies and psychotherapies for treating complex post-traumatic stress disorder arising from child abuse.

  11. Ecstasy (MDMA: effects and patterns of use reported by users in São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida Stella Pereira de

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: As there are no studies about the use of ecstasy in Brazil, our aim was to identify the effects and patterns of use of this substance among users in the city of São Paulo. METHODS: Subjects were recruited through the snowball technique. Fifty-two subjects of both genders who had been using ecstasy frequently and recently were interviewed. The instrument was a self-reported and anonymous questionnaire. RESULTS: The sample's mean age was 24 years, mostly composed by single, college graduated middle-class subjects. Among the interviewed users, 61.6% used ecstasy at least once per week and 50% of them took one pill per episode of use and 46% more than one. Drug taking was usually performed in company of several people (63% in contexts related to night leisure, such as rave parties (78.8%, dancing clubs (69.2% and parties (53.8%. Ecstasy pills were mainly purchased from friends or acquaintances in order to favor a dancing mood in those places. Most subjects used ecstasy associated to other psychoactive drugs (93.3%, mainly Cannabis, followed by tobacco and LSD. The effects attributed to ecstasy were mainly positive. DISCUSSION: The use of ecstasy in São Paulo has had a recreational pattern quite similar to those described in previous studies. The assessment of the use of ecstasy as positive also agrees with the findings of the literature.

  12. The impact of recreational MDMA 'ecstasy' use on global form processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Claire; Edwards, Mark; Brown, John; Bell, Jason

    2014-11-01

    The ability to integrate local orientation information into a global form percept was investigated in long-term ecstasy users. Evidence suggests that ecstasy disrupts the serotonin system, with the visual areas of the brain being particularly susceptible. Previous research has found altered orientation processing in the primary visual area (V1) of users, thought to be due to disrupted serotonin-mediated lateral inhibition. The current study aimed to investigate whether orientation deficits extend to higher visual areas involved in global form processing. Forty-five participants completed a psychophysical (Glass pattern) study allowing an investigation into the mechanisms underlying global form processing and sensitivity to changes in the offset of the stimuli (jitter). A subgroup of polydrug-ecstasy users (n=6) with high ecstasy use had significantly higher thresholds for the detection of Glass patterns than controls (n=21, p=0.039) after Bonferroni correction. There was also a significant interaction between jitter level and drug-group, with polydrug-ecstasy users showing reduced sensitivity to alterations in jitter level (p=0.003). These results extend previous research, suggesting disrupted global form processing and reduced sensitivity to orientation jitter with ecstasy use. Further research is needed to investigate this finding in a larger sample of heavy ecstasy users and to differentiate the effects of other drugs. © The Author(s) 2014.

  13. Duloxetine Inhibits Effects of MDMA (“Ecstasy") In Vitro and in Humans in a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Laboratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicola, Valentina G.; Vischer, Nerina; Donzelli, Massimiliano; Krähenbühl, Stephan; Grouzmann, Eric; Huwyler, Jörg; Hoener, Marius C.; Liechti, Matthias E.

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of the serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) transporter inhibitor duloxetine on the effects of 3,4–methylenedioxy­methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in vitro and in 16 healthy subjects. The clinical study used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, four-session, crossover design. In vitro, duloxetine blocked the release of both 5-HT and NE by MDMA or by its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine from transmitter-loaded human cells expressing the 5-HT or NE transporter. In humans, duloxetine inhibited the effects of MDMA including elevations in circulating NE, increases in blood pressure and heart rate, and the subjective drug effects. Duloxetine inhibited the pharmacodynamic response to MDMA despite an increase in duloxetine-associated elevations in plasma MDMA levels. The findings confirm the important role of MDMA-induced 5-HT and NE release in the psychotropic effects of MDMA. Duloxetine may be useful in the treatment of psychostimulant dependence. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00990067 PMID:22574166

  14. The effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on nicotinic receptors: Intracellular calcium increase, calpain/caspase 3 activation, and functional upregulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Rates, Sara; Camarasa, Jordi; Sanchez-Garcia, Ana I.; Gandia, Luis; Escubedo, Elena; Pubill, David

    2010-01-01

    Previous work by our group demonstrated that homomeric α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) play a role in the neurotoxicity induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), as well as the binding affinity of this drug to these receptors. Here we studied the effect of MDMA on the activation of nAChR subtypes, the consequent calcium mobilization, and calpain/caspase 3 activation because prolonged Ca 2+ increase could contribute to cytotoxicity. As techniques, we used fluorimetry in Fluo-4-loaded PC12 cells and electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes. MDMA produced a rapid and sustained increase in calcium without reaching the maximum effect induced by ACh. It also concentration-dependently inhibited the response induced by ACh, nicotine, and the specific α7 agonist PNU 282987 with IC 50 values in the low micromolar range. Similarly, MDMA induced inward currents in Xenopus oocytes transfected with human α7 but not with α4β2 nAChR and inhibited ACh-induced currents in both receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The calcium response was inhibited by methyllycaconitine (MLA) and α-bungarotoxin but not by dihydro-β-erythroidine. These results therefore indicate that MDMA acts as a partial agonist on α7 nAChRs and as an antagonist on the heteromeric subtypes. Subsequently, calcium-induced Ca 2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum and entry through voltage-operated calcium channels are also implicated as proved using specific antagonists. In addition, treatment with MDMA for 24 h significantly increased basal Ca 2+ levels and induced an increase in α-spectrin breakdown products, which indicates that calpain and caspase 3 were activated. These effects were inhibited by pretreatment with MLA. Moreover, pretreatment with MDMA induced functional upregulation of calcium responses to specific agonists of both heteromeric and α7 nAChR. Sustained calcium entry and calpain activation could favor the activation of Ca 2+ -dependent enzymes such as

  15. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, M B; Andero, R; Ressler, K J; Howell, L L

    2015-09-15

    Acutely administered 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') has been proposed to have long-term positive effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms when combined with psychotherapy. No preclinical data support a mechanistic basis for these claims. Given the persistent nature of psychotherapeutic gains facilitated by MDMA, we hypothesized that MDMA improves fear extinction learning, a key process in exposure-based therapies for PTSD. In these experiments, mice were first exposed to cued fear conditioning and treated with drug vehicle or MDMA before extinction training 2 days later. MDMA was administered systemically and also directly targeted to brain structures known to contribute to extinction. In addition to behavioral measures of extinction, changes in mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and Fos were measured after MDMA treatment and extinction. MDMA (7.8 mg kg(-1)) persistently and robustly enhanced long-term extinction when administered before extinction training. MDMA increased the expression of Fos in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), whereas increases in Bdnf expression were observed only in the amygdala after extinction training. Extinction enhancements were recapitulated when MDMA (1 μg) was infused directly into the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), and enhancement was abolished when BDNF signaling was inhibited before extinction. These findings suggest that MDMA enhances fear memory extinction through a BDNF-dependent mechanism, and that MDMA may be a useful adjunct to exposure-based therapies for PTSD and other anxiety disorders characterized by altered fear learning.

  16. The effects of ecstasy on neurotransmitter systems: a review on the findings of molecular imaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegting, Yosta; Reneman, Liesbeth; Booij, Jan

    2016-10-01

    Ecstasy is a commonly used psychoactive drug with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as the main content. Importantly, it has been suggested that use of MDMA may be neurotoxic particularly for serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) neurons. In the past decades, several molecular imaging studies examined directly in vivo the effects of ecstasy/MDMA on neurotransmitter systems. The objective of the present study is to review the effects of ecstasy/MDMA on neurotransmitter systems as assessed by molecular imaging studies in small animals, non-human primates and humans. A search in PubMed was performed. Eighty-eight articles were found on which inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria; all were focused on the 5-HT or dopamine (DA) system. Importantly, 9 out of 11 of the animal studies that examined the effects of MDMA on 5-HT transporter (SERT) availability showed a significant loss of binding potential. In human studies, this was the case for 14 out of 16 studies, particularly in heavy users. In abstinent users, significant recovery of SERT binding was found over time. Most imaging studies in humans that focused on the DA system did not find any significant effect of ecstasy/MDMA use. Preclinical and clinical molecular imaging studies on the effects of ecstasy/MDMA use/administration on neurotransmitter systems show quite consistent alterations of the 5-HT system. Particularly, in human studies, loss of SERT binding was observed in heavy ecstasy users, which might reflect 5-HT neurotoxicity, although alternative explanations (e.g. down-regulation of the SERT) cannot be excluded.

  17. A reconsideration and response to Parrott AC (2013) "Human psychobiology of MDMA or 'Ecstasy': an overview of 25 years of empirical research".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doblin, Rick; Greer, George; Holland, Julie; Jerome, Lisa; Mithoefer, Michael C; Sessa, Ben

    2014-03-01

    Parrott recently published a review of literature on MDMA/ecstasy. This commentary is a response to the content and tenor of his review, which mischaracterizes the literature through misstatement and omission of contrary findings, and fails to address the central controversies in the literature. The review makes several erroneous statements concerning MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, such as incorrect statements about research design and other statements that are baseless or contradicted by the literature. Though it critiques an attempt by other authors to characterize the risks of MDMA, the review fails to produce a competing model of risk assessment, and does not discuss potential benefits. Parrott does not represent an even-handed review of the literature, but instead recites dated misconceptions about neurotoxicity concerns involving the recreational drug ecstasy, which do not relate directly to the use of pure MDMA in a therapeutic setting. Unchallenged, Parrott's report may deter researchers from further investigating an innovative treatment that in early clinical trials has demonstrated lasting benefits for people with chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. The Psychopharmacology of ±3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and its Role in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoroso, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Prior to 1985, ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) was readily used as a psychotherapeutic adjunct. As MDMA became popular in treating various psychiatric illnesses by mental health professionals, the public started to abuse the MDMA-containing recreational drug "ecstasy." This alarmed the DEA, which led to emergency scheduling of MDMA as a Schedule I drug. Due to its scheduling in 1985, human research and clinical use has been limited. The majority of research on MDMA has been focused on the drug's potential harmful effects rather than its possible therapeutic effects. The limitations on retrospective human studies and preclinical animal models of MDMA neurotoxicity are examined in this analysis. New research has shown that MDMA, used as a catalyst in psychotherapy, is effective in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This review also examines the psychopharmacological basis for the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Specifically, the brain regions involved with both PTSD and those activated by MDMA (i.e., amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus) are examined. Also, the possible neurochemical mechanisms involved in MDMA's efficacy in treating PTSD are reviewed.

  19. N-acetylaspartate (NAA) correlates inversely with cannabis use in a frontal language processing region of neocortex in MDMA (Ecstasy) Polydrug Users: a 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study

    OpenAIRE

    Cowan, Ronald L; Joers, James M; Dietrich, Mary S

    2008-01-01

    Impaired verbal memory is common in MDMA (Ecstasy) polydrug users. The contributions of Ecstasy or polydrug exposure to reduced verbal memory are unclear, as is the neural basis for this cognitive deficit. Ecstasy users have reduced gray matter in brain regions mediating verbal memory (BA 18, 21 and 45). N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as a neuronal marker and myoinositol (mI) as a glial marker are inconsistently affected in Ecstasy users. We used 3 Tesla MRS in 17 recreational drug users to test the...

  20. The cardiovascular and cardiac actions of ecstasy and its metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenouda, S K; Carvalho, F; Varner, K J

    2010-08-01

    The recreational use of 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy or MDMA) has increased dramatically over the past thirty years due to its ability to increase stamina and produce feelings of emotional closeness and wellbeing. In spite of the popular perception that MDMA is a safe drug, there is a large literature documenting that the drug can produce significant neurotoxicity, especially in serotonergic and catecholaminergic systems. There are also experimental and clinical data which document that MDMA can alter cardiovascular function and produce cardiac toxicity, including rhythm disturbances, infarction and sudden death. This manuscript will review the literature documenting the cardiovascular responses elicited by MDMA in humans and experimental animals and will examine the underlying mechanisms mediating these responses. We will also review the available clinical, autopsy and experimental data linking MDMA with cardiac toxicity. Most available data indicate that oxidative stress plays an important role in the cardiotoxic actions of MDMA. Moreover, new data indicates that redox active metabolites of MDMA may play especially important roles in MDMA induced toxicity.

  1. Alterations to global but not local motion processing in long-term ecstasy (MDMA) users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Claire; Brown, John; Edwards, Mark

    2014-07-01

    Growing evidence indicates that the main psychoactive ingredient in the illegal drug "ecstasy" (methylendioxymethamphetamine) causes reduced activity in the serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems in humans. On the basis of substantial serotonin input to the occipital lobe, recent research investigated visual processing in long-term users and found a larger magnitude of the tilt aftereffect, interpreted to reflect broadened orientation tuning bandwidths. Further research found higher orientation discrimination thresholds and reduced long-range interactions in the primary visual area of ecstasy users. The aim of the present research was to investigate whether serotonin-mediated V1 visual processing deficits in ecstasy users extend to motion processing mechanisms. Forty-five participants (21 controls, 24 drug users) completed two psychophysical studies: A direction discrimination study directly measured local motion processing in V1, while a motion coherence task tested global motion processing in area V5/MT. "Primary" ecstasy users (n = 18), those without substantial polydrug use, had significantly lower global motion thresholds than controls [p = 0.027, Cohen's d = 0.78 (large)], indicating increased sensitivity to global motion stimuli, but no difference in local motion processing (p = 0.365). These results extend on previous research investigating the long-term effects of illicit drugs on visual processing. Two possible explanations are explored: defuse attentional processes may be facilitating spatial pooling of motion signals in users. Alternatively, it may be that a GABA-mediated disruption to V5/MT processing is reducing spatial suppression and therefore improving global motion perception in ecstasy users.

  2. Oxytocin receptor gene variation predicts subjective responses to MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershad, Anya K; Weafer, Jessica J; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; Wardle, Margaret C; Miller, Melissa A; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") enhances desire to socialize and feelings of empathy, which are thought to be related to increased oxytocin levels. Thus, variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) may influence responses to the drug. Here, we examined the influence of a single OXTR nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on responses to MDMA in humans. Based on findings that carriers of the A allele at rs53576 exhibit reduced sensitivity to oxytocin-induced social behavior, we hypothesized that these individuals would show reduced subjective responses to MDMA, including sociability. In this three-session, double blind, within-subjects study, healthy volunteers with past MDMA experience (N = 68) received a MDMA (0, 0.75 mg/kg, and 1.5 mg/kg) and provided self-report ratings of sociability, anxiety, and drug effects. These responses were examined in relation to rs53576. MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) did not increase sociability in individuals with the A/A genotype as it did in G allele carriers. The genotypic groups did not differ in responses at the lower MDMA dose, or in cardiovascular or other subjective responses. These findings are consistent with the idea that MDMA-induced sociability is mediated by oxytocin, and that variation in the oxytocin receptor gene may influence responses to the drug.

  3. Non-acute effects of different doses of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine on spatial memory in the Morris water maze in Sprague-Dawley male rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sara Soleimani Asl; Mohammad Hassan Farhadi; Nasser Naghdi; Samira Choopani; Alireza Samzadeh-Kermani; Mehdi Mehdizadeh

    2011-01-01

    3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; also known as 'ecstasy') has been shown to impair learning and spatial memory in adult and neonatal rats.Many studies have focused on the acute effects of MDMA on memory.In the present study, we intraperitoneally administered MDMA (0, 5, 10, 20 mg/kg) to adult male rats to investigate the effects of different doses on rat spatial memory in the Morris water maze, body temperature, and mortality, twice a day, for 7 successive days.The results indicated that MDMA impaired spatial memory dose-dependently, with the highest dose (20 mg/kg) exerting the strongest effects.In addition, MDMA also caused hyperthermia and increased mortality in rats.

  4. Safety pharmacology of acute MDMA administration in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizeli, Patrick; Liechti, Matthias E

    2017-05-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is being investigated in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The present study characterized the safety pharmacology of single-dose administrations of MDMA (75 or 125 mg) using data from nine double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies performed in the same laboratory in a total of 166 healthy subjects. The duration of the subjective effects was 4.2 ± 1.3 h (range: 1.4-8.2 h). The 125 mg dose of MDMA produced greater 'good drug effect' ratings than 75 mg. MDMA produced moderate and transient 'bad drug effect' ratings, which were greater in women than in men. MDMA increased systolic blood pressure to >160 mmHg, heart rate >100 beats/min, and body temperature >38°C in 33%, 29% and 19% of the subjects, respectively. These proportions of subjects with hypertension (>160 mmHg), tachycardia, and body temperature >38°C were all significantly greater after 125 mg MDMA compared with the 75 mg dose. Acute and subacute adverse effects of MDMA as assessed by the List of Complaints were dose-dependent and more frequent in females. MDMA did not affect liver or kidney function at EOS 29 ± 22 days after use. No serious adverse events occurred. In conclusion, MDMA produced predominantly acute positive subjective drug effects. Bad subjective drug effects and other adverse effects were significantly more common in women. MDMA administration was overall safe in physically and psychiatrically healthy subjects and in a medical setting. However, the risks of MDMA are likely higher in patients with cardiovascular disease and remain to be investigated in patients with psychiatric disorders.

  5. Differential effects of MDMA and methylphenidate on social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Yasmin; Hysek, Cédric M; Simmler, Linda D; Crockett, Molly J; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-09-01

    Social cognition is important in everyday-life social interactions. The social cognitive effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and methylphenidate (both used for neuroenhancement and as party drugs) are largely unknown. We investigated the acute effects of MDMA (75 mg), methylphenidate (40 mg) and placebo using the Facial Emotion Recognition Task, Multifaceted Empathy Test, Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition, Social Value Orientation Test and the Moral Judgment Task in a cross-over study in 30 healthy subjects. Additionally, subjective, autonomic, pharmacokinetic, endocrine and adverse drug effects were measured. MDMA enhanced emotional empathy for positive emotionally charged situations in the MET and tended to reduce the recognition of sad faces in the Facial Emotion Recognition Task. MDMA had no effects on cognitive empathy in the Multifaceted Empathy Test or social cognitive inferences in the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition. MDMA produced subjective 'empathogenic' effects, such as drug liking, closeness to others, openness and trust. In contrast, methylphenidate lacked such subjective effects and did not alter emotional processing, empathy or mental perspective-taking. MDMA but not methylphenidate increased the plasma levels of oxytocin and prolactin. None of the drugs influenced moral judgment. Effects on emotion recognition and emotional empathy were evident at a low dose of MDMA and likely contribute to the popularity of the drug. © The Author(s) 2014.

  6. Progress and promise for the MDMA drug development program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feduccia, Allison A; Holland, Julie; Mithoefer, Michael C

    2018-02-01

    Pharmacotherapy is often used to target symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but does not provide definitive treatment, and side effects of daily medication are often problematic. Trauma-focused psychotherapies are more likely than drug treatment to achieve PTSD remission, but have high dropout rates and ineffective for a large percentage of patients. Therefore, research into drugs that might increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy is a logical avenue of investigation. The most promising drug studied as a catalyst to psychotherapy for PTSD thus far is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as the recreational drug "Ecstasy." MDMA stimulates the release of hormones and neurochemicals that affect key brain areas for emotion and memory processing. A series of recently completed phase 2 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD show favorable safety outcomes and large effect sizes that warrant expansion into multi-site phase 3 trials, set to commence in 2018. The nonprofit sponsor of the MDMA drug development program, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), is supporting these trials to explore whether MDMA, administered on only a few occasions, can increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Brain imaging techniques and animal models of fear extinction are elucidating neural mechanisms underlying the robust effects of MDMA on psychological processing; however, much remains to be learned about the complexities of MDMA effects as well as the complexities of PTSD itself.

  7. Effects of MDMA on body temperature in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-01-01

    Hyperthermia is a severe complication associated with the recreational use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy). In this review, the clinical laboratory studies that tested the effects of MDMA on body temperature are summarized. The mechanisms that underlie the hyperthermic effects of MDMA in humans and treatment of severe hyperthermia are presented. The data show that MDMA produces an acute and dose-dependent rise in core body temperature in healthy subjects. The increase in body temperature is in the range of 0.2-0.8°C and does not result in hyperpyrexia (>40°C) in a controlled laboratory setting. However, moderately hyperthermic body temperatures >38.0°C occur frequently at higher doses, even in the absence of physical activity and at room temperature. MDMA primarily releases serotonin and norepinephrine. Mechanistic clinical studies indicate that the MDMA-induced elevations in body temperature in humans partially depend on the MDMA-induced release of norepinephrine and involve enhanced metabolic heat generation and cutaneous vasoconstriction, resulting in impaired heat dissipation. The mediating role of serotonin is unclear. The management of sympathomimetic toxicity and associated hyperthermia mainly includes sedation with benzodiazepines and intravenous fluid replacement. Severe hyperthermia should primarily be treated with additional cooling and mechanical ventilation. PMID:27626046

  8. The effects of ecstasy (MDMA on brain serotonin transporters are dependent on age-of-first exposure in recreational users and animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Klomp

    Full Text Available RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVE: Little is known on the effects of ecstasy (MDMA, a potent 5-HT-releaser and neurotoxin exposure on brain development in teenagers. The objective of this study was to investigate whether in humans, like previous observations made in animals, the effects of MDMA on the 5-HT system are dependent on age-of-first exposure. METHODS: 5-HT transporter (SERT densities in the frontal cortex and midbrain were assessed with [(123I]β-CIT single photon emission computed tomography in 33 users of ecstasy. Subjects were stratified for early-exposed users (age-at-first exposure 14-18 years; developing brain, and late-exposed users (age-at-first exposure 18-36 years; mature brain. In parallel, we investigated the effects of age experimentally with MDMA in early-exposed (adolescent rats and late-exposed (adult rats using the same radioligand. RESULTS: On average, five years after first exposure, we found a strong inverse relationship, wherein age-at-first exposure predicted 79% of the midbrain SERT variability in early (developing brain exposed ecstasy users, whereas this was only 0.3% in late (mature brain exposed users (p=0.007. No such effect was observed in the frontal cortex. In rats, a significant age-BY-treatment effect (p<0.01 was observed as well, however only in the frontal cortex. CONCLUSIONS: These age-related effects most likely reflect differences in the maturational stage of the 5-HT projection fields at age-at-first exposure and enhanced outgrowth of the 5-HT system due to 5-HT's neurotrophic effects. Ultimately, our findings stress the need for more knowledge on the effects of pharmacotherapies that alter brain 5-HT levels in the pediatric population.

  9. Discrete memory impairments in largely pure chronic users of MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wunderli, Michael D; Vonmoos, Matthias; Fürst, Marina; Schädelin, Katrin; Kraemer, Thomas; Baumgartner, Markus R; Seifritz, Erich; Quednow, Boris B

    2017-10-01

    Chronic use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") has repeatedly been associated with deficits in working memory, declarative memory, and executive functions. However, previous findings regarding working memory and executive function are inconclusive yet, as in most studies concomitant stimulant use, which is known to affect these functions, was not adequately controlled for. Therefore, we compared the cognitive performance of 26 stimulant-free and largely pure (primary) MDMA users, 25 stimulant-using polydrug MDMA users, and 56 MDMA/stimulant-naïve controls by applying a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Neuropsychological tests were grouped into four cognitive domains. Recent drug use was objectively quantified by 6-month hair analyses on 17 substances and metabolites. Considerably lower mean hair concentrations of stimulants (amphetamine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate, cocaine), opioids (morphine, methadone, codeine), and hallucinogens (ketamine, 2C-B) were detected in primary compared to polydrug users, while both user groups did not differ in their MDMA hair concentration. Cohen's d effect sizes for both comparisons, i.e., primary MDMA users vs. controls and polydrug MDMA users vs. controls, were highest for declarative memory (d primary =.90, d polydrug =1.21), followed by working memory (d primary =.52, d polydrug =.96), executive functions (d primary =.46, d polydrug =.86), and attention (d primary =.23, d polydrug =.70). Thus, primary MDMA users showed strong and relatively discrete declarative memory impairments, whereas MDMA polydrug users displayed broad and unspecific cognitive impairments. Consequently, even largely pure chronic MDMA use is associated with decreased performance in declarative memory, while additional deficits in working memory and executive functions displayed by polydrug MDMA users are likely driven by stimulant co-use. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  10. Underreporting of ecstasy use among high school seniors in the US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Keyes, Katherine; Cleland, Charles M

    2016-08-01

    National surveys suggest ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) use has decreased substantially among adolescents in the US since 2001; however, the recent phenomenon of "Molly" (ecstasy marketed as "pure MDMA") may be leading to underreporting of use as not all users are aware that "Molly" is a form of ecstasy. We examined 2014 data from Monitoring the Future, a nationally representative survey of high school seniors in the US (N=6250, modal age: 18). Three randomly distributed survey forms asked about ecstasy use, and one included "Molly" in the definition. Self-reported lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day ecstasy use were compared to determine whether including "Molly" in the definition was associated with higher prevalence or frequency of use. The form including "Molly" in the definition had significantly higher prevalence than the two (combined) forms that did not. Lifetime use (8.0% vs. 5.5%) and 12-month use (5.1% vs. 3.6%) were significantly higher with "Molly" in the definition. Lifetime prevalence remained higher with "Molly" in the definition when controlling for correlates of ecstasy use; however, 12-month use did not. Differences in prevalence were associated with lifetime occasions of use, with lower concordance between forms at lower levels of lifetime occasions (e.g., 1-2 times). Survey form was not related to number of times used among more frequent users. Prevalence of ecstasy use appears to be underestimated when "Molly" is not included in the definition of ecstasy/MDMA. Surveys should include "Molly" in the definition of ecstasy to more adequately assess prevalence of use. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. MDMA: interactions with other psychoactive drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Wael M Y; Ben Hamida, Sami; Cassel, Jean-Christophe; de Vasconcelos, Anne Pereira; Jones, Byron C

    2011-10-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is one of the most widely abused illegal drugs. Some users self-report euphoria and an increased perception and feeling of closeness to others. When taken in warm environments, MDMA users may develop acute complications with potential fatal consequences. In rodents, MDMA increases locomotor activity and, depending on ambient temperature, may produce a dose-dependent, potentially lethal hyperthermia. Like most other recreational drugs, MDMA is frequently taken in combination with other substances including tobacco, EtOH, marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine and, caffeine. Although polydrug use is very common, the understanding of the effects of this multiple substance use, as well as the analysis of consequences of different drug-drug associations, received rather little attention. The purpose of this review is to summarize our current knowledge about the changes on MDMA-related behavior, pharmacology, and neurotoxicity associated with co-consumption of other drugs of abuse and psychoactive agents. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. MDMA enhances "mind reading" of positive emotions and impairs "mind reading" of negative emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M; Domes, Gregor; Liechti, Matthias E

    2012-07-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) increases sociability. The prosocial effects of MDMA may result from the release of the "social hormone" oxytocin and associated alterations in the processing of socioemotional stimuli. We investigated the effects of MDMA (125 mg) on the ability to infer the mental states of others from social cues of the eye region in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. The study included 48 healthy volunteers (24 men, 24 women) and used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects design. A choice reaction time test was used to exclude impairments in psychomotor function. We also measured circulating oxytocin and cortisol levels and subjective drug effects. MDMA differentially affected mind reading depending on the emotional valence of the stimuli. MDMA enhanced the accuracy of mental state decoding for positive stimuli (e.g., friendly), impaired mind reading for negative stimuli (e.g., hostile), and had no effect on mind reading for neutral stimuli (e.g., reflective). MDMA did not affect psychomotor performance, increased circulating oxytocin and cortisol levels, and produced subjective prosocial effects, including feelings of being more open, talkative, and closer to others. The shift in the ability to correctly read socioemotional information toward stimuli associated with positive emotional valence, together with the prosocial feelings elicited by MDMA, may enhance social approach behavior and sociability when MDMA is used recreationally and facilitate therapeutic relationships in MDMA-assisted psychotherapeutic settings.

  13. MDMA alters emotional processing and facilitates positive social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardle, Margaret C; de Wit, Harriet

    2014-10-01

    ±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") produces "prosocial" effects, such as feelings of empathy and closeness, thought to be important to its abuse and its value in psychotherapy. However, it is not fully understood how MDMA alters basic emotional processes to produce these effects, or whether it produces corresponding changes in actual social behavior. Here, we examined how MDMA affects perceptions of and responses to emotional expressions, and tested its effects on behavior during a social interaction. We also examined whether MDMA's prosocial effects related to a measure of abuse liability. Over three sessions, 36 healthy volunteers with previous ecstasy use received MDMA (0.75, 1.5 mg/kg) and placebo under double-blind conditions. We measured (i) mood and cardiovascular effects, (ii) perception of and psychophysiological responses to emotional expressions, (iii) use of positive and negative words in a social interaction, and (iv) perceptions of an interaction partner. We then tested whether these effects predicted desire to take the drug again. MDMA slowed perception of angry expressions, increased psychophysiological responses to happy expressions, and increased positive word use and perceptions of partner empathy and regard in a social interaction. These effects were not strongly related to desire to take the drug again. MDMA alters basic emotional processes by slowing identification of negative emotions and increasing responses to positive emotions in others. Further, it positively affects behavior and perceptions during actual social interaction. These effects may contribute to the efficacy of MDMA in psychotherapy, but appear less closely related to its abuse potential.

  14. Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine administration on retinal physiology in the rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Martins

    Full Text Available 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy is known to produce euphoric states, but may also cause adverse consequences in humans, such as hyperthermia and neurocognitive deficits. Although MDMA consumption has been associated with visual problems, the effects of this recreational drug in retinal physiology have not been addressed hitherto. In this work, we evaluated the effect of a single MDMA administration in the rat electroretinogram (ERG. Wistar rats were administered MDMA (15 mg/kg or saline and ERGs were recorded before (Baseline ERG, and 3 h, 24 h, and 7 days after treatment. A high temperature (HT saline-treated control group was also included. Overall, significantly augmented and shorter latency ERG responses were found in MDMA and HT groups 3 h after treatment when compared to Baseline. Twenty-four hours after treatment some of the alterations found at 3 h, mainly characterized by shorter latency, tended to return to Baseline values. However, MDMA-treated animals still presented increased scotopic a-wave and b-wave amplitudes compared to Baseline ERGs, which were independent of temperature elevation though the latter might underlie the acute ERG alterations observed 3 h after MDMA administration. Seven days after MDMA administration recovery from these effects had occurred. The effects seem to stem from specific changes observed at the a-wave level, which indicates that MDMA affects subacutely (at 24 h retinal physiology at the outer retinal (photoreceptor/bipolar layers. In conclusion, we have found direct evidence that MDMA causes subacute enhancement of the outer retinal responses (most prominent in the a-wave, though ERG alterations resume within one week. These changes in photoreceptor/bipolar cell physiology may have implications for the understanding of the subacute visual manifestations induced by MDMA in humans.

  15. Effects of alcohol (BAC 0.5‰) and ecstasy (MDMA 100 mg) on simulated driving performance and traffic safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldstra, J.L.; Brookhuis, K.A.; De Waard, D.; Molmans, B.H.W.; Verstraete, A.G.; Skopp, G.; Janstos, R.

    2012-01-01

    Rational An increasing number of fatal road-accidents have been reported in which ecstasy was found in the blood of drivers. Although, ecstasy is frequently found to have been used in combination with alcohol, studies on the acute effects of ecstasy co-administered with alcohol on driving

  16. The Correlation between the Communication of the Health Risks of Ecstasy (MDMA) and the Drug's Use among College Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campe, Brian; Frye, Kristin; Hood, Caitlin; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey; Parsons, Michael

    The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between college students and their awareness of the hazardous effects of the drug Ecstasy. Ecstasy use has risen among college students even though readily available research shows Ecstasy use having extremely hazardous effects on its users. Research also shows a lack of communication about…

  17. High incidence of mild hyponatraemia in females using ecstasy at a rave party.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijken, Geetruida D; Blom, Renske E; Hené, Ronald J; Boer, Walther H; NIGRAM Consortium

    2013-09-01

    Globally, millions of subjects regularly use ecstasy, a drug popular due to its empathogenic and entactogenic effects. Dilutional hyponatraemia, mainly caused by direct stimulation of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion by ecstasy, is among the many side effects of the drug (active substance 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA). Severe, symptomatic hyponatraemia related to the use of MDMA has been reported in more than 30 cases. The mortality of this complication is high and mainly females are involved. Dramatic cases that reach the literature probably represent the tip of the iceberg. We decided to study the incidence of hyponatraemia in subjects using MDMA at an indoor rave party. The study was performed at the indoor event 'Awakenings', held in Amsterdam in the fall of 2010. The plasma sodium concentration was measured at the party using a point of care method in 63 subjects using MDMA and 44 controls. The use of MDMA was confirmed by a urine test. The plasma sodium concentration in subjects using MDMA was significantly lower than in those not using the drug (138 ± 2 mmol/L versus 140 ± 2 mmol/L, respectively, P ecstasy pills ingested by the females developing hyponatraemia was not different from that ingested by those who did not develop this complication. Fluid intake in ecstasy users exceeded that of non-users, suggesting a dipsogenic effect of the drug. Only 3% of males, but no less than ∼25% of females attending a rave party and using MDMA developed mild hyponatraemia during the event. Especially females are therefore probably also at risk of developing severe symptomatic hyponatraemia. Not using MDMA is obviously the best option to prevent MDMA-induced hyponatraemia. However, accepting the fact that millions use the drug every weekend, strategies should also be developed to prevent hyponatraemia in subjects choosing to take MDMA. This would include matching the electrolyte content of the fluids and food ingested to that of the fluids that are

  18. Memory-related hippocampal functioning in ecstasy and amphetamine users: a prospective fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Benjamin; Wagner, Daniel; Koester, Philip; Bender, Katja; Kabbasch, Christoph; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne; Daumann, Jörg

    2013-02-01

    Recreational use of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) has been associated with memory impairments. Functional neuroimaging studies with cross-sectional designs reported altered memory-related hippocampal functioning in ecstasy-polydrug users. However, differences might be pre-existing or related to the concomitant use of amphetamine. To prospectively investigate the specific effects of ecstasy on memory-related hippocampal functioning. We used an associative memory task and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 40 ecstasy and/or amphetamine users at baseline (t1) and after 12 months (t2). At t1, all subjects had very limited amphetamine and/or ecstasy experience (less than 5 units lifetime dose). Based on the reported drug use at t2, subjects with continued ecstasy and/or amphetamine use (n = 17) were compared to subjects who stopped use after t1 (n = 12). Analysis of repeated measures revealed that encoding-related activity in the left parahippocampal gyrus changed differentially between the groups. Activity in this region increased in abstinent subjects from t1 to t2, however, decreased in subjects with continued use. Decreases within the left parahippocampal gyrus were associated with the use of ecstasy, but not amphetamine, during the follow-up period. However, there were no significant differences in memory performance. The current findings suggest specific effects of ecstasy use on memory-related hippocampal functioning. However, alternative explanations such as (sub-)acute cannabis effects are conceivable.

  19. Carvedilol inhibits the cardiostimulant and thermogenic effects of MDMA in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, CM; Schmid, Y; Rickli, A; Simmler, LD; Donzelli, M; Grouzmann, E; Liechti, ME

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The use of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) is associated with cardiovascular complications and hyperthermia. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We assessed the effects of the α1- and β-adrenoceptor antagonist carvedilol on the cardiostimulant, thermogenic and subjective responses to MDMA in 16 healthy subjects. Carvedilol (50 mg) or placebo was administered 1 h before MDMA (125 mg) or placebo using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover design. KEY RESULTS Carvedilol reduced MDMA-induced elevations in blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Carvedilol did not affect the subjective effects of MDMA including MDMA-induced good drug effects, drug high, drug liking, stimulation or adverse effects. Carvedilol did not alter the plasma exposure to MDMA. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS α1- and β-Adrenoceptors contribute to the cardiostimulant and thermogenic effects of MDMA in humans but not to its psychotropic effects. Carvedilol could be useful in the treatment of cardiovascular and hyperthermic complications associated with ecstasy use. PMID:22404145

  20. Bilateral pneumothorax, surgical emphysema and pneumomediastinum in a young male patient following MDMA intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obiechina, Nonyelum Evangeline; Jayakumar, Ahrane; Khan, Yusra; Bass, James

    2018-04-07

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or 'Ecstasy' is an illicit drug frequently used by young people at parties and 'raves'. It is readily available in spite of the fact that it is illegal. 1 It is perceived by a lot of young people as being 'harmless', but there have been a few high-profile deaths associated with its use. 2 Known side effects of MDMA include hyperthermia, rhabdomyolysis, coagulopathy and cardiac arrhythmias. 3 Rarer side effects include surgical emphysema and pneumomediastinum, which have been better described with cocaine abuse. 4-6 We present a case of bilateral pneumothorax, surgical emphysema and pneumomediastinum in a young man after taking ecstasy. © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  1. Effects of MDMA alone and after pretreatment with reboxetine, duloxetine, clonidine, carvedilol, and doxazosin on pupillary light reflex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M; Liechti, Matthias E

    2012-12-01

    Pupillometry can be used to characterize autonomic drug effects. This study was conducted to determine the autonomic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), administered alone and after pretreatment with reboxetine, duloxetine, clonidine, carvedilol, and doxazosin, on pupillary function. Infrared pupillometry was performed in five placebo-controlled randomized studies. Each study included 16 healthy subjects (eight men, eight women) who received placebo-MDMA (125 mg), placebo-placebo, pretreatment-placebo, or pretreatment-MDMA using a crossover design. MDMA produced mydriasis, prolonged the latency, reduced the response to light, and shortened the recovery time. The impaired reflex response was associated with subjective, cardiostimulant, and hyperthermic drug effects and returned to normal within 6 h after MDMA administration when plasma MDMA levels were still high. Mydriasis was associated with changes in plasma MDMA concentration over time and longer-lasting. Both reboxetine and duloxetine interacted with the effects of MDMA on pupillary function. Clonidine did not significantly reduce the mydriatic effects of MDMA, although it produced miosis when administered alone. Carvedilol and doxazosin did not alter the effects of MDMA on pupillary function. The MDMA-induced prolongation of the latency to and reduction of light-induced miosis indicate indirect central parasympathetic inhibition, and the faster recovery time reflects an increased sympathomimetic action. Both norepinephrine and serotonin mediate the effects of MDMA on pupillary function. Although mydriasis is lasting and mirrors the plasma concentration-time curve of MDMA, the impairment in the reaction to light is associated with the subjective and other autonomic effects of MDMA and exhibits acute tolerance.

  2. Acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and methylphenidate on circulating steroid levels in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seibert, Julia; Hysek, Cédric M; Penno, Carlos A; Schmid, Yasmin; Kratschmar, Denise V; Liechti, Matthias E; Odermatt, Alex

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and methylphenidate are widely used psychoactive substances. MDMA primarily enhances serotonergic neurotransmission, and methylphenidate increases dopamine but has no serotonergic effects. Both drugs also increase norepinephrine, resulting in sympathomimetic properties. Here we studied the effects of MDMA and methylphenidate on 24-hour plasma steroid profiles. 16 healthy subjects (8 men, 8 women) were treated with single doses of MDMA (125 mg), methylphenidate (60 mg), MDMA + methylphenidate, and placebo on 4 separate days using a cross-over study design. Cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone, 11-dehydrocorticosterone, aldosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), androstenedione, and testosterone were repeatedly measured up to 24 h using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. MDMA significantly increased the plasma concentrations of cortisol, corticosterone, 11-dehydrocorticosterone, and 11-deoxycorticosterone and also tended to moderately increase aldosterone levels compared with placebo. MDMA also increased the sum of cortisol + cortisone and the cortisol/cortisone ratio, consistent with an increase in glucocorticoid production. MDMA did not alter the levels of cortisone, DHEA, DHEAS, androstenedione, or testosterone. Methylphenidate did not affect any of the steroid concentrations, and it did not change the effects of MDMA on circulating steroids. In summary, the serotonin releaser MDMA has acute effects on circulating steroids. These effects are not observed after stimulation of the dopamine and norepinephrine systems with methylphenidate. The present findings support the view that serotonin rather than dopamine and norepinephrine mediates the acute pharmacologically induced stimulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the absence of other stressors. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Who is 'Molly'? MDMA adulterants by product name and the impact of harm-reduction services at raves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleemi, Sarah; Pennybaker, Steven J; Wooldridge, Missi; Johnson, Matthew W

    2017-08-01

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), often sold as 'Ecstasy' or 'Molly', is commonly used at music festivals and reported to be responsible for an increase in deaths over the last decade. Ecstasy is often adulterated and contains compounds that increase morbidity and mortality. While users and clinicians commonly assume that products sold as Molly are less-adulterated MDMA products, this has not been tested. Additionally, while pill-testing services are sometimes available at raves, the assumption that these services decrease risky drug use has not been studied. This study analyzed data collected by the pill-testing organization, DanceSafe, from events across the United States from 2010 to 2015. Colorimetric reagent assays identified MDMA in only 60% of the 529 samples collected. No significant difference in the percentage of samples testing positive for MDMA was determined between Ecstasy and Molly. Individuals were significantly less likely to report intent to use a product if testing did not identify MDMA (relative risk (RR) = 0.56, p = 0.01). Results suggest that Molly is not a less-adulterated substance, and that pill-testing services are a legitimate harm-reduction service that decreases intent to consume potentially dangerous substances and may warrant consideration by legislators for legal protection. Future research should further examine the direct effects of pill-testing services and include more extensive pill-testing methods.

  4. Investigation of serotonin-1A receptor function in the human psychopharmacology of MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasler, F; Studerus, E; Lindner, K; Ludewig, S; Vollenweider, F X

    2009-11-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) release is the primary pharmacological mechanism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') action in the primate brain. Dopamine release and direct stimulation of dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors also contributes to the overall action of MDMA. The role of 5-HT1A receptors in the human psychopharmacology of MDMA, however, has not yet been elucidated. In order to reveal the consequences of manipulation at the 5-HT1A receptor system on cognitive and subjective effects of MDMA, a receptor blocking study using the mixed beta-adrenoreceptor blocker/5-HT1A antagonist pindolol was performed. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject design, 15 healthy male subjects were examined under placebo (PL), 20 mg pindolol (PIN), MDMA (1.6 mg/kg b.wt.), MDMA following pre-treatment with pindolol (PIN-MDMA). Tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery were used for the assessment of cognitive performance. Psychometric questionnaires were applied to measure effects of treatment on core dimensions of Altered States of Consciousness, mood and state anxiety. Compared with PL, MDMA significantly impaired sustained attention and visual-spatial memory, but did not affect executive functions. Pre-treatment with PIN did not significantly alter MDMA-induced impairment of cognitive performance and only exerted a minor modulating effect on two psychometric scales affected by MDMA treatment ('positive derealization' and 'dreaminess'). Our findings suggest that MDMA differentially affects higher cognitive functions, but does not support the hypothesis from animal studies, that some of the MDMA effects are causally mediated through action at the 5-HT1A receptor system.

  5. Underreporting of Ecstasy Use among High School Seniors in the US*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J.; Keyes, Katherine; Cleland, Charles M.

    2016-01-01

    Background National surveys suggest ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) use has decreased substantially among adolescents in the US since 2001; however, the recent phenomenon of “Molly” (ecstasy marketed as “pure MDMA”) may be leading to underreporting of use as not all users are aware that “Molly” is a form of ecstasy. Methods We examined 2014 data from Monitoring the Future, a nationally representative survey of high school seniors in the US (N = 6,250, modal age: 18). Three randomly distributed survey forms asked about ecstasy use, and one included “Molly” in the definition. Self-reported lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day ecstasy use were compared to determine whether including “Molly” in the definition was associated with higher prevalence or frequency of use. Results The form including “Molly” in the definition had significantly higher prevalence than the two (combined) forms that did not. Lifetime use (8.0% vs. 5.5%) and 12-month use (5.1% vs. 3.6%) were significantly higher with “Molly” in the definition. Lifetime prevalence remained higher with “Molly” in the definition when controlling for correlates of ecstasy use; however, 12-month use did not. Differences in prevalence were associated with lifetime occasions of use, with lower concordance between forms at lower levels of lifetime occasions (e.g., 1–2 times). Survey form was not related to number of times used among more frequent users. Conclusions Prevalence of ecstasy use appears to be underestimated when “Molly” is not included in the definition of ecstasy/MDMA. Surveys should include “Molly” in the definition of ecstasy to more adequately assess prevalence of use. PMID:27296977

  6. Antidepressant-like effects of ecstasy in subjects with a predisposition to depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Irina; White, Jason M; Irvine, Rodney J

    2012-10-01

    Positive effects of ecstasy on mood and self-esteem due to increased synaptic serotonin levels may indicate a potential antidepressant-like action. This effect may be more prominent in subjects with a pre-existing mood disturbance who may use ecstasy more frequently as a 'self-medication'. This study compared depressive symptoms and the immediate effects of ecstasy on mood in subjects with (WP) and without (NP) a predisposition to depression. Current ecstasy users were assessed using the profile of mood states (POMS) and beck depression inventory (BDI) when drug-free, and during social gathering, when 20 subjects voluntarily consumed ecstasy (ecstasy group) and 20 abstained from ecstasy (control group). Predisposition to depression was determined using the Brief Symptom Inventory. During social gathering, POMS and BDI were administered 60 min after ecstasy consumption, or at matched time for controls. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) exposure was confirmed using saliva samples collected 60 min after pill ingestion. There was no difference in ecstasy use patterns between the groups. When drug-free, the WP subjects had greater mood disturbance and depressive symptoms than the NP group (POMS: NP 5.85±1.63, WP 14.5±2.81, pecstasy reported a significant decrease in depressive symptoms (F(1,35)=5.47, p<0.05). A decrease in depressive symptoms was observed in subjects predisposed to depression. This antidepressant-like action of MDMA may contribute to its use, particularly among people with an existing or latent depressive disorder. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cardiac effects of MDMA on the metabolic profile determined with 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the rat†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrine, Shane A.; Michaels, Mark S.; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Hyde, Elisabeth M.; Tancer, Manuel E.; Galloway, Matthew P.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the potential for deleterious (even fatal) effects on cardiac physiology, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) abuse abounds driven mainly by its euphoric effects. Acute exposure to MDMA has profound cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and heart rate in humans and animals. To determine the effects of MDMA on cardiac metabolites in rats, MDMA (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg) was injected every 2 h for a total of four injections; animals were sacrificed 2 h after the last injection (8 h drug exposure), and their hearts removed and tissue samples from left ventricular wall dissected. High resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) at 11.7 T, a specialized version of MRS aptly suited for analysis of semi-solid materials such as intact tissue samples, was used to measure the cardiac metabolomic profile, including alanine, lactate, succinate, creatine, and carnitine, in heart tissue from rats treated with MDMA. MDMA effects on MR-visible choline, glutamate, glutamine, and taurine were also determined. Body temperature was measured following each MDMA administration and serotonin and norepinephrine (NE) levels were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in heart tissue from treated animals. MDMA significantly and dose-dependently increased body temperature, a hallmark of amphetamines. Serotonin, but not NE, levels were significantly and dose-dependently decreased by MDMA in the heart wall. MDMA significantly altered the MR-visible profile with an increase in carnitine and no change in other key compounds involved in cardiomyocyte energy metabolomics. Finally, choline levels were significantly decreased by MDMA in heart. The results are consistent with the notion that MDMA has significant effects on cardiovascular serotonergic tone and disrupts the metabolic homeostasis of energy regulation in cardiac tissue, potentially increasing utilization of fatty acid metabolism. The contributions of serotonergic

  8. Cardiac effects of MDMA on the metabolic profile determined with 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrine, Shane A; Michaels, Mark S; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Hyde, Elisabeth M; Tancer, Manuel E; Galloway, Matthew P

    2009-05-01

    Despite the potential for deleterious (even fatal) effects on cardiac physiology, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) abuse abounds driven mainly by its euphoric effects. Acute exposure to MDMA has profound cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and heart rate in humans and animals. To determine the effects of MDMA on cardiac metabolites in rats, MDMA (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg) was injected every 2 h for a total of four injections; animals were sacrificed 2 h after the last injection (8 h drug exposure), and their hearts removed and tissue samples from left ventricular wall dissected. High resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) at 11.7 T, a specialized version of MRS aptly suited for analysis of semi-solid materials such as intact tissue samples, was used to measure the cardiac metabolomic profile, including alanine, lactate, succinate, creatine, and carnitine, in heart tissue from rats treated with MDMA. MDMA effects on MR-visible choline, glutamate, glutamine, and taurine were also determined. Body temperature was measured following each MDMA administration and serotonin and norepinephrine (NE) levels were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in heart tissue from treated animals. MDMA significantly and dose-dependently increased body temperature, a hallmark of amphetamines. Serotonin, but not NE, levels were significantly and dose-dependently decreased by MDMA in the heart wall. MDMA significantly altered the MR-visible profile with an increase in carnitine and no change in other key compounds involved in cardiomyocyte energy metabolomics. Finally, choline levels were significantly decreased by MDMA in heart. The results are consistent with the notion that MDMA has significant effects on cardiovascular serotonergic tone and disrupts the metabolic homeostasis of energy regulation in cardiac tissue, potentially increasing utilization of fatty acid metabolism. The contributions of serotonergic

  9. Repeated intermittent administration of psychomotor stimulant drugs alters the acquisition of Pavlovian approach behavior in rats: differential effects of cocaine, d-amphetamine and 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy").

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, J R; Jentsch, J D

    2001-07-15

    Psychomotor stimulant drugs can produce long-lasting changes in neurochemistry and behavior after multiple doses. In particular, neuroadaptations within corticolimbic brain structures that mediate incentive learning and motivated behavior have been demonstrated after chronic exposure to cocaine, d-amphetamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). As stimulus-reward learning is likely relevant to addictive behavior (i.e., augmented conditioned reward and stimulus control of behavior), we have investigated whether prior repeated administration of psychomotor stimulant drugs (of abuse, including cocaine, d-amphetamine, or MDMA, would affect the acquisition of Pavlovian approach behavior. Water-deprived rats were tested for the acquisition of Pavlovian approach behavior after 5 days treatment with cocaine (15-20 mg/kg once or twice daily), d-amphetamine (2.5 mg/kg once or twice daily), or MDMA (2.5 mg/kg twice daily) followed by a 7-day, drug-free period. Prior repeated treatment with cocaine or d-amphetamine produced a significant enhancement of acquisition of Pavlovian approach behavior, indicating accelerated stimulus-reward learning, whereas MDMA administration produced increased inappropriate responding, indicating impulsivity. Abnormal drug-induced approach behavior was found to persist throughout the testing period. These studies demonstrate that psychomotor stimulant-induced sensitization can produce long-term alterations in stimulus-reward learning and impulse control that may contribute to the compulsive drug taking that typifies addiction.

  10. N-acetylaspartate (NAA) correlates inversely with cannabis use in a frontal language processing region of neocortex in MDMA (Ecstasy) polydrug users: a 3 T magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ronald L; Joers, James M; Dietrich, Mary S

    2009-03-01

    Impaired verbal memory is common in MDMA (Ecstasy) polydrug users. The contributions of Ecstasy or polydrug exposure to reduced verbal memory are unclear, as is the neural basis for this cognitive deficit. Ecstasy users have reduced gray matter in brain regions mediating verbal memory (BA 18, 21 and 45). N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as a neuronal marker and myoinositol (mI) as a glial marker are inconsistently affected in Ecstasy users. We used 3 T MRS in 17 recreational drug users to test the hypothesis that Ecstasy polydrug use would be associated with altered NAA or mI in BA 18, 21 and 45. No effects were seen for mI. Metabolite ratios for NAA (mean+/-SD) were: BA 18-NAA/Cr (2.030+/-0.188); BA 21-NAA/Cr (1.861+/-0.325); BA 45-NAA/Cr (1.925+/-0.329). Lifetime cannabis use was significantly associated with BA 45 NAA/Cr (r=-0.687, p=0.014) but not with NAA in BA 18 or 21. In contrast, there were no statistically significant associations for lifetime use of Ecstasy, alcohol, or cocaine with NAA. These findings suggest that cannabis use may contribute to altered neuronal integrity in Ecstasy polydrug users in a brain region associated with verbal memory processing.

  11. N-acetylaspartate (NAA) correlates inversely with cannabis use in a frontal language processing region of neocortex in MDMA (Ecstasy) Polydrug Users: a 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ronald L; Joers, James M; Dietrich, Mary S

    2015-01-01

    Impaired verbal memory is common in MDMA (Ecstasy) polydrug users. The contributions of Ecstasy or polydrug exposure to reduced verbal memory are unclear, as is the neural basis for this cognitive deficit. Ecstasy users have reduced gray matter in brain regions mediating verbal memory (BA 18, 21 and 45). N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as a neuronal marker and myoinositol (mI) as a glial marker are inconsistently affected in Ecstasy users. We used 3 Tesla MRS in 17 recreational drug users to test the hypothesis that Ecstasy polydrug use would be associated with altered NAA or mI in BA 18, 21 and 45. No effects were seen for mI. Metabolite ratios for NAA (mean ± SD) were: BA 18--NAA/Cr (2.030 ± 0.188); BA 21--NAA/Cr (1.861 ± 0.325); BA 45--NAA/Cr (1.925 ± 0.329). Lifetime cannabis use was significantly associated with BA 45 NAA/Cr (r = −0.687, p = 0.014) but not with NAA in BA 18 or 21. In contrast, there were no statistically significant associations for lifetime use of Ecstasy, alcohol, or cocaine with NAA. These findings suggest that cannabis use may contribute to altered neuronal integrity in Ecstasy polydrug users in a brain region associated with verbal memory processing. PMID:19032963

  12. Meta-analysis of executive functioning in ecstasy/polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, C A; Jones, A; Montgomery, C

    2016-06-01

    Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity.

  13. Toxicological methods for tracing drug abuse: chromatographic, spectroscopic and biological characterisation of ecstasy derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belhadj-Tahar, Hafid; Payoux, Pierre; Tafani, Mathieu; Coulais, Yvon; Calet, Serge; Bousseksou, Azzedine

    2010-03-01

    Analysis often reveals variability in the composition of ecstasy pills from pure 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) to mixtures of MDMA derivatives, amphetamine, and other unidentified substances. For a comprehensive toxicological analysis one needs to know all steps to MDMA synthesis which may originate impurities. The aim of this study was to synthesise and determine the chemical-physical and in vitro biological properties of a series of MDMA derivatives.3,4-methylendioxyphenyl-2-nitropropene (MDNP) was obtained by condensation of piperonal with an excess of nitroethane in the presence of ammonium acetate. MDNP was then reduced to methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) by LiAlH3. All compounds were analysed using HPLC and spectroscopic technique [Raman, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), or infrared (IR)] at all the steps of synthesis. In addition, we assessed the biological potentials of these compounds by measuring in vitro their (i) blood cell/whole blood partition coefficient, (ii) binding to plasmatic proteins (Fbp), and (iii) membrane adsorption. Chemical structure was determined with antibody fluorescence polarisation immunoassay (FPIA). This study showed the presence of solid impurities, particularly of a neurotoxic compound of Al3+ in the final products. FPIA identified the aminoethane group close to the substituted benzene ring, but did not detect the two major precursors of MDMA: MDNP and piperonal. Raman spectroscopy is an attractive alternative technique to characterise ecstasy pills and it can identify stereoisomeric forms such as cis-MDNP and trans-MDNP, which exhibit signals at 1650 cm-1 and 1300 cm-1, respectively.

  14. Ghrelin Alleviates MDMA-Induced Disturbance of Serum Glucose and Lipids Levels in the Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravieh Golchoobian

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Hepatotoxicity is one of the clinically adverse effects of ecstasy (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA consumption. The detoxification tissue, liver, plays a central role in maintaining circulating levels of glucose and lipid. Hypoglycemia and hypotriglyceridemia have been reported due to ecstasy abuse. Ghrelin is a 28-amino-acid peptide secreted predominantly from the stomach. It has been demonstrated that ghrelin has hepatoprotective effects and is able to increase blood glucose concentration. In the current study, we explored the effect of hepatotoxic dose of MDMA and therapeutic use of exogenous ghrelin on the serum levels of glucose and lipids in four groups of rats. MDMA caused a severe and transient reduction in circulating levels of glucose and triglyceride and increased serum LDL. However, cholesterol and HDL levels remained unchanged. Meanwhile, altered hepatic architecture was observed with intracellular vacuolation that may indicate intracellular accumulation of lipid droplets. In addition, following ghrelin administration, the blood sugar levels improved and LDL levels returned to the baseline value, and ghrelin treatment did not improve triglycerides levels. These results showed that MDMA causes hypoglycemia, hypotriglyceridemia, and hyper LDL-cholesterolemia. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing ghrelin administration could improve hypoglycemia and normalize LDL levels induced by MDMA and partially restore hepatic architecture.

  15. Synergistic toxicity of ethanol and MDMA towards primary cultured rat hepatocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pontes, Helena; Sousa, Carla; Silva, Renata; Fernandes, Eduarda; Carmo, Helena; Remiao, Fernando; Carvalho, Felix; Bastos, Maria Lourdes

    2008-01-01

    Ethanol is frequently consumed along with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy). Since both compounds are hepatotoxic and are metabolized in the liver, an increased deleterious interaction resulting from the concomitant use of these two drugs seems plausible. Another important feature of MDMA-induced toxicity is hyperthermia, an effect known to be potentiated after continuous exposure to ethanol. Considering the potential deleterious interaction, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the hepatotoxic effects of ethanol and MDMA mixtures to primary cultured rat hepatocytes and to elucidate the mechanism(s) underlying this interaction. For this purpose, the toxicity induced by MDMA to primary cultured rat hepatocytes in absence or in presence of ethanol was evaluated, under normothermic (36.5 deg. C) and hyperthermic (40.5 deg. C) conditions. While MDMA and ethanol, by themselves, had discrete effects on the analysed parameters, which were slightly aggravated under hyperthermia, the simultaneous incubation of MDMA and ethanol for 24 h, resulted in high cell death ratios accompanied by a significant disturbance of cellular redox status and decreased energy levels. Evaluation of apoptotic/necrotic features provided clear evidences that the cell death occurs preferentially through a necrotic pathway. All the evaluated parameters were dramatically aggravated when cells were incubated under hyperthermia. In conclusion, co-exposure of hepatocytes to ethanol and MDMA definitely results in a synergism of the hepatotoxic effects, through a disruption of the cellular redox status and enhanced cell death by a necrotic pathway in a temperature-dependent extent

  16. "Ecstasy" toxicity to adolescent rats following an acute low binge dose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira-Gomes, Armanda; Costa, Vera Marisa; Feio-Azevedo, Rita; Duarte, José Alberto; Duarte-Araújo, Margarida; Fernandes, Eduarda; Bastos, Maria de Lourdes; Carvalho, Félix; Capela, João Paulo

    2016-06-28

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is a worldwide drug of abuse commonly used by adolescents. Most reports focus on MDMA's neurotoxicity and use high doses in adult animals, meanwhile studies in adolescents are scarce. We aimed to assess in rats the acute MDMA toxicity to the brain and peripheral organs using a binge dose scheme that tries to simulate human adolescent abuse. Adolescent rats (postnatal day 40) received three 5 mg/kg doses of MDMA (estimated equivalent to two/three pills in a 50 kg adolescent), intraperitoneally, every 2 h, while controls received saline. After 24 h animal sacrifice took place and collection of brain areas (cerebellum, hippocampus, frontal cortex and striatum) and peripheral organs (liver, heart and kidneys) occurred. Significant hyperthermia was observed after the second and third MDMA doses, with mean increases of 1 °C as it occurs in the human scenario. MDMA promoted ATP levels fall in the frontal cortex. No brain oxidative stress-related changes were observed after MDMA. MDMA-treated rat organs revealed significant histological tissue alterations including vascular congestion, but no signs of apoptosis or necrosis were found, which was corroborated by the lack of changes in plasma biomarkers and tissue caspases. In peripheral organs, MDMA did not affect significantly protein carbonylation, glutathione, or ATP levels, but liver presented a higher vulnerability as MDMA promoted an increase in quinoprotein levels. Adolescent rats exposed to a moderate MDMA dose, presented hyperthermia and acute tissue damage to peripheral organs without signs of brain oxidative stress.

  17. In abstinent MDMA users the cortisol awakening response is off-set but associated with prefrontal serotonin transporter binding as in non-users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frokjaer, Vibe Gedsoe; Erritzoe, David; Holst, Klaus Kähler

    2014-01-01

    awakening response (CAR). Here, we tested (1) if such a correlation persists in a human model of chronic serotonin depletion, namely in 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'Ecstasy') users, and (2) if CAR differed between MDMA users (N = 18) and non-using healthy volunteers (N = 32). Participants...... underwent SERT brain imaging with [11C]DASB-PET, and performed home-sampling of CAR, defined as the area under curve with respect to cortisol increase from awakening level. When adjusting for age and group, CAR was positively coupled to prefrontal SERT binding (p = 0.006) and MDMA users showed significantly...... higher CAR than the control group (p = 0.0003). In conclusion, our data confirm the recently described positive association between prefrontal SERT binding and CAR, this time in a human model of serotonin deficiency. Also, we find that CAR was higher in MDMA users relative to non-users. We suggest...

  18. MDMA-evoked changes in the binding of dopamine D(2) receptor ligands in striatum of rats with unilateral serotonin depletion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostergaard, Søren Dinesen; Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen; Gramsbergen, Jan Bert

    2010-01-01

    We earlier reported an anomalous 50% decrease in [(11)C]N-methylspiperone ([(11)C]NMSP) binding to dopamine D(2)-like receptors in living pig striatum after challenge with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy"), suggesting either (1) a species peculiarity in the vulnerability...... lesions, later verified by [(125)I]RTI-55 autoradiography. Baseline [(11)C]NMSP microPET recordings were followed by either saline or MDMA-HCl (4 mg/kg) injections (i.v.), and a second [(11)C]NMSP recording, culminating with injection of [(3)H]raclopride for autoradiography ex vivo. Neither MDMA......-challenge nor serotonin lesion had any detectable effect on [(11)C]NMSP binding. In contrast, MDMA challenge increased receptor occupancy by [(3)H]raclopride ex vivo (relative to the B(max) in vitro) from 8% to 12%, and doubled the free ligand concentration in cerebral cortex, apparently by blocking hepatic CYP...

  19. The acute effects of MDMA and ethanol administration on electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spronk, D B; Dumont, G J H; Verkes, R J; De Bruijn, E R A

    2014-07-01

    Knowing how commonly used drugs affect performance monitoring is of great importance, because drug use is often associated with compromised behavioral control. Two of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the western world, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") and ethanol (alcohol), are also often used in combination. The error-related negativity (ERN), correct-related negativity (CRN), and N2 are electrophysiological indices of performance monitoring. The present study aimed to investigate how ethanol, MDMA, and their co-administration affect performance monitoring as indexed by the electrophysiological correlates. Behavioral and EEG data were obtained from 14 healthy volunteers during execution of a speeded choice-reaction-time task after administration of ethanol, MDMA, and combined ethanol and MDMA, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover design. Ethanol significantly reduced ERN amplitudes, while administration of MDMA did not affect the ERN. Co-administration of MDMA and ethanol did not further impair nor ameliorate the effect of ethanol alone. No drug effects on CRN nor N2 were observed. A decreased ERN following ethanol administration is in line with previous work and offers further support for the impairing effects of alcohol intoxication on performance monitoring. This impairment may underlie maladaptive behavior in people who are under influence. Moreover, these data demonstrate for the first time that MDMA does not affect performance monitoring nor does it interact with ethanol in this process. These findings corroborate the notion that MDMA leaves central executive functions relatively unaffected.

  20. Histórico, efeitos e mecanismo de ação do êxtase (3-4 metilenodioximetanfetamina: revisão da literatura History, effects, and mechanisms of action of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine: a literature review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Pereira de Almeida

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available A presente revisão enfoca a 3-4 metilenodioximetanfetamina, droga ilegal conhecida como "êxtase". O êxtase foi introduzido no Brasil em 1994. Embora faltem dados sobre a epidemiologia e sobre os padrões de uso do êxtase no Brasil, há indicações de que o consumo seja, até o momento, restrito a jovens da classe alta ou média-alta e desconhecido para a maioria da população, inclusive para profissionais da saúde. Contudo, é possível que ocorra uma popularização dessa droga no Brasil, seguindo a tendência norte-americana e européia. A facilidade de consumo do êxtase -- em forma de pílulas -- pode ser um fator importante para sua popularização. O êxtase tem reputação de não apresentar perigo físico; contudo, há inúmeros relatos de reações adversas e mortes relacionadas à sua ingestão. Além disso, sabe-se que nem todos os comprimidos consumidos como êxtase necessariamente contém metilenodioximetanfetamina. Diante da ausência de controle farmacêutico, nenhum consumidor sabe exatamente o que está ingerindo. Assim, embora os efeitos do êxtase sejam percebidos como predominantemente positivos pelos usuários, a droga é potencialmente perigosa. Por essa razão, são necessárias intervenções de caráter primário e secundário para prevenir o uso de êxtase e a ocorrência de reações adversas. Para serem efetivas, tais ações devem levar em conta as características da população consumidora e seu padrão de consumo. Também é fundamental a capacitação de profissionais de saúde para intervenções médicas de emergência em casos de intoxicação e complicações resultantes do uso da droga.This review focuses on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, an illegal drug known as "ecstasy." Ecstasy was introduced in Brazil in 1994. Data are lacking on the epidemiology and usage pattern of the drug in Brazil. However, there is evidence that until now the use of ecstasy has been limited to middle-class or upper

  1. Opioid gene expression changes and post-translational histone modifications at promoter regions in the rat nucleus accumbens after acute and repeated 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputi, Francesca Felicia; Palmisano, Martina; Carboni, Lucia; Candeletti, Sanzio; Romualdi, Patrizia

    2016-12-01

    The recreational drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been shown to produce neurotoxic damage and long-lasting changes in several brain areas. In addition to the involvement of serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems, little information exists about the contribution of nociceptin/orphaninFQ (N/OFQ)-NOP and dynorphin (DYN)-KOP systems in neuronal adaptations evoked by MDMA. Here we investigated the behavioral and molecular effects induced by acute (8mg/kg) or repeated (8mg/kg twice daily for seven days) MDMA exposure. MDMA exposure affected body weight gain and induced hyperlocomotion; this latter effect progressively decreased after repeated administration. Gene expression analysis indicated a down-regulation of the N/OFQ system and an up-regulation of the DYN system in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), highlighting an opposite systems regulation in response to MDMA exposure. Since histone modifications have been strongly associated to the addiction-related maladaptive changes, we examined two permissive (acH3K9 and me3H3K4) and two repressive transcription marks (me3H3K27 and me2H3K9) at the pertinent opioid gene promoter regions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that acute MDMA increased me3H3K4 at the pN/OFQ, pDYN and NOP promoters. Following acute and repeated treatment a significant decrease of acH3K9 at the pN/OFQ promoter was observed, which correlated with gene expression results. Acute treatment caused an acH3K9 increase and a me2H3K9 decrease at the pDYN promoter which matched its mRNA up-regulation. Our data indicate that the activation of the DYNergic stress system together with the inactivation of the N/OFQergic anti-stress system contribute to the neuroadaptive actions of MDMA and offer novel epigenetic information associated with MDMA abuse. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... closeness and empathy. Dopamine —helps to control movement, motivation, emotions, and sensations like pleasure. The extra dopamine ... long lasting, including confusion, depression, and problems with memory and attention. Learn more about how the brain ...

  3. Analysis of ecstasy tablets using capillary electrophoresis with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto, Suely K S S; Nogueira, Thiago; Blanes, Lucas; Doble, Philip; Sabino, Bruno D; do Lago, Claudimir L; Angnes, Lúcio

    2014-11-01

    A method for the identification of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) was developed employing capillary electrophoresis (CE) with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C(4) D). Sample extraction, separation, and detection of "Ecstasy" tablets were performed in fenproporex, caffeine, lidocaine, and cocaine. Separation was performed in <90 sec. The advantages of using C(4) D instead of traditional CE-UV methods for in-field analysis are also discussed. © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  4. Methaemoglobinemia Induced by MDMA?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. L. W. Verhaert

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Case. A 45-year-old man with a blank medical history presented at the emergency room with dizziness and cyanosis. Physical examination showed cyanosis with a peripheral saturation (SpO2 of 85%, he did not respond to supplemental oxygen. Arterial blood gas analysis showed a striking chocolate brown colour. Based on these data, we determined the arterial methaemoglobin concentration. This was 32%. We gave 100% oxygen and observed the patient in a medium care unit. The next day, patient could be discharged in good condition. Further inquiry about exhibitions and extensive history revealed that the patient used MDMA (3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine, the active ingredient of ecstasy. Conclusion. Acquired methaemoglobinemia is a condition that occurs infrequently, but is potentially life threatening. Different nutrients, medications, and chemicals can induce methaemoglobinemia by oxidation of haemoglobin. The clinical presentation of a patient with methaemoglobinemia is due to the impossibility of O2 binding and transport, resulting in tissue hypoxia. Important is to think about methaemoglobin in a patient who presents with cyanosis, a peripheral saturation of 85% that fails to respond properly to the administration of O2. Because methaemoglobin can be reduced physiologically, it is usually sufficient to remove the causative agent, to give O2, and to observe the patient.

  5. MDMA does not alter responses to the Trier Social Stress Test in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershad, Anya K; Miller, Melissa A; de Wit, Harriet

    2017-07-01

    ±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a stimulant-psychedelic drug with unique social effects. It may dampen reactivity to negative social stimuli such as social threat and rejection. Perhaps because of these effects, MDMA has shown promise as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the effect of single doses of MDMA on responses to an acute psychosocial stressor has not been tested. In this study, we sought to test the effects of MDMA on responses to stress in healthy adults using a public speaking task. We hypothesized that the drug would reduce responses to the stressful task. Volunteers (N = 39) were randomly assigned to receive placebo (N = 13), 0.5 mg/kg MDMA (N = 13), or 1.0 mg/kg MDMA (N = 13) during a stress and a no-stress session. Dependent measures included subjective reports of drug effects and emotional responses to the task, as well as salivary cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure. The stress task produced its expected increase in physiological responses (cortisol, heart rate) and subjective ratings of stress in all three groups, and MDMA produced its expected subjective and physiological effects. MDMA alone increased ratings of subjective stress, heart rate, and saliva cortisol concentrations, but contrary to our hypothesis, it did not moderate responses to the Trier Social Stress Test. Despite its efficacy in PTSD and anxiety, MDMA did not reduce either the subjective or objective responses to stress in this controlled study. The conditions under which MDMA relieves responses to negative events or memories remain to be determined.

  6. The most frequent psychopathology related to the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA of medical help seekers: causality or coincidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Lovrečič

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA represents the most popular recreational synthetic drug. The increasing popularity of MDMA, health consequences due to its recreational use and possibility of neurodegeneration of brain serotonin neurons are the reasons for increasing concern. Numerous studies suggest a link between exposure to MDMA and the consequent psychopathology. The literature indicates the incidence of various psychiatric disorders associated with single or multiple use of MDMA. The most frequent psychiatric disorders for which MDMA users search medical assistance are psychotic states, depression and panic attacks. However, it is not easy to conclude that there is a causal link between exposure to MDMA and psychopathology. This paper describes current knowledge of some aspects of this phenomenon, which represents the starting point for further challenges to various researchers and experts.

  7. An In-Depth Qualitative Examination of the Ecstasy Experience: Results of a Focus Group with Ecstasy-Using College Students

    OpenAIRE

    LEVY, KIRA B.; O'GRADY, KEVIN E.; WISH, ERIC D.; ARRIA, AMELIA M.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined ecstasy use in 30 college students who participated in one of four 60-minute focus groups with other participants who also had a history of ecstasy use. Ten topics emerged in the sessions: 1) pill ingredients, 2) mechanism of MDMA effects, 3) reasons for initiating ecstasy use, 4) risky behaviors and ecstasy use, 5) sexual activity and ecstasy, 6) positive effects from ecstasy use, 7) negative effects related to ecstasy use, 8) ecstasy and polysubstance use, 9) perceived r...

  8. Serotonergic neurotransmission in emotional processing: New evidence from long-term recreational poly-drug ecstasy use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laursen, Helle Ruff; Henningsson, Susanne; Macoveanu, Julian; Jernigan, Terry L; Siebner, Hartwig R; Holst, Klaus K; Skimminge, Arnold; Knudsen, Gitte M; Ramsoy, Thomas Z; Erritzoe, David

    2016-12-01

    The brain's serotonergic system plays a crucial role in the processing of emotional stimuli, and several studies have shown that a reduced serotonergic neurotransmission is associated with an increase in amygdala activity during emotional face processing. Prolonged recreational use of ecstasy (3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) induces alterations in serotonergic neurotransmission that are comparable to those observed in a depleted state. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we investigated the responsiveness of the amygdala to emotional face stimuli in recreational ecstasy users as a model of long-term serotonin depletion. Fourteen ecstasy users and 12 non-using controls underwent fMRI to measure the regional neural activity elicited in the amygdala by male or female faces expressing anger, disgust, fear, sadness, or no emotion. During fMRI, participants made a sex judgement on each face stimulus. Positron emission tomography with 11 C-DASB was additionally performed to assess serotonin transporter (SERT) binding in the brain. In the ecstasy users, SERT binding correlated negatively with amygdala activity, and accumulated lifetime intake of ecstasy tablets was associated with an increase in amygdala activity during angry face processing. Conversely, time since the last ecstasy intake was associated with a trend toward a decrease in amygdala activity during angry and sad face processing. These results indicate that the effects of long-term serotonin depletion resulting from ecstasy use are dose-dependent, affecting the functional neural basis of emotional face processing. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. Effects of ecstasy on cooperative behaviour and perception of trustworthiness: a naturalistic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, L H; Ferguson, B; Morgan, C J A; Swaboda, N; Jones, L; Fenton, R; Wall, M B; Curran, H V

    2014-11-01

    Acute recreational use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') can promote pro-social effects which may alter interpersonal perceptions. To explore such effects, this study investigated whether acute recreational use of ecstasy was associated with changes in individual perception of trustworthiness of people's faces and co-operative behaviours. An independent group, repeated measures design was used in which 17 ecstasy users were tested on the night of drug use (day 0) and again three days later (day 3); 22 controls were tested on parallel days. On each day, participants rated the trustworthiness of 66 faces, carried out three co-operative behaviour tasks (public good; dictator; ultimatum game) and completed mood self-ratings. Acute ecstasy use was associated with increased face trustworthiness ratings and increased cooperative behaviour on the dictator and ultimatum games; on day 3 there were no group differences on any task. Self-ratings showed the standard acute ecstasy effects (euphoria, energy, jaw clenching) with negative effects (less empathy, compassion, more distrust, hostility) emerging on day 3. Our findings of increased perceived trustworthiness and co-operative behaviours following use of ecstasy suggest that a single dose of the drug enhances aspects of empathy. This may in turn contribute to its popularity as a recreational drug and potentially to its enhancement of the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy. © The Author(s) 2014.

  10. A clinical plan for MDMA (Ecstasy) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): partnering with the FDA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doblin, Rick

    2002-01-01

    The FDA and the Spanish Ministry of Health have concluded that the risk/benefit ratio is favorable under certain circumstances for clinical studies investigating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Both agencies have approved pilot studies in chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients who have failed to obtain relief from at least one course of conventional treatment. These studies, the only ones in the world into the therapeutic use of MDMA, are being funded by a nonprofit research and educational organization, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS, www.maps.org). A rationale is offered explaining why MAPS chose to focus its limited resources on MDMA, and also on PTSD patients. A Clinical Plan is elaborated for the conduct of the "adequate and well-controlled" trials necessary to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, with the studies estimated to cost about 5 million dollars and to take about five years. The Clinical Plan has been developed, in part, through analysis of the studies conducted by Pfizer in its successful effort to have Zoloft approved by the FDA for use with PTSD patients, and through review of transcripts of the FDA's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting that recommended approval of Zoloft for PTSD.

  11. Serotonergic neurotoxic metabolites of ecstasy identified in rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Douglas C; Duvauchelle, Christine; Ikegami, Aiko; Olsen, Christopher M; Lau, Serrine S; de la Torre, Rafael; Monks, Terrence J

    2005-04-01

    The selective serotonergic neurotoxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) depends on their systemic metabolism. We have recently shown that inhibition of brain endothelial cell gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT) potentiates the neurotoxicity of both MDMA and MDA, indicating that metabolites that are substrates for this enzyme contribute to the neurotoxicity. Consistent with this view, glutathione (GSH) and N-acetylcysteine conjugates of alpha-methyl dopamine (alpha-MeDA) are selective neurotoxicants. However, neurotoxic metabolites of MDMA or MDA have yet to be identified in brain. Using in vivo microdialysis coupled to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy and a high-performance liquid chromatography-coulometric electrode array system, we now show that GSH and N-acetylcysteine conjugates of N-methyl-alpha-MeDA are present in the striatum of rats administered MDMA by subcutaneous injection. Moreover, inhibition of gamma-GT with acivicin increases the concentration of GSH and N-acetylcysteine conjugates of N-methyl-alpha-MeDA in brain dialysate, and there is a direct correlation between the concentrations of metabolites in dialysate and the extent of neurotoxicity, measured by decreases in serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic (5-HIAA) levels. Importantly, the effects of acivicin are independent of MDMA-induced hyperthermia, since acivicin-mediated potentiation of MDMA neurotoxicity occurs in the context of acivicin-mediated decreases in body temperature. Finally, we have synthesized 5-(N-acetylcystein-S-yl)-N-methyl-alpha-MeDA and established that it is a relatively potent serotonergic neurotoxicant. Together, the data support the contention that MDMA-mediated serotonergic neurotoxicity is mediated by the systemic formation of GSH and N-acetylcysteine conjugates of N-methyl-alpha-MeDA (and alpha-MeDA). The mechanisms by which such metabolites access the brain and produce selective

  12. Human Pharmacology of Mephedrone in Comparison with MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaseit, Esther; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Mateus, Julián-Andrés; Pujadas, Mitona; Fonseca, Francina; Torrens, Marta; Olesti, Eulàlia; de la Torre, Rafael; Farré, Magí

    2016-10-01

    Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a novel psychoactive substance popular among drug users because it displays similar effects to MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy). Mephedrone consumption has been associated with undesirable effects and fatal intoxications. At present, there is no research available on its pharmacological effects in humans under controlled and experimental administration. This study aims to evaluate the clinical pharmacology of mephedrone and its relative abuse liability compared with MDMA. Twelve male volunteers participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover, and placebo-controlled trial. The single oral dose conditions were: mephedrone 200 mg, MDMA 100 mg, and placebo. Outcome variables included physiological, subjective, and psychomotor effects, and pharmacokinetic parameters. The protocol was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02232789). Mephedrone produced a significant increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and pupillary diameter. It elicited stimulant-like effects, euphoria, and well-being, and induced mild changes in perceptions with similar ratings to those observed after MDMA administration although effects peaked earlier and were shorter in duration. Maximal plasma concentration values for mephedrone and MDMA peaked at 1.25 h and 2.00 h, respectively. The elimination half-life for mephedrone was 2.15 h and 7.89 h for MDMA. In a similar manner to MDMA, mephedrone exhibits high abuse liability. Its earlier onset and shorter duration of effects, probably related to its short elimination half-life, could explain a more compulsive pattern of use as described by the users.

  13. Unilatelaral iris plateau syndrome after the use of ecstasy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovanović Predrag

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacground. Courmon street name for 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA is ecstasy. This widely abused 'recreational' drug causes both an increased release of monoamine neurotransmitters, including serotonine and dopamine, and an increased reuptake inhibition of serotonin. As a consequence, mydriasis and increased intraocular pressure (IOP in predisposed patients occur. We present herein a rare case of acute increased IOP after use of ecstasy. Case report. A female patient, aged 38 years, visited doctor complaing of a decreased vision acuity and severe pain in the left eye and in the left part of the head. The initial treatment was urgent antiglaucomatous therapy followed by withdrawal of subjective problems of the patient and improvement of objective finding. History taking procedure reveled that just before the onset of the pain the patient had used ecstasy and had had similar 'experience' 6 years ago after cocaine snorting. She had not been to a doctor although she had experienced sporadic migrenous pain. Previous medical records excavation of revealed optic disk (cup-to-dise C/D=06, Bjerum arcuate scotoma and iris plateau with narrow chamber angle (Scheie II- III so the diagnosis was a rare unilateral iris plateau syndrome of the left eye. Although the patient was given some pieces of information about the dangerous and possible deadly consequences of psychoactive substance abuse, she has not continue the treatment. Conclusion. Ecstasy abuse might cause a complete loss of vision, thus medicametous and surgical treatment are obligatory.

  14. The Effect of Ecstasy Administration during Pregnancy on Mice Fetuses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y Mostafavi Pour-Manshadi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Ecstasy or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA is a psychotropic and addictive substance that young people tend to use it to reduce their psychological and social tensions. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of ecstasy consumption on the fetus of pregnant mice during the second and third weeks of pregnancy. Methods: 20 adult female mice were randomly selected(5 for control group and 15 for experimental group. Two intraperitoneal injections of ecstasy(5mg/Kg was used in the experimental group, on 7th and 14th days of pregnancy, while, in the control group, only distilled water was injected intraperitoneally. On 18th day of pregnancy, mice were placed in separate cages. The condition of palate, skull, external ear, eye, fingers and toes and sindactily, weight, and fertility potentials of newborn mice were studied using stereo microscope. Results: From 163 newborn mice in two groups, no abnormalities were observed in the skull and the external ear. There wasn’t any significant difference between male and female sex ratio between two groups (p=.08. Hypoplasia of the fingers was significantly different between the two groups(p<0.001. The frequency of sindactily was not significantly different between two groups(p=0. 11. Female fertility potential was significantly different between two groups(p<0.001. Conclusion: Adminstration of ecstasy during pregnancy may affect the organogenesis and fertility potential of newborn mice. Therefore, more studies are needed in this regard.

  15. The role of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in the caffeine effect on MDMA-induced DA and 5-HT release in the mouse striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górska, A M; Gołembiowska, K

    2015-04-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") popular as a designer drug is often used with caffeine to gain a stronger stimulant effect. MDMA induces 5-HT and DA release by interaction with monoamine transporters. Co-administration of caffeine and MDMA may aggravate MDMA-induced toxic effects on DA and 5-HT terminals. In the present study, we determined whether caffeine influences DA and 5-HT release induced by MDMA. We also tried to find out if adenosine A1 and A2A receptors play a role in the effect of caffeine by investigating the effect of the selective adenosine A1 and A2A receptor antagonists, DPCPX and KW 6002 on DA and 5-HT release induced by MDMA. Mice were treated with caffeine (10 mg/kg) and MDMA (20 or 40 mg/kg) alone or in combination. DA and 5-HT release in the mouse striatum was measured using in vivo microdialysis. Caffeine exacerbated the effect of MDMA on DA and 5-HT release. DPCPX or KW 6002 co-administered with MDMA had similar influence as caffeine, but KW 6002 was more potent than caffeine or DPCPX. To exclude the contribution of MAO inhibition by caffeine in the caffeine effect on MDMA-induced increase in DA and 5-HT, we also tested the effect of the nonxanthine adenosine receptor antagonist CGS 15943A lacking properties of MAO activity modification. Our findings indicate that adenosine A1 and A2A receptor blockade may account for the caffeine-induced exacerbation of the MDMA effect on DA and 5-HT release and may aggravate MDMA toxicity.

  16. The preclinical pharmacology of mephedrone; not just MDMA by another name.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, A R; King, M V; Shortall, S E; Fone, K C F

    2014-05-01

    The substituted β-keto amphetamine mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) was banned in the UK in April 2010 but continues to be used recreationally in the UK and elsewhere. Users have compared its psychoactive effects to those of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy'). This review critically examines the preclinical data on mephedrone that have appeared over the last 2-3 years and, where relevant, compares the pharmacological effects of mephedrone in experimental animals with those obtained following MDMA administration. Both mephedrone and MDMA enhance locomotor activity and change rectal temperature in rodents. However, both of these responses are of short duration following mephedrone compared with MDMA probably because mephedrone has a short plasma half-life and rapid metabolism. Mephedrone appears to have no pharmacologically active metabolites, unlike MDMA. There is also little evidence that mephedrone induces a neurotoxic decrease in monoamine concentration in rat or mouse brain, again in contrast to MDMA. Mephedrone and MDMA both induce release of dopamine and 5-HT in the brain as shown by in vivo and in vitro studies. The effect on 5-HT release in vivo is more marked with mephedrone even though both drugs have similar affinity for the dopamine and 5-HT transporters in vitro. The profile of action of mephedrone on monoamine receptors and transporters suggests it could have a high abuse liability and several studies have found that mephedrone supports self-administration at a higher rate than MDMA. Overall, current data suggest that mephedrone not only differs from MDMA in its pharmacological profile, behavioural and neurotoxic effects, but also differs from other cathinones. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  17. Crystals and tablets in the Spanish ecstasy market 2000-2014: Are they the same or different in terms of purity and adulteration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal Giné, Claudio; Ventura Vilamala, Mireia; Fornís Espinosa, Iván; Gil Lladanosa, Cristina; Calzada Álvarez, Nú; Fitó Fruitós, Ariadna; Rodríguez Rodríguez, Joan; Domíngo Salvany, Antonia; de la Torre Fornell, Rafael

    2016-06-01

    Although 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has a long history in recreational settings, research on its composition (purity and adulteration) has focused only on tablets even though crystal format is readily available for users. Drug specimens collected between January 2000 and December 2014 were analyzed at Energy Control's facilities. All samples were voluntarily provided by drug users. Sample identification was made with thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and quantification with ultraviolet spectrophotometry (only in unadulterated samples). Between January 2000 and December 2014, 6200 samples purchased as ecstasy by their users were analyzed. Crystals were the most frequent format (60.6%) followed by tablets (38.8%). During the study period, the proportion of samples containing only MDMA was higher in crystals than in tablets. Compared with tablets, adulterated crystal samples contained the same number of adulterants but more combinations of different substances. Although caffeine was commonly detected as adulterant both in crystals and tablets, other substances such as phenacetin, lidocaine, dextrometorphan or methamphetamine were detected almost exclusively in crystal samples. The amount of MDMA in crystal samples remained stable unlike tablets for which a huge increase in MDMA dose was observed since 2010. Crystal samples of ecstasy showed clear differences compared to ecstasy tablets and this must be taken into account both in research and harm reduction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of amphetamine-like drugs: Application to the screening of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its synthetic precursors

    OpenAIRE

    Milhazes, Nuno; Martins, Pedro; Uriarte, Eugenio; Garrido, Jorge; Calheiros, Rita; Marques, M. Paula M.; Borges, Fernanda

    2007-01-01

    A complete physicochemical characterisation of MDMA and its synthetic precursors MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (piperonal) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-beta-methyl-beta-nitrostyrene was carried out through voltammetric assays and Raman spectroscopy combined with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The former provided important analytical redox data, concluding that the oxidative mechanism of the N-demethylation of MDMA involves the removal of an electron from the amino-nitrogen atom, leading to t...

  19. A randomized, controlled pilot study of MDMA (± 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of resistant, chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehen, Peter; Traber, Rafael; Widmer, Verena; Schnyder, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Psychiatrists and psychotherapists in the US (1970s to 1985) and Switzerland (1988-1993) used MDMA legally as a prescription drug, to enhance the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Early reports suggest that it is useful in treating trauma-related disorders. Recently, the first completed pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD yielded encouraging results. Designed to test the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD; our randomized, double-blind, active-placebo controlled trial enrolled 12 patients for treatment with either low-dose (25 mg, plus 12.5 mg supplemental dose) or full-dose MDMA (125 mg, plus 62.5 mg supplemental dose). MDMA was administered during three experimental sessions, interspersed with weekly non-drug-based psychotherapy sessions. Outcome measures used were the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS). Patients were assessed at baseline, three weeks after the second and third MDMA session (end of treatment), and at the 2-month and 1-year follow-ups. We found that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in a clinical setting. No drug-related serious adverse events occurred. We did not see statistically significant reductions in CAPS scores (p = 0.066), although there was clinically and statistically significant self-reported (PDS) improvement (p = 0.014). CAPS scores improved further at the 1-year follow-up. In addition, three MDMA sessions were more effective than two (p = 0.016).

  20. Severe chronic hepatitis secondary to prolonged use of ecstasy and cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payancé, Audrey; Scotto, Béatrice; Perarnau, Jean-Marc; de Muret, Anne; Bacq, Yannick

    2013-11-01

    Severe acute hepatotoxicity is a well known complication following the ingestion of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA] ecstasy). Hepatic dysfunction has also been reported after acute cocaine intoxication. However, chronic hepatitis after prolonged use of ecstasy and/or cocaine has rarely been reported. We report the case of a 27-year-old woman hospitalized with edema, ascites and severe liver failure (prothrombin rate 33%), following the use of ecstasy and cocaine over the previous 9 months. Clinical, biological, radiological and pathology findings were recorded at admission and over 8 years' follow-up. Liver biopsy showed architectural distortion caused by bridging fibrosis, proliferation of cholangioles, and lesions of active interface hepatitis. Other causes of acute and chronic liver disease were excluded. Magnetic resonance imaging showed marked liver fibrosis. After withdrawal of both substances clinical examination and liver function tests progressively normalized. Long-term monitoring with magnetic resonance imaging showed progressive regression of fibrosis. Use of ecstasy and cocaine may cause chronic hepatitis leading to marked liver fibrosis, which may regress after withdrawal of both substances. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of methylphenidate and MDMA on appraisal of erotic stimuli and intimate relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Yasmin; Hysek, Cédric M; Preller, Katrin H; Bosch, Oliver G; Bilderbeck, Amy C; Rogers, Robert D; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2015-01-01

    Methylphenidate mainly enhances dopamine neurotransmission whereas 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") mainly enhances serotonin neurotransmission. However, both drugs also induce a weaker increase of cerebral noradrenaline exerting sympathomimetic properties. Dopaminergic psychostimulants are reported to increase sexual drive, while serotonergic drugs typically impair sexual arousal and functions. Additionally, serotonin has also been shown to modulate cognitive perception of romantic relationships. Whether methylphenidate or MDMA alter sexual arousal or cognitive appraisal of intimate relationships is not known. Thus, we evaluated effects of methylphenidate (40 mg) and MDMA (75 mg) on subjective sexual arousal by viewing erotic pictures and on perception of romantic relationships of unknown couples in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 30 healthy adults. Methylphenidate, but not MDMA, increased ratings of sexual arousal for explicit sexual stimuli. The participants also sought to increase the presentation time of implicit sexual stimuli by button press after methylphenidate treatment compared with placebo. Plasma levels of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone were not associated with sexual arousal ratings. Neither MDMA nor methylphenidate altered appraisal of romantic relationships of others. The findings indicate that pharmacological stimulation of dopaminergic but not of serotonergic neurotransmission enhances sexual drive. Whether sexual perception is altered in subjects misusing methylphenidate e.g., for cognitive enhancement or as treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is of high interest and warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  2. Measurement of 3,4-MDMA and related amines in diagnostic and forensic laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrinska, Victor A; Gock, Susan B

    2005-01-01

    The phenylalkylamine derivatives, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy, XTC, Adam), 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA, MDE, Eve), and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), are psychostimulants with hallucinogenic properties. MDA is also a metabolite of both MDMA and MDEA. These drugs are ring-substituted amphetamine derivatives that produce hallucinogenic, entactogenic ('love drug'), and stimulating effects. MDMA was initially developed as an appetite suppressant, however, its use as a therapeutic drug has been very limited. Because of its effects as a hallucinogenic psychostimulant with relatively low toxicity, it has emerged over the last two decades as a common recreational psychostimulant or 'club drug' at 'raves'. MDMA, MDEA, and MDA are often referred to as 'rave' or 'designer' drugs. They are produced in clandestine laboratories and have an increasing presence on the illicit drug market worldwide. Significant adverse health effects have been reported that include: serotonin neurotoxicity, severe psychiatric disorders, renal failure, malignant hyperthermia, hepatitis, rhabdomyolysis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. A number of fatal outcomes associated with severe MDMA intoxication have been reported.

  3. Ecstasy use and serotonin syndrome: a neglected danger to adolescents and young adults prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobry, Yuriy; Rice, Timothy; Sher, Leo

    2013-01-01

    At present, there are scarce clinical and basic lab data concerning the risk of acute serotonin toxicity from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) co-administration. The health care community can strongly benefit from efforts to address the high risks associated with serotonin syndrome from this specific drug combination. The aim of this work is to review the risk of serotonin syndrome in adolescents and young adults prescribed with SSRIs and are concurrently using ecstasy. An electronic search of the major behavioral science bibliographic databases (Pubmed, PsycINFO, Medline) was conducted to retrieve peer-reviewed articles, which detail the clinical characteristics, biological mechanisms and social implications of SSRIs, MDMA, and their potential synergism in causing serotonin syndrome in the pediatric and young adult population. Search terms included "serotonin syndrome", "ecstasy", "MDMA", "pediatric", and "SSRI". Additional references were incorporated from the bibliographies of these retrieved articles. MDMA, in combination with the widely-prescribed SSRI antidepressant class, can lead to rapid, synergistic rise of serotonin (5-HT) concentration in the central nervous system, leading to the acute medical emergency known as serotonin syndrome. This review addresses such complication through an exploration of the theoretical mechanisms and clinical manifestations of this life-threatening pharmacological interaction. The increasing incidences of recreational ecstasy use and SSRI pharmacotherapy among multiple psychiatric disorders in the adolescent population have made this an overlooked yet increasingly relevant danger, which poses a threat to public health. This can be curbed through further research, as well as greater health care provision and attention from a regulatory body owing.

  4. Is online information on ecstasy tablet content safe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrolijk, Ruben Q; Brunt, Tibor M; Vreeker, Annabel; Niesink, Raymond J M

    2017-01-01

    Pillreports and Partyflock websites tends to overestimate 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) concentrations in ecstasy tablets. In addition, 15.3% of the reports omit the relevant concentration spread, fail to report additional illegal or dangerous substances contained in the tablets or underestimate MDMA concentration by > 40 mg. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  5. Effects of alcohol (BAC 0.5 parts per thousand) and ecstasy (MDMA 100 mg) on simulated driving performance and traffic safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldstra, J.L.; Brookhuis, K.A.; De Waard, D.; Molmans, B.H.W.; Verstraete, A.G.; Skopp, G.; Jantos, R.

    An increasing number of fatal road-accidents have been reported in which ecstasy was found in the blood of drivers. Although, ecstasy is frequently found to have been used in combination with alcohol, studies on the acute effects of ecstasy co-administered with alcohol on driving performance are

  6. 15N/14N isotopic ratio and statistical analysis: an efficient way of linking seized Ecstasy tablets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palhol, Fabien; Lamoureux, Catherine; Chabrillat, Martine; Naulet, Norbert

    2004-01-01

    In this study, the 15 N/ 14 N isotopic ratios of 106 samples of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) extracted from Ecstasy tablets are presented. These ratios, measured using gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS), show a large discrimination between samples with a range of δ 15 N values between -17 and +19%o, depending on the precursors and the method used in clandestine laboratories. Thus, δ 15 N values can be used in a statistical analysis carried out in order to link Ecstasy tablets prepared with the same precursors and synthetic pathway. The similarity index obtained after principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis appears to be an efficient way to group tablets seized in different places

  7. {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N isotopic ratio and statistical analysis: an efficient way of linking seized Ecstasy tablets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palhol, Fabien; Lamoureux, Catherine; Chabrillat, Martine; Naulet, Norbert

    2004-05-10

    In this study, the {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N isotopic ratios of 106 samples of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) extracted from Ecstasy tablets are presented. These ratios, measured using gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS), show a large discrimination between samples with a range of {delta}{sup 15}N values between -17 and +19%o, depending on the precursors and the method used in clandestine laboratories. Thus, {delta}{sup 15}N values can be used in a statistical analysis carried out in order to link Ecstasy tablets prepared with the same precursors and synthetic pathway. The similarity index obtained after principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis appears to be an efficient way to group tablets seized in different places.

  8. Reduced memory skills and increased hair cortisol levels in recent Ecstasy/MDMA users: significant but independent neurocognitive and neurohormonal deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Luke A; Sands, Helen; Jones, Lewis; Clow, Angela; Evans, Phil; Stalder, Tobias; Parrott, Andrew C

    2015-05-01

    The goals of this study were to measure the neurocognitive performance of recent users of recreational Ecstasy and investigate whether it was associated with the stress hormone cortisol. The 101 participants included 27 recent light users of Ecstasy (one to four times in the last 3 months), 23 recent heavier Ecstasy users (five or more times) and 51 non-users. Rivermead paragraph recall provided an objective measure for immediate and delayed recall. The prospective and retrospective memory questionnaire provided a subjective index of memory deficits. Cortisol levels were taken from near-scalp 3-month hair samples. Cortisol was significantly raised in recent heavy Ecstasy users compared with controls, whereas hair cortisol in light Ecstasy users was not raised. Both Ecstasy groups were significantly impaired on the Rivermead delayed word recall, and both groups reported significantly more retrospective and prospective memory problems. Stepwise regression confirmed that lifetime Ecstasy predicted the extent of these memory deficits. Recreational Ecstasy is associated with increased levels of the bio-energetic stress hormone cortisol and significant memory impairments. No significant relationship between cortisol and the cognitive deficits was observed. Ecstasy users did display evidence of a metacognitive deficit, with the strength of the correlations between objective and subjective memory performances being significantly lower in the Ecstasy users. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Differences in prefrontal blood oxygenation during an acute multitasking stressor in ecstasy polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, C A; Wetherell, M A; Fisk, J E; Montgomery, C

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are well documented in ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) users, with such deficits being taken as evidence of dysregulation of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) system. More recently neuroimaging has been used to corroborate these deficits. The present study aimed to assess multitasking performance in ecstasy polydrug users, polydrug users and drug-naive individuals. It was predicted that ecstasy polydrug users would perform worse than non-users on the behavioural measure and this would be supported by differences in cortical blood oxygenation. In the study, 20 ecstasy-polydrug users, 17 polydrug users and 19 drug-naive individuals took part. On day 1, drug use history was taken and questionnaire measures were completed. On day 2, participants completed a 20-min multitasking stressor while brain blood oxygenation was measured using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). There were no significant differences between the three groups on the subscales of the multitasking stressor. In addition, there were no significant differences on self-report measures of perceived workload (NASA Task Load Index). In terms of mood, ecstasy users were significantly less calm and less relaxed compared with drug-naive controls. There were also significant differences at three voxels on the fNIRS, indicating decreased blood oxygenation in ecstasy users compared with drug-naive controls at voxel 2 (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), voxel 14 and voxel 16 (right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and compared with polydrug controls at V14. The results of the present study provide support for changes in brain activation during performance of demanding tasks in ecstasy polydrug users, which could be related to cerebral vasoconstriction.

  10. Effect of MDMA-Induced Axotomy on the Dorsal Raphe Forebrain Tract in Rats: An In Vivo Manganese-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuang-Hsin Chiu

    Full Text Available 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, also known as "Ecstasy", is a common recreational drug of abuse. Several previous studies have attributed the central serotonergic neurotoxicity of MDMA to distal axotomy, since only fine serotonergic axons ascending from the raphe nucleus are lost without apparent damage to their cell bodies. However, this axotomy has never been visualized directly in vivo. The present study examined the axonal integrity of the efferent projections from the midbrain raphe nucleus after MDMA exposure using in vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI. Rats were injected subcutaneously six times with MDMA (5 mg/kg or saline once daily. Eight days after the last injection, manganese ions (Mn2+ were injected stereotactically into the raphe nucleus, and a series of MEMRI images was acquired over a period of 38 h to monitor the evolution of Mn2+-induced signal enhancement across the ventral tegmental area, the medial forebrain bundle (MFB, and the striatum. The MDMA-induced loss of serotonin transporters was clearly evidenced by immunohistological staining consistent with the Mn2+-induced signal enhancement observed across the MFB and striatum. MEMRI successfully revealed the disruption of the serotonergic raphe-striatal projections and the variable effect of MDMA on the kinetics of Mn2+ accumulation in the MFB and striatum.

  11. The role of adenosine receptor agonist and antagonist on Hippocampal MDMA detrimental effects; a structural and behavioral study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kermanian, Fatemeh; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi; Soleimani, Mansureh; Ebrahimzadeh Bideskan, Ali Reza; Asadi-Shekaari, Majid; Kheradmand, Hamed; Haghir, Hossein

    2012-12-01

    There is abundant evidence showing that repeated use of MDMA (3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) has been associated with depression, anxiety and deficits in learning and memory, suggesting detrimental effects on hippocampus. Adenosine is an endogenous purine nucleoside that has a neuromodulatory role in the central nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the role of A2a adenosine receptors agonist (CGS) and antagonist (SCH) on the body temperature, learning deficits, and hippocampal cell death induced by MDMA administration. In this study, 63 adult, male, Sprague - Dawley rats were subjected to MDMA (10 and 20 mg/kg) followed by intraperitoneal CGS (0.03 mg/kg) or SCH (0.03 mg/kg) injection. The animals were tested for spatial learning in the Morris water maze (MWM) task performance, accompanied by a recording of body temperature, electron microscopy and stereological study. Our results showed that MDMA treatment increased body temperature significantly, and impaired the ability of rats to locate the hidden platform(P learning deficits observed in MDMA users. However, the exact mechanism of these interactions requires further studies.

  12. The mixture of "ecstasy" and its metabolites impairs mitochondrial fusion/fission equilibrium and trafficking in hippocampal neurons, at in vivo relevant concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Daniel José; Serrat, Romàn; Mirra, Serena; Quevedo, Martí; de Barreda, Elena Goméz; Àvila, Jesús; Ferreira, Luísa Maria; Branco, Paula Sério; Fernandes, Eduarda; Lourdes Bastos, Maria de; Capela, João Paulo; Soriano, Eduardo; Carvalho, Félix

    2014-06-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy") is a potentially neurotoxic recreational drug of abuse. Though the mechanisms involved are still not completely understood, formation of reactive metabolites and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to MDMA-related neurotoxicity. Neuronal mitochondrial trafficking, and their targeting to synapses, is essential for proper neuronal function and survival, rendering neurons particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial dysfunction. Indeed, MDMA-associated disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis and ATP depletion have been described in neurons, thus suggesting possible MDMA interference on mitochondrial dynamics. In this study, we performed real-time functional experiments of mitochondrial trafficking to explore the role of in situ mitochondrial dysfunction in MDMA's neurotoxic actions. We show that the mixture of MDMA and six of its major in vivo metabolites, each compound at 10μM, impaired mitochondrial trafficking and increased the fragmentation of axonal mitochondria in cultured hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, the overexpression of mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) or dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) K38A constructs almost completely rescued the trafficking deficits caused by this mixture. Finally, in hippocampal neurons overexpressing a Mfn2 mutant, Mfn2 R94Q, with impaired fusion and transport properties, it was confirmed that a dysregulation of mitochondrial fission/fusion events greatly contributed to the reported trafficking phenotype. In conclusion, our study demonstrated, for the first time, that the mixture of MDMA and its metabolites, at concentrations relevant to the in vivo scenario, impaired mitochondrial trafficking and increased mitochondrial fragmentation in hippocampal neurons, thus providing a new insight in the context of "ecstasy"-induced neuronal injury.

  13. Designer Drug Confusion: A Focus on MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Jerome; Morgan, Patricia A.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the competing definitions and issues surrounding various designer drugs, primarily 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). Offers a rationale for why interest in MDMA, which possesses both stimulant and psychedelic properties, will continue to grow despite the drug's recent illegality and increasing evidence of neurotoxicity.…

  14. MDMA self-administration fails to alter the behavioral response to 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(1B) agonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronsen, Dane; Schenk, Susan

    2016-04-01

    Regular use of the street drug, ecstasy, produces a number of cognitive and behavioral deficits. One possible mechanism for these deficits is functional changes in serotonin (5-HT) receptors as a consequence of prolonged 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-produced 5-HT release. Of particular interest are the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(1B) receptor subtypes since they have been implicated in several of the behaviors that have been shown to be impacted in ecstasy users and in animals exposed to MDMA. This study aimed to determine the effect of extensive MDMA self-administration on behavioral responses to the 5-HT(1A) agonist, 8-hydroxy-2-(n-dipropylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), and the 5-HT(1B/1A) agonist, RU 24969. Male Sprague-Dawley rats self-administered a total of 350 mg/kg MDMA, or vehicle, over 20-58 daily self-administration sessions. Two days after the last self-administration session, the hyperactive response to 8-OH-DPAT (0.03-1.0 mg/kg) or the adipsic response to RU 24969 (0.3-3.0 mg/kg) were assessed. 8-OH-DPAT dose dependently increased horizontal activity, but this response was not altered by MDMA self-administration. The dose-response curve for RU 24969-produced adipsia was also not altered by MDMA self-administration. Cognitive and behavioral deficits produced by repeated exposure to MDMA self-administration are not likely due to alterations in 5-HT(1A) or 5-HT(1B) receptor mechanisms.

  15. Potential Psychiatric Uses for MDMA

    OpenAIRE

    Yazar?Klosinski, BB; Mithoefer, MC

    2017-01-01

    Phase II trials of 3,4?methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)?assisted psychotherapy have demonstrated initial safety and efficacy for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with potential for expansion to depression and anxiety disorders. In these trials, single doses of MDMA are administered in a model of medication?assisted psychotherapy, differing from trials involving daily drug administration without psychotherapy. This model presents an opportunity to utilize accelerated regu...

  16. Elucidating the neurotoxic effects of MDMA and its analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S; Bhattacharya, Dwipayan; Ahuja, Manuj; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Deruiter, Jack; Clark, Randall; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan

    2014-04-17

    There is a rapid increase in the use of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its structural congeners/analogs globally. MDMA and MDMA-analogs have been synthesized illegally in furtive dwellings and are abused due to its addictive potential. Furthermore, MDMA and MDMA-analogs have shown to have induced several adverse effects. Hence, understanding the mechanisms mediating this neurotoxic insult of MDMA-analogs is of immense importance for the public health in the world. We synthesized and investigated the neurotoxic effects of MDMA and its analogs [4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 2, 6-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA), and N-ethyl-3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDEA)]. The stimulatory or the dopaminergic agonist effects of MDMA and MDMA-analogs were elucidated using the established 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned animal model. Additionally, we also investigated the neurotoxic mechanisms of MDMA and MDMA-analogs on mitochondrial complex-I activity and reactive oxygen species generation. MDMA and MDMA-analogs exhibited stimulatory activity as compared to amphetamines and also induced several behavioral changes in the rodents. MDMA and MDMA-analogs enhanced the reactive oxygen generation and inhibited mitochondrial complex-I activity which can lead to neurodegeneration. Hence the mechanism of neurotoxicity, MDMA and MDMA-analogs can enhance the release of monoamines, alter the monoaminergic neurotransmission, and augment oxidative stress and mitochondrial abnormalities leading to neurotoxicity. Thus, our study will help in developing effective pharmacological and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of MDMA and MDMA-analog abuse. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of adenosine A2a receptor agonist and antagonist on cerebellar nuclear factor-kB expression preceded by MDMA toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kermanian, Fatemeh; Soleimani, Mansoureh; Pourheydar, Bagher; Samzadeh-Kermani, Alireza; Mohammadzadeh, Farzaneh; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine is an endogenous purine nucleoside that has a neuromodulatory role in the central nervous system. The amphetamine derivative (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is a synthetic amphetamine analogue used recreationally to obtain an enhanced affiliated emotional response. MDMA is a potent monoaminergic neurotoxin with the potential of damage to brain neurons. The NF-kB family of proteins are ubiquitously expressed and are inducible transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes involved in disparate processes such as immunity and ingrowth, development and cell-death regulation. In this study we investigated the effects of the A2a adenosine receptor (A2a-R) agonist (CGS) and antagonist (SCH) on NF-kB expression after MDMA administration. Sixty three male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected to MDMA (10 and 20mg/kg) followed by intraperitoneal CGS (0.03 mg/kg) or SCH (0.03mg/kg) injection. The cerebellum were then removed forcresylviolet staining, western blot and RT- PCR analyses. MDMA significantly elevated NF-kB expression. Our results showed that MDMA increased the number of cerebellar dark neurons. We observed that administration of CGS following MDMA, significantly elevated the NF-kB expression both at mRNA and protein levels. By contrast, administration of the A2a-R antagonist SCH resulted in a decrease in the NF-kB levels. These results indicated that, co-administration of A2a agonist (CGS) can protect against MDMA neurotoxic effects by increasing NF-kB expression levels; suggesting a potential application for protection against the neurotoxic effects observed in MDMA users.

  18. Ecstasy: It's the Rave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Dixie; Ballard, Michael

    2002-01-01

    National statistics reveal an alarming trend concerning the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, which is better known as ecstasy. Results from the Monitoring the Future survey of 50,000 secondary youth reveal that use among 8th graders rose to 3.1%, 5.4% among 10th graders, and 8.2% among 12th graders. High school faculty and staff must be…

  19. Behavioral, Thermal and Neurochemical Effects Of Acute And Chronic 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“Ecstasy”) Self-Administration

    OpenAIRE

    Reveron, Maria Elena; Maier, Esther Y.; Duvauchelle, Christine L.

    2009-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular methamphetamine derivative associated with young adults and all-night dance parties. However, the enduring effects of MDMA at voluntary intake levels have not been extensively investigated. In this study, MDMA-influenced behaviors and core temperatures were assessed over the course of 20 daily MDMA self-administration sessions in rats. In vivo microdialysis techniques were used in a subsequent MDMA challenge test session to determine extra...

  20. Discriminative Stimulus Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and Its Enantiomers in Mice: Pharmacokinetic Considerations

    OpenAIRE

    Fantegrossi, William E.; Murai, Naoki; Mathúna, Brian Ó.; Pizarro, Nieves; de la Torre, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a drug of abuse with mixed stimulant- and hallucinogen-like effects. The aims of the present studies were to establish discrimination of S(+)-MDMA, R(-)-MDMA, or their combination as racemic MDMA in separate groups of mice to assess cross-substitution tests among all three compounds, to determine the time courses of the training doses, to assess pharmacokinetic variables after single injections and after cumulative dosing, an...

  1. Anestesia e o usuário de Ecstasy Anestesia y el usuario de Ecstasy Anesthesia and the Ecstasy user

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Toshiyuki Moro

    2006-04-01

    ilícitas. CONTENIDO: El artículo discute los mecanismos de acción, la presentación clínica, los efectos destructivos y las posibles repercusiones observadas durante la anestesia en el usuario de MDMA (3,4-metilenodioximetamfetamina, conocido también como Ecstasy . CONCLUSIONES: La presentación clínica y los efectos destructivos provocados por el 3,4-metilenodioximetamfetamina (Ecstasy, como también potenciales interacciones con el acto anestésico, deben ser del conocimiento del anestesiólogo, pues en muchas situaciones esos usuarios serán sometidos a cirugías de emergencia, o incluso electivas.BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The number of new users of illicit substances has been growing steadily all over the world over the last few years. Marijuana and cocaine have been mentioned most often, but the last few years saw a marked increase in the number of users of other psychostimulants or hallucinogens, taken with the aim of intensifying social experiences. The aim of this article is to discuss the clinical presentation, the damaging effects and the potential interactions with anesthesia of the surgical patient who is a user of these illicit substances. CONTENTS: The article discusses the action mechanisms, the clinical presentation, the damaging effects and the potential repercussions observed during anesthesia in users of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy. CONCLUSIONS: Anesthesiologists should be made aware of the clinical presentation and the damaging effects brought about by 3,4 - methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy, as well as the potential interactions with anesthesia, since people who use these substances may find themselves in surgery many times, either due to an emergency situation or by choice.

  2. The safety and efficacy of {+/-}3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithoefer, Michael C; Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Ann T; Jerome, Lisa; Doblin, Rick

    2011-04-01

    Case reports indicate that psychiatrists administered ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a catalyst to psychotherapy before recreational use of MDMA as 'Ecstasy' resulted in its criminalization in 1985. Over two decades later, this study is the first completed clinical trial evaluating MDMA as a therapeutic adjunct. Twenty patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, refractory to both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, were randomly assigned to psychotherapy with concomitant active drug (n = 12) or inactive placebo (n = 8) administered during two 8-h experimental psychotherapy sessions. Both groups received preparatory and follow-up non-drug psychotherapy. The primary outcome measure was the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, administered at baseline, 4 days after each experimental session, and 2 months after the second session. Neurocognitive testing, blood pressure, and temperature monitoring were performed. After 2-month follow-up, placebo subjects were offered the option to re-enroll in the experimental procedure with open-label MDMA. Decrease in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores from baseline was significantly greater for the group that received MDMA than for the placebo group at all three time points after baseline. The rate of clinical response was 10/12 (83%) in the active treatment group versus 2/8 (25%) in the placebo group. There were no drug-related serious adverse events, adverse neurocognitive effects or clinically significant blood pressure increases. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be administered to posttraumatic stress disorder patients without evidence of harm, and it may be useful in patients refractory to other treatments.

  3. Decision making as a predictor of first ecstasy use: a prospective study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilt, Thelma; Goudriaan, Anneke E.; Koeter, Maarten W.; van den Brink, Wim; Schmand, Ben

    2009-01-01

    Ecstasy (+/- 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a widely used recreational drug that may damage the serotonin system and may entail neuropsychological dysfunctions. Few studies investigated predictors for ecstasy use. Self-reported impulsivity does not predict the initiation of ecstasy use; the

  4. Decision making as a predictor of first ecstasy use: a prospective study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilt, T.; Goudriaan, A.E.; Koeter, M.W.; van den Brink, W.; Schmand, B.

    2009-01-01

    Rationale: Ecstasy (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a widely used recreational drug that may damage the serotonin system and may entail neuropsychological dysfunctions. Few studies investigated predictors for ecstasy use. Self-reported impulsivity does not predict the initiation of ecstasy

  5. Sex-Dependent Psychoneuroendocrine Effects of THC and MDMA in an Animal Model of Adolescent Drug Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Puighermanal, Emma; Burokas, Aurelijus; Ozaita, Andrés; Maldonado, Rafael; Marco, Eva M.; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy is a drug that is usually consumed by young people at the weekends and frequently, in combination with cannabis. In the present study we have investigated the long-term effects of administering increasing doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC; 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg; i.p.] from postnatal day (pnd) 28 to 45, alone and/or in conjunction with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA; two daily doses of 10 mg/kg every 5 days; s.c.] from pnd 30 to 45, in both male and female Wistar rats. When tested one day after the end of the pharmacological treatment (pnd 46), MDMA administration induced a reduction in directed exploration in the holeboard test and an increase in open-arm exploration in an elevated plus maze. In the long-term, cognitive functions in the novel object test were seen to be disrupted by THC administration to female but not male rats. In the prepulse inhibition test, MDMA-treated animals showed a decrease in prepulse inhibition at the most intense prepulse studied (80 dB), whereas in combination with THC it induced a similar decrease at 75 dB. THC decreased hippocampal Arc expression in both sexes, while in the frontal cortex this reduction was only evident in females. MDMA induced a reduction in ERK1/2 immunoreactivity in the frontal cortex of male but not female animals, and THC decreased prepro-orexin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of males, although this effect was prevented when the animals also received MDMA. The results presented indicate that adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA induces long-term, sex-dependent psychophysiological alterations and they reveal functional interactions between the two drugs. PMID:24223797

  6. Sex-dependent psychoneuroendocrine effects of THC and MDMA in an animal model of adolescent drug consumption.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Llorente-Berzal

    Full Text Available Ecstasy is a drug that is usually consumed by young people at the weekends and frequently, in combination with cannabis. In the present study we have investigated the long-term effects of administering increasing doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC; 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg; i.p.] from postnatal day (pnd 28 to 45, alone and/or in conjunction with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA; two daily doses of 10 mg/kg every 5 days; s.c.] from pnd 30 to 45, in both male and female Wistar rats. When tested one day after the end of the pharmacological treatment (pnd 46, MDMA administration induced a reduction in directed exploration in the holeboard test and an increase in open-arm exploration in an elevated plus maze. In the long-term, cognitive functions in the novel object test were seen to be disrupted by THC administration to female but not male rats. In the prepulse inhibition test, MDMA-treated animals showed a decrease in prepulse inhibition at the most intense prepulse studied (80 dB, whereas in combination with THC it induced a similar decrease at 75 dB. THC decreased hippocampal Arc expression in both sexes, while in the frontal cortex this reduction was only evident in females. MDMA induced a reduction in ERK1/2 immunoreactivity in the frontal cortex of male but not female animals, and THC decreased prepro-orexin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of males, although this effect was prevented when the animals also received MDMA. The results presented indicate that adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA induces long-term, sex-dependent psychophysiological alterations and they reveal functional interactions between the two drugs.

  7. Sex-dependent long-term effects of adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA on neuroinflammation and serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana Belen; Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-03-01

    Many young people consume ecstasy as a recreational drug and often in combination with cannabis. In this study, we aimed to mimic human consumption patterns and investigated, in male and female animals, the long-term effects of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on diverse neuroinflammation and neurotoxic markers. Male and female Wistar rats were chronically treated with increasing doses of THC and/or MDMA during adolescence. The effects of THC and/or MDMA on glial reactivity and on serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems were assessed by immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. THC increased the area staining for glial fibrilar acidic protein in both sexes. In males, both drugs, either separately or in combination, increased the proportion of reactive microglia cells [ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1)]. In contrast, in females, each drug, administered alone, decreased of this proportion, whereas the combination of both drugs resulted in a 'normalization' to control values. In males, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres, THC induced the opposite effect and the group receiving both drugs did not significantly differ from the controls. In females, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres and the combination of both drugs counteracted this effect. THC also reduced immunostaining for CB1 receptors in females and this effect was aggravated by the combination with MDMA. Adolescent exposure of rats to THC and/or MDMA induced long-term, sex-dependent neurochemical and glial alterations, and revealed interactions between the two drugs. This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids 2013. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-6. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  8. Metabolism and Disposition of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“Ecstasy”) in Baboons after Oral Administration: Comparison with Humans Reveals Marked Differences

    OpenAIRE

    Mueller, Melanie; Goodwin, Amy K.; Ator, Nancy A.; McCann, Una D.; Ricaurte, George A.

    2011-01-01

    The baboon is potentially an attractive animal for modeling 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) effects in humans. Baboons self-administer MDMA, are susceptible to MDMA neurotoxicity, and are suitable for positron emission tomography, the method most often used to probe for MDMA neurotoxicity in humans. Because pharmacokinetic equivalence is a key feature of a good predictive animal model, we compared the pharmacokinetics of MDMA in baboons and humans. Baboons were trained to orally cons...

  9. MDMA enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysek, Cédric M.; Schmid, Yasmin; Simmler, Linda D.; Domes, Gregor; Heinrichs, Markus; Eisenegger, Christoph; Preller, Katrin H.; Quednow, Boris B.

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) releases serotonin and norepinephrine. MDMA is reported to produce empathogenic and prosocial feelings. It is unknown whether MDMA in fact alters empathic concern and prosocial behavior. We investigated the acute effects of MDMA using the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET), dynamic Face Emotion Recognition Task (FERT) and Social Value Orientation (SVO) test. We also assessed effects of MDMA on plasma levels of hormones involved in social behavior using a placebo-controlled, double-blind, random-order, cross-over design in 32 healthy volunteers (16 women). MDMA enhanced explicit and implicit emotional empathy in the MET and increased prosocial behavior in the SVO test in men. MDMA did not alter cognitive empathy in the MET but impaired the identification of negative emotions, including fearful, angry and sad faces, in the FERT, particularly in women. MDMA increased plasma levels of cortisol and prolactin, which are markers of serotonergic and noradrenergic activity, and of oxytocin, which has been associated with prosocial behavior. In summary, MDMA sex-specifically altered the recognition of emotions, emotional empathy and prosociality. These effects likely enhance sociability when MDMA is used recreationally and may be useful when MDMA is administered in conjunction with psychotherapy in patients with social dysfunction or post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:24097374

  10. Ecstasy-induced acute coronary syndrome: something to rave about.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoggett, Kerry; McCoubrie, David; Fatovich, Daniel M

    2012-06-01

    Ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a commonly used illicit recreational drug, enjoying popularity for its stimulant effects. Although acute coronary syndrome is recognized after cocaine and methamphetamine use, association with Ecstasy use has rarely been reported. We report three cases of significantly delayed acute coronary syndrome and ST elevation myocardial infarction related to ingestion of Ecstasy. © 2012 The Authors. EMA © 2012 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.

  11. Neurotoxicity of "ecstasy" and its metabolites in human dopaminergic differentiated SH-SY5Y cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Patrícia Silva; Nogueira, Tiago Bernandes; Costa, Vera Marisa; Branco, Paula Sério; Ferreira, Luísa Maria; Fernandes, Eduarda; Bastos, Maria Lourdes; Meisel, Andreas; Carvalho, Félix; Capela, João Paulo

    2013-02-04

    "Ecstasy" (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA) is a widely abused recreational drug, reported to produce neurotoxic effects, both in laboratory animals and in humans. MDMA metabolites can be major contributors for MDMA neurotoxicity. This work studied the neurotoxicity of MDMA and its catechol metabolites, α-methyldopamine (α-MeDA) and N-methyl-α-methyldopamine (N-Me-α-MeDA) in human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells differentiated with retinoic acid and 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate. Differentiation led to SH-SY5Y neurons with higher ability to accumulate dopamine and higher resistance towards dopamine neurotoxicity. MDMA catechol metabolites were neurotoxic to SH-SY5Y neurons, leading to caspase 3-independent cell death in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. MDMA did not show a concentration- and time-dependent death. Pre-treatment with the antioxidant and glutathione precursor, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), resulted in strong protection against the MDMA metabolites' neurotoxicity. Neither the superoxide radical scavenger, tiron, nor the inhibitor of the dopamine (DA) transporter, GBR 12909, prevented the metabolites' toxicity. Cells exposed to α-MeDA showed an increase in intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels, which, at the 48 h time-point, was not dependent in the activity increase of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), revealing a possible transient effect. Importantly, pre-treatment with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), an inhibitor of γ-GCS, prevented α-MeDA induced increase in GSH levels, but did not augment this metabolite cytotoxicity. Even so, BSO pre-treatment abolished NAC protective effects against α-MeDA neurotoxicity, which were, at least partially, due to GSH de novo synthesis. Inversely, pre-treatment of cells with BSO augmented N-Me-α-MeDA-induced neurotoxicity, but only slightly affected NAC neuroprotection. In conclusion, MDMA catechol metabolites promote differential toxic effects to differentiated dopaminergic human SH

  12. NMDA receptor adjusted co-administration of ecstasy and cannabinoid receptor-1 agonist in the amygdala via stimulation of BDNF/Trk-B/CREB pathway in adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashabi, Ghorbangol; Sadat-Shirazi, Mitra-Sadat; Khalifeh, Solmaz; Elhampour, Laleh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-04-01

    Consumption of cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB-1) agonist such as cannabis is widely taken in 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy users; it has been hypothesized that co-consumption of CB-1 agonist might protect neurons against MDMA toxicity. N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors regulate neuronal plasticity and firing rate in the brain through Tyrosine-kinase B (Trk-B) activation. The molecular and electrophysiological association among NMDA and MDMA/Arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA, a selective CB-1 receptor agonist) co-consumption was not well-known. Here, neuronal spontaneous activity, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Trk-B and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation levels were recognized in ACPA and MDMA co-injected rats. Besides, we proved the role of NMDA receptor on MDMA and ACPA combination on neuronal spontaneous activity and Trk-B/BDNF pathway in the central amygdala (CeA). Male rats were anesthetized with intra-peritoneal injections of urethane; MDMA, D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (D-AP5, NMDA receptor antagonist) were injected into CeA. ACPA was administrated by intra-cerebroventricular injection. Thirty minutes following injections, neuronal firing rate was recorded from CeA. Two hours after drug injection, amygdala was collected from brain for molecular evaluations. Single administration of MDMA and/or ACPA reduced firing rates compared with sham group in the CeA dose-dependently. Injection of D-AP5, ACPA and MDMA reduced firing rate compared with sham group (P<0.001). Interestingly, injection of ACPA+MDMA enhanced BDNF, Trk-B and CREB phosphorylation compared with MDMA groups. D-AP5, ACPA and MDMA co-injection decreased BDNF, Trk-B and CREB phosphorylation levels compared with ACPA+MDMA in the amygdala (P<0.01). Probably, NMDA receptors are involved in the protective role of acute MDMA+ACPA co-injection via BDNF/Trk-B/CREB pathways. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of Stress and MDMA on Hippocampal Gene Expression

    OpenAIRE

    Weber, Georg F.; Johnson, Bethann N.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.; Gudelsky, Gary A.

    2014-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a substituted amphetamine and popular drug of abuse. Its mood-enhancing short-term effects may prompt its consumption under stress. Clinical studies indicate that MDMA treatment may mitigate the symptoms of stress disorders such as posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). On the other hand, repeated administration of MDMA results in persistent deficits in markers of serotonergic (5-HT) nerve terminals that have been viewed as indicative of 5-HT neuro...

  14. Potential Psychiatric Uses for MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazar-Klosinski, B B; Mithoefer, M C

    2017-02-01

    Phase II trials of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy have demonstrated initial safety and efficacy for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with potential for expansion to depression and anxiety disorders. In these trials, single doses of MDMA are administered in a model of medication-assisted psychotherapy, differing from trials involving daily drug administration without psychotherapy. This model presents an opportunity to utilize accelerated regulatory pathways, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Therapy Designation, to most effectively and expeditiously test such novel approaches. © 2016, The Authors. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  15. Repeated MDMA administration increases MDMA-produced locomotor activity and facilitates the acquisition of MDMA self-administration: role of dopamine D2 receptor mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Wetering, Ross; Schenk, Susan

    2017-04-01

    Repeated exposure to ±3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces sensitization to MDMA-produced hyperactivity, but the mechanisms underlying the development of this sensitized response or the relationship to the reinforcing effects of MDMA is unknown. This study determined the effect of a sensitizing regimen of MDMA exposure on the acquisition of MDMA self-administration and investigated the role of dopamine D 2 receptor mechanisms. Rats received the selective D 2 antagonist, eticlopride (0.0 or 0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) and MDMA (0.0 or 10.0 mg/kg, i.p.) during a five-day pretreatment regimen. Two days following the final session, the locomotor activating effects of MDMA (5 mg/kg, i.p.) and the latency to acquisition of MDMA self-administration were determined. Pretreatment with MDMA enhanced the locomotor activating effects of MDMA and facilitated the acquisition of MDMA self-administration. Administration of eticlopride during MDMA pretreatment completely blocked the development of sensitization to MDMA-produced hyperactivity but failed to significantly alter the facilitated acquisition of MDMA self-administration. Pretreatment with eticlopride alone facilitated the acquisition of self-administration. These data suggest that repeated MDMA exposure sensitized both the locomotor activating and reinforcing effects of MDMA. Activation of D 2 receptors during MDMA pretreatment appears critical for the development of sensitization to MDMA-produced hyperactivity. The role of D 2 receptor mechanisms in the development of sensitization to the reinforcing effects of MDMA is equivocal.

  16. The Effect of Ecstasy (MDMA on the Number of Ovary Follicles and Hormonal Axis of Pituitary-Gonadal in Immature Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Allaeian

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background & Objective: The widespread use of the pills of ecstasy has opened the floodgates to social damage. Severe kidney and liver damage as well amnesia and imbalance are some of ecstasy pills complications. This study evaluated the effect of these pills on the ovary and hormonal axis of pituitary-gonadal axis in rats.   Materials & Methods: Thirty-five female immature Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups of 7 rats, comprising control, sham, experimental 1, experimental 2, and experimental 3 groups. The control group did not receive any solvent or medication; the sham group received physiologic serum (0.2 cc once daily for 14 days; and the experimental groups of 1, 2, and 3 received a solution (0.2 cc once daily containing 0.5, 1, and 2 mg of medication for 14 days via intraperitoneal injection. Hormone measurement was done with the ELISA method. Ovaries were excised to prepare tissue sections and to investigate the number of ovarian follicles. The number of follicles was calculated via the physical dissector technique.   Results: There was a statistically significant difference in body and ovary weight between the control group and the experimental group 3. Also, the number of primary and Graafian follicles decreased significantly. The results did not show a statistically significant difference between the three experimental groups and the control group in terms of FSH and LH hormones, but the rate of progesterone hormone had a meaningful increase.   Conclusion: Use of ecstasy pills exerted a destructive impact on the ovary and progesterone hormone.

  17. Acquisition of MDMA self-administration: pharmacokinetic factors and MDMA-induced serotonin release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Sarah; Bird, Judith; Colussi-Mas, Joyce; Mueller, Melanie; Ricaurte, George; Schenk, Susan

    2014-09-01

    The current study aimed to elucidate the role of pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters and neurotransmitter efflux in explaining variability in (±) 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) self-administration in rats. PK profiles of MDMA and its major metabolites were determined after the administration of 1.0 mg/kg MDMA (iv) prior to, and following, the acquisition of MDMA self-administration. Synaptic levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) and dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens were measured following administration of MDMA (1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg, iv) using in vivo microdialysis and compared for rats that acquired or failed to acquire MDMA self-administration. Effects of the 5HT neurotoxin, 5,7 dihydroxytryptamine (5, 7-DHT), on the acquisition of MDMA and cocaine self-administration were also determined. In keeping with previous findings, approximately 50% of rats failed to meet a criterion for acquisition of MDMA self-administration. The PK profiles of MDMA and its metabolites did not differ between rats that acquired or failed to acquire MDMA self-administration. MDMA produced more overflow of 5HT than DA. The MDMA-induced 5HT overflow was lower in rats that acquired MDMA self-administration compared with those that did not acquire self-administration. In contrast, MDMA-induced DA overflow was comparable for the two groups. Prior 5,7-DHT lesions reduced tissue levels of 5HT and markedly increased the percentage of rats that acquired MDMA self-administration and also decreased the latency to acquisition of cocaine self-administration. These data suggest that 5HT limits the initial sensitivity to the positively reinforcing effects of MDMA and delays the acquisition of reliable self-administration. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  18. Psychosocial Correlates of Recreational Ecstasy Use among College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Tiffanie; Jordan-Green, Lisa; Lee, Jieun; Wolfman, Jade; Jahangiri, Ava

    2005-01-01

    College students' ecstasy (MDMA) use increased significantly in recent years, yet little is known about these students. In this study, the authors used the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (CORE) survey to compare 29 college students who had used ecstasy and other illicit drugs with 90 students who had used marijuana and no other illicit…

  19. Social contacts and Ecstasy offers: findings of a population-based study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, Andrew; Najman, Jake M; Legosz, Margot; Wells, Helene; Kemp, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) use is relatively common among young adults in many developed countries. However, little is known about how young non-users are first introduced to Ecstasy, including the relative contribution of peer networks and individual risk factors. We assess the role of social contact with Ecstasy-using peers in regard to young adults' exposure to offers of Ecstasy, using data from the Natural History Study, a population-based study conducted in Australia. Population screening of young adults (19- to 23-year-olds) identified a sample of young Ecstasy users (N = 315) and a comparison group of Ecstasy-naïve participants (N = 199). Two outcomes are considered: being exposed to any Ecstasy offers and being exposed to > 3 offers. Extensive social contact with Ecstasy users was defined as knowing > 10 Ecstasy users. Of the Ecstasy-naïve young adults, > 40% had ever received Ecstasy offers. Extensive social contact with Ecstasy users independently predicted exposure to multiple (> 3) Ecstasy offers for Ecstasy-naïve young adults. These findings indicate that Ecstasy offers are widespread among users and non-users of Ecstasy. For non-users, exposure to Ecstasy offers occurs through social contact with drug-using peers independently of individual risk factors. The pervasiveness of Ecstasy offers suggests that universal education concerning Ecstasy use is required.

  20. The varieties of ecstatic experience: an exploration of the subjective experiences of ecstasy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumnall, Harry R; Cole, Jon C; Jerome, Lisa

    2006-09-01

    Previous investigations of the subjective effects of MDMA (material sold as ecstasy) have conducted interviews and surveys of various groups of ecstasy users within particular sub-populations. This study examined subjective drug effects reported by different sub-populations of ecstasy users and explored whether the function or purpose served by using ecstasy influenced the nature of the drug experience. Drawing on previous measures of alterations in consciousness, psychedelic drugs and cannabis, and informal interviews with ecstasy users and MDMA researchers, a 130-item survey assessing subjective effects of ecstasy/MDMA was developed. Principal components analysis of responses of ecstasy users revealed six components; perceptual alterations, entactogenic effects, prosocial effects, aesthetic effects, negative effects and sexual effects. The derived scale was used to predict ecstasy use behaviours, and functions and experiences of use. A variety of component scores were related to ecstasy use parameters; in particular, heavier users expected fewer negative, perceptual and aesthetic effects from taking the drug. The reasons given for using ecstasy (use function) also influenced reported drug effects. Abstainers expected greater negative, perceptual, aesthetic and sexual effects than users. These data indicate that the subjective ecstasy experience is influenced by a variety of extra-psychopharmacological factors. Drug intervention strategies may be made more effective by targeting particular user groups defined by reasons given for substance use, as it is likely that their experiences of ecstasy effects will differ. Future research into ecstasy may be improved by recognizing user diversity.

  1. Altered Insula Connectivity under MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walpola, Ishan C; Nest, Timothy; Roseman, Leor; Erritzoe, David; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L

    2017-10-01

    Recent work with noninvasive human brain imaging has started to investigate the effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on large-scale patterns of brain activity. MDMA, a potent monoamine-releaser with particularly pronounced serotonin- releasing properties, has unique subjective effects that include: marked positive mood, pleasant/unusual bodily sensations and pro-social, empathic feelings. However, the neurobiological basis for these effects is not properly understood, and the present analysis sought to address this knowledge gap. To do this, we administered MDMA-HCl (100 mg p.o.) and, separately, placebo (ascorbic acid) in a randomized, double-blind, repeated-measures design with twenty-five healthy volunteers undergoing fMRI scanning. We then employed a measure of global resting-state functional brain connectivity and follow-up seed-to-voxel analysis to the fMRI data we acquired. Results revealed decreased right insula/salience network functional connectivity under MDMA. Furthermore, these decreases in right insula/salience network connectivity correlated with baseline trait anxiety and acute experiences of altered bodily sensations under MDMA. The present findings highlight insular disintegration (ie, compromised salience network membership) as a neurobiological signature of the MDMA experience, and relate this brain effect to trait anxiety and acutely altered bodily sensations-both of which are known to be associated with insular functioning.

  2. Key interindividual determinants in MDMA pharmacodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaseit, E; Torrens, M; Pérez-Mañá, C; Muga, R; Farré, M

    2018-02-01

    MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a synthetic phenethylamine derivative with structural and pharmacological similarities to both amphetamines and mescaline. MDMA produces characteristic amphetamine-like actions (euphoria, well-being), increases empathy, and induces pro-social effects that seem to motivate its recreational consumption and provide a basis for its potential therapeutic use. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to present the main interindividual determinants in MDMA pharmacodynamics. The principal sources of pharmacodynamic variability are reviewed, with special emphasis on sex-gender, race-ethnicity, genetic differences, interactions, and MDMA acute toxicity, as well as possible therapeutic use. Expert opinion: Acute MDMA effects are more pronounced in women than they are in men. Very limited data on the relationship between race-ethnicity and MDMA effects are available. MDMA metabolism includes some polymorphic enzymes that can slightly modify plasma concentrations and effects. Although a considerable number of studies exist about the acute effects of MDMA, the small number of subjects in each trial limits evaluation of the different interindividual factors and does not permit a clear conclusion about their influence. These issues should be considered when studying possible MDMA therapeutic use.

  3. Club drugs: MDMA, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol, and ketamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahlinger, Paul M

    2004-06-01

    Club drugs are substances commonly used at nightclubs, music festivals, raves, and dance parties to enhance social intimacy and sensory stimulation. The most widely used club drugs are 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy; gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB); flunitrazepam (Rohypnol); and ketamine (Ketalar). These drugs are popular because of their low cost and convenient distribution as small pills, powders, or liquids. Club drugs usually are taken orally and may be taken in combination with each other, with alcohol, or with other drugs. Club drugs often are adulterated or misrepresented. Any club drug overdose should therefore be suspected as polydrug use with the actual substance and dose unknown. Persons who have adverse reactions to these club drugs are likely to consult a family physician. Toxicologic screening generally is not available for club drugs. The primary management is supportive care, with symptomatic control of excess central nervous system stimulation or depression. There are no specific antidotes except for flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine that responds to flumazenil. Special care must be taken for immediate control of hyperthermia, hypertension, rhabdomyolysis, and serotonin syndrome. Severe drug reactions can occur even with a small dose and may require critical care. Club drug over-dose usually resolves with full recovery within seven hours. Education of the patient and family is essential.

  4. Chiral Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and its Phase I and II Metabolites following Controlled Administration to Humans.

    OpenAIRE

    Steuer Andrea E; Schmidhauser Corina; Schmid Yasmin; Rickli Anna; Liechti Matthias E; Kraemer Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Generally, pharmacokinetic studies on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in blood have been performed after conjugate cleavage, without taking into account that phase II metabolites represent distinct chemical entities with their own effects and stereoselective pharmacokinetics. The aim of the present study was to stereoselectively investigate the pharmacokinetics of intact glucuronide and sulfate metabolites of MDMA in blood plasma after a controlled single MDMA dose. Plasma samples fr...

  5. Plasma, oral fluid and sweat wipe ecstasy concentrations in controlled and real life conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Samyn, N; De Boeck, G; Wood, M; Lamers, CTJ; De Waard, D; Brookhuis, KA; Verstraete, AG; Riedel, WJ

    2002-01-01

    In a double-blind placebo controlled study on psychomotor skills important for car driving (Study 1), a 75 mg dose of 3,4methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) was administered orally to 12 healthy Volunteers who were known to be recreational MDMA-users. Toxicokinetic data were gathered by analysis of

  6. Ecstasy-Induced Caspase Expression Alters Following Ginger Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Soleimani Asl

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Exposure to 3-4, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA leads to cell death. Herein, we studied the protective effects of ginger on MDMA- induced apoptosis. Methods: 15 Sprague dawley male rats were administrated with 0, 10 mg/kg MDMA, or MDMA along with 100mg/kg ginger, IP for 7 days. Brains were removed to study the caspase 3, 8, and 9 expressions in the hippocampus by RT-PCR. Data was analyzed by SPSS 16 software using the one-way ANOVA test. Results: MDMA treatment resulted in a significant increase in caspase 3, 8, and 9 as compared to the sham group (p<0.001. Ginger administration however, appeared to significantly decrease the same (p<0.001. Discussion: Our findings suggest that ginger consumption may lead to the improvement of MDMA-induced neurotoxicity.

  7. An In-Depth Qualitative Examination of the Ecstasy Experience: Results of a Focus Group with Ecstasy-Using College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    LEVY, KIRA B.; O'GRADY, KEVIN E.; WISH, ERIC D.; ARRIA, AMELIA M.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined ecstasy use in 30 college students who participated in one of four 60-minute focus groups with other participants who also had a history of ecstasy use. Ten topics emerged in the sessions: 1) pill ingredients, 2) mechanism of MDMA effects, 3) reasons for initiating ecstasy use, 4) risky behaviors and ecstasy use, 5) sexual activity and ecstasy, 6) positive effects from ecstasy use, 7) negative effects related to ecstasy use, 8) ecstasy and polysubstance use, 9) perceived risks of ecstasy use, and 10) motivational factors related to quitting ecstasy use. Most participants had a basic understanding of the contents of ecstasy pills, and the effects that ecstasy has on the brain and bodily functions. Participants reported positive effects on mood, social pressure, curiosity, availability, boredom, desire for an altered state of mind, desire to escape, self-medication, desire to have fun, and the ease of use of ecstasy in comparison to other drugs as reasons for initiating ecstasy use. They were divided regarding whether ecstasy increased the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, including risky sexual behavior. Participants described their experiences of both the positive and negative effects (physical and psychological) that they attributed to their use of ecstasy. All participants were polysubstance users, consuming a number of other substances simultaneously and concurrently with ecstasy. The majority was unaware of specific types of problems ecstasy could potentially cause and discounted its potential harm. Participants varied in their motivation for quitting ecstasy use, including negative personal experiences while using ecstasy, health concerns, and addiction/tolerance. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed. PMID:16048826

  8. Making a medicine out of MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessa, Ben; Nutt, David

    2015-01-01

    From its first use 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been recognised as a drug with therapeutic potential. Research on its clinical utility stopped when it entered the recreational drug scene but has slowly resurrected in the past decade. Currently there is enough evidence for MDMA to be removed from its Schedule 1 status of 'no medical use' and moved into Schedule 2 (alongside other misused but useful medicines such as heroin and amphetamine). Such a regulatory move would liberate its use as a medicine for patients experiencing severe mental illnesses such as treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. Royal College of Psychiatrists.

  9. Neurotoxicity of methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halpin, Laura E; Collins, Stuart A; Yamamoto, Bryan K

    2014-02-27

    Amphetamines are a class of psychostimulant drugs that are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, methamphetamine and 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produce persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin nerve terminals. This review summarizes the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excitotoxicity, mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. Emerging non-neuronal mechanisms by which the drugs may contribute to monoaminergic terminal damage, as well as the neuropsychiatric consequences of this terminal damage are also presented. Methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) have similar chemical structures and pharmacologic properties compared to other abused substances including cathinone (khat), as well as a relatively new class of novel synthetic amphetamines known as 'bath salts' that have gained popularity among drug abusers. © 2013.

  10. Neural mechanisms underlying ecstasy-related attentional bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Gloria M P; Garavan, Hugh

    2013-08-30

    Conditioned responses to cues associated with drug taking play a pivotal role in a number of theories of drug addiction. This study examined whether attentional biases towards drug-related cues exist in recreational drug users who predominantly used ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Experiment 1 compared 30 ecstasy users, 25 cannabis users, and 30 controls in an attentional distraction task in which neutral, evocative, and ecstasy-related pictures were presented within a coloured border, requiring participants to respond as quickly as possible to the border colour. Experiment 2 employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the attentional distraction task and tested 20 ecstasy users and 20 controls. Experiment 1 revealed significant response speed interference by the ecstasy-related pictures in the ecstasy users only. Experiment 2 revealed increased prefrontal and occipital activity in ecstasy users in all conditions. Activations in response to the ecstasy stimuli in these regions showed an apparent antagonism whereby ecstasy users, relative to controls, showed increased occipital but decreased right prefrontal activation. These results are interpreted to reflect increased visual processing of, and decreased prefrontal control over, the irrelevant but salient ecstasy-related stimuli. These results suggest that right inferior frontal cortex may play an important role in controlling drug-related attentional biases and may thus play an important role in mediating control over drug usage. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of stress and MDMA on hippocampal gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Georg F; Johnson, Bethann N; Yamamoto, Bryan K; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2014-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a substituted amphetamine and popular drug of abuse. Its mood-enhancing short-term effects may prompt its consumption under stress. Clinical studies indicate that MDMA treatment may mitigate the symptoms of stress disorders such as posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). On the other hand, repeated administration of MDMA results in persistent deficits in markers of serotonergic (5-HT) nerve terminals that have been viewed as indicative of 5-HT neurotoxicity. Exposure to chronic stress has been shown to augment MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity. Here, we examine the transcriptional responses in the hippocampus to MDMA treatment of control rats and rats exposed to chronic stress. MDMA altered the expression of genes that regulate unfolded protein binding, protein folding, calmodulin-dependent protein kinase activity, and neuropeptide signaling. In stressed rats, the gene expression profile in response to MDMA was altered to affect sensory processing and responses to tissue damage in nerve sheaths. Subsequent treatment with MDMA also markedly altered the genetic responses to stress such that the stress-induced downregulation of genes related to the circadian rhythm was reversed. The data support the view that MDMA-induced transcriptional responses accompany the persistent effects of this drug on neuronal structure/function. In addition, MDMA treatment alters the stress-induced transcriptional signature.

  12. Effects of Stress and MDMA on Hippocampal Gene Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg F. Weber

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a substituted amphetamine and popular drug of abuse. Its mood-enhancing short-term effects may prompt its consumption under stress. Clinical studies indicate that MDMA treatment may mitigate the symptoms of stress disorders such as posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD. On the other hand, repeated administration of MDMA results in persistent deficits in markers of serotonergic (5-HT nerve terminals that have been viewed as indicative of 5-HT neurotoxicity. Exposure to chronic stress has been shown to augment MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity. Here, we examine the transcriptional responses in the hippocampus to MDMA treatment of control rats and rats exposed to chronic stress. MDMA altered the expression of genes that regulate unfolded protein binding, protein folding, calmodulin-dependent protein kinase activity, and neuropeptide signaling. In stressed rats, the gene expression profile in response to MDMA was altered to affect sensory processing and responses to tissue damage in nerve sheaths. Subsequent treatment with MDMA also markedly altered the genetic responses to stress such that the stress-induced downregulation of genes related to the circadian rhythm was reversed. The data support the view that MDMA-induced transcriptional responses accompany the persistent effects of this drug on neuronal structure/function. In addition, MDMA treatment alters the stress-induced transcriptional signature.

  13. Instability of the ecstasy market and a new kid on the block: mephedrone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brunt, Tibor M.; Poortman, Anneke; Niesink, Raymond J. M.; van den Brink, Wim

    2011-01-01

    Recently, several reports have indicated instability of the ecstasy market in the Netherlands and other EU countries. In the current study, we demonstrate this instability in the Netherlands, showing a decrease of ecstasy tablets containing 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA) by more than 50% in

  14. How to find future ecstasy-users: targeted and snowball sampling in an ethically sensitive context

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervaeke, H.K.E.; Korf, D.J.; Benschop, A.; van den Brink, W.

    2007-01-01

    This article documents the design and the sampling procedures of a prospective longitudinal multidisciplinary study on the neurotoxicity of ecstasy (MDMA): the Netherlands XTC Toxicity Study (NeXT). Targeted and snowball sampling was used to recruit 188 respondents who were ecstasy-naive at

  15. Reduced memory and attention performance in a population-based sample of young adults with a moderate lifetime use of cannabis, ecstasy and alcohol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indlekofer, F; Piechatzek, M; Daamen, M; Glasmacher, C; Lieb, R; Pfister, H; Tucha, O; Lange, K W; Wittchen, H U; Schütz, C G

    2009-07-01

    Regular use of illegal drugs is suspected to cause cognitive impairments. Two substances have received heightened attention: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC or 'cannabis'). Preclinical evidence, as well as human studies examining regular ecstasy consumers, indicated that ecstasy use may have negative effects on learning, verbal memory and complex attentional functions. Cannabis has also been linked to symptoms of inattention and deficits in learning and memory. Most of the published studies in this field of research recruited participants by means of newspaper advertisements or by using word-of-mouth strategies. Because participants were usually aware that their drug use was critical to the research design, this awareness may have caused selection bias or created expectation effects. Focussing on attention and memory, this study aimed to assess cognitive functioning in a community-based representative sample that was derived from a large-scale epidemiological study. Available data concerning drug use history allowed sampling of subjects with varying degrees of lifetime drug experiences. Cognitive functioning was examined in 284 young participants, between 22 and 34 years. In general, their lifetime drug experience was moderate. Participants completed a neuropsychological test battery, including measures for verbal learning, memory and various attentional functions. Linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between cognitive functioning and lifetime experience of drug use. Ecstasy and cannabis use were significantly related to poorer episodic memory function in a dose-related manner. For attentional measures, decrements of small effect sizes were found. Error measures in tonic and phasic alertness tasks, selective attention task and vigilance showed small but significant effects, suggesting a stronger tendency to experience lapses of attention. No indication for differences in

  16. Careers in ecstasy use: do ecstasy users cease of their own accord? Implications for intervention development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaalma Herman P

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecstasy (MDMA, 3, 4-methylenodioxymethamphetamine use is widespread in the Netherlands, with a lifetime prevalence of 4.3%, and two-thirds of dance party visitors being ecstasy users. However, research into Dutch ecstasy use patterns is lacking. In addition, recent studies suggest that ecstasy users cease their use automatically, which implies that interventions would do better to better focus on the promotion of harm reduction strategies than on inducing cessation. The current study addresses this process of ecstasy cessation. Methods 32 participants from the Dutch dance scene were interviewed, and the results were systematically analysed using NVivo. Results Most ecstasy users had started to use out of curiosity. During use, users applied a host of harm reduction strategies, albeit inconsistently and sometimes incorrectly. Most users appeared to cease ecstasy use automatically because of loss of interest or changing life circumstances (e.g. a new job or relationship. Conclusion It appears that cessation of ecstasy use is largely determined by environmental variables and not by health concerns. This supports the idea that health promotion resources are better spent in trying to promote consistent and correct application of harm reduction practices than in trying to induce cessation.

  17. Preliminary evidence of hippocampal damage in chronic users of ecstasy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Hollander, B.; Schouw, M.; Groot, P.; Huisman, H.; Caan, M.; Barkhof, F.; Reneman, L.

    2012-01-01

    Various studies have shown that ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users display significant memory impairments, whereas their performance on other cognitive tests is generally normal. The hippocampus plays an essential role in short-term memory. There are, however, no structural human data

  18. THC Prevents MDMA Neurotoxicity in Mice.

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    Clara Touriño

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The majority of MDMA (ecstasy recreational users also consume cannabis. Despite the rewarding effects that both drugs have, they induce several opposite pharmacological responses. MDMA causes hyperthermia, oxidative stress and neuronal damage, especially at warm ambient temperature. However, THC, the main psychoactive compound of cannabis, produces hypothermic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Therefore, THC may have a neuroprotective effect against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. Mice receiving a neurotoxic regimen of MDMA (20 mg/kg x 4 were pretreated with THC (3 mg/kg x 4 at room (21 degrees C and at warm (26 degrees C temperature, and body temperature, striatal glial activation and DA terminal loss were assessed. To find out the mechanisms by which THC may prevent MDMA hyperthermia and neurotoxicity, the same procedure was carried out in animals pretreated with the CB(1 receptor antagonist AM251 and the CB(2 receptor antagonist AM630, as well as in CB(1, CB(2 and CB(1/CB(2 deficient mice. THC prevented MDMA-induced-hyperthermia and glial activation in animals housed at both room and warm temperature. Surprisingly, MDMA-induced DA terminal loss was only observed in animals housed at warm but not at room temperature, and this neurotoxic effect was reversed by THC administration. However, THC did not prevent MDMA-induced hyperthermia, glial activation, and DA terminal loss in animals treated with the CB(1 receptor antagonist AM251, neither in CB(1 and CB(1/CB(2 knockout mice. On the other hand, THC prevented MDMA-induced hyperthermia and DA terminal loss, but only partially suppressed glial activation in animals treated with the CB(2 cannabinoid antagonist and in CB(2 knockout animals. Our results indicate that THC protects against MDMA neurotoxicity, and suggest that these neuroprotective actions are primarily mediated by the reduction of hyperthermia through the activation of CB(1 receptor, although CB(2 receptors may also contribute to

  19. Potential long-term effects of MDMA on the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit: a proton MR spectroscopy and diffusion-tensor imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hua-Shan; Chou, Ming-Chung; Chung, Hsiao-Wen; Cho, Nai-Yu; Chiang, Shih-Wei; Wang, Chao-Ying; Kao, Hung-Wen; Huang, Guo-Shu; Chen, Cheng-Yu

    2011-08-01

    To investigate the effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, commonly known as "ecstasy") on the alterations of brain metabolites and anatomic tissue integrity related to the function of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit by using proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy and diffusion-tensor MR imaging. This study was approved by a local institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Thirty-one long-term (>1 year) MDMA users and 33 healthy subjects were enrolled. Proton MR spectroscopy from the middle frontal cortex and bilateral basal ganglia and whole-brain diffusion-tensor MR imaging were performed with a 3.0-T system. Absolute concentrations of metabolites were computed, and diffusion-tensor data were registered to the International Consortium for Brain Mapping template to facilitate voxel-based group comparison. The mean myo-inositol level in the basal ganglia of MDMA users (left: 4.55 mmol/L ± 2.01 [standard deviation], right: 4.48 mmol/L ± 1.33) was significantly higher than that in control subjects (left: 3.25 mmol/L ± 1.30, right: 3.31 mmol/L ± 1.19) (P 50 voxels). Increased myo-inositol and Cho concentrations in the basal ganglia of MDMA users are suggestive of glial response to degenerating serotonergic functions. The abnormal metabolic changes in the basal ganglia may consequently affect the inhibitory effect of the basal ganglia to the thalamus, as suggested by the increased FA in the thalamus and abnormal changes in water diffusion in the corresponding basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit. © RSNA, 2011.

  20. Fear, Rationality and Opportunity: Reasons and Motives for Not Trying Ecstasy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervaeke, Hylke Karen Eva; Benschop, Annemieke; Korf, Dirk Jan

    2008-01-01

    Aim: To gain more insight into the reasons and motives why people do not start taking ecstasy. Method: As part of the NeXT Study, we prospectively monitored 188 subjects who were ecstasy-naive at baseline but seemed likely to take ecstasy (MDMA) of their own accord during the course of the study. After an 11- to 26-month follow-up period, 160…

  1. Maternal MDMA administration in mice leads to neonatal growth delay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaizaki, Asuka; Tanaka, Sachiko; Yoshida, Takemi; Numazawa, Satoshi

    2014-02-01

    The psychoactive recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is widely abused. The fact that MDMA induces neurotoxic damage in serotonergic nerve endings is well known. However, the effects of MDMA on pregnant and neonatal animals remain unknown. Therefore, we studied the effects of gestational exposure to MDMA on birth, growth, and behavior of pups. Female BALB/c mice were orally administered either water (10 ml/kg) or MDMA (20 mg/10 ml/kg) from gestational day 1 to postnatal day (P) 21. MDMA did not affect the birth rate, but the survival rate of the pups significantly decreased. A significant reduction in body weight gain was observed in pups from MDMA-administered dams during P3-P21. Maternal MDMA treatment caused an attenuated cliff avoidance reaction and decreased motor function in the pups, as determined by the wire hanging test. These results suggest that MDMA treatment during pregnancy and lactation causes growth retardation and dysfunction of motor neurons in mouse pups.

  2. Interspecies In Vitro Evaluation of Stereoselective Protein Binding for 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan Raihana Wan Aasim

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Abuse of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA is becoming more common worldwide. To date, there is no information available on stereoselectivity of MDMA protein binding in humans, rats, and mice. Since stereoselectivity plays an important role in MDMA’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, in this study we investigated its stereoselectivity in protein binding. The stereoselective protein binding of rac-MDMA was investigated using two different concentrations (20 and 200 ng/mL in human plasma and mouse and rat sera using an ultrafiltration technique. No significant stereoselectivity in protein binding was observed in both human plasma and rat serum; however, a significant stereoselective binding (p<0.05 was observed in mouse serum. Since the protein binding of MDMA in mouse serum is considerably lower than in humans and rats, caution should be exercised when using mice for in vitro studies involving MDMA.

  3. Preliminary evidence of hippocampal damage in chronic users of ecstasy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Hollander, Bjørnar; Schouw, Marieke; Groot, Paul; Huisman, Henk; Caan, Matthan; Barkhof, Frederik; Reneman, Liesbeth

    2012-01-01

    Various studies have shown that ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users display significant memory impairments, whereas their performance on other cognitive tests is generally normal. The hippocampus plays an essential role in short-term memory. There are, however, no structural human data on the effects of ecstasy on the hippocampus. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the hippocampal volume of chronic ecstasy users is reduced when compared with healthy polydrug-using controls, as an indicator of hippocampal damage. The hippocampus was manually outlined in volumetric MRI scans in 10 male ecstasy users (mean age 25.4 years) and seven healthy age- and gender-matched control subjects (21.3 years). Other than the use of ecstasy, there were no statistically significant differences between both groups in exposure to other drugs of abuse and alcohol. The ecstasy users were on average drug-free for more than 2 months and had used on average 281 tablets over the past six and a half years. The hippocampal volume in the ecstasy using group was on average 10.5% smaller than the hippocampal volume in the control group (p=0.032). These data provide preliminary evidence that ecstasy users may be prone to incurring hippocampal damage, in line with previous reports of acute hippocampal sclerosis and subsequent atrophy in chronic users of this drug.

  4. Screening for illicit drugs in pooled human urine and urinated soil samples and studies on the stability of urinary excretion products of cocaine, MDMA, and MDEA in wastewater by hyphenated mass spectrometry techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardal, Marie; Kinyua, Juliet; Ramin, Pedram; Miserez, Bram; Van Nuijs, Alexander L N; Covaci, Adrian; Meyer, Markus R

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring population drug use through wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a useful method to quantitatively follow trends and estimate total drug consumption in communities. Concentrations of drug biomarkers might be low in wastewater due to dilution; and therefore analysis of pooled urine (PU) is useful to detect consumed drugs and identify targets of illicit drugs use. The aims of the study were (1) to screen PU and urinated soil (US) samples collected at festivals for illicit drug excretion products using hyphenated techniques; (2) to develop and validate a hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry / mass spectrometry (HILIC-MS/MS) method of quantifying urinary targets of identified drugs in wastewater; and (3) to conduct a 24 h stability study, using PU and US to better reflect the chemical environment for targets in wastewater. Cocaine (COC) and ecstasy-like compounds were the most frequently detected illicit drugs; an analytical method was developed to quantify their excretion products. Hydroxymethoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), HMMA sulfate (HMMA-S), benzoylecgonine (BE), and cocaethylene (CE) had 85-102% of initial concentration after 8 h of incubation, whereas COC and ecgonine methyl ester (EME) had 74 and 67% after 8 h, respectively. HMMA showed a net increase during 24 h of incubation (107% ± 27, n = 8), possibly due to the cleavage of HMMA conjugates, and biotransformation of MDMA. The results suggest HMMA as analytical target for MDMA consumption in WBE, due to its stability in wastewater and its excretion as the main phase I metabolite of MDMA. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. NeuN Expression Alterations in the Hippocampus Following Ecstasy Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghasemi Moravej

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The administration of 3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA leads to learning and memory impairment. Objectives Due to the effect of neurogenesis on memory and learning, in this study, we investigated the effects of MDMA on NeuN expression (a marker of neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Methods Adult male Wistar rats (weighing 200 - 250 g received a single intraperitoneal dose of 10 mg/kg of MDMA or were left undisrupted. The expression of NeuN was assessed using the immunohistochemistry method 7, 14, 28, and 60 days following MDMA administration. Results Our results showed that MDMA administration caused a decrease in NeuN expression in the experimental group compared with the control group. Conclusions These results suggest a negative correlation between MDMA administration and adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

  6. Amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, and metabolites of the catecholamine neurotransmitters are agonists of a rat trace amine receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunzow, J R; Sonders, M S; Arttamangkul, S; Harrison, L M; Zhang, G; Quigley, D I; Darland, T; Suchland, K L; Pasumamula, S; Kennedy, J L; Olson, S B; Magenis, R E; Amara, S G; Grandy, D K

    2001-12-01

    The trace amine para-tyramine is structurally and functionally related to the amphetamines and the biogenic amine neurotransmitters. It is currently thought that the biological activities elicited by trace amines such as p-tyramine and the psychostimulant amphetamines are manifestations of their ability to inhibit the clearance of extracellular transmitter and/or stimulate the efflux of transmitter from intracellular stores. Here we report the discovery and pharmacological characterization of a rat G protein-coupled receptor that stimulates the production of cAMP when exposed to the trace amines p-tyramine, beta-phenethylamine, tryptamine, and octopamine. An extensive pharmacological survey revealed that psychostimulant and hallucinogenic amphetamines, numerous ergoline derivatives, adrenergic ligands, and 3-methylated metabolites of the catecholamine neurotransmitters are also good agonists at the rat trace amine receptor 1 (rTAR1). These results suggest that the trace amines and catecholamine metabolites may serve as the endogenous ligands of a novel intercellular signaling system found widely throughout the vertebrate brain and periphery. Furthermore, the discovery that amphetamines, including 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy"), are potent rTAR1 agonists suggests that the effects of these widely used drugs may be mediated in part by this receptor as well as their previously characterized targets, the neurotransmitter transporter proteins.

  7. Sex differences in MDMA-induced toxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asl, Sara Soleimani; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi; Shahraki, Soudabeh Hamedi; Artimani, Tayebeh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent evidence demonstrates that female subjects show exaggerated responses to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) compared with males. The aim of our study was to evaluate sex differences and the role of endogenous gonadal hormones on the effects of MDMA. Fifty-six intact and gonadectomized male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to either MDMA (5 mg/kg) or saline treatment. Learning and memory were assessed using the Morris water maze (MWM). The expression of Bax and Bcl-2 in the hippocampus was detected by Western blotting. Behavioral analysis showed that MDMA led to memory impairment in both male and female rats. The female rats showed more sensitivity to impairment than the males, as assessed using all the memory parameters in the MWM. Ovariectomy attenuated the MDMA-induced memory impairment. By contrast, orchiectomized rats showed more impairment than MDMA-treated intact male rats. Bcl-2 and Bax were down-regulated and up-regulated in MDMA-treated male and female rats, respectively. MDMA treatment in the orchiectomized rats led to up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2. Ovariectomy attenuated the MDMA-induced up-regulation of Bax and caused more expression of Bcl-2 compared with what was observed in the MDMA-treated intact female rats. In summary, female rats showed exaggerated responses to the effects of MDMA and this may be explained by endogenous gonadal hormones. PMID:26415786

  8. A Cross-Reactivity of Fenofibric Acid With MDMA DRI Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugier, Sarah; Garcia-Hejl, Carine; Vest, Philippe; Plantamura, Julie; Chianea, Denis; Renard, Christophe

    2016-09-01

    Within the framework of routine fitness examinations, French Air Force military crew underwent urine testing for 3,4 methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA [ecstasy]). The cross-reactivity of a dyslipidemic drug, fenofibrate, with an MDMA immunoassay was studied and confirmed on a large population sample. A 3-year retrospective study was performed on the MDMA DRI Ecstasy Assay on the Unicel DXC 600. In the event of positive test result, a confirmatory testing was carried out by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to establish the presence of MDMA. When analysis by GC/MS did not confirm the presence of MDMA, a false-positive result was suspected and the samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify a potential interfering substance. A total of 15,169 urine samples, from 7,803 patients, were tested for 3 years. Of the tested samples, 22 (0.15%) were positive by DRI Ecstasy Assay. None of them were positive by GC/MS. A cross-reactivity of fenofibrate's metabolite with MDMA using this assay was systematically found. Fenofibrate's interference with MDMA immunoassay was confirmed. Fenofibrate being widely prescribed, physicians had to be alerted that this treatment could lead to false-positive results. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  9. The safety and efficacy of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study

    OpenAIRE

    Mithoefer, Michael C; Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Ann T; Jerome, Lisa; Doblin, Rick

    2011-01-01

    Case reports indicate that psychiatrists administered ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a catalyst to psychotherapy before recreational use of MDMA as ‘Ecstasy’ resulted in its criminalization in 1985. Over two decades later, this study is the first completed clinical trial evaluating MDMA as a therapeutic adjunct. Twenty patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, refractory to both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, were randomly assigned to psychotherapy with concomi...

  10. The History of MDMA as an Underground Drug in the United States, 1960-1979.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passie, Torsten; Benzenhöfer, Udo

    2016-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine, a.k.a. "ecstasy") was first synthesized in 1912 and resynthesized more than once for pharmaceutical reasons before it became a popular recreational drug. Partially based on previously overlooked U.S. government documentation, this article reconstructs the early history of MDMA as a recreational drug in the U.S. from 1960 to 1979. According to the literature, MDMA was introduced as a street drug at the end of the 1960s. The first forensic detection of MDMA "on the street" was reported in 1970 in Chicago. It appears that MDMA was first synthesized by underground chemists in search of "legal alternatives" for the closely related and highly sought-after drug MDA, which was scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970. Until 1974, nearly all MDMA street samples seized came from the U.S. Midwest, the first "hot region" of MDMA use. In Canada, MDMA was first detected in 1974 and scheduled in 1976. From 1975 to 1979, MDMA was found in street samples in more than 10 U.S. states, the West Coast becoming the major "hot region" of MDMA use. Recreational use of MDMA spread across the U.S. in the early 1980s, and in 1985 it was scheduled under the CSA.

  11. Prosocial effects of MDMA: A measure of generosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkpatrick, Matthew; Delton, Andrew W; Robertson, Theresa E; de Wit, Harriet

    2015-06-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces "prosocial" effects that contribute to its recreational use. Few studies have examined the cognitive and behavioral mechanisms by which MDMA produces these effects. Here we examined the effect of MDMA on a specific prosocial effect, i.e. generosity, using a task in which participants make decisions about whether they or another person will receive money (Welfare Trade-Off Task; WTT). The project included one study without drug administration and one with MDMA. In Study 1, we administered the WTT to healthy adults (N = 361) and examined their performance in relation to measures of personality and socioeconomic status. In Study 2, healthy volunteers with MDMA experience (N = 32) completed the WTT after MDMA administration (0, 0.5, or 1.0 mg/kg). As expected, in both studies participants were more generous with a close friend than an acquaintance or stranger. In Study 1, WTT generosity was related to household income and trait Agreeableness. In Study 2, MDMA (1.0 mg/kg) increased generosity toward a friend but not a stranger, whereas MDMA (0.5 mg/kg) slightly increased generosity toward a stranger, especially among female participants. These data indicate that the WTT is a valuable, novel tool to assess a component of prosocial behavior, i.e. generosity to others. The findings support growing evidence that MDMA produces prosocial effects, but, as with oxytocin, these appear to depend on the social proximity of the relationships. The brain mechanisms underlying the construct of generosity, or the effects of MDMA on this measure, remain to be determined. © The Author(s) 2015.

  12. The effects of MDMA on socio-emotional processing: Does MDMA differ from other stimulants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bershad, Anya K; Miller, Melissa A; Baggott, Matthew J; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-12-01

    ±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular recreational drug that enhances sociability and feelings of closeness with others. These "prosocial" effects appear to motivate the recreational use of MDMA and may also form the basis of its potential as an adjunct to psychotherapy. However, the extent to which MDMA differs from prototypic stimulant drugs, such as dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and methylphenidate, in either its behavioral effects or mechanisms of action, is not fully known. The purpose of this review is to evaluate human laboratory findings of the social effects of MDMA compared to other stimulants, ranging from simple subjective ratings of sociability to more complex elements of social processing and behavior. We also review the neurochemical mechanisms by which these drugs may impact sociability. Together, the findings reviewed here lay the groundwork for better understanding the socially enhancing effects of MDMA that distinguish it from other stimulant drugs, especially as these effects relate to the reinforcing and potentially therapeutic effects of the drug. © The Author(s) 2016.

  13. Identification and characterization of N-tert-butoxycarbonyl-MDMA: a new MDMA precursor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Michael; Donnelly, Christopher; Cameron, Shane; Tahtouh, Mark; Salouros, Helen

    2017-03-01

    In September 2015, 80 litres of a viscous, light-red liquid, described as hair product, was seized by the Australian Border Force (ABF). Initial testing by ABF indicated that the liquid was the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) precursor chemical safrole and custody of the material was transferred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who coordinated all subsequent investigations. Initial gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis by the AFP indicated that the material was not safrole and samples of the liquid were transferred to the National Measurement Institute Australia (NMIA) for identification. Using a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), GC-MS, infrared spectroscopy, and synthesis, the unknown substance was identified as N-tert.-butoxycarbonyl-MDMA (t-BOC-MDMA). The substance was also converted in high yield to MDMA (aqueous HCl, 80 °C, 30 min). The possibility that the t-BOC-MDMA may act as a pro-drug following ingestion was explored by exposure to simulated gastric juice (pH 1.5) and monitored by NMR (37 °C) at various intervals. The majority of t-BOC-MDMA was converted to MDMA after 305 min, which suggested that this derivatized form might serve as a pro-drug in vivo. An investigation into the chemistry of potential pro-drugs showed that t-BOC derivatives of methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine and 4-methylmethcahtinone (mephedrone) could also be prepared using di-tert.-butyl dicarbonate. The appearance of t-BOC-derivatives on the drug market requires further monitoring. © 2016 Commonwealth of Australia. Drug Testing and Analysis © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. © 2016 Commonwealth of Australia. Drug Testing and Analysis © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Can MDMA play a role in the treatment of substance abuse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerome, Lisa; Schuster, Shira; Yazar-Klosinski, B Berra

    2013-03-01

    A wider array of treatments are needed for people with substance abuse disorders. Some psychedelic compounds have been assessed as potential substance abuse treatments with promising results. MDMA may also help treat substance abuse based on shared features with psychedelic compounds and recent reports indicating that MDMAassisted psychotherapy can reduce symptoms of PTSD. Narrative reports and data from early investigations found that some people reduced or eliminated their substance use after receiving MDMA, especially in a therapeutic setting. MDMA is a potent monoamine releaser with sympathomimetic effects that may indirectly activate 5-HT2A receptors. It increases interpersonal closeness and prosocial feelings, potentially through oxytocin release. Findings suggest that ecstasy, material represented as containing MDMA, is associated with deleterious long-term effects after heavy lifetime use, including fewer serotonin transporter sites and impaired verbal memory. Animal and human studies demonstrate moderate abuse liability for MDMA, and this effect may be of most concern to those treating substance abuse disorders. However, subjects who received MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in two recent clinical studies were not motivated to seek out ecstasy, and tested negative in random drug tests during follow-up in one study. MDMA could either directly treat neuropharmacological abnormalities associated with addiction, or it could indirectly assist with the therapeutic process or reduce symptoms of comorbid psychiatric conditions, providing a greater opportunity to address problematic substance use. Studies directly testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in people with active substance abuse disorder may be warranted.

  15. MDMA-induced neurotoxicity of serotonin neurons involves autophagy and rilmenidine is protective against its pathobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Linda D; Higgins, Gavin C; Lau, Chew L; Lawrence, Andrew J; Beart, Philip M

    2017-05-01

    Toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) towards biogenic amine neurons is well documented and in primate brain predominantly affects serotonin (5-HT) neurons. MDMA induces damage of 5-HT axons and nerve fibres and intracytoplasmic inclusions. Whilst its pathobiology involves mitochondrially-mediated oxidative stress, we hypothesised MDMA possessed the capacity to activate autophagy, a proteostatic mechanism for degradation of cellular debris. We established a culture of ventral pons from embryonic murine brain enriched in 5-HT neurons to explore mechanisms of MDMA neurotoxicity and recruitment of autophagy, and evaluated possible neuroprotective actions of the clinically approved agent rilmenidine. MDMA (100 μM-1 mM) reduced cell viability, like rapamycin (RM) and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Immunocytochemistry revealed dieback of 5-HT arbour: MDMA-induced injury was slower than for RM and H 2 O 2 , neuritic blebbing occurred at 48 and 72 h and Hoechst labelling revealed nuclear fragmentation with 100 μM MDMA. MDMA effected concentration-dependent inhibition of [ 3 H]5-HT uptake with 500 μM MDMA totally blocking transport. Western immunoblotting for microtubule associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) revealed autophagosome formation after treatment with MDMA. Confocal analyses and immunocytochemistry for 5-HT, Hoechst and LC3 confirmed MDMA induced autophagy with abundant LC3-positive puncta within 5-HT neurons. Rilmenidine (1 μM) protected against MDMA-induced injury and image analysis showed full preservation of 5-HT arbours. MDMA had no effect on GABA neurons, indicating specificity of action at 5-HT neurons. MDMA-induced neurotoxicity involves autophagy induction in 5-HT neurons, and rilmenidine via beneficial actions against toxic intracellular events represents a potential treatment for its pathobiology in sustained usage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced place preference and behavioral sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouri, Akihiro; Noda, Yukihiro; Niwa, Minae; Matsumoto, Yurie; Mamiya, Takayoshi; Nitta, Atsumi; Yamada, Kiyofumi; Furukawa, Shoei; Iwamura, Tatsunori; Nabeshima, Toshitaka

    2017-06-30

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is known to induce dependence and psychosis in humans. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in the synaptic plasticity and neurotrophy in midbrain dopaminergic neurons. This study aimed to investigate the role of BDNF in MDMA-induced dependence and psychosis. A single dose of MDMA (10mg/kg) induced BDNF mRNA expression in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and amygdala, but not in the striatum or the hippocampus. However, repeated MDMA administration for 7 days induced BDNF mRNA expression in the striatum and hippocampus. Both precursor and mature BDNF protein expression increased in the nucleus accumbens, mainly in the neurons. Additionally, rapidly increased extracellular serotonin levels and gradually and modestly increased extracellular dopamine levels were noted within the nucleus accumbens of mice after repeated MDMA administration. Dopamine receptor antagonists attenuated the effect of repeated MDMA administration on BDNF mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens. To examine the role of endogenous BDNF in the behavioral and neurochemical effects of MDMA, we used mice with heterozygous deletions of the BDNF gene. MDMA-induced place preference, behavioral sensitization, and an increase in the levels of extracellular serotonin and dopamine within the nucleus accumbens, were attenuated in BDNF heterozygous knockout mice. These results suggest that BDNF is implicated in MDMA-induced dependence and psychosis by activating the midbrain serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Síndrome de Cotard associada ao uso de ecstasy

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolato,Rodrigo; Pacheco,Juliana; Boson,Leandro; Leite,Rodrigo; Salgado,João Vinícius; Romano-Silva,Marco Aurélio; Teixeira,Antônio Lúcio; Corrêa,Humberto

    2007-01-01

    O termo ecstasy é usado para descrever diversas substâncias que compartilham estruturas químicas e efeitos semelhantes, referindo-se mais comumente a 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (3,4-MDMA). Os efeitos psíquicos da MDMA são, sobretudo, alucinógenos e estimulantes. A tendência atual considera o delírio de Cotard como sendo a crença delirante de estar morto ou de que seus órgãos estejam paralisados ou podres, independentemente do diagnóstico do paciente. Neste artigo, relatamos o caso clínico...

  18. Current Perspective on MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thal, Sascha B.; Lommen, Miriam J.J.

    2018-01-01

    The present paper discusses the current literature with regard to substance-assisted psychotherapy with Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of the paper is to give a comprehensive overview of the development from MDMA’s early application in

  19. Síndrome de Cotard associada ao uso de ecstasy Cotard’s syndrome induced by ecstasy

    OpenAIRE

    Rodrigo Nicolato; Juliana Pacheco; Leandro Boson; Rodrigo Leite; João Vinícius Salgado; Marco Aurélio Romano-Silva; Antônio Lúcio Teixeira; Humberto Corrêa

    2007-01-01

    O termo ecstasy é usado para descrever diversas substâncias que compartilham estruturas químicas e efeitos semelhantes, referindo-se mais comumente a 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (3,4-MDMA). Os efeitos psíquicos da MDMA são, sobretudo, alucinógenos e estimulantes. A tendência atual considera o delírio de Cotard como sendo a crença delirante de estar morto ou de que seus órgãos estejam paralisados ou podres, independentemente do diagnóstico do paciente. Neste artigo, relatamos o caso clínico...

  20. Stereoselective effects of MDMA on inhibition of monoamine uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steele, T.D.; Nichols, D.E.; Yim, G.K.W.

    1986-01-01

    The R(-)-isomers of hallucinogenic phenylisopropylamines are most active, whereas the S(+)-enantiomers of amphetamine (AMPH) and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are more potent centrally. To determine if MDMA exhibits stereoselective effects at the biochemical level that resemble either those of amphetamine or the potent hallucinogen 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM), the ability of the isomers of MDMA, AMPH and DOM to inhibit uptake of radiolabelled monoamines into synaptosomes was measured. AMPH was more potent than MDMA in inhibiting uptake of 3 H-norepinephrine (NE) into hypothalamic synaptosomes and 3 H-dopamine (DA) into striatal synaptosomes. The S(+)-isomer was more active in each case. MDMA was more potent than AMPH in inhibiting uptake of 3 H-serotonin (5-HT) into hippocampal synaptosomes and exhibited a high degree of stereoselectivity, in favor of the S(+)-isomer. DOM showed only minimal activity in inhibiting uptake of any monoamine (IC 50 > 10 -5 M). These results suggest that MDMA exhibits stereoselective effects similar to those of amphetamine on monoamine uptake inhibition, a parameter that is unrelated to the mechanism of action of the hallucinogen DOM

  1. Acute Effects of Ecstasy on Memory Are more Extensive than Chronic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shariati, Mohamad Bakhtiar Hesam; Sohrabi, Maryam; Shahidi, Siamak; Nikkhah, Ali; Mirzaei, Fatemeh; Medizadeh, Mehdi; Asl, Sara Soleimani

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to 3, 4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) could lead to serotonergic system toxicity in the brain. This system is responsible for learning and memory functions. Studies show that MDMA causes memory impairment dose-dependently and acutely. The present study was designed to evaluate the chronic and acute effects of MDMD on spatial memory and acquisition of passive avoidance. Adult male Wistar rats (200-250 g) were given single or multiple injections of MDMA (10 mg/kg, IP). Using passive avoidance and Morris Water Maze (MWM) tasks, learning and spatial memory functions were assessed. The data were analyzed by SPSS 16 software and one- way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. Our results showed that there were significant differences in latency to enter the dark compartment (STL) between sham and MDMA- treated groups. Acute group significantly showed more STL in comparison with chronic group. Furthermore, MDMA groups spent more time in dark compartment (TDS) than the sham group. Administration of single dose of MDMA significantly caused an increase in TDS compared with the chronic group. In the MWM, MDMA treatment significantly increased the traveled distance and escaped latency compared to the sham group. Like to passive avoidance task, percentage of time spent in the target quadrant in MDMA- treated animals impaired in MWM compared with sham group. These data suggest that MDMA treatment impairs learning and memory functions that are more extensive in acute- treated rats.

  2. Acute Effects of Ecstasy on Memory Are more Extensive than Chronic Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Bakhtiar Hesam Shariati

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Exposure to 3, 4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA could lead to serotonergic system toxicity in the brain. This system is responsible for learning and memory functions. Studies show that MDMA causes memory impairment dose-dependently and acutely. The present study was designed to evaluate the chronic and acute effects of MDMD on spatial memory and acquisition of passive avoidance. Methods: Adult male Wistar rats (200-250 g were given single or multiple injections of MDMA (10 mg/kg, IP. Using passive avoidance and Morris Water Maze (MWM tasks, learning and spatial memory functions were assessed. The data were analyzed by SPSS 16 software and one- way analysis of variance (ANOVA test. Results: Our results showed that there were significant differences in latency to enter the dark compartment (STL between sham and MDMA- treated groups. Acute group significantly showed more STL in comparison with chronic group. Furthermore, MDMA groups spent more time in dark compartment (TDS than the sham group. Administration of single dose of MDMA significantly caused an increase in TDS compared with the chronic group. In the MWM, MDMA treatment significantly increased the traveled distance and escaped latency compared to the sham group. Like to passive avoidance task, percentage of time spent in the target quadrant in MDMA- treated animals impaired in MWM compared with sham group. Discussion: These data suggest that MDMA treatment impairs learning and memory functions that are more extensive in acute- treated rats.

  3. Direct and indirect cardiovascular actions of cathinone and MDMA in the anaesthetized rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsufyani, Hadeel A; Docherty, James R

    2015-07-05

    The stimulants cathinone (from Khat leaves) and methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA) produce adrenoceptor mediated tachycardia and vasopressor actions that may be the result of direct receptor stimulation, actions on the noradrenaline transporter, and/or displacement of noradrenaline from nerve terminals. Effects of cathinone or MDMA were compared with those of the indirect sympathomimetic tyramine. Male Wistar rats were anaesthetized with pentobarbitone for blood pressure and heart rate recording. Some rats were sympathectomised by treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine. In the anaesthetised rat, cathinone, MDMA and tyramine (all 0.001-1 mg/kg) produced marked tachycardia, tyramine produced marked pressor responses and MDMA produced small pressor responses. The tachycardia to cathinone and MDMA was almost abolished by propranolol (1mg/kg). Pretreatment with cocaine (1mg/kg) did not significantly affect the tachycardia to cathinone or MDMA, but reduced the response to tyramine. However, in sympathectomised rats, the tachycardia to cathinone or MDMA was markedly attenuated, but the tachycardia to tyramine was only partially reduced. Blood pressure effects of tyramine and MDMA were also markedly attenuated by sympathectomy. The results demonstrate firstly that cocaine may not be the most suitable agent for assessing direct versus indirect agonism in cardiovascular studies. Secondly, the use of chemical sympathectomy achieved the desired goal of demonstrating that cardiac β-adrenoceptor mediated actions of cathinone and MDMA are probably largely indirect. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Protection against MDMA-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice by methyllycaconitine: involvement of nicotinic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipana, C; Camarasa, J; Pubill, D; Escubedo, E

    2006-09-01

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a relatively selective dopaminergic neurotoxin in mice. Previous studies demonstrated the participation of alpha-7 nicotinic receptors (nAChR) in the neurotoxic effect of methamphetamine. The aim of this paper was to study the role of this receptor type in the acute effects and neurotoxicity of MDMA in mice. In vivo, methyllycaconitine (MLA), a specific alpha-7 nAChR antagonist, significantly prevented MDMA-induced neurotoxicity at dopaminergic but not at serotonergic level, without affecting MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Glial activation was also fully prevented by MLA. In vitro, MDMA induced intrasynaptosomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which was calcium-, nitric-oxide synthase-, and protein kinase C-dependent. Also, the increase in ROS was prevented by MLA and alpha-bungarotoxin. Experiments with reserpine point to endogenous dopamine (DA) as the main source of MDMA-induced ROS. MLA also brought the MDMA-induced inhibition of [3H]DA uptake down, from 73% to 11%. We demonstrate that a coordinated activation of alpha-7 nAChR, blockade of DA transporter function and displacement of DA from intracellular stores induced by MDMA produces a neurotoxic effect that can be prevented by MLA, suggesting that alpha-7 nAChR have a key role in the MDMA neurotoxicity in mice; however, the involvement of nicotinic receptors containing the beta2 subunit cannot be conclusively ruled out.

  5. Decision-making in chronic ecstasy users: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betzler, Felix; Viohl, Leonard; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina

    2017-01-01

    Different cognitive impairments have been reported as a result of long-term MDMA/ecstasy use. Increased impulsivity and altered decision-making have been shown to be associated with the development and maintenance of addictive disorders pointing toward the necessity to understand a potential impairment of decision-making due to MDMA use. Thus, assessing the long-term effects of MDMA is crucial in order to evaluate its controversially discussed therapeutic use. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize the scientific literature on potential effects of chronic MDMA use on higher order decision-making processes in humans. Therefore, a systematic search for controlled trials relevant to the topic has been performed. Only studies using specific tasks on decision-making were included that involved subjects in the drug-free interval with drug-naïve, and/or polydrug control groups. A total of 12 studies could be identified that met the inclusion criteria, all of which were cross-sectional studies. The findings on decision-making disturbances in MDMA users were heterogeneous. Seven studies reported increased risky decisions, whereas five studies did not find MDMA-specific influences on decision-making. Increased impulsivity was observed both in MDMA groups and in (poly)drug control groups in almost all studies. Thus, the current state of research does not allow for the conclusion that long-term use of MDMA affects decision-making behavior in general. More detailed specifications as well as further investigations of the relevant processes are needed. Significant tendencies toward risky decision-making among long-term MDMA use have been observed, but need to be confirmed by studies using a longitudinal design. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Síndrome de Cotard associada ao uso de ecstasy Cotard’s syndrome induced by ecstasy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Nicolato

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available O termo ecstasy é usado para descrever diversas substâncias que compartilham estruturas químicas e efeitos semelhantes, referindo-se mais comumente a 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (3,4-MDMA. Os efeitos psíquicos da MDMA são, sobretudo, alucinógenos e estimulantes. A tendência atual considera o delírio de Cotard como sendo a crença delirante de estar morto ou de que seus órgãos estejam paralisados ou podres, independentemente do diagnóstico do paciente. Neste artigo, relatamos o caso clínico de um paciente que apresentou quadro psicótico com delírios hipocondríacos e alucinações olfativas com características de síndrome de Cotard associado ao uso crônico de ecstasy. Foi medicado com olanzapina e obteve remissão completa dos sintomas.The term ecstasy is used to describe various substances that share similar chemical structures and effects, often referring to 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (3,4-MDMA. MDMA psychic effects are mainly hallucinatory and stimulatory. Current trends consider Cotard’s delusion as a delusional belief of being dead or having paralyzed or rotten organs, independent of the diagnosis the patient has received. This case report is about a psychotic episode where the patient presented with hypochondriac delusion and olfactory hallucinations resembling Cotard’s syndrome and associated with ecstasy abuse. He was given olanzapine and achieved total remission from symptoms.

  7. Contribution of dopamine to mitochondrial complex I inhibition and dopaminergic deficits caused by methylenedioxymethamphetamine in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros-Miñones, L; Goñi-Allo, B; Suquia, V; Beitia, G; Aguirre, N; Puerta, E

    2015-06-01

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) causes a persistent loss of dopaminergic cell bodies in the substantia nigra of mice. Current evidence indicates that MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is mediated by oxidative stress probably due to the inhibition of mitochondrial complex I activity. In this study we investigated the contribution of dopamine (DA) to such effects. For this, we modulated the dopaminergic system of mice at the synthesis, uptake or metabolism levels. Striatal mitochondrial complex I activity was decreased 1 h after MDMA; an effect not observed in the striatum of DA depleted mice or in the hippocampus, a dopamine spare region. The DA precursor, L-dopa, caused a significant reduction of mitochondrial complex I activity by itself and exacerbated the dopaminergic deficits when combined with systemic MDMA. By contrast, no damage was observed when L-dopa was combined with intrastriatal injections of MDMA. On the other hand, dopamine uptake blockade using GBR 12909, inhibited both, the acute inhibition of complex I activity and the long-term dopaminergic toxicity caused by MDMA. Moreover, the inhibition of DA metabolism with the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, pargyline, afforded a significant protection against MDMA-induced complex I inhibition and neurotoxicity. Taken together, these findings point to the formation of hydrogen peroxide subsequent to DA metabolism by MAO, rather than a direct DA-mediated mitochondrial complex I inhibition, and the contribution of a peripheral metabolite of MDMA, as the key steps in the chain of biochemical events leading to DA neurotoxicity caused by MDMA in mice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Dopamine transporter down-regulation following repeated cocaine: implications for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced acute effects and long-term neurotoxicity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peraile, I; Torres, E; Mayado, A; Izco, M; Lopez-Jimenez, A; Lopez-Moreno, J A; Colado, M I; O'Shea, E

    2010-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and cocaine are two widely abused psychostimulant drugs targeting the dopamine transporter (DAT). DAT availability regulates dopamine neurotransmission and uptake of MDMA-derived neurotoxic metabolites. We aimed to determine the effect of cocaine pre-exposure on the acute and long-term effects of MDMA in mice. Mice received a course of cocaine (20 mg*kg(-1), x2 for 3 days) followed by MDMA (20 mg*kg(-1), x2, 3 h apart). Locomotor activity, extracellular dopamine levels and dopaminergic neurotoxicity were determined. Furthermore, following the course of cocaine, DAT density in striatal plasma membrane and endosome fractions was measured. Four days after the course of cocaine, challenge with MDMA attenuated the MDMA-induced striatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Co-administration of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor NPC 15437 prevented cocaine protection. At the same time, after the course of cocaine, DAT density was reduced in the plasma membrane and increased in the endosome fraction, and this effect was prevented by NPC 15437. The course of cocaine potentiated the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular dopamine and locomotor activity, following challenge 4 days later, compared with those pretreated with saline. Repeated cocaine treatment followed by withdrawal protected against MDMA-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity by internalizing DAT via a mechanism which may involve PKC. Furthermore, repeated cocaine followed by withdrawal induced behavioural and neurochemical sensitization to MDMA, measures which could be indicative of increased rewarding effects of MDMA.

  9. Intimate insight: MDMA changes how people talk about significant others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggott, Matthew J.; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G.; Bedi, Gillinder; de Wit, Harriet

    2015-01-01

    Rationale ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is widely believed to increase sociability. The drug alters speech production and fluency, and may influence speech content. Here, we investigated the effect of MDMA on speech content, which may reveal how this drug affects social interactions. Method 35 healthy volunteers with prior MDMA experience completed this two-session, within-subjects, double-blind study during which they received 1.5 mg/kg oral MDMA and placebo. Participants completed a 5-min standardized talking task during which they discussed a close personal relationship (e.g., a friend or family member) with a research assistant. The conversations were analyzed for selected content categories (e.g., words pertaining to affect, social interaction, and cognition), using both a standard dictionary method (Pennebaker’s Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count: LIWC) and a machine learning method using random forest classifiers. Results Both analytic methods revealed that MDMA altered speech content relative to placebo. Using LIWC scores, the drug increased use of social and sexual words, consistent with reports that MDMA increases willingness to disclose. Using the machine learning algorithm, we found that MDMA increased use of social words and words relating to both positive and negative emotions. Conclusions These findings are consistent with reports that MDMA acutely alters speech content, specifically increasing emotional and social content during a brief semistructured dyadic interaction. Studying effects of psychoactive drugs on speech content may offer new insights into drug effects on mental states, and on emotional and psychosocial interaction. PMID:25922420

  10. Neuronal reorganization in adult rats neonatally exposed to (±-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael T. Williams

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The abuse of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA during pregnancy is of concern. MDMA treatment of rats during a period of brain growth analogous to late human gestation leads to neurochemical and behavioral changes. MDMA from postnatal day (P11–20 in rats produces reductions in serotonin and deficits in spatial and route-based navigation. In this experiment we examined the impact of MDMA from P11 to P20 (20 mg/kg twice daily, 8 h apart on neuronal architecture. Golgi impregnated sections showed significant changes. In the nucleus accumbens, the dendrites were shorter with fewer spines, whereas in the dentate gyrus the dendritic length was decreased but with more spines, and for the entorhinal cortex, reductions in basilar and apical dendritic lengths in MDMA animals compared with saline animals were seen. The data show that neuronal cytoarchitectural changes are long-lasting following developmental MDMA exposure and are in regions consistent with the learning and memory deficits observed in such animals.

  11. Differential effects of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) in rats trained to discriminate MDMA or a d-amphetamine + MDMA mixture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Eric L; Baker, Lisa E

    2016-02-01

    Recent reports on the abuse of novel synthetic cathinone derivatives call attention to serious public health risks of these substances. In response to this concern, a growing body of preclinical research has characterized the psychopharmacology of these substances, particularly mephedrone (MEPH) or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), noting their similarities to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and cocaine. Few studies have utilized drug discrimination methodology to characterize the psychopharmacological properties of these substances. The present study employed a rodent drug discrimination assay to further characterize the stimulus effects of MEPH and MDPV in comparison to MDMA and to a drug mixture comprised of d-amphetamine and MDMA. Eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 1.5 mg/kg MDMA, and eight rats were trained to discriminate a mixture of 1.5 mg/kg MDMA and 0.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine (MDMA + AMPH) from vehicle. Substitution tests were conducted with MDMA, d-amphetamine, MDPV, MEPH, and cocaine. Dose-response curves generated with MDMA and MEPH were comparable between training groups. In contrast, AMPH, MDPV, and cocaine produced only partial substitution in animals trained to discriminate MDMA but produced full substitution in animals trained to discriminate the MDMA + AMPH mixture. These findings indicate that MDPV's effects may be more similar to those of traditional psychostimulants, whereas MEPH exerts stimulus effects more similar to those of MDMA. Additional experiments with selective DA and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptor antagonists are required to further elucidate specific receptor mechanisms mediating the discriminative stimulus effects of MDPV and mephedrone.

  12. The influence of genetic and environmental factors among MDMA users in cognitive performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabet Cuyàs

    Full Text Available This study is aimed to clarify the association between MDMA cumulative use and cognitive dysfunction, and the potential role of candidate genetic polymorphisms in explaining individual differences in the cognitive effects of MDMA. Gene polymorphisms related to reduced serotonin function, poor competency of executive control and memory consolidation systems, and high enzymatic activity linked to bioactivation of MDMA to neurotoxic metabolites may contribute to explain variations in the cognitive impact of MDMA across regular users of this drug. Sixty ecstasy polydrug users, 110 cannabis users and 93 non-drug users were assessed using cognitive measures of Verbal Memory (California Verbal Learning Test, CVLT, Visual Memory (Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, ROCFT, Semantic Fluency, and Perceptual Attention (Symbol Digit Modalities Test, SDMT. Participants were also genotyped for polymorphisms within the 5HTT, 5HTR2A, COMT, CYP2D6, BDNF, and GRIN2B genes using polymerase chain reaction and TaqMan polymerase assays. Lifetime cumulative MDMA use was significantly associated with poorer performance on visuospatial memory and perceptual attention. Heavy MDMA users (>100 tablets lifetime use interacted with candidate gene polymorphisms in explaining individual differences in cognitive performance between MDMA users and controls. MDMA users carrying COMT val/val and SERT s/s had poorer performance than paired controls on visuospatial attention and memory, and MDMA users with CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolizers performed worse than controls on semantic fluency. Both MDMA lifetime use and gene-related individual differences influence cognitive dysfunction in ecstasy users.

  13. Prevention of drug priming- and cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA-seeking behaviors by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM251.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawata, Yoko; Kitaichi, Kiyoyuki; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki

    2016-03-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a methamphetamine (METH) derivative, exhibits METH-like actions at monoamine transporters and positive reinforcing effects in rodents and primates. The purposes of the present study were to determine whether cross-reinstatement would be observed between MDMA and METH and if the cannabinoid receptor, a receptor known to play critical roles in the brain reward system, could modulate MDMA craving. Rats were trained to press a lever for intravenous MDMA (0.3mg/infusion) or METH (0.02mg/infusion) infusions under a fixed ratio 1 schedule paired with drug-associated cues (light and tone). Following drug self-administration acquisition training, rats underwent extinction training (an infusion of saline). Reinstatement tests were performed once the extinction criteria were achieved. In MDMA-trained rats, the MDMA-priming injection (3.2mg/kg, i.p.) or re-exposure to MDMA-associated cues reinstated MDMA-seeking behavior. Additionally, a priming injection of METH (1.0mg/kg, i.p.) also reinstated MDMA-seeking behavior. In contrast, none of the MDMA doses reinstated METH-seeking behavior in the METH-trained rats. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM251 markedly attenuated the MDMA-seeking behaviors induced by MDMA-priming injection or re-exposure to MDMA-associated cues in a dose-dependent manner. These findings show that MDMA has obvious addictive potential for reinstating drug-seeking behavior and that METH can be an effective stimulus for reinstating MDMA-seeking behaviors. Furthermore, based on the attenuating effect of AM251 in the reinstatement of MDMA-seeking behaviors, drugs that suppress CB1 receptors may be used in treatment of MDMA dependence. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  14. Impact of a transient instability of the ecstasy market on health concerns and drug use patterns in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunt, Tibor M; Niesink, Raymond J M; van den Brink, Wim

    2012-03-01

    A recent decline in MDMA-like substances in ecstasy tablets has been reported by a number of countries in the European Union. This study describes the instability of the ecstasy market in The Netherlands during 2008 and 2009, and investigates whether this had any impact on drug testing or patterns of drug use. The health concerns of drug users handing in drug samples at drug testing facilities was measured using intervention time-series analysis. In addition, these ecstasy users were asked about changes in their drug use. Nationally, the unstable market situation for ecstasy has increased the number of users handing in ecstasy tablets for testing because of health concern. There was no change in the number of users handing in cocaine or gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Respondents reported no major changes in their drug use resulting from the shortage of MDMA-like substances. These findings provide further insight in drug policy based on both harm reduction and use reduction. In the event of reduced ecstasy quality, ecstasy users in The Netherlands have increasingly used drug testing as a potential harm reduction tool, rather than changing their patterns of drug use. This might indicate that a transient reduction of drug quality does not serve as a good drug use reduction strategy for ecstasy users. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The effect of acute tryptophan depletion on mood and impulsivity in polydrug ecstasy users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Simon N; Regoli, Martine; Leyton, Marco; Pihl, Robert O; Benkelfat, Chawki

    2014-02-01

    Several studies suggest users of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) have low levels of serotonin. Low serotonin may make them susceptible to lowered mood. This work aims to study the acute effects on mood and impulsivity of lowering serotonin levels with acute tryptophan depletion in polydrug ecstasy users and to determine whether effects were different in men and women. In a double-blind cross-over study, participants who had used ecstasy at least 25 times (n = 13) and nonuser controls (n = 17) received a tryptophan-deficient amino acid mixture and a control amino acid mixture containing tryptophan, at least 1 week apart. Mood was measured using the profile of mood states, and impulsivity was measured with the Go/No-Go task. The main result shows that a lowering of mood after acute tryptophan depletion occurred only in female polydrug ecstasy users (n = 7), relative to controls (n = 9). Results from the Go/No-Go task suggested that impulsivity was not increased by acute tryptophan depletion in polydrug ecstasy users. The group sizes were small, when males and females were considered separately. Women polydrug ecstasy users appear to be more susceptible than men to the effects of lowered serotonin levels. If use of ecstasy alone or in conjunction with other drugs causes progressive damage of serotonin neurons, women polydrug ecstasy users may become susceptible to clinical depression.

  16. Incidental use of ecstasy: no evidence for harmful effects on cognitive brain function in a prospective fMRI study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, G.; Win, M.M. de; Vervaeke, H.K.; Schilt, T.; Kahn, R.S.; Brink, W. van den; Ree, J.M. van; Ramsey, M.F.

    2007-01-01

    Rationale Heavy ecstasy use in humans has been associated with cognitive impairments and changes in cognitive brain function supposedly due to damage to the serotonin system. There is concern that even a single dose of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine may be neurotoxic, but very little is known

  17. MDMA-assisted therapy: A new treatment model for social anxiety in autistic adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danforth, Alicia L; Struble, Christopher M; Yazar-Klosinski, Berra; Grob, Charles S

    2016-01-04

    The first study of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapy for the treatment of social anxiety in autistic adults commenced in the spring of 2014. The search for psychotherapeutic options for autistic individuals is imperative considering the lack of effective conventional treatments for mental health diagnoses that are common in this population. Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) involving the administration of MDMA in clinical trials have been rare and non-life threatening. To date, MDMA has been administered to over 1133 individuals for research purposes without the occurrence of unexpected drug-related SAEs that require expedited reporting per FDA regulations. Now that safety parameters for limited use of MDMA in clinical settings have been established, a case can be made to further develop MDMA-assisted therapeutic interventions that could support autistic adults in increasing social adaptability among the typically developing population. As in the case with classic hallucinogens and other psychedelic drugs, MDMA catalyzes shifts toward openness and introspection that do not require ongoing administration to achieve lasting benefits. This infrequent dosing mitigates adverse event frequency and improves the risk/benefit ratio of MDMA, which may provide a significant advantage over medications that require daily dosing. Consequently, clinicians could employ new treatment models for social anxiety or similar types of distress administering MDMA on one to several occasions within the context of a supportive and integrative psychotherapy protocol. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Strenuous exercise aggravates MDMA-induced skeletal muscle damage in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duarte, Jose A.; Leao, Anabela; Magalhaes, Jose; Ascensao, Antonio; Bastos, Maria L.; Amado, Francisco L.; Vilarinho, Laura; Quelhas, Dulce; Appell, Hans J.; Carvalho, Felix

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ecstasy (MDMA) administration on body temperature and soleus muscle histology in exercised and non-exercised mice. Charles-River mice were distributed into four groups: Control (C), exercise (EX), MDMA treated (M), and M + EX. The treated animals received an i.p. injection (10 mg/kg) of MDMA (saline for C and EX), and the exercise consisted of a 90 min level run at a velocity of 900 m/h, immediately after the MDMA or saline administration. Body temperature was recorded every 30 min via subcutaneous implanted transponder. Animals were sacrificed 1.5, 25.5, and 49.5 h after i.p. injection and the soleus muscles were removed and processed for light and electron microscopy. The MDMA-treated animals showed a significant increase in body temperature (similar in M and M + EX groups), reaching the peak 90 min after i.p. administration; their temperature remained higher than control for more than 5 h. The EX group evidenced a similar and parallel, yet lower temperature increase during exercise and recovery. Morphological signs of damage were rarely encountered in the EX group; they were more pronounced in M group and even aggravated in M + EX group. In conclusion, MDMA and exercise per se increased body temperature but in conjunction did not have a cumulated effect. However, ecstasy and concomitant physical activity might severely accumulate with regard to skeletal muscle toxicity and may lead to rhabdomyolysis

  19. Cocaine enhances the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA in adolescent mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, M A; Roger-Sánchez, C; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J

    2015-04-01

    Although the consumption of cocaine is frequent in young users of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), the influence of exposure to cocaine on the rewarding effects of MDMA in adolescents has not been studied. The purpose of the present work was to evaluate the effect of co-administration of cocaine (1 and 10 mg/kg) and a sub-threshold dose of MDMA (1.25 mg/kg) on the acquisition of conditioned place preference (CPP) (experiment 1). In addition, the effect of pre-treatment with cocaine on MDMA-induced CPP was evaluated (experiment 2). Levels of monoamines in striatum, hippocampus and cortex were measured in both experiments. Our hypotheses were that cocaine co-administration or pre-treatment would increase the rewarding effects of MDMA, and that these effects would be related with changes in brain monoamine levels. Our results showed that cocaine potentiated the rewarding effects of MDMA, since a sub-threshold dose of MDMA, which did not induce CPP by itself, induced a significant CPP in adolescent mice when administered along with cocaine during conditioning (experiment 1). Moreover, pre-treatment with cocaine several days before conditioning also increased the rewarding effects of MDMA (experiment 2). No significant changes in the levels of biogenic amines, which correlated with these behavioural effects, were observed. Our results confirm the involvement of the dopaminergic system in MDMA-induced CPP in adolescent mice and suggest that combined consumption with or pre-exposure to cocaine increases the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA, which may enhance the capacity of MDMA to induce dependence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography method for analysis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in seized tablets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris E. Duffau

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Context: Consumption of synthetic drugs had increased in recent years, used as a recreational drug by young people who presume that consumption of this drug is harmless for health; however clinical studies have shown that this stimulant and its metabolites are toxic. Due to these reasons, chemical analysis of this illicit drug is crucial from the points of view of occupational medicine, toxicology, and law enforcement with the aim of pursuit the traffic of illegal drug. Aims: Implement and fully validate a rapid and simple method for detection and quantitation of MDMA by High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography in seized samples. Methods: With the implemented method was analyzed 12 positive samples seized by Chilean police, to found the concentration of MDMA in ecstasy tablets. Results: The method was fully validated, the linearity of the method was evaluated by the calibration curve between 51.0 – 510.0 µg/band (R2 0.9977; limit of detection was 12.1 µg per band, and limit of quantitation was 36.8 µg per band. The precision of the method (RSD was lower than 5.0%. Accuracy was evaluated by determination of the percentage of MDMA recovered by the assay (99.13%, and relative Uncertainty was 6.66%. With this method, it was analyzed real seized samples of MDMA, results showed that all samples contained MDMA and concentration was between 18.15 – 59.84 % w/w. Conclusions: The method is selective, sensitive, and specific, with possible application in forensic analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about concentration of MDMA in ecstasy pills in Chile.

  1. Studies on the mechanisms underlying amiloride enhancement of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced serotonin depletion in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goñi-Allo, Beatriz; Puerta, Elena; Hervias, Isabel; Di Palma, Richard; Ramos, Maria; Lasheras, Berta; Aguirre, Norberto

    2007-05-21

    Amiloride and several of its congeners known to block the Na(+)/Ca(2+) and/or Na(+)/H(+) antiporters potentiate methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity without altering methamphetamine-induced hyperthermia. We now examine whether amiloride also exacerbates 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-induced long-term serotonin (5-HT) loss in rats. Amiloride (2.5 mg/kg, every 2 h x 3, i.p.) given at ambient temperature 30 min before MDMA (5 mg/kg, every 2 h x 3, i.p.), markedly exacerbated long-term 5-HT loss. However, in contrast to methamphetamine, amiloride also potentiated MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Fluoxetine (10 mg/kg i.p.) completely protected against 5-HT depletion caused by the MDMA/amiloride combination without significantly altering the hyperthermic response. By contrast, the calcium channel antagonists flunarizine or diltiazem did not afford any protection. Findings with MDMA and amiloride were extended to the highly selective Na(+)/H(+) exchange inhibitor dimethylamiloride, suggesting that the potentiating effects of amiloride are probably mediated by the blockade of Na(+)/H(+) exchange. When the MDMA/amiloride combination was administered at 15 degrees C hyperthermia did not develop and brain 5-HT concentrations remained unchanged 7 days later. Intrastriatal perfusion of MDMA (100 microM for 8 h) in combination with systemic amiloride caused a small depletion of striatal 5-HT content in animals made hyperthermic but not in the striatum of normothermic rats. These data suggest that enhancement of MDMA-induced 5-HT loss caused by amiloride or dimethylamiloride depends on their ability to enhance MDMA-induced hyperthermia. We hypothesise that blockade of Na(+)/H(+) exchange could synergize with hyperthermia to render 5-HT terminals more vulnerable to the toxic effects of MDMA.

  2. An examination of sociodemographic correlates of ecstasy use among high school seniors in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Kamboukos, Dimitra

    2014-11-01

    Although ecstasy (MDMA) use is not as prevalent in the United States (US) as it was in the early 2000s, use remains popular among adolescents and young adults. Few recent studies have examined ecstasy use in national samples among those at particularly high risk for use-adolescents approaching adulthood. Research is needed to delineate sociodemographic correlates of use in this group. Data were examined from a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the US (modal age = 18) from the Monitoring the Future study (years 2007-2012; weighted N = 26,504). Data from all cohorts were aggregated and correlates of recent (last 12-month) use of ecstasy were examined. Roughly 4.4% of high school seniors reported use of ecstasy within the last year. Females and religious students were consistently at lower odds for use. Black and Hispanic students, and students residing with two parents, were at lower odds for ecstasy use, until controlling for other drug use. Odds of use were consistently increased for those residing in a city, students with weekly income of >$50 from a job, and students earning >$10 weekly from other sources. Lifetime use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other illicit drugs each robustly increased odds of ecstasy use. Subgroups of high school seniors, defined by specific sociodemographic factors, and those who have used other drugs, are currently at high risk for ecstasy initiation and use. Since ecstasy is regaining popularity in the US, prevention efforts should consider these factors.

  3. The effect of acutely administered MDMA on subjective and BOLD-fMRI responses to favourite and worst autobiographical memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carhart-Harris, R L; Wall, M B; Erritzoe, D; Kaelen, M; Ferguson, B; De Meer, I; Tanner, M; Bloomfield, M; Williams, T M; Bolstridge, M; Stewart, L; Morgan, C J; Newbould, R D; Feilding, A; Curran, H V; Nutt, D J

    2014-04-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine-releaser that is widely used as a recreational drug. Preliminary work has supported the potential of MDMA in psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying its putative efficacy are, however, poorly understood. Psychotherapy for PTSD usually requires that patients revisit traumatic memories, and it has been argued that this is easier to do under MDMA. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the effect of MDMA on recollection of favourite and worst autobiographical memories (AMs). Nineteen participants (five females) with previous experience with MDMA performed a blocked AM recollection (AMR) paradigm after ingestion of 100 mg of MDMA-HCl or ascorbic acid (placebo) in a double-blind, repeated-measures design. Memory cues describing participants' AMs were read by them in the scanner. Favourite memories were rated as significantly more vivid, emotionally intense and positive after MDMA than placebo and worst memories were rated as less negative. Functional MRI data from 17 participants showed robust activations to AMs in regions known to be involved in AMR. There was also a significant effect of memory valence: hippocampal regions showed preferential activations to favourite memories and executive regions to worst memories. MDMA augmented activations to favourite memories in the bilateral fusiform gyrus and somatosensory cortex and attenuated activations to worst memories in the left anterior temporal cortex. These findings are consistent with a positive emotional-bias likely mediated by MDMA's pro-monoaminergic pharmacology.

  4. Desenvolvimento e validação de um método cromatográfico em fase gasosa para análise da 3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina (ecstasy e outros derivados anfetamínicos em comprimidos Development and validation of a gas chromatography method for determination of ecstasy and amphetamines derivatives in tablets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Carvalho Lasmar

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available O uso abusivo das anfetaminas e seus derivados vêm aumentando dramaticamente nos últimos anos em diversas regiões do mundo, notando-se especial utilização do Ecstasy. A análise de amostras da droga apreendidas nas ruas evidenciou, além da presença de MDMA (3,4-metilenodioximetanfetamina, componente principal da droga, outras feniletilaminas, como a MDA (3,4-metilenodioxanfetamina e MDEA (metilenodioximetiletilanfetamina este último também conhecido como a droga Eve, ainda pouco difundida no Brasil. O objetivo do presente trabalho foi desenvolver e validar um método analítico confiável, prático e acessível aos laboratórios de toxicologia, de médio e pequeno porte, no Brasil e em países em desenvolvimento, para identificação separada do MDMA, MDA e MDEA. A cromatografia em fase gasosa utilizando-se coluna capilar e detector de ionização de chama foi a técnica escolhida. O método analítico apresentou para os três analitos de interesse, faixa ampla de linearidade (1,0 a 500,0 µg/mL; limites de quantificação de 1,0 µg/mL e coeficientes de variação intra e interensaio inferiores a 9,5%. Os limites de detecção estabelecidos foram 0,7 µg/mL, 0,8 µg/mL e 0,6 µg/mL, respectivamente para o MDMA, MDA e MDEA. O método foi seletivo na presença de epinefrina, cocaína, anfetamina, ácido acetilsalisílico, metanfetamina, ácido dietilbarbitúrico, p-aminobenzoil dietilbarbitúrico, paracetamol e cafeína.The abusive use of the amphetamine derivative ecsyasy in the world come increasing in the last years. Many tablets samples kept on the streets shown the presence not only of the MDMA- 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, the main drug component but also of the MDA - 3,4- methylenedioxyamphetamine and MDEA - 3,4-methylenedioxymethylethylamphetamine. The present study sought to develop and validate an analytical method for determination of MDMA, MDA and MDEA in tablets to be accessible for the most small or medium

  5. Risky Behavior, Ecstasy, and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callier, Heather H.

    2011-01-01

    Ecstasy is a risky behavior that continues to be a concern in the education system today. The review of the Ecstasy literature focused on the definition of risky behavior, prevalence, and other basis aspects of Ecstasy; discovering life events that are associated with Ecstasy use, the function of this behavior, interventions for substance abuse,…

  6. Verbal Memory Deficits Are Correlated with Prefrontal Hypometabolism in 18FDG PET of Recreational MDMA Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Oliver G.; Wagner, Michael; Jessen, Frank; Kühn, Kai-Uwe; Joe, Alexius; Seifritz, Erich; Maier, Wolfgang; Biersack, Hans-Jürgen; Quednow, Boris B.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) is a recreational club drug with supposed neurotoxic effects selectively on the serotonin system. MDMA users consistently exhibit memory dysfunction but there is an ongoing debate if these deficits are induced mainly by alterations in the prefrontal or mediotemporal cortex, especially the hippocampus. Thus, we investigated the relation of verbal memory deficits with alterations of regional cerebral brain glucose metabolism (rMRGlu) in recreational MDMA users. Methods Brain glucose metabolism in rest was assessed using 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography (18FDG PET) in 19 male recreational users of MDMA and 19 male drug-naïve controls. 18FDG PET data were correlated with memory performance assessed with a German version of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Results As previously shown, MDMA users showed significant impairment in verbal declarative memory performance. PET scans revealed significantly decreased rMRGlu in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, bilateral thalamus, right hippocampus, right precuneus, right cerebellum, and pons (at the level of raphe nuclei) of MDMA users. Among MDMA users, learning and recall were positively correlated with rMRGlu predominantly in bilateral frontal and parietal brain regions, while recognition was additionally related to rMRGlu in the right mediotemporal and bihemispheric lateral temporal cortex. Moreover, cumulative lifetime dose of MDMA was negatively correlated with rMRGlu in the left dorsolateral and bilateral orbital and medial PFC, left inferior parietal and right lateral temporal cortex. Conclusions Verbal learning and recall deficits of recreational MDMA users are correlated with glucose hypometabolism in prefrontal and parietal cortex, while word recognition was additionally correlated with mediotemporal hypometabolism. We conclude that memory deficits of MDMA users arise from combined

  7. Effects of repeated treatment with MDMA on working memory and behavioural flexibility in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viñals, Xavier; Maldonado, Rafael; Robledo, Patricia

    2013-03-01

    Repeated administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice. However, it is still not clear whether this exposure induces deficits in cognitive processing related to specific subsets of executive functioning. We evaluated the effects of neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic doses of MDMA (0, 3 and 30 mg/kg, twice daily for 4 days) on working memory and attentional set-shifting in mice, and changes in extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) in the striatum. Treatment with MDMA (30 mg/kg) disrupted performance of acquired operant alternation, and this impairment was still apparent 5 days after the last drug administration. Decreased alternation was not related to anhedonia because no differences were observed between groups in the saccharin preference test under similar experimental conditions. Correct responding on delayed alternation was increased 1 day after repeated treatment with MDMA (30 mg/kg), probably because of general behavioural quiescence. Notably, the high dose regimen of MDMA impaired attentional set-shifting related to an increase in total perseveration errors. Finally, basal extracellular levels of DA in the striatum were not modified in mice repeatedly treated with MDMA with respect to controls. However, an acute challenge with MDMA (10 mg/kg) failed to increase DA outflow in mice receiving the highest MDMA dose (30 mg/kg), corroborating a decrease in the functionality of DA transporters. Seven days after this treatment, the effects of MDMA on DA outflow were recovered. These results suggest that repeated neurotoxic doses of MDMA produce lasting impairments in recall of alternation behaviour and reduce cognitive flexibility in mice. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  8. Validity of in vivo [123I]beta-CIT SPECT in detecting MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; de Jeu, Rogier A. M.; de Bruin, Kora; Habraken, Jan B. A.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Booij, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J.

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated the ability of a high-resolution pinhole single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system, with [(123)I]beta-CIT as a radiotracer, to detect 3,4-methelenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy')-induced loss of serotonin transporters (SERTs) in the living rat brain. In

  9. Methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine interact with central nicotinic receptors and induce their up-regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Rates, Sara; Camarasa, Jordi; Escubedo, Elena; Pubill, David

    2007-01-01

    Previous work from our group indicated that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChR) potentially play a role in methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) neurotoxicity. The aims of the present study were two-fold: (1) to demonstrate the interaction of METH and MDMA with homomeric α7 nAChR ([ 3 H]methyllycaconitine binding) and other heteromeric subtypes ([ 3 H]epibatidine binding); and (2) to show the effects of amphetamine derivative pretreatment on the density of binding sites. METH and MDMA displaced [ 3 H]methyllycaconitine and [ 3 H]epibatidine binding in membranes from NGF-differentiated PC 12 cells and mouse brain, with K i values in the micromolar range, MDMA revealing a greater affinity than METH. In addition, METH and MDMA induced a time- and concentration-dependent increase in [ 3 H]methyllycaconitine and [ 3 H]epibatidine binding; which had already been apparent after 6 h of pretreatment, and which peaked in differentiated PC 12 cells after 48 h. The highest increases were found in [ 3 H]epibatidine binding, with MDMA inducing higher increases than METH. Treatment with METH and MDMA increased B max of high-affinity sites for both radioligands without affecting K d . The heightened binding was inhibited by pretreatment with cycloheximide, suggesting the participation of newly synthesised proteins while inhibition of protein trafficking to plasma membrane did not block up-regulation. The effects of protein kinase and cyclophilin inhibitors on such up-regulation were explored, revealing a rapid, differential and complex regulation, similar to that described for nicotinic ligands. All of these results demonstrate that METH and MDMA have affinity for, and can interact with, nAChR, inducing their up-regulation, specially when higher doses are used. Such effects may have a role in METH- and MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, cholinergic neurotransmission, and in processes related to addiction and dependence

  10. A 3-lever discrimination procedure reveals differences in the subjective effects of low and high doses of MDMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, David N; Langen, Anna-Lena; Schenk, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Drug discrimination studies have suggested that the subjective effects of low doses of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are readily differentiated from those of d-amphetamine (AMPH) and that the discriminative stimulus properties are mediated by serotonergic and dopaminergic mechanisms, respectively. Previous studies, however, have primarily examined responses to doses that do not produce substantial increases in extracellular dopamine. The present study determined whether doses of MDMA that produce increases in synaptic dopamine would also produce subjective effects that were more like AMPH and were sensitive to pharmacological manipulation of D1-like receptors. A three-lever drug discrimination paradigm was used. Rats were trained to respond on different levers following saline, AMPH (0.5mg/kg, IP) or MDMA (1.5mg/kg, IP) injections. Generalization curves were generated for a range of different doses of both drugs and the effect of the D1-like antagonist, SCH23390 on the discriminative stimulus effects of different doses of MDMA was determined. Rats accurately discriminated MDMA, AMPH and saline. Low doses of MDMA produced almost exclusive responding on the MDMA lever but at doses of 3.0mg/kg MDMA or higher, responding shifted to the AMPH lever. The AMPH response produced by higher doses of MDMA was attenuated by pretreatment with SCH23390. The data suggest that low doses and higher doses of MDMA produce distinct discriminative stimuli. The shift to AMPH-like responding following administration of higher doses of MDMA, and the decrease in this response following administration of SCH23390 suggests a dopaminergic component to the subjective experience of MDMA at higher doses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluation of drug incorporation into hair segments and nails by enantiomeric analysis following controlled single MDMA intakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madry, Milena M; Steuer, Andrea E; Hysek, Cédric M; Liechti, Matthias E; Baumgartner, Markus R; Kraemer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Incorporation rates of the enantiomers of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) into hair and nails were investigated after controlled administration. Fifteen subjects without MDMA use received two doses of 125 mg of MDMA. Hair, nail scrapings, and nail clippings were collected 9-77 days after the last administration (median 20 days). Hair samples were analyzed in segments of 1- to 2-cm length. After chiral derivatization with N-(2,4-dinitro-5-fluorophenyl)-L-valinamide, MDMA and MDA diastereomers were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Highest concentrations in hair segments corresponded to the time of MDMA intake. They ranged from 101 to 3200 pg/mg and 71 to 860 pg/mg for R- and S-MDMA, and from 3.2 to 116 pg/mg and 4.4 to 108 pg/mg for R- and S-MDA, respectively. MDMA and MDA concentrations in nail scrapings and clippings were significantly lower than in hair samples. There was no significant difference between enantiomeric ratios of R/S-MDMA and R/S-MDA in hair and nail samples (medians 2.2-2.4 for MDMA and 0.85-0.95 for MDA). Metabolite ratios of MDA to MDMA were in the same range in hair and nail samples (medians 0.044-0.055). Our study demonstrates that administration of two representative doses of MDMA was detected in the hair segments corresponding to the time of intake based on average hair growth rates. MDMA was detected in all nail samples regardless of time passed after intake. Comparable R/S ratios in hair and nail samples may indicate that incorporation mechanisms into both matrices are comparable.

  12. Current Perspective on MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Thal, Sascha B.; Lommen, Miriam J.J.

    2018-01-01

    The present paper discusses the current literature with regard to substance-assisted psychotherapy with Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of the paper is to give a comprehensive overview of the development from MDMA’s early application in psychotherapy to its present and future role in the treatment of PTSD. It is further attempted to increase the attention for MDMA’s therapeutic potential by providing a thorough depiction of the scientific...

  13. Therapeutic effect of increased openness: Investigating mechanism of action in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Michael C; Mithoefer, Ann T; MacAulay, Rebecca K; Jerome, Lisa; Yazar-Klosinski, Berra; Doblin, Rick

    2017-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that traumatic events lead to persisting personality change characterized by increased neuroticism. Relevantly, enduring improvements in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been found in response to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy. There is evidence that lasting changes in the personality feature of ?openness? occur in response to hallucinogens, and that this may potentially act as a therapeutic mechanism of c...

  14. Meta-analysis of molecular imaging of serotonin transporters in ecstasy/polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Carl Alexander; Jones, Andrew; Montgomery, Catharine

    2016-04-01

    We conducted a meta-analysis on the available data from studies investigating SERTs in ecstasy users and polydrug using controls. From 7 studies we compared data from 157 ecstasy users and 148 controls across 14 brain regions. The main effect suggested ecstasy/MDMA related SERT reductions (SMD=0.52, 95% CIs [0.40, 0.65]; Z=8.36, pEcstasy users showed significant SERT reductions in 11 out of the 14 regions, including every neocortical and limbic region analysed. Greatest effects were observed in the occipital cortex (SMD=1.09, 95% CIs [0.70, 1.48]). No group effects were observed in subcortical areas of the caudate, putamen and midbrain. Literature on Postsynaptic 5HT2A receptor imaging was synthesised with these results. We conclude that, in line with preclinical data, serotonin axons with the longest projections from the raphe nuclei appear to be most affected by ecstasy/MDMA use. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Shifting characteristics of ecstasy users ages 12-34 in the United States, 2007-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Mauro, Pia M; Han, Benjamin H; Martins, Silvia S

    2017-12-01

    Ecstasy/MDMA has been one of the most prevalent party drugs for decades, and powder ecstasy recently increased in popularity. We examined trends in use to determine who to best target for prevention and harm reduction. Secondary analysis of the 2007-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a repeated cross-sectional, nationally representative probability sample, was conducted. Linear trends in past-year ecstasy use and trends in demographic and other past-year substance use characteristics among ecstasy users were examined among participants ages 12-34 (N=332,560). Past-year prevalence of ecstasy use was stable across years at 2% (P=0.693). Over time, the proportion of ecstasy users with a college degree increased from 11.5% in 2007/08 to 24.5% in 2013/14 (Pusers who were age 12-17 decreased, as did proportions of users who are non-Hispanic black, and reported income users (Psusers and ease of obtaining LSD increased (Psusers is growing-particularly use of otherwise rare substances such as tryptamines. Results inform prevention and harm reduction strategies in this increasingly shifting group of ecstasy users. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Nine reasons why ecstasy is not quite what it used to be.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounteney, Jane; Griffiths, Paul; Bo, Alessandra; Cunningham, Andrew; Matias, Joao; Pirona, Alessandro

    2018-01-01

    This paper explores the recent resurgence in use of ecstasy/MDMA in Europe and highlights keys areas of continuity and divergence between the ecstasy market of the 1990s and the current MDMA market. Based on a scoping study involving a targeted multi-source data collection exercise on MDMA, it highlights nine areas that have undergone some level of change, linked with both supply and demand for the drug. Factors discussed include: innovation in production techniques; changes in precursor chemical availability; the role of online markets; competition with other stimulants and new psychoactive substances; the increased availability of high-strength MDMA; and the shift from subcultural towards more mainstream use of the drug. The paper proposes that the MDMA on Europe's contemporary market is in some respects a third generation product with a different consumer profile, with implications that responses developed at the time of the drug's earlier iteration, may be in need of a review and revamp. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Graphite furnace atomic absorption elemental analysis of ecstasy tablets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Holly E; Went, Michael J; Gibson, Stuart J

    2013-09-10

    Six metals (copper, magnesium, barium, nickel, chromium and lead) were determined in two separate batches of seized ecstasy tablets by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) following digestion with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Large intra-batch variations were found as expected for tablets produced in clandestine laboratories. For example, nickel in batch 1 was present in the range 0.47-13.1 parts per million (ppm) and in batch 2 in the range 0.35-9.06 ppm. Although batch 1 had significantly higher 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) content than batch 2, barium was the only element which discriminated between the two ecstasy seizures (batch 1: 0.19-0.66 ppm, batch 2: 3.77-5.47 ppm). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ecstasy: Intimacy Abridged.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlozman, Steven C.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the effects and risks of the use of the illegal drug Ecstasy among adolescents to enhance feelings of intimacy. Suggests how teachers can help prevent their students from using the drug. (PKP)

  19. Verbal Memory Impairment in Polydrug Ecstasy Users: A Clinical Perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim P C Kuypers

    Full Text Available Ecstasy use has been associated with short-term and long-term memory deficits on a standard Word Learning Task (WLT. The clinical relevance of this has been debated and is currently unknown. The present study aimed at evaluating the clinical relevance of verbal memory impairment in Ecstasy users. To that end, clinical memory impairment was defined as decrement in memory performance that exceeded the cut-off value of 1.5 times the standard deviation of the average score in the healthy control sample. The primary question was whether being an Ecstasy user (E-user was predictive of having clinically deficient memory performance compared to a healthy control group.WLT data were pooled from four experimental MDMA studies that compared memory performance during placebo and MDMA intoxication. Control data were taken from healthy volunteers with no drug use history who completed the WLT as part of a placebo-controlled clinical trial. This resulted in a sample size of 65 E-users and 65 age- and gender-matched healthy drug-naïve controls. All participants were recruited by similar means and were tested at the same testing facilities using identical standard operating procedures. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models, Bayes factor, and logistic regressions.Findings were that verbal memory performance of placebo-treated E-users did not differ from that of controls, and there was substantial evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. History of use was not predictive of memory impairment. During MDMA intoxication of E-users, verbal memory was impaired.The combination of the acute and long-term findings demonstrates that, while clinically relevant memory impairment is present during intoxication, it is absent during abstinence. This suggests that use of Ecstasy/MDMA does not lead to clinically deficient memory performance in the long term. Additionally, it has to be investigated whether the current findings apply to more complex cognitive

  20. Verbal Memory Impairment in Polydrug Ecstasy Users: A Clinical Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuypers, Kim P C; Theunissen, Eef L; van Wel, Janelle H P; de Sousa Fernandes Perna, Elizabeth B; Linssen, Anke; Sambeth, Anke; Schultz, Benjamin G; Ramaekers, Johannes G

    2016-01-01

    Ecstasy use has been associated with short-term and long-term memory deficits on a standard Word Learning Task (WLT). The clinical relevance of this has been debated and is currently unknown. The present study aimed at evaluating the clinical relevance of verbal memory impairment in Ecstasy users. To that end, clinical memory impairment was defined as decrement in memory performance that exceeded the cut-off value of 1.5 times the standard deviation of the average score in the healthy control sample. The primary question was whether being an Ecstasy user (E-user) was predictive of having clinically deficient memory performance compared to a healthy control group. WLT data were pooled from four experimental MDMA studies that compared memory performance during placebo and MDMA intoxication. Control data were taken from healthy volunteers with no drug use history who completed the WLT as part of a placebo-controlled clinical trial. This resulted in a sample size of 65 E-users and 65 age- and gender-matched healthy drug-naïve controls. All participants were recruited by similar means and were tested at the same testing facilities using identical standard operating procedures. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models, Bayes factor, and logistic regressions. Findings were that verbal memory performance of placebo-treated E-users did not differ from that of controls, and there was substantial evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. History of use was not predictive of memory impairment. During MDMA intoxication of E-users, verbal memory was impaired. The combination of the acute and long-term findings demonstrates that, while clinically relevant memory impairment is present during intoxication, it is absent during abstinence. This suggests that use of Ecstasy/MDMA does not lead to clinically deficient memory performance in the long term. Additionally, it has to be investigated whether the current findings apply to more complex cognitive measures in diverse

  1. Protective effects of physical exercise on MDMA-induced cognitive and mitochondrial impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghizadeh, Ghorban; Pourahmad, Jalal; Mehdizadeh, Hajar; Foroumadi, Alireza; Torkaman-Boutorabi, Anahita; Hassani, Shokoufeh; Naserzadeh, Parvaneh; Shariatmadari, Reyhaneh; Gholami, Mahdi; Rouini, Mohammad Reza; Sharifzadeh, Mohammad

    2016-10-01

    Debate continues about the effect of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on cognitive and mitochondrial function through the CNS. It has been shown that physical exercise has an important protective effect on cellular damage and death. Therefore, we investigated the effect of physical exercise on MDMA-induced impairments of spatial learning and memory as well as MDMA effects on brain mitochondrial function in rats. Male wistar rats underwent short-term (2 weeks) or long-term (4 weeks) treadmill exercise. After completion of exercise duration, acquisition and retention of spatial memory were evaluated by Morris water maze (MWM) test. Rats were intraperitoneally (I.P) injected with MDMA (5, 10, and 15mg/kg) 30min before the first training trial in 4 training days of MWM. Different parameters of brain mitochondrial function were measured including the level of ROS production, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), mitochondrial swelling, mitochondrial outermembrane damage, the amount of cytochrome c release from the mitochondria, and ADP/ATP ratio. MDMA damaged the spatial learning and memory in a dose-dependent manner. Brain mitochondria isolated from the rats treated with MDMA showed significant increase in ROS formation, collapse of MMP, mitochondrial swelling, and outer membrane damage, cytochrome c release from the mitochondria, and finally increased ADP/ATP ratio. This study also found that physical exercise significantly decreased the MDMA-induced impairments of spatial learning and memory and also mitochondrial dysfunction. The results indicated that MDMA-induced neurotoxicity leads to brain mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent oxidative stress is followed by cognitive impairments. However, physical exercise could reduce these deleterious effects of MDMA through protective effects on brain mitochondrial function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Cortical oxygenation suggests increased effort during cognitive inhibition in ecstasy polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, C A; Montgomery, Catharine

    2015-11-01

    It is understood that 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) causes serotonin dysfunction and deficits in executive functioning. When investigating executive function, functional neuroimaging allows the physiological changes underlying these deficits to be investigated. The present study investigated behavioural and brain indices of inhibition in ecstasy-polydrug users. Twenty ecstasy-polydrug users and 20 drug-naïve participants completed an inhibitory control task (Random Letter Generation (RLG)) while prefrontal haemodynamic response was assessed using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). There were no group differences on background measures including sleep quality and mood state. There were also no behavioural differences between the two groups. However, ecstasy-polydrug users displayed significant increases in oxygenated haemoglobin (oxy-Hb) from baseline compared to controls at several voxels relating to areas of the inferior right medial prefrontal cortex, as well the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Regression analysis revealed that recency of ecstasy use was a significant predictor of oxy-Hb increase at two voxels over the right hemisphere after controlling for alcohol and cannabis use indices. Ecstasy-polydrug users show increased neuronal activation in the prefrontal cortex compared to non-users. This is taken to be compensatory activation/recruitment of additional resources to attain similar performance levels on the task, which may be reversible with prolonged abstinence. © The Author(s) 2015.

  3. Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine on Patient Utterances in a Psychotherapeutic Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corey, Vicka Rael; Pisano, Vincent D; Halpern, John H

    2016-07-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) administered as an adjunct to talk therapy influences patient speech content and increases improvement in treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data came from the recordings of Mithoefer et al. (2011). In the third therapeutic session studied, patients were assigned, double blind, to an MDMA or a placebo group. Condition-blind scorers listened to therapy recordings and scored utterances where patients initiated topics that were empathic (regarding others' emotions), entactic (requesting or appreciating physical touch), or ensuic (describing a change in their sense of themselves). Patients who received MDMA produced high levels of ensuic, empathic, and entactic utterances compared with those who received the placebo. Interrater discourse scoring was reliable. The relationship between the number of scored utterances and the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale scores measuring PTSD severity after the treatment was significant, and reanalysis grouped bimodally into "many" or "few" such utterances remained significant. MDMA assisted these patients in having meaningful and disorder-resolving thoughts and discourse in talk therapy.

  4. Serotonin antagonists fail to alter MDMA self-administration in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Susan; Foote, Jason; Aronsen, Dane; Bukholt, Natasha; Highgate, Quenten; Van de Wetering, Ross; Webster, Jeremy

    2016-09-01

    Acute exposure to ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) preferentially increases release of serotonin (5-HT), and a role of 5-HT in many of the behavioral effects of acute exposure to MDMA has been demonstrated. A role of 5-HT in MDMA self-administration in rats has not, however, been adequately determined. Therefore, the present study measured the effect of pharmacological manipulation of some 5-HT receptor subtypes on self-administration of MDMA. Rats received extensive experience with self-administered MDMA prior to tests with 5-HT ligands. Doses of the 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY 100635 (0.1-1.0mg/kg), 5-HT1B antagonist, GR 127935 (1.0-3.0mg/kg), and the 5-HT2A antagonist, ketanserin (1.0-3.0mg/kg) that have previously been shown to decrease self-administration of other psychostimulants and that decreased MDMA-produced hyperactivity in the present study did not alter MDMA self-administration. Experimenter-administered injections of MDMA (10.0mg/kg, ip) reinstated extinguished drug-taking behavior, but this also was not decreased by any of the antagonists. In contrast, both WAY 100635 and ketanserin, but not GR 127935, decreased cocaine-produced drug seeking in rats that had been trained to self-administered cocaine. The 5-HT1A agonist, 8-OH-DPAT (0.1-1.0mg/kg), but not the 5-HT1B/1A agonist, RU 24969 (0.3-3.0mg/kg), decreased drug-seeking produced by the reintroduction of a light stimulus that had been paired with self-administered MDMA infusions. These findings suggest a limited role of activation of 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B or 5-HT2 receptor mechanisms in MDMA self-administration or in MDMA-produced drug-seeking following extinction. The data suggest, however, that 5-HT1A agonists inhibit cue-induced drug-seeking following extinction of MDMA self-administration and might, therefore, be useful adjuncts to therapies to limit relapse to MDMA use. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Role of nitric oxide pathway in the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pardo, M P; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J; Aguilar, M A

    2017-07-14

    It is estimated that 2.1 million young adults used MDMA/Ecstasy in the last year in Europe. Vulnerable subjects can develop dependence after MDMA abuse but currently there does not exist an effective treatment for this disorder. The nitric oxide (NO) pathway seems to have an important role on the rewarding effects of different drugs and has been proposed as a new pharmacological treatment for psychostimulant addiction. In the present study, we intend to evaluate whether the blockade of the NO synthesis (NOS) interferes with the rewarding effects of MDMA in the conditioned preference place (CPP) paradigm in young adult male mice. Our results indicated that mice treated with 7-nitroindazole (a NOS inhibitor) did not show CPP after conditioning with MDMA (1.25mg/kg). These results demonstrated the role of the NO pathway in the rewarding effects of MDMA and suggested that the manipulation of this pathway could be a new therapeutic option for MDMA abuse. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The acute and long-term neurotoxic effects of MDMA on marble burying behaviour in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saadat, Kathryn S; Elliott, J Martin; Colado, M Isabel; Green, A Richard

    2006-03-01

    When mice are exposed to harmless objects such as marbles in their cage they bury them, a behaviour sometimes known as defensive burying. We investigated the effect of an acute dose of MDMAecstasy') and other psychoactive drugs on marble burying and also examined the effect of a prior neurotoxic dose of MDMA or p-chloroamphetamine (PCA) on burying. Acute administration of MDMA produced dose-dependent inhibition of marble burying (EC50: 7.6 micro mol/kg). Other drugs that enhance monoamine function also produced dose-dependent inhibition: methamphetamine PCA paroxetine MDMA GBR 12909 methylphenidate. None of these drugs altered locomotor activity at a dose that inhibited burying. A prior neurotoxic dose of MDMA, which decreased striatal dopamine content by 60%, but left striatal 5-HT content unaltered, did not alter spontaneous marble burying 18 or 40 days later. However, a neurotoxic dose of PCA which decreased striatal dopamine by 60% and striatal 5-HT by 70% attenuated marble burying 28 days later. Overall, these data suggest that MDMA, primarily by acutely increasing 5-HT function, acts like several anxiolytic drugs in this behavioural model. Long-term loss of cerebral 5-HT content also produced a similar effect. Since this change was observed only after 28 days, it is probably due to an adaptive response in the brain.

  7. Cognitive and behavioural effects induced by social stress plus MDMA administration in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pardo, M P; Roger-Sánchez, C; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J; Aguilar, M A

    2017-02-15

    Adverse life experiences such as social stress may make an individual more vulnerable to drug addiction and mental disorders associated with drug consumption. The present work aimed to evaluate the effects of stress induced by acute social defeat combined with the administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on depression-like behaviour, memory function and motor response to drug in late adolescent male mice. Two groups of mice were exposed to social defeat (SD) during four encounters with an aggressive co-specific, which took place on alternate days. Immediately after defeat, animals were treated with saline or MDMA 10mg/kg (SD+SAL and SD+MDMA). In control groups, mice were placed in a neutral cage without an opponent (Control+SAL, Control+MDMA). Corticosterone levels and temperature were measured on the last day of this phase. During the following days, the behaviour of the animals was evaluated in the tail suspension test (an animal model of depression), memory tasks (passive avoidance and object recognition) and, after administration of 5mg/kg of MDMA, in the open-field test. Exposure of adult mice to acute social defeat plus MDMA increased immobility in the tail suspension test (depression-like behaviour), produced cognitive impairment, and reduced the motor response to MDMA. An increase in corticosterone levels and a decrease of temperature were also observed. As hypothesised, a combination of social stress and consumption of MDMA increases the risk of developing mental and cognitive disorders. Our results support the idea that stress is a common contributing factor to the high rate of comorbidity between substance abuse and mental disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Screening experiments of ecstasy street samples using near infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sondermann, N; Kovar, K A

    1999-12-20

    Twelve different sets of confiscated ecstasy samples were analysed applying both near infrared spectroscopy in reflectance mode (1100-2500 nm) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The sets showed a large variance in composition. A calibration data set was generated based on the theory of factorial designs. It contained 221 N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA) samples, 167 N-ethyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDE), 111 amphetamine and 106 samples without a controlled substance, which will be called placebo samples thereafter. From this data set, PLS-1 models were calculated and were successfully applied for validation of various external laboratory test sets. The transferability of these results to confiscated tablets is demonstrated here. It is shown that differentiation into placebo, amphetamine and ecstasy samples is possible. Analysis of intact tablets is practicable. However, more reliable results are obtained from pulverised samples. This is due to ill-defined production procedures. The use of mathematically pretreated spectra improves the prediction quality of all the PLS-1 models studied. It is possible to improve discrimination between MDE and MDMA with the help of a second model based on raw spectra. Alternative strategies are briefly discussed.

  9. Effect of crowding, temperature and age on glia activation and dopaminergic neurotoxicity induced by MDMA in the mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frau, Lucia; Simola, Nicola; Porceddu, Pier Francesca; Morelli, Micaela

    2016-09-01

    3,4-methylenedyoxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"), a recreational drug of abuse, can induce glia activation and dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Since MDMA is often consumed in crowded environments featuring high temperatures, we studied how these factors influenced glia activation and dopaminergic neurotoxicity induced by MDMA. C57BL/6J adolescent (4 weeks old) and adult (12 weeks old) mice received MDMA (4×20mg/kg) in different conditions: 1) while kept 1, 5, or 10×cage at room temperature (21°C); 2) while kept 5×cage at either room (21°C) or high (27°C) temperature. After the last MDMA administration, immunohistochemistry was performed in the caudate-putamen for CD11b and GFAP, to mark microglia and astroglia, and in the substantia nigra pars compacta for tyrosine hydroxylase, to mark dopaminergic neurons. MDMA induced glia activation and dopaminergic neurotoxicity, compared with vehicle administration. Crowding (5 or 10 mice×cage) amplified MDMA-induced glia activation (in adult and adolescent mice) and dopaminergic neurotoxicity (in adolescent mice). Conversely, exposure to a high environmental temperature (27°C) potentiated MDMA-induced glia activation in adult and adolescent mice kept 5×cage, but not dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Crowding and exposure to a high environmental temperature amplified MDMA-induced hyperthermia, and a positive correlation between body temperature and activation of either microglia or astroglia was found in adult and adolescent mice. These results provide further evidence that the administration setting influences the noxious effects of MDMA in the mouse brain. However, while crowding amplifies both glia activation and dopaminergic neurotoxicity, a high environmental temperature exacerbates glia activation only. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Ecstasy : [poems] / Marie Under

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Under, Marie, 1883-1980

    2003-01-01

    Autori lühitutvustus lk. 218. Sisu: Ecstasy ; Summer memory ; Night ; Tree with birds / transl. by W. K. Matthews ; How could I sleep ; With myself ; Evening ; The white page ; Accounts to render / transl. by Leonard Fox. Orig.: Ekstaas ; Suvine mälestus ; Öö ; Puu lindudega ; Kuis võiksin magada ; Endaga ; Õhtu ; Valge leht ; Aruand

  11. Ecstasy and vision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Hultgård

    1981-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we shall present some observations on the role played by ecstasy in the activity of the seer, as he emerges in ancient Jewish and Iranian texts. In the Jewish religious literature of the Hellenistic-Roman period, visions are described on almost every page, and visions were the most important means of divine revelation. Specific techniques for inducing the ecstatic state are not recorded in the Jewish sources. Some elements in the pattern leading up to the vision may be interpreted as parts of a method for inducing the final ecstasy; i.e. fasting and prayer. The Iranian material shows clearly the importance of ecstasy in the activity of the seer. The ecstatic seeing also means that the visionary shares with Ahura Mazda a divine quality, the "wisdom of omniscience". The granting of the "wisdom of omniscience" appears as a temporary and it conveys to the visionary a supernatural seeing. There is evidence to suggest that chanting was an important method of inducing ecstasy within the early Zoroastrian community. We do not find in the Jewish material a clear correspondence to the Iranian notion of "omniscient wisdom".

  12. The Effects of Acutely Administered 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine on Spontaneous Brain Function in Healthy Volunteers Measured with Arterial Spin Labeling and Blood Oxygen Level–Dependent Resting State Functional Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carhart-Harris, Robin L.; Murphy, Kevin; Leech, Robert; Erritzoe, David; Wall, Matthew B.; Ferguson, Bart; Williams, Luke T.J.; Roseman, Leor; Brugger, Stefan; De Meer, Ineke; Tanner, Mark; Tyacke, Robin; Wolff, Kim; Sethi, Ajun; Bloomfield, Michael A.P.; Williams, Tim M.; Bolstridge, Mark; Stewart, Lorna; Morgan, Celia; Newbould, Rexford D.; Feilding, Amanda; Curran, H. Val; Nutt, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Background The compound 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine releaser that produces an acute euphoria in most individuals. Methods In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced-order study, MDMA was orally administered to 25 physically and mentally healthy individuals. Arterial spin labeling and seed-based resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) were used to produce spatial maps displaying changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and RSFC after MDMA administration. Participants underwent two arterial spin labeling and two blood oxygen level–dependent scans in a 90-minute scan session; MDMA and placebo study days were separated by 1 week. Results Marked increases in positive mood were produced by MDMA. Decreased CBF only was observed after MDMA, and this was localized to the right medial temporal lobe (MTL), thalamus, inferior visual cortex, and the somatosensory cortex. Decreased CBF in the right amygdala and hippocampus correlated with ratings of the intensity of global subjective effects of MDMA. The RSFC results complemented the CBF results, with decreases in RSFC between midline cortical regions, the medial prefrontal cortex, and MTL regions, and increases between the amygdala and hippocampus. There were trend-level correlations between these effects and ratings of intense and positive subjective effects. Conclusions The MTLs appear to be specifically implicated in the mechanism of action of MDMA, but further work is required to elucidate how the drug’s characteristic subjective effects arise from its modulation of spontaneous brain activity. PMID:24495461

  13. The Effects of Acutely Administered 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine on Spontaneous Brain Function in Healthy Volunteers Measured with Arterial Spin Labeling and Blood Oxygen Level-Dependent Resting State Functional Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carhart-Harris, Robin L; Murphy, Kevin; Leech, Robert; Erritzoe, David; Wall, Matthew B; Ferguson, Bart; Williams, Luke T J; Roseman, Leor; Brugger, Stefan; De Meer, Ineke; Tanner, Mark; Tyacke, Robin; Wolff, Kim; Sethi, Ajun; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Williams, Tim M; Bolstridge, Mark; Stewart, Lorna; Morgan, Celia; Newbould, Rexford D; Feilding, Amanda; Curran, H Val; Nutt, David J

    2015-10-15

    The compound 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine releaser that produces an acute euphoria in most individuals. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced-order study, MDMA was orally administered to 25 physically and mentally healthy individuals. Arterial spin labeling and seed-based resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) were used to produce spatial maps displaying changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and RSFC after MDMA administration. Participants underwent two arterial spin labeling and two blood oxygen level-dependent scans in a 90-minute scan session; MDMA and placebo study days were separated by 1 week. Marked increases in positive mood were produced by MDMA. Decreased CBF only was observed after MDMA, and this was localized to the right medial temporal lobe (MTL), thalamus, inferior visual cortex, and the somatosensory cortex. Decreased CBF in the right amygdala and hippocampus correlated with ratings of the intensity of global subjective effects of MDMA. The RSFC results complemented the CBF results, with decreases in RSFC between midline cortical regions, the medial prefrontal cortex, and MTL regions, and increases between the amygdala and hippocampus. There were trend-level correlations between these effects and ratings of intense and positive subjective effects. The MTLs appear to be specifically implicated in the mechanism of action of MDMA, but further work is required to elucidate how the drug's characteristic subjective effects arise from its modulation of spontaneous brain activity. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Therapeutic effect of increased openness: Investigating mechanism of action in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Michael C; Mithoefer, Ann T; MacAulay, Rebecca K; Jerome, Lisa; Yazar-Klosinski, Berra; Doblin, Rick

    2017-08-01

    A growing body of research suggests that traumatic events lead to persisting personality change characterized by increased neuroticism. Relevantly, enduring improvements in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been found in response to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy. There is evidence that lasting changes in the personality feature of "openness" occur in response to hallucinogens, and that this may potentially act as a therapeutic mechanism of change. The present study investigated whether heightened Openness and decreased Neuroticism served as a mechanism of change within a randomized trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) Global Scores and NEO PI-R Personality Inventory (NEO) Openness and Neuroticism Scales served as outcome measures. Results indicated that changes in Openness but not Neuroticism played a moderating role in the relationship between reduced PTSD symptoms and MDMA treatment. Following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, increased Openness and decreased Neuroticism when comparing baseline personality traits with long-term follow-up traits also were found. These preliminary findings suggest that the effect of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy extends beyond specific PTSD symptomatology and fundamentally alters personality structure, resulting in long-term persisting personality change. Results are discussed in terms of possible mechanisms of psychotherapeutic change.

  15. Ecstasy and mysticism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Hof

    1982-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenomena such as ecstasy and mysticism display both psychological and physical features. The purpose of this paper is finding and understanding the structures in human consciousness which characterise the experience of certain kinds of ecstasy. The context in which this task is performed is an outline of fundamental changes in consciousness brought about by those methods of meditation which, under optimal conditions, give rise to mystical experience.. What makes ecstasy ecstasy or mysticism mysticism is their psychologically describable features and not the physical ones. How does one go about an experimental investigation of phenomena whose main features are to be found in subjective experience? How can one find intersubjective criteria? A useful approach in obtaining an answer to these questions is shown by the experiences afforded us through the so called "meditation". By drawing a map of the changes in a person's self-experience that can be effected by a body-centered technique of meditation, the structures of consciousness that are characteristic of ecstatic and mystical experiences can be identified. This method can be considered as a phenomenological investigation of consciousness-related phenomena. Absolute ecstasy means the experience of a state of consciousness which, it is claimed, is able to cause experience of a synthesis of a transcendent and a non-transcendent dimension of reality. It is easy to realise that a necessary condition for an understanding of statements claiming experience of a synthesis between transcendence and immanence is the psychological understanding of the state of consciousness in which the claimed experience of the synthesis was made. It is only in the context of a psychological understanding of the state of consciousness which is called absolute nothingness that the mystics' claims of a synthesis or an integrated unity of empirical reality and what transcends it becomes meaningful.

  16. Why MDMA therapy for alcohol use disorder? And why now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessa, Ben

    2017-11-07

    Alcohol use disorder represents a serious clinical, social and personal burden on its sufferers and a significant financial strain on society. Current treatments, both psychological and pharmacological are poor, with high rates of relapse after medical detoxification and dedicated treatment programs. The earliest historical roots of psychedelic drug-assisted psychotherapy in the 1950s were associated with Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-assisted psychotherapy to treat what was then called, alcoholism. But results were varied and psychedelic therapy with LSD and other 'classical' psychedelics fell out of favour in the wake of socio-political pressures and cultural changes. A current revisiting of psychedelic clinical research is now targeting substance use disorders - and particularly alcohol use disorder - again. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy has never been formally explored as a treatment for any form of substance use disorder. But in recent years MDMA has risen in prominence as an agent to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With its unique receptor profile and a relatively well-tolerated subjective experience of drug effects when used clinically, MDMA Therapy is ideally suited to allow a patient to explore and address painful memories without being overwhelmed by negative affect. Given that alcohol use disorder is so often associated with early traumatic experiences, the author is proposing in a current on-going UK-based study that patients with alcohol use disorder who have undergone a medical detoxification from alcohol might benefit from a course of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Pills and pints: risky drinking and alcohol-related harms among regular ecstasy users in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinner, Stuart A; George, Jessica; Johnston, Jennifer; Dunn, Matthew; Degenhardt, Louisa

    2012-05-01

    A significant proportion of young Australians engage in risky alcohol consumption, and an increasing minority are regular ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users. Risky alcohol use, alone or in combination with ecstasy, is associated with a range of acute and chronic health risks. The aim of this study was to document the incidence and some health-related correlates of alcohol use, and concurrent alcohol and ecstasy use, among a large, national sample of regular ecstasy users (REU) in Australia. National, cross-sectional surveys of REU in Australia 2003-2008. Among REU in 2008 (n=678) usual alcohol use, psychological distress and health-related quality of life were measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale and Short Form-8 Survey respectively. Among REU in 2008, 36% reported high-risk patterns of usual alcohol consumption, 62% reported usually consuming more than five standard drinks with ecstasy, and 24% reported currently experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress. Controlling for age and education, high-risk drinking among REU was associated with higher levels of psychological distress and poorer health-related functioning; however, the associations between concurrent alcohol and ecstasy use, and health outcomes, were not significant (P>0.05). A large and increasing proportion of REU in Australia engage in high-risk patterns of alcohol consumption, including in combination with ecstasy. High-risk alcohol consumption among this group is associated with adverse health-related outcomes. Prevention and harm reduction interventions for REU should incorporate messages about the risks associated with alcohol use. There is an ongoing need for youth-specific, coordinated alcohol and other drug and mental health services. © 2011 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

  18. MDMA Decreases Gluatamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD) 67-Immunoreactive Neurons in the Hippocampus and Increases Seizure Susceptibility: Role for Glutamate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Courtney L.; Morano, Rachel L.; Herman, James P.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.; Gudelsky, Gary A.

    2016-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a unique psychostimulant that continues to be a popular drug of abuse. It has been well documented that MDMA reduces markers of 5-HT axon terminals in rodents, as well as humans. A loss of parvalbumin-immunoreactive (IR) interneurons in the hippocampus following MDMA treatment has only been documented recently. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MDMA reduces glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 67-IR, another biochemical marker of GABA neurons, in the hippocampus and that this reduction in GAD67-IR neurons and an accompanying increase in seizure susceptibility involve glutamate receptor activation. Repeated exposure to MDMA (3×10mg/kg, ip) resulted in a reduction of 37–58% of GAD67-IR cells in the dentate gyrus (DG), CA1, and CA3 regions, as well as an increased susceptibility to kainic acid-induced seizures, both of which persisted for at least 30 days following MDMA treatment. Administration of the NMDA antagonist MK-801 or the glutamate transporter type 1 (GLT-1) inducer ceftriaxone prevented both the MDMA-induced loss of GAD67-IR neurons and the increased vulnerability to kainic acid-induced seizures. The MDMA-induced increase in the extracellular concentration of glutamate in the hippocampus was significantly diminished in rats treated with ceftriaxone, thereby implicating a glutamatergic mechanism in the neuroprotective effects of ceftriaxone. In summary, the present findings support a role for increased extracellular glutamate and NMDA receptor activation in the MDMA-induced loss of hippocampal GAD67-IR neurons and the subsequent increased susceptibility to evoked seizures. PMID:27773601

  19. MDMA decreases glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 67-immunoreactive neurons in the hippocampus and increases seizure susceptibility: Role for glutamate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Courtney L; Morano, Rachel L; Herman, James P; Yamamoto, Bryan K; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2016-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a unique psychostimulant that continues to be a popular drug of abuse. It has been well documented that MDMA reduces markers of 5-HT axon terminals in rodents, as well as humans. A loss of parvalbumin-immunoreactive (IR) interneurons in the hippocampus following MDMA treatment has only been documented recently. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MDMA reduces glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 67-IR, another biochemical marker of GABA neurons, in the hippocampus and that this reduction in GAD67-IR neurons and an accompanying increase in seizure susceptibility involve glutamate receptor activation. Repeated exposure to MDMA (3×10mg/kg, ip) resulted in a reduction of 37-58% of GAD67-IR cells in the dentate gyrus (DG), CA1, and CA3 regions, as well as an increased susceptibility to kainic acid-induced seizures, both of which persisted for at least 30days following MDMA treatment. Administration of the NMDA antagonist MK-801 or the glutamate transporter type 1 (GLT-1) inducer ceftriaxone prevented both the MDMA-induced loss of GAD67-IR neurons and the increased vulnerability to kainic acid-induced seizures. The MDMA-induced increase in the extracellular concentration of glutamate in the hippocampus was significantly diminished in rats treated with ceftriaxone, thereby implicating a glutamatergic mechanism in the neuroprotective effects of ceftriaxone. In summary, the present findings support a role for increased extracellular glutamate and NMDA receptor activation in the MDMA-induced loss of hippocampal GAD67-IR neurons and the subsequent increased susceptibility to evoked seizures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy differ in relation to unsafe sex among young gay men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilder, Arn J; Lampinen, Thomas M; Miller, Mary Lou; Hogg, Robert S

    2005-01-01

    Poly-substance use in gay social ('club') settings is common. Recent studies suggest a link between 'club' drug use and sexual risk behaviours. In this qualitative study, we compare and contrast two 'club' drugs: crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy (MDMA). Life history interviews were conducted with 12 HIV seroconverters and 12 age-matched controls recruited from a prospective cohort study of young gay and bisexual men in Vancouver, British Columbia. Textual data concerning illicit substance use and unsafe sex were analyzed using NUDIST software. Most men related a substantial knowledge of and experience with crystal and ecstasy. Both drugs had attributes that enhanced gay socialization and were used in the same venues. Crystal was used to remain awake and increase energy. Ecstasy was used to induce euphoria and group connectedness. However, unlike ecstasy, crystal was associated with a distinct pattern of sexual arousal that frequently included unprotected (sometimes group) sex, was more likely to be used regularly by HIV-positive men, and was reportedly highly addictive and problematic. Crystal and ecstasy are used in the same social venues but differ markedly in relation to sexual risk behaviour.

  1. Looking for prosocial genes: ITRAQ analysis of proteins involved in MDMA-induced sociability in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuteykin-Teplyakov, Konstantin; Maldonado, Rafael

    2014-11-01

    Social behavior plays a fundamental role in life of many animal species, allowing the interaction between individuals and sharing of experiences, needs, and goals across them. In humans, some neuropsychiatric diseases, including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorders, are often characterized by impaired sociability. Here we report that N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") at low dose (3mg/kg) has differential effects on mouse social behavior. In some animals, MDMA promotes sociability without hyperlocomotion, whereas in other mice it elevates locomotor activity without affecting sociability. Both WAY-100635, a selective antagonist of 5-HT1A receptor, and L-368899, a selective oxytocin receptor antagonist, abolish prosocial effects of MDMA. Differential quantitative analysis of brain proteome by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification technology (iTRAQ) revealed 21 specific proteins that were highly correlated with sociability, and allowed to distinguish between entactogenic prosocial and hyperlocomotor effects of MDMA on proteome level. Our data suggest particular relevance of neurotransmission mediated by GABA B receptor, as well as proteins involved in energy maintenance for MDMA-induced sociability. Functional association network for differentially expressed proteins in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and amygdala were identified. These results provide new information for understanding the neurobiological substrate of sociability and may help to discover new therapeutic approaches to modulate social behavior in patients suffering from social fear and low sociability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  2. Usefulness of saliva for measurement of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and its metabolites: correlation with plasma drug concentrations and effect of salivary pH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, M; Pichini, S; Farré, M; Ortuño, J; Roset, P N; Segura, J; de la Torre, R

    2001-10-01

    Saliva is an alternative biologic matrix for drugs-of-abuse testing that offers the advantages of noninvasive, rapid, and easy sampling. We studied the excretion profile of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolites in both saliva and plasma, as well the effect of the drug on salivary pH. Saliva and plasma samples were obtained from eight healthy MDMA consumers after ingestion of a single 100-mg dose of the drug. Concentrations of MDMA and its main metabolites, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), in saliva and plasma were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Apparent pharmacokinetic parameters for MDMA in saliva were estimated, and the saliva-to-plasma ratio at each time interval was calculated and correlated with salivary pH. MDMA, MDA, and HMMA were detected in saliva. Salivary concentrations of MDMA were 1728.9-6510.6 microg/L and peaked at 1.5 h after drug intake. This was followed by a progressive decrease, with a mean concentration of 126.2 microg/L at 24 h. The saliva-to-plasma ratio was 32.3-1.2, with a peak of 18.1 at 1.5 h after drug administration. Salivary pH seemed to be affected by MDMA administration; pH values decreased by 0.6 units (mean pH values of 6.9 and 6.8 at 1.5 and 4 h after drug administration vs predose pH of 7.4). Measurement of MDMA in saliva is a valuable alternative to determination of plasma drug concentrations in both clinical and toxicologic studies. On-site testing is also facilitated by noninvasive and rapid collection of salivary specimens.

  3. Widespread reduction of dopamine cell bodies and terminals in adult rats exposed to a low dose regimen of MDMA during adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadoni, Cristina; Pisanu, Augusta; Simola, Nicola; Frau, Lucia; Porceddu, Pier Francesca; Corongiu, Silvia; Dessì, Christian; Sil, Annesha; Plumitallo, Antonio; Wardas, Jadwiga; Di Chiara, Gaetano

    2017-09-01

    Although MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) neurotoxicity in serotonin neurons is largely recognized in a wide variety of species including man, neurotoxicity in dopamine (DA) neurons is thought to be species-specific. MDMA is mainly consumed by adolescents, often in conjunction with caffeine (Energy Drinks) and this association has been reported to exacerbate MDMA toxic effects. In order to model these aspects of MDMA use, vis-à-vis their impact on DA neurons, we investigated the effects of adolescent exposure to low doses of MDMA (5 mg/kg for 10 days), alone or in combination with caffeine (10 mg/kg) on neuronal and functional DA indices and on recognition memory in adult rats. MDMA reduced density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons in the ventral tegmental area and in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and immunoreactivity of TH and DA transporter in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, and caudate-putamen. This same treatment caused a reduction of basal dialysate DA in the NAc core. MDMA-pretreated rats also showed behavioral sensitization to a MDMA challenge at adulthood and potentiation of MDMA-induced increase of dialysate DA in the NAc core, but not in the NAc shell. In addition, MDMA-treated rats displayed a deficit in recognition memory. Caffeine co-administration did not affect the above outcomes. Our results show that adolescent exposure of rats to low doses of MDMA induces long-lasting and widespread reduction of DA neurons indicative of a neurotoxic effect on DA neurons and suggestive of a degeneration of the same neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Durability of improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy: a prospective long-term follow-up study

    OpenAIRE

    Mithoefer, Michael C; Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Ann T; Jerome, Lisa; Martin, Scott F; Yazar-Klosinski, Berra; Michel, Yvonne; Brewerton, Timothy D; Doblin, Rick

    2013-01-01

    We report follow-up data evaluating the long-term outcomes for the first completed trial of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Mithoefer et al., 2011). All of the 19 subjects who received MDMA-assisted treatment in the original trial participated in the long-term follow-up (LTFU), with 16 out of 19 completing all of the long-term outcome measures, which were administered from 17 to 74 months a...

  5. A fluorescent probe for ecstasy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masseroni, D; Biavardi, E; Genovese, D; Rampazzo, E; Prodi, L; Dalcanale, E

    2015-08-18

    A nanostructure formed by the insertion in silica nanoparticles of a pyrene-derivatized cavitand, which is able to specifically recognize ecstasy in water, is presented. The absence of effects from interferents and an efficient electron transfer process occurring after complexation of ecstasy, makes this system an efficient fluorescent probe for this popular drug.

  6. MDMA and PTSD treatment: "PTSD: From novel pathophysiology to innovative therapeutics".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessa, Ben

    2017-05-10

    There is a range of therapies to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but treatment resistance remains high, with many sufferers experiencing the chronic condition. Engagement in trauma-focused psychotherapy is difficult for some patients with PTSD, especially those with extreme affect dysregulation associated with recall of traumatic memories. In recent years there have been a number of neuroscientific and clinical studies examining the potential role for adjunctive drug-assisted psychotherapy using 3,4,-methylenedioxmethamphetamine (MDMA) as a treatment for PTSD. re-visiting of a novel approach to trauma-focused psychotherapy with Used just two or three times, under careful medical supervision and specialised psychotherapy support MDMA appears to facilitate the recall of traumatic memories without the user feeling overwhelmed by the negative affect that usually accompanies such memories. This therapeutic approach began in the 1980s and was subsequently shelved in the midst of public health concerns surrounding the recreational use of the drug ecstasy. When pharmaceutical grade MDMA is used in a clinical setting it does not share the same risk profiles as ecstasy. Recent phase one neurophysiological studies and phase two clinical studies are showing promise as a potential new approach to managing treatment-resistant PTSD. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Evaluation of brain SERT occupancy by resveratrol against MDMA-induced neurobiological and behavioral changes in rats: A 4-[¹⁸F]-ADAM/small-animal PET study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Jui-Hu; Ma, Kuo-Hsing; Chen, Chien-Fu F; Cheng, Cheng-Yi; Pao, Li-Heng; Weng, Shao-Ju; Huang, Yuahn-Sieh; Shiue, Chyng-Yann; Yeh, Ming-Kung; Li, I-Hsun

    2016-01-01

    The misuse of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has drawn a growing concern worldwide for its psychophysiological impacts on humans. MDMA abusers are often accompanied by long-term serotonergic neurotoxicity, which is associated with reduced density of cerebral serotonin transporters (SERT) and depressive disorders. Resveratrol (RSV) is a natural polyphenolic phytoalexin that has been known for its antidepressant and neuroprotective effects. However, biological targets of RSV as well as its neuroprotective effects against MDMA remained largely unknown. In this study, we examined binding potency of RSV and MDMA to SERT using small-animal positron emission tomography (PET) with the SERT radioligand, N,N-dimethyl-2-(2-amino-4-[(18)F]fluorophenylthio)benzylamine (4-[(18)F]-ADAM) and investigated the protection of RSV against the acute and long-term adverse effects of MDMA. We found that RSV exhibit binding potentials to SERT in vivo in a dose-dependent manner with variation among brain regions. When the MDMA-treated rats (10mg/kg, s.c.) were co-injected with RSV (20mg/kg, i.p.) twice daily for 4 consecutive days, MDMA-induced acute elevation in plasma corticosterone was significantly reduced. Further, 4-[(18)F]-ADAM PET imaging revealed that RSV protected against the MDMA-induced decrease in SERT availability in the midbrain and the thalamus 2 weeks following the co-treatment. The PET data were comparable to the observation from the forced swim test that RSV sufficiently ameliorated the depressive-like behaviors of the MDMA-treated rats. Together, these findings suggest that RSV is a potential antidepressant and may confer protection against neurobiological and behavioral changes induced by MDMA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  8. Learning, Memory, and Executive Function in New MDMA Users: A Two-Year Follow-up Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eWagner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA is associated with changes in neurocognitive performance. Recent studies in laboratory animals have provided additional support for the neurodegeneration hypothesis. However, results from animal research need to be applied to humans with caution. Moreover, several of the studies that examine MDMA users suffer from methodological shortcomings. Therefore, a prospective cohort study was designed in order to overcome these previous methodological shortcomings and to assess the relationship between the continuing use of MDMA and cognitive performance in incipient MDMA users. It was hypothesized that, depending on the amount of MDMA taken, the continued use of MDMA over a two-year period would lead to further decreases in cognitive performance, especially in visual paired association learning tasks. 96 subjects were assessed at the second follow-up assessment: 31 of these were non-users, 55 moderate-users and 10 heavy-users. Separate repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted for each cognitive domain, including attention and information processing speed, episodic memory and executive functioning. Furthermore, possible confounders including age, general intelligence, cannabis use, alcohol use, use of other concomitant substances, recent medical treatment, participation in sports, level of nutrition, sleep patterns and subjective well-being were assessed.The Repeated measures analysis of variance (rANOVA revealed that a marginally significant change in immediate and delayed recall test performances of visual paired associates learning had taken place within the follow-up period of two years. No significant differences with the other neuropsychological tests were noted. It seems that MDMA use can impair visual paired associates learning in new users. However, in the recent study, further deterioration in continuing MDMA-users was not observed.

  9. Treating posttraumatic stress disorder with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy: A preliminary meta-analysis and comparison to prolonged exposure therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoroso, Timothy; Workman, Michael

    2016-07-01

    Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become a major area of research and development. The most widely accepted treatment for PTSD is prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, but for many patients it is intolerable or ineffective. ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy (MDMA-AP) has recently re-emerged as a new treatment option, with two clinical trials having been published and both producing promising results. However, these results have yet to be compared to existing treatments. The present paper seeks to bridge this gap in the literature. Often the statistical significance of clinical trials is overemphasized, while the magnitude of the treatment effects is overlooked. The current meta-analysis aims to provide a comparison of the cumulative effect size of the MDMA-AP studies with those of PE. Effect sizes were calculated for primary and secondary outcome measures in the MDMA-AP clinical trials and compared to those of a meta-analysis including several PE clinical trials. It was found that MDMA-AP had larger effect sizes in both clinician-observed outcomes than PE did (Hedges' g=1.17 vs. g=1.08, respectively) and patient self-report outcomes (Hedges' g=0.87 vs. g=0.77, respectively). The dropout rates of PE and MDMA-AP were also compared, revealing that MDMA-AP had a considerably lower percentage of patients dropping out than PE did. These results suggest that MDMA-AP offers a promising treatment for PTSD. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. Heritability of lifetime ecstasy use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verweij, Karin J H; Treur, Jorien L; Vreeker, Annabel; Brunt, Tibor M; Willemsen, Gonneke; Boomsma, Dorret I; Vink, Jacqueline M

    2017-09-01

    Ecstasy is a widely used psychoactive drug that users often take because they experience positive effects such as increased euphoria, sociability, elevated mood, and heightened sensations. Ecstasy use is not harmless and several immediate and long term side effects have been identified. Lifetime ecstasy use is likely to be partly influenced by genetic factors, but no twin study has determined the heritability. Here, we apply a classical twin design to a large sample of twins and siblings to estimate the heritability of lifetime ecstasy use. The sample comprised 8500 twins and siblings aged between 18 and 45 years from 5402 families registered at the Netherlands Twin Registry. In 2013-2014 participants filled out a questionnaire including a question whether they had ever used ecstasy. We used the classical twin design to partition the individual differences in liability to ecstasy use into that due to genetic, shared environmental, and residual components. Overall, 10.4% of the sample had used ecstasy during their lifetime, with a somewhat higher prevalence in males than females. Twin modelling indicated that individual differences in liability to lifetime ecstasy use are for 74% due to genetic differences between individuals, whereas shared environmental and residual factors explain a small proportion of its liability (5% and 21%, respectively). Although heritability estimates appeared to be higher for females than males, this difference was not significant. Lifetime ecstasy use is a highly heritable trait, which indicates that some people are genetically more vulnerable to start using ecstasy than others. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. MDMA is certainly damaging after 25 years of empirical research: a reply and refutation of Doblin et al. (2014).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2014-03-01

    Human Psychopharmacology recently published my review into the increase in empirical knowledge about the human psychobiology of MDMA over the past 25 years (Parrott, 2013a). Deficits have been demonstrated in retrospective memory, prospective memory, higher cognition, complex visual processing, sleep architecture, sleep apnoea, pain, neurohormonal activity, and psychiatric status. Neuroimaging studies have shown serotonergic deficits, which are associated with lifetime Ecstasy/MDMA usage, and degree of neurocognitive impairment. Basic psychological skills remain intact. Ecstasy/MDMA use by pregnant mothers leads to psychomotor impairments in the children. Hence, the damaging effects of Ecstasy/MDMA were far more widespread than was realized a few years ago. In their critique of my review, Doblin et al. (2014) argued that my review contained misstatements, omitted contrary findings, and recited dated misconceptions. In this reply, I have answered all the points they raised. I have been able to refute each of their criticisms by citing the relevant empirical data, since many of their points were based on inaccurate summaries of the actual research findings. Doblin and colleagues are proponents of the use of MDMA for drug-assisted psychotherapy, and their strongest criticisms were focused on my concerns about this proposal. However, again all the issues I raised were based on sound empirical evidence or theoretical understanding. Indeed I would recommend potentially far safer co-drugs such as D-cycloserine or oxytocin. In summary, MDMA can induce a wide range of neuropsychobiological changes, many of which are damaging to humans. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Hippocampal nicotinic receptors have a modulatory role for ethanol and MDMA interaction in memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostami, Maryam; Rezayof, Ameneh; Alijanpour, Sakineh; Sharifi, Khadijeh Alsadat

    2017-08-15

    The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of dorsal hippocampal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) activation on the functional interaction between ethanol and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) in memory retrieval. The dorsal hippocampal CA1 regions of adult male NMRI mice were bilaterally cannulated and memory retrieval was measured in a step-down type passive avoidance apparatus. Post-training or pre-test systemic administration of ethanol (1g/kg, i.p.) induced amnesia. Pre-test administration of ethanol reversed pre-training ethanol-induced amnesia, suggesting ethanol state-dependent learning. Pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of different doses of MDMA (0.25-1µg/mouse) with an ineffective dose of ethanol (0.25g/kg, i.p.) also induced amnesia. Interestingly, pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of MDMA (0.25-1µg/mouse) potentiated ethanol state-dependent learning. On the other hand, the activation of the dorsal hippocampal nAChRs by pre-test microinjection of nicotine (0.1-1µg/mouse, intra-CA1) improved amnesia induced by the co-administration of MDMD and ethanol. It is important to note that intra-CA1 microinjection of the same doses of MDMA or nicotine could not affect memory formation by itself. Pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of nicotine (0.3-0.9µg/mouse) could not reverse amnesia induced by pre-training administration of ethanol while this treatment enhanced MDMA response on ethanol state-dependent learning. Thus, it can be concluded that there may be functional interactions among ethanol, MDMA and nicotine via the dorsal hippocampal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mechanism in memory retrieval and drug state-dependent learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Updating of working memory in ecstasy polydrug users: Findings from fNIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Catharine; Fisk, John E; Roberts, Carl A

    2017-05-01

    Cognitive deficits are now well documented in ecstasy (MDMA) users with type and relative demand of task emerging as important factors. The updating component of executive processes appears to be particularly affected. The study reported here used functional near infrared spectroscopy imaging to investigate changes in cortical haemodynamics during memory updating. Twenty ecstasy users and 20 non-users completed verbal and spatial memory updating tasks and brain blood oxygenation and deoxygenation change was measured using functional near infrared spectroscopy. There was no interaction between group and difficulty on the updating tasks, though there was a significant main effect of difficulty on both tasks. The effects of group approached significance on the verbal updating task. There were significant differences in blood oxygenation and deoxygenation change at optodes centred over the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with ecstasy users showing greater blood oxygenation than the other groups. The lack of a behavioural difference on both tasks but presence of blood oxygenation and deoxygenation changes in letter updating provides support for the notion that ecstasy-polydrug users are investing more effort to achieve the same behavioural output. Total lifetime dose was high, and recency of use was significantly related to most changes, suggesting that heavy and recent use may be particularly detrimental. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. How to find future ecstasy-users: targeted and snowball sampling in an ethically sensitive context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervaeke, Hylke K E; Korf, Dirk J; Benschop, Annemieke; van den Brink, Wim

    2007-08-01

    This article documents the design and the sampling procedures of a prospective longitudinal multidisciplinary study on the neurotoxicity of ecstasy (MDMA): the Netherlands XTC Toxicity Study (NeXT). Targeted and snowball sampling was used to recruit 188 respondents who were ecstasy-naive at baseline. All respondents completed baseline questionnaires and underwent medical and neuropsychological examinations. At the end of a 11- to 26- month follow-up period in which they completed four additional questionnaires, 160 respondents remained (85.1%). A total of 65 participants (40.6%) took ecstasy for the first time during the follow-up period. This paper discusses the ethical dilemmas inherent in a study of this type and the specific problems and solutions that emerged in the sampling. The sampling was tightly constrained by our need to locate respondents who were potential future ecstasy users while also meeting strict medical and technical criteria. The 'intention to use' criterion proved to be a clear-cut inclusion rule that was practical to apply in the fieldwork.

  15. Screening for illicit drugs in pooled human urine and urinated soil samples and studies on the stability of urinary excretion products of cocaine, MDMA, and MDEA in wastewater by hyphenated mass spectrometry techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mardal, Marie; Kinyua, Juliet; Ramin, Pedram

    2017-01-01

    were the most frequently detected illicit drugs; an analytical method was developed to quantify their excretion products. Hydroxymethoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), HMMA sulfate (HMMA-S), benzoylecgonine (BE), and cocaethylene...... (CE) had 85–102% of initial concentration after 8 h of incubation, whereas COC and ecgonine methyl ester (EME) had 74 and 67% after 8 h, respectively. HMMA showed a net increase during 24 h of incubation (107% ± 27, n = 8), possibly due to the cleavage of HMMA conjugates, and biotransformation of MDMA....... The results suggest HMMA as analytical target for MDMA consumption in WBE, due to its stability in wastewater and its excretion as the main phase I metabolite of MDMA. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd....

  16. Effect of intermittent exposure to ethanol and MDMA during adolescence on learning and memory in adult mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidal-Infer Antonio

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heavy binge drinking is increasingly frequent among adolescents, and consumption of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA is often combined with ethanol (EtOH. The long-lasting effects of intermittent exposure to EtOH and MDMA during adolescence on learning and memory were evaluated in adult mice using the Hebb-Williams maze. Methods Adolescent OF1 mice were exposed to EtOH (1.25 g/kg on two consecutive days at 48-h intervals over a 14-day period (from PD 29 to 42. MDMA (10 or 20 mg/kg was injected twice daily at 4-h intervals over two consecutive days, and this schedule was repeated six days later (PD 33, 34, 41 and 42, resulting in a total of eight injections. Animals were initiated in the Hebb-Williams maze on PND 64. The concentration of brain monoamines in the striatum and hippocampus was then measured. Results At the doses employed, both EtOH and MDMA, administered alone or together, impaired learning in the Hebb-Williams maze, as treated animals required more time to reach the goal than their saline-treated counterparts. The groups treated during adolescence with EtOH, alone or plus MDMA, also presented longer latency scores and needed more trials to reach the acquisition criterion score. MDMA induced a decrease in striatal DA concentration, an effect that was augmented by the co-administration of EtOH. All the treatment groups displayed an imbalance in the interaction DA/serotonin. Conclusions The present findings indicate that the developing brain is highly vulnerable to the damaging effects of EtOH and/or MDMA, since mice receiving these drugs in a binge pattern during adolescence exhibit impaired learning and memory in adulthood.

  17. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine destroy serotonin terminals in rat brain: quantification of neurodegeneration by measurement of [3H]paroxetine-labeled serotonin uptake sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Battaglia, G.; Yeh, S.Y.; O'Hearn, E.; Molliver, M.E.; Kuhar, M.J.; De Souza, E.B.

    1987-01-01

    This study examines the effects of repeated systemic administration (20 mg/kg s.c., twice daily for 4 days) of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) on levels of brain monoamines, their metabolites and on the density of monoamine uptake sites in various regions of rat brain. Marked reductions (30-60%) in the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were observed in cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum, hypothalamus and midbrain at 2 weeks after a 4-day treatment regimen of MDMA or MDA; less consistent reductions in serotonin (5-HT) content were observed in these brain regions. In addition, both MDMA and MDA caused comparable and substantial reductions (50-75%) in the density of [ 3 H]paroxetine-labeled 5-HT uptake sites in all brain regions examined. In contrast, neither MDMA nor MDA caused any widespread or long-term changes in the content of the catecholaminergic markers (i.e., norepinephrine, dopamine, 3,4 dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid) or in the number of [ 3 H]mazindol-labeled norepinephrine or dopamine uptake sites in the brain regions examined. These data demonstrate that MDMA and MDA cause long-lasting neurotoxic effects with respect to both the functional and structural integrity of serotonergic neurons in brain. Furthermore, our measurement of reductions in the density of 5-HT uptake sites provides a means for quantification of the neurodegenerative effects of MDMA and MDA on presynaptic 5-HT terminals

  18. The Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) study: objectives and methods of a study investigating causality, course, and clinical relevance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; Jager, Gerry; Vervaeke, Hylke K. E.; Schilt, Thelma; Reneman, Liesbeth; Booij, Jan; Verhulst, Frank C.; den Heeten, Gerard J.; Ramsey, Nick F.; Korf, Dirk J.; van den Brink, Wim

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes the objectives and methods of The Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) study focussing on the causality, course, and clinical relevance of ecstasy neurotoxicity. Previous studies suggest that ecstasy (3,4 methylene-dioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, XTC) is toxic toward brain serotonin

  19. Behavioural, biochemical and neurocytoarchitechural impact of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Neurotoxicity of 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is still controversially discussed. MDMA is an amphetamine derivative that has gained significant popularity in recent years and has become the recreational drug of choice for many young, adolescents and adults. This study sought to investigate that ...

  20. Serotonin syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and hepatitis after a single ingestion of MDMA in an Asian woman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadkarni, Girish N; Hoskote, Sumedh S; Piotrkowski, Jared; Annapureddy, Narender

    2014-01-01

    N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA), also called "Ecstasy," is a commonly abused psychoactive drug among the American youth. We present the case of a 23-year-old Korean-American woman who presented with seizure, delirium, and rigidity after MDMA ingestion. She was febrile (38.7°C), tachycardic (188 beats/min), tachypneic (26 breaths/min) with a borderline blood pressure (95/43 mm Hg). Examination revealed generalized muscle rigidity, tremors, hyperreflexia, and ocular clonus, leading to the diagnosis of serotonin syndrome. Urine toxicology screen was only positive for amphetamines, consistent with the history of MDMA ingestion. Initial laboratory testing showed thrombocytopenia, further testing showed deranged prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, decreased fibrinogen, and elevated D-dimer, suggesting disseminated intravascular coagulation. Hepatic transaminases trended up dramatically reflecting acute hepatitis. The patient received supportive care and improved by hospital day 3. MDMA toxicity manifested as serotonin syndrome, hepatitis, and coagulopathy is exceedingly rare. MDMA is metabolized by the hepatic CYP2D6 enzyme. Certain populations, such as Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese have a high prevalence of a polymorphism that confers reduced enzyme activity. We discuss this hypothesis as a possible cause for this severe presentation in our patient after a single ingestion.

  1. Acute behavioral effects of co-administration of mephedrone and MDMA in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budzynska, Barbara; Michalak, Agnieszka; Frankowska, Małgorzata; Kaszubska, Katarzyna; Biała, Grażyna

    2017-04-01

    Abuse of more than one psychoactive drug is becoming a global problem. Our experiments were designed to examine the effects of a concomitant administration of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and mephedrone on depression- and anxiety-like behaviors and cognitive processes in Swiss mice. In order to investigate the drug interactions the forced swimming test (FST) - an animal model of depression, the passive avoidance (PA) test - a memory and learning paradigm, as well as the elevated plus maze (EPM) test - test for anxiety level were used. The results revealed that a concomitant administration of non-effective doses of mephedrone (1mg/kg) and MDMA (1mg/kg) exerted marked antidepressive effects in the FST. Also a co-administration of mephedrone (2.5mg/kg) and MDMA (1mg/kg) displayed a pro-cognitive action in the PA paradigm. Furthermore, even though mephedrone and MDMA can, in general, exert some anxiogenic effects in mice, the concomitant administration of nonactive doses of both drugs (0.05 and 0.1mg/kg, respectively) in the EPM test, did not show any synergistic effect in our study. The effects of mephedrone and MDMA combination on mammalian organisms were attempted to be evaluated in our study and the results are described in the present report. These results may help explain the reasons for and consequences of a concomitant administration of psychoactive substances with regards to the central nervous system, while being possibly useful in the treatment of polydrug intoxication. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o.

  2. Hair testing to assess both known and unknown use of drugs amongst ecstasy users in the electronic dance music scene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamar, Joseph J; Salomone, Alberto; Gerace, Enrico; Di Corcia, Daniele; Vincenti, Marco; Cleland, Charles M

    2017-10-01

    Data on both known and unknown drug use in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene is important to inform prevention and harm reduction. While surveys are the most common method of querying drug use, additional biological data can help validate use and detect unknown/unintentional use of drugs such as new psychoactive substances (NPS). We sought to determine the extent of both known and unknown use of various substances in this high-risk scene. We hair-tested 90 self-reported past-year ecstasy/MDMA/Molly users attending EDM parties in New York City during the summer of 2016 using UHPLC-MS/MS. Results were compared to self-reported past-year use. Three quarters (74.4%) tested positive for MDMA, a third (33.3%) tested positive for an NPS, and 27.8% tested positive specifically for one or more synthetic cathinones (e.g., butylone, ethylone, pentylone, methylone, alpha-PVP). Half (51.1%) of participants tested positive for a drug not self-reported, with most testing positive for synthetic cathinones (72.0%), methamphetamine (69.0%), other NPS stimulants (e.g., 4-FA, 5/6-APB; 66.7%), or new dissociatives (e.g., methoxetamine, diphenidine; 60.0%). Attending parties every other week or more often, reporting higher-frequency ecstasy pill use, having tested one's ecstasy, and having found out one's ecstasy was adulterated, were risk factors for testing positive for synthetic cathinones and NPS in general. Hair testing appears to be a valuable addition to drug epidemiology studies. Many EDM party attendees-even those who test their ecstasy-are unknowingly using NPS and/or other drugs. Prevention information and harm reduction may help reduce unknown/unintentional use. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Neurotoxic effects of ecstasy on the thalamus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; Jager, Gerry; Booij, Jan; Reneman, Liesbeth; Schilt, Thelma; Lavini, Cristina; Olabarriaga, Sílvia D.; Ramsey, Nick F.; den Heeten, Gerard J.; van den Brink, Wim

    2008-01-01

    Background Neurotoxic effects of ecstasy have been reported, although it remains unclear whether effects can be attributed to ecstasy, other recreational drugs or a combination of these. Aims To assess specific/independent neurotoxic effects of heavy ecstasy use and contributions of amphetamine,

  4. Basal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and psychological distress in recreational ecstasy polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherell, Mark A; Montgomery, Catharine

    2014-04-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) is a psychostimulant drug which is increasingly associated with psychobiological dysfunction. While some recent studies suggest acute changes in neuroendocrine function, less is known about long-term changes in HPA functionality in recreational users. The current study is the first to explore the effects of ecstasy-polydrug use on psychological distress and basal functioning of the HPA axis through assessing the secretion of cortisol across the diurnal period. Seventy-six participants (21 nonusers, 29 light ecstasy-polydrug users, 26 heavy ecstasy-polydrug users) completed a substance use inventory and measures of psychological distress at baseline, then two consecutive days of cortisol sampling (on awakening, 30 min post awakening, between 1400 and 1600 hours and pre bedtime). On day 2, participants also attended the laboratory to complete a 20-min multitasking stressor. Both user groups exhibited significantly greater levels of anxiety and depression than nonusers. On day 1, all participants exhibited a typical cortisol profile, though light users had significantly elevated levels pre-bed. On day 2, heavy users demonstrated elevated levels upon awakening and all ecstasy-polydrug users demonstrated elevated pre-bed levels compared to non-users. Significant between group differences were also observed in afternoon cortisol levels and in overall cortisol secretion across the day. The increases in anxiety and depression are in line with previous observations in recreational ecstasy-polydrug users. Dysregulated diurnal cortisol may be indicative of inappropriate anticipation of forthcoming demands and hypersecretion may lead to the increased psychological and physical morbidity associated with heavy recreational use of ecstasy.

  5. [The cognitive effects of ecstasy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pázmány, Péter; Petschner, Péter; Ádori, Csaba; Kirilly, Eszter; Andó, Dénes Rómeó; Balogh, Brigitta; Gyöngyösi, Norbert; Bagdy, György

    2013-12-01

    The recreational drug ecstasy is widely used among dance clubbers for its acute euphoric and entactogenic effects. Ecstasy exerts its acute effects by increasing the extracellular concentration of monoamines in the brain by reversing the functions of reuptake mechanisms. These elevations in extracellular monoamine concentrations result in wake promoting effects, body hyperthermia and reductions in local cerebral blood flow. However, on the long-run, ecstasy reduces serotonin concentration and density of serotonergic markers in several brain areas. Functional deficits, like sleep disturbances, anxiogenic- and aggressive behavioral responses and mood disorders also may occur. However, one of the most prominent adverse effects is related to the cognitive functions. Following ecstasy use attenuated retro- and prospective memory and defective higher order cognitive functions can be observed, especially in heavy users. Several studies indicated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system, the sleep regulating centers and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis based on or parallel to serotonergic damage in these processes. Recent evidence, however, also showed that changes in one of the latter systems can influence the functions of each other. In this review we summarize the related literature, and propose a complex mechanism for the long-lasting cognitive deficits following heavy ecstasy use.

  6. Composition profiling of seized ecstasy tablets by Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, S E; Burns, D T; Dennis, A C; Matchett, L J; Speers, J S

    2000-10-01

    Raman spectroscopy with far-red excitation has been investigated as a simple and rapid technique for composition profiling of seized ecstasy (MDMA, N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) tablets. The spectra obtained are rich in vibrational bands and allow the active drug and excipient used to bulk the tablets to be identified. Relative band heights can be used to determine drug/excipient ratios and the degree of hydration of the drug while the fact that 50 tablets per hour can be analysed allows large numbers of spectra to be recorded. The ability of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish between ecstasy tablets on the basis of their chemical composition is illustrated here by a sample set of 400 tablets taken from a large seizure of > 50,000 tablets that were found in eight large bags. The tablets are all similar in appearance and carry the same logo. Conventional analysis by GC-MS showed they contained MDMA. Initial Raman studies of samples from each of the eight bags showed that despite some tablet-to-tablet variation within each bag the contents could be classified on the basis of the excipients used. The tablets in five of the bags were sorbitol-based, two were cellulose-based and one bag contained tablets with a glucose excipient. More extensive analysis of 50 tablets from each of a representative series of sample bags have distribution profiles that showed the contents of each bag were approximately normally distributed about a mean value, rather than being mixtures of several discrete types. Two of the sorbitol-containing sample sets were indistinguishable while a third was similar but not identical to these, in that it contained the same excipient and MDMA with the same degree of hydration but had a slightly different MDMA/sorbitol ratio. The cellulose-based samples were badly manufactured and showed considerable tablet-to-tablet variation in their drug/excipient ratio while the glucose-based tablets had a tight distribution in their drug/excipient ratios

  7. A study on the mechanism by which MDMA protects against dopaminergic dysfunction after minimal traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edut, S; Rubovitch, V; Rehavi, M; Schreiber, S; Pick, C G

    2014-12-01

    Driving under methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) influence increases the risk of being involved in a car accident, which in turn can lead to traumatic brain injury. The behavioral deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are closely connected to dopamine pathway dysregulation. We have previously demonstrated in mice that low MDMA doses prior to mTBI can lead to better performances in cognitive tests. The purpose of this study was to assess in mice the changes in the dopamine system that occurs after both MDMA and minimal traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Experimental mTBI was induced using a concussive head trauma device. One hour before injury, animals were subjected to MDMA. Administration of MDMA before injury normalized the alterations in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) levels that were observed in mTBI mice. This normalization was also able to lower the elevated dopamine receptor type 2 (D2) levels observed after mTBI. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels did not change following injury alone, but in mice subjected to MDMA and mTBI, significant elevations were observed. In the behavioral tests, haloperidol reversed the neuroprotection seen when MDMA was administered prior to injury. Altered catecholamine synthesis and high D2 receptor levels contribute to cognitive dysfunction, and strategies to normalize TH signaling and D2 levels may provide relief for the deficits observed after injury. Pretreatment with MDMA kept TH and D2 receptor at normal levels, allowing regular dopamine system activity. While the beneficial effect we observe was due to a dangerous recreational drug, understanding the alterations in dopamine and the mechanism of dysfunction at a cellular level can lead to legal therapies and potential candidates for clinical use.

  8. Analysis of forensic samples of "Ecstasy" tablets seized in Novi Sad during the 2004 year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zgonjanin Dragana M.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents results of the analysis of illicit synthetic drugs in the form of tablets distributed under the name "Ecstasy", seized by the police in the broader area of Novi Sad 2004. A huge number of tablets has been analyzed (n=121, of various colours and with impressed symbols from the total amount of 93 seizures, which totally amounted to 1458 tablets. Regarding the number of seizures ecstasy (3,4-methylendioxy-N-meth-yl-amphetamine - MDMA is dominant among all, and according to the quantity of seized tablets it is amphetamine (AP, while other amphetamine-type drugs (methamphetamine MA 3,4-methylendioxiamphetamine - MDA, 3,4-methylendioxi-N-ethyl-amphetamine MDEA have been found in rather small quantities and very rarely. Tablets mostly contain caffeine as an additive. In the analytical procedure, the samples of tablets were subjected to liquid-liquid extraction and afterwards analyzed on the GCD (GC-EI Hewlett-Packard instrument. The method is fast reliable and reproducible for the analysis of amphetamine, methamphetamine MDA, MDMA, MDEA, as well as various additives in the samples of seized tablets.

  9. MDMA, methamphetamine, and CYP2D6 pharmacogenetics: what is clinically relevant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael eDe La Torre

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In vitro human studies show that the metabolism of most amphetamine-like psychostimulants is regulated by the polymorphic cytochrome P450 isozyme CYP2D6. Two compounds, methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, were selected as archetypes to discuss the translation and clinical significance of in vitro to in vivo findings. Both compounds were chosen based on their differential interaction with CYP2D6 and their high abuse prevalence in society. Methamphetamine behaves as both a weak substrate and competitive inhibitor of CYP2D6, while MDMA acts as a high affinity substrate and potent mechanism-based inhibitor (MBI of the enzyme. The MBI behavior of MDMA on CYP2D6 implies that subjects, irrespective of their genotype/phenotype, are phenocopied to the poor metabolizer phenotype. The fraction of metabolic clearance regulated by CYP2D6 for both drugs is substantially lower than expected from in vitro studies. Other isoenzymes of cytochrome P450 and a relevant contribution of renal excretion play a part in their clearance. These facts tune down the potential contribution of CYP2D6 polymorphism in the clinical outcomes of both substances. Globally, the clinical relevance of CYP2D6 polymorphism is lower than that predicted by in vitro studies.

  10. Acute toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in the anxious mood of rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Suxia Li; Jing Li; Xue Wang; Weihong Kuang; Zugui Peng; Mingsheng Huang

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The long-term neurotoxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) mainly caused by repeated exposure to MDMA or a single big dose of MDMA, which results in degeneration of serotonin terminal of central nervous system, and someone believe that the great release of serotonin transmitter in central nervous system will lead to anxious mood.OBJECTIVE: To observe the changes of anxiety related behaviors in rats after single administration of different doses of MDMA.DESIGN: A randomized control study.SETTING: Laboratory of Psychopharmacology of the Mental Health Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University.MATERIALS: Thirty male adult Wistar rats, weighing (251.3±18.34) g, were used. MDMA were obtained from the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, and dissolved in saline. All the doses of the drug were administered in a volume of 1 mg/kg.METHODS: The experiment was carried out in the Laboratory of Psychopharmacology of the Mental Health Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University in July 2003. ①The rats were randomly divided into control group (n=6) and experimental group (n=24), and then those in the latter were randomly assigned into four subgroups of MDMA 3, 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg groups, with 6 rats in each, which were administrated by single intraperitoneal injection of MDMA 3, 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg respectively, and those in the control group were administrated by single intraperitoneal injection of saline of the same volume. ② The open field test,elevated plus-maze test and social interaction test were performed immediately after administration. For the open field test, the apparatus was situated in a darkened room, illuminated by a single 60 W white light bulb located approximately 60 cm above the center of the open field. Before administration, all the rats were placed into the open field to be familiar with the open field for 5 minutes. They were observed for 45 minutes after administration. The

  11. Long-term effects of repeated social stress on the conditioned place preference induced by MDMA in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pardo, M P; Blanco-Gandía, M C; Valiente-Lluch, M; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J; Aguilar, M A

    2015-12-03

    Previous studies have demonstrated that social defeat stress increases the rewarding effects of psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine. In the present study we evaluated the long-term effects of repeated social defeat (RSD) on the rewarding effects of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) hydrochloride in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Adolescent and young adult mice were exposed to four episodes of social defeat (on PND 29-40 and PND 47-56, respectively) and were conditioned three weeks later with 1.25 or 10mg/kg i.p. of MDMA (experiment 1). The long-term effects of RSD on anxiety, social behavior and cognitive processes were also evaluated in adult mice (experiment 2). RSD during adolescence enhanced vulnerability to priming-induced reinstatement in animals conditioned with 1.25mg/kg of MDMA and increased the duration of the CPP induced by the 10mg/kg of MDMA. The latter effect was also observed after RSD in young adult mice, as well as an increase in anxiety-like behavior, an alteration in social interaction (reduction in attack and increase in avoidance/flee and defensive/submissive behaviors) and an impairment of maze learning. These results support the idea that RSD stress increases the rewarding effects of MDMA and induces long-term alterations in anxiety, learning and social behavior in adult mice. Thus, exposure to stress may increase the vulnerability of individuals to developing MDMA dependence, which is a factor to be taken into account in relation to the prevention and treatment of this disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adaptive Plasticity in the Hippocampus of Young Mice Intermittently Exposed to MDMA Could Be the Origin of Memory Deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad, S; Camarasa, J; Pubill, D; Camins, A; Escubedo, E

    2016-12-01

    (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a relatively selective dopaminergic neurotoxin in mice. This study was designed to evaluate whether MDMA exposure affects their recognition memory and hippocampal expression of plasticity markers. Mice were administered with increasing doses of MDMA once per week for 8 weeks (three times in 1 day, every 3 h) and killed 2 weeks (2w) or 3 months (3m) later. The treatment did not modify hippocampal tryptophan hydroxylase 2, a serotonergic indicator, but induced an initial reduction in dopaminergic markers in substantia nigra, which remained stable for at least 3 months. In parallel, MDMA produced a decrease in dopamine (DA) levels in the striatum at 2w, which were restored 3 months later, suggesting dopaminergic terminal regeneration (sprouting phenomenon). Moreover, recognition memory was assessed using the object recognition test. Young (2w) and mature (3m) adult mice exhibited impaired memory after 24-h but not after just 1-h retention interval. Two weeks after the treatment, animals showed constant levels of CREB but an increase in its phosphorylated form and in c-Fos expression. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and especially Arc overexpression was sustained and long-lasting. We cannot rule out the absence of MDMA injury in the hippocampus being due to the generation of BDNF. The levels of NMDAR2B, PSD-95, and synaptophysin were unaffected. In conclusion, the young mice exposed to MDMA showed increased expression of early key markers of plasticity, which sometimes remained for 3 months, and suggests hippocampal maladaptive plasticity that could explain memory deficits evidenced here.

  13. Coping style and ecstasy use motives as predictors of current mood symptoms in ecstasy users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Rebecca M; Hides, Leanne; Allen, J Sabura; Lubman, Dan I

    2013-10-01

    Elevated depressive and anxiety symptoms during childhood and adolescence have been associated with greater risk of later ecstasy use. Ecstasy users have reported using ecstasy to reduce depression or worry, or to escape. While these findings suggest that some people use ecstasy as a form of self-medication, limited research has been conducted examining the relationship between affective symptoms, coping styles and drug use motives in ecstasy users. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine if coping style and/or ecstasy use motives are associated with current mood symptoms in ecstasy users. A community sample (n=184) of 18-35 year olds who had taken ecstasy at least once in the past 12 months completed self-report measures of depression, anxiety, ecstasy use motives and coping styles. Timeline follow back methods were used to collect information on lifetime ecstasy, recent drug use and life stress. Trauma exposure was measured using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Trauma List. Coping motives for ecstasy use and an emotion-focused coping style were significantly associated with current depressive and anxiety symptoms. Emotion-focused coping mediated the relationship between a history of trauma and current anxiety symptoms and moderated the relationship between recent stressful life events and current depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the importance of interventions targeting motives for ecstasy use, and providing coping skills training for managing stressful life events among people with co-occurring depressive/anxiety symptoms and ecstasy use. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 'Ecstasy' and the use of sleep medications in a general community sample: a 4-year follow-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Robert J; George, Amanda; Olesen, Sarah

    2013-09-01

    Animal models show that a single dose of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamhetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') can result in long-term disruption of sleep. We evaluated the relationship between ecstasy consumption and the use of sleep medications in humans after controlling for key factors. The Personality and Total Health Through Life project uses a longitudinal cohort with follow-up every 4 years. This study reports data from waves 2 and 3. Participants were recruited from the electoral roll in the Australian Capital Territory and Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia. Participants were aged 20-24 years at wave 1 (1999-2000). The study collected self-reported data on ecstasy, meth/amphetamine, cannabis, alcohol, tobacco and use of sleeping medications (pharmaceutical or other substances). Depression was categorized using the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (BPHQ). Other psychosocial measures included life-time traumas. We used generalized estimating equations to model outcomes. Ecstasy data were available from 2128 people at wave 2 and 1977 at wave 3: sleeping medication use was reported by 227 (10.7%) respondents at wave 2 and 239 (12.1%) at wave 3. Increased odds ratios (OR) for sleeping medication use was found for those with depression [OR = 1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.39, 2.53], women (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.84), and increased by 19% for each life-time trauma. Ecstasy use was not a significant predictor, but ≥monthly versus never meth/amphetamine use increased the odds (OR = 3.03, 95% CI 1.30, 7.03). The use of ecstasy appears to be associated with the use of sleeping medications but this association can be accounted for by other factors. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  15. The effect of the ecstasy 'come-down' on the diagnosis of ecstasy dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKetin, Rebecca; Copeland, Jan; Norberg, Melissa M; Bruno, Raimondo; Hides, Leanne; Khawar, Laila

    2014-06-01

    The existence of an ecstasy-dependence syndrome is controversial. We examined whether the acute after-effects of ecstasy use (i.e. the 'come-down') falsely lead to the identification of ecstasy withdrawal and the subsequent diagnosis of ecstasy dependence. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Disorders: Research Version (SCID-RV) was administered to 214 Australian ecstasy users. Ecstasy withdrawal was operationalised in three contrasting ways: (i) as per DSM-IV criteria; (ii) as the expected after-effects of ecstasy (a regular come-down); or (iii) as a substantially greater or longer come-down than on first use (intense come-down). These definitions were validated against frequency of ecstasy use, readiness to change and ability to resist the urge to use ecstasy. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to see how they aligned with the overall dependence syndrome. Come-down symptoms increased the prevalence of withdrawal from 1% (DSM-IV criterion) to 11% (intense come-downs) and 75% (regular come-downs). Past year ecstasy dependence remained at 31% when including the DSM-IV withdrawal criteria and was 32% with intense come-downs, but increased to 45% with regular come-downs. Intense come-downs were associated with lower ability to resist ecstasy use and loaded positively on the dependence syndrome. Regular come-downs did not load positively on the ecstasy-dependence syndrome and were not related to other indices of dependence. The acute after-effects of ecstasy should be excluded when assessing ecstasy withdrawal as they can lead to a false diagnosis of ecstasy dependence. Worsening of the ecstasy come-down may be a marker for dependence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecstasy and new patterns of drug use: a normal population study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, W; Skrondal, A

    1999-11-01

    (i) To describe illegal drug use patterns in an adolescent normal population sample with special emphasis on MDMA, ecstasy; (ii) to investigate where ecstasy is introduced in a hypothesized drug use sequence, and (iii) to contrast the predictors of ecstasy use with those of other illegal substances. Special attention was given to the relationship to subcultural music preferences and house-party-going. A school-based survey of the total cohort of adolescents enrolled in the school system in a city. 10,812 adolescents, age 14-17 years, response rate 94.3%. Oslo, the capital and only metropolitan town in Norway. Social class was measured by the occupation standard ISCO 88, questions were posed as regards frequency of alcohol use and alcohol intoxication, cigarette smoking and use of cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy and heroin. Alcohol problems were measured by a shortened version of Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI), conduct problems were measured according to the four categories of acts forming the basis of the diagnosis conduct disorder in DSM-IV, internalizing mental health problems were measured using items from Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HCL). A number of questions were asked as regards subcultural music preferences and house-party-going. STATISTICAL MODELS: A hypothesized cumulative sequence in drug use was investigated by means of latent class analysis, and the predictors of the various patterns of drug use were estimated and compared by means of multinominal logistic regression analysis. The use of ecstasy was often intermingled with the use of cannabis, amphetamines and heroin, in a pattern of polydrug use. The latent class analysis revealed the following drug use sequence: (1) alcohol, (2) cigarettes, (3) cannabis, (4) amphetamines, (5) ecstasy and (6) heroin. There was no significant association between ecstasy use and parental social class or residential area of the town. All patterns of illegal drug use were highly associated with cigarette smoking

  17. Differential effects of cathinone compounds and MDMA on body temperature in the rat, and pharmacological characterization of mephedrone-induced hypothermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shortall, S E; Green, A R; Swift, K M; Fone, K C F; King, M V

    2013-02-01

    Recreational users report that mephedrone has similar psychoactive effects to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). MDMA induces well-characterized changes in body temperature due to complex monoaminergic effects on central thermoregulation, peripheral blood flow and thermogenesis, but there are little preclinical data on the acute effects of mephedrone or other synthetic cathinones. The acute effects of cathinone, methcathinone and mephedrone on rectal and tail temperature were examined in individually housed rats, with MDMA included for comparison. Rats were killed 2 h post-injection and brain regions were collected for quantification of 5-HT, dopamine and major metabolites. Further studies examined the impact of selected α-adrenoceptor and dopamine receptor antagonists on mephedrone-induced changes in rectal temperature and plasma catecholamines. At normal room temperature, MDMA caused sustained decreases in rectal and tail temperature. Mephedrone caused a transient decrease in rectal temperature, which was enhanced by α(1) -adrenoceptor and dopamine D(1) receptor blockade, and a prolonged decrease in tail temperature. Cathinone and methcathinone caused sustained increases in rectal temperature. MDMA decreased 5-HT and/or 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) content in several brain regions and reduced striatal homovanillic acid (HVA) levels, whereas cathinone and methcathinone increased striatal HVA and 5-HIAA. Cathinone elevated striatal and hypothalamic 5-HT. Mephedrone elevated plasma noradrenaline levels, an effect prevented by α-adrenoceptor and dopamine receptor antagonists. MDMA and cathinones have different effects on thermoregulation, and their acute effects on brain monoamines also differ. These findings suggest that the adverse effects of cathinones in humans cannot be extrapolated from previous observations on MDMA. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

  18. Hyponatraemia and seizures after ecstasy use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, S.; Banerjee, A.; Alexander, W.

    1999-01-01

    A patient presented to our unit with seizures and profound hyponatraemia after ingestion of a single tablet of ecstasy. The seizures proved resistant to therapy and ventilation on the intensive care unit was required. Resolution of the seizures occurred on correction of the metabolic abnormalities. The pathogenesis of seizures and hyponatraemia after ecstasy use is discussed. Ecstasy use should be considered in any young patient presenting with unexplained seizures and attention should be directed towards electrolyte levels, particularly sodium.


Keywords: ecstasy; seizures; hyponatraemia PMID:10396584

  19. Cosmic Ecstasy and Process Theology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blair Reynolds

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The notion that God and the world are mutually interdependent is generally taken to be unique to twentieth-century process theology. Largely, process thinkers have focused on classical theists, rather than the mystics. My thesis, however, is that, centuries before process came along, there were Western mystical concepts stressing that God needed the universe in order to become conscious and complete. In support of my thesis, I will provide a synopsis of the doctrines of God as found in mystics such as Boehme, Dionysius, Eckhart, and then show how Whitehead’s aesthetic provides a coherent philosophical psychology of ecstasy. Key words: aesthetic experience, causal efficacy, consequent nature of God, ecstasy, feeling, German Romanticism, primordial nature of God, reformed subjectivist principle, Nicht, unconscious experience.

  20. Factors Associated with Teenage Ecstasy Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccrystal, Patrick; Percy, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Aims: The aim of this article was to investigate the factors associated with ecstasy use in school-aged teenagers. Methods: This was a longitudinal study of adolescent drug use, which was undertaken in three towns in Northern Ireland. A questionnaire was administered annually to participants. In this article ecstasy use patterns amongst a cohort…

  1. What's in a label? Ecstasy sellers' perceptions of pill brands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duterte, Micheline; Jacinto, Camille; Sales, Paloma; Murphy, Sheigla

    2009-03-01

    This article presents selected findings from a qualitative study of Ecstasy sellers and their sales practices, knowledge of distribution networks, buyer-seller relationships, and self-reported drug use. In-depth interviews were conducted with 80 men and women who had sold five or more hits of Ecstasy five or more times in the six months prior to the interview. Study participants described their perceptions of the various types of Ecstasy they had distributed or used themselves. The participants had experience with a variety of Ecstasy labels, from the popular "Blue Dolphin" tablets to the powdered form called "Molly." We tracked pill brand mentions on Ecstasy-related websites to compare with interviewees' descriptions of Ecstasy brands. This study examines Ecstasy sellers' ideas about the role of brand names in Ecstasy markets and their relationship to their beliefs about different types of Ecstasy's purity and quality. We demonstrate that considering Ecstasy branding increases our understanding of buyer and seller relationships.

  2. A prospective cohort study on sustained effects of low-dose ecstasy use on the brain in new ecstasy users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Jager, Gerry; Vlieger, Erik-Jan P.; Olabarriaga, Sílvia D.; Lavini, Cristina; Bisschops, Ivo; Majoie, Charles B. L. M.; Booij, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J.; van den Brink, Wim

    2007-01-01

    It is debated whether ecstasy use has neurotoxic effects on the human brain and what the effects are of a low dose of ecstasy use. We prospectively studied sustained effects (>2 weeks abstinence) of a low dose of ecstasy on the brain in ecstasy-naive volunteers using a combination of advanced MR

  3. Young Adult Ecstasy Users’ Enhancement of the Effects of Their Ecstasy Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Hugh; Elifson, Kirk W.; Sterk, Claire E.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we examine drug effect-enhancing behaviors practiced by young adult users of the drug, ecstasy. Between August 2002 and August 2004, 283 face-to-face interviews were conducted with active ecstasy users. Study participants were recruited in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area using a targeted sampling approach. The large majority of study participants (87%) engaged in at least one behavior specifically designed to bolster the effects of their ecstasy use, with 61% of the study participants reporting having engaged in at least three such behaviors during the past 30 days. Taking steps to boost one’s ecstasy-related high was associated with binging on ecstasy and a variety of adverse outcomes, such as experiencing a greater number of negative consequences resulting from ecstasy use and experiencing more ecstasy-related drug dependency symptoms. Multivariate analysis revealed several factors associated with greater involvement in effects-boosting behaviors, including race (not being African American), spending time with other drug users, using ecstasy for its touch-enhancing qualities, enjoyment of the music-and-ecstasy-use experience, and childhood maltreatment experiences. The implications of these findings for treatment, prevention, and intervention of drug problems among ecstasy users are discussed. PMID:19705673

  4. Cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine residues in wastewater: Consumption trends (2009-2015) in South East Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Foon Yin; O'Brien, Jake W; Thai, Phong K; Hall, Wayne; Chan, Gary; Bruno, Raimondo; Ort, Christoph; Prichard, Jeremy; Carter, Steve; Anuj, Shalona; Kirkbride, K Paul; Gartner, Coral; Humphries, Melissa; Mueller, Jochen F

    2016-10-15

    Wastewater analysis, or wastewater-based epidemiology, has become a common tool to monitor trends of illicit drug consumption around the world. In this study, we examined trends in cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine consumption by measuring their residues in wastewater from two wastewater treatment plants in Australia (specifically, an urban and a rural catchment, both in South East Queensland) between 2009 and 2015. With direct injection of the samples, target analytes were identified and quantified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cocaine and MDMA residues and metabolites were mainly quantifiable in the urban catchment while methamphetamine residues were consistently detected in both urban and rural catchments. There was no consistent trend in the population normalised mass loads observed for cocaine and MDMA at the urban site between 2009 and 2015. In contrast, there was a five-fold increase in methamphetamine consumption over this period in this catchment. For methamphetamine consumption, the rural area showed a very similar trend as the urban catchment starting at a lower baseline. The observed increase in per capita loads of methamphetamine via wastewater analysis over the past six years in South East Queensland provides objective evidence for increased methamphetamine consumption in the Australian population while the use of other illicit stimulants remained relatively stable. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The safety and efficacy of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithoefer, Michael C; Wagner, Mark T; Mithoefer, Ann T; Jerome, Lisa; Doblin, Rick

    2011-01-01

    Case reports indicate that psychiatrists administered ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a catalyst to psychotherapy before recreational use of MDMA as ‘Ecstasy’ resulted in its criminalization in 1985. Over two decades later, this study is the first completed clinical trial evaluating MDMA as a therapeutic adjunct. Twenty patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, refractory to both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, were randomly assigned to psychotherapy with concomitant active drug (n = 12) or inactive placebo (n = 8) administered during two 8-h experimental psychotherapy sessions. Both groups received preparatory and follow-up non-drug psychotherapy. The primary outcome measure was the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, administered at baseline, 4 days after each experimental session, and 2 months after the second session. Neurocognitive testing, blood pressure, and temperature monitoring were performed. After 2-month follow-up, placebo subjects were offered the option to re-enroll in the experimental procedure with open-label MDMA. Decrease in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores from baseline was significantly greater for the group that received MDMA than for the placebo group at all three time points after baseline. The rate of clinical response was 10/12 (83%) in the active treatment group versus 2/8 (25%) in the placebo group. There were no drug-related serious adverse events, adverse neurocognitive effects or clinically significant blood pressure increases. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be administered to posttraumatic stress disorder patients without evidence of harm, and it may be useful in patients refractory to other treatments. PMID:20643699

  6. Neurotoxic effects of ecstasy on the thalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Win, Maartje M L; Jager, Gerry; Booij, Jan; Reneman, Liesbeth; Schilt, Thelma; Lavini, Cristina; Olabarriaga, Sílvia D; Ramsey, Nick F; Heeten, Gerard J den; van den Brink, Wim

    2008-10-01

    Neurotoxic effects of ecstasy have been reported, although it remains unclear whether effects can be attributed to ecstasy, other recreational drugs or a combination of these. To assess specific/independent neurotoxic effects of heavy ecstasy use and contributions of amphetamine, cocaine and cannabis as part of The Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) study. Effects of ecstasy and other substances were assessed with (1)H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, perfusion weighted imaging and [(123)I]2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)-tropane ([(123)I]beta-CIT) single photon emission computed tomography (serotonin transporters) in a sample (n=71) with broad variation in drug use, using multiple regression analyses. Ecstasy showed specific effects in the thalamus with decreased [(123)I]beta-CIT binding, suggesting serotonergic axonal damage; decreased fractional anisotropy, suggesting axonal loss; and increased cerebral blood volume probably caused by serotonin depletion. Ecstasy had no effect on brain metabolites and apparent diffusion coefficients. Converging evidence was found for a specific toxic effect of ecstasy on serotonergic axons in the thalamus.

  7. Reversibility of ecstasy-induced reduction in serotonin transporter availability in polydrug ecstasy users

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchert, Ralph; Wilke, Florian; Nebeling, Bruno; Clausen, Malte; Thomasius, Rainer; Petersen, Kay; Obrocki, Jost; Wartberg, Lutz; Zapletalova, Pavlina

    2006-01-01

    Animal data suggest that the synthetic drug ecstasy may damage brain serotonin neurons. Previously we reported protracted reductions in the availability of the serotonin transporter (SERT), an index of integrity of the axon terminals of brain serotonergic neurons, in SERT-rich brain regions in current human ecstasy users. Comparison of current ecstasy users and former ecstasy users yielded some evidence that this reduction might be reversible. However, participant selection effects could not be ruled out. Therefore, follow-up examinations were performed in these subjects to test the following a priori hypothesis in a prospective longitudinal design that eliminates participant selection effects to a large extent: availability of the SERT increases towards normal levels when ecstasy use is stopped, and remains unchanged or is further decreased if use is continued. Two follow-up positron emission tomography measurements using the SERT ligand [ 11 C](+)McN5652 were completed by 15 current and nine former ecstasy users. All subjects used illicit drugs other than ecstasy, too. The time interval between repeated measurements was about 1 year. The time course of the availability of the SERT was analysed in the following SERT-rich regions: mesencephalon, putamen, caudate and thalamus. Current ecstasy users showed a consistent increase in the availability of the SERT in the mesencephalon during the study (Friedman test: p=0.010), which most likely was caused by a decrease in the intensity of ecstasy consumption (Spearman correlation coefficient -0.725, p=0.002). Former ecstasy users showed a consistent increase in SERT availability in the thalamus (Friedman test: p=0.006). Ecstasy-induced protracted alterations in the availability of the SERT might be reversible. (orig.)

  8. Reversibility of ecstasy-induced reduction in serotonin transporter availability in polydrug ecstasy users

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buchert, Ralph; Wilke, Florian; Nebeling, Bruno; Clausen, Malte [University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hamburg (Germany); Thomasius, Rainer; Petersen, Kay; Obrocki, Jost; Wartberg, Lutz; Zapletalova, Pavlina [University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hamburg (Germany)

    2006-02-01

    Animal data suggest that the synthetic drug ecstasy may damage brain serotonin neurons. Previously we reported protracted reductions in the availability of the serotonin transporter (SERT), an index of integrity of the axon terminals of brain serotonergic neurons, in SERT-rich brain regions in current human ecstasy users. Comparison of current ecstasy users and former ecstasy users yielded some evidence that this reduction might be reversible. However, participant selection effects could not be ruled out. Therefore, follow-up examinations were performed in these subjects to test the following a priori hypothesis in a prospective longitudinal design that eliminates participant selection effects to a large extent: availability of the SERT increases towards normal levels when ecstasy use is stopped, and remains unchanged or is further decreased if use is continued. Two follow-up positron emission tomography measurements using the SERT ligand [{sup 11}C](+)McN5652 were completed by 15 current and nine former ecstasy users. All subjects used illicit drugs other than ecstasy, too. The time interval between repeated measurements was about 1 year. The time course of the availability of the SERT was analysed in the following SERT-rich regions: mesencephalon, putamen, caudate and thalamus. Current ecstasy users showed a consistent increase in the availability of the SERT in the mesencephalon during the study (Friedman test: p=0.010), which most likely was caused by a decrease in the intensity of ecstasy consumption (Spearman c