Another study conducted regarding the affects caused by MDMA use is an experiment on memory impairment. 48 test subjects were used, 24 MDMA users and 24 non-users.

All subjects abstained from recreational drugs for 2 weeks prior to the test to remove the possibility of drugs affecting test results. [3] This 2 week abstinence was confirmed by blood and urine screens. The tests included were the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) which is composed of 13 parts, each measuring different aspects of memory, the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure(RCF),a visual memory test, and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), a verbal memory test. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was also used to test verbal ability. These memory tests were sorted into 4 criteria. These were immediate verbal memory, immediate visual memory, delayed verbal memory and delayed visual memory. [3]This shows the relation between MDMA dose (100mg = one ecstasy tablet) and delayed visual memory for low vocabulary (circles) and high vocabulary (squares) groups.

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When z = 0, this represents the mean performance of the control group, therefore, the lower the score, the poorer the performance. [3] This experiment concluded that users of MDMA have poorer scores in visual and verbal memory, and also that higher doses of MDMA shows progressively lower results in these tests. In the subjects, reductions in CSF 5-hydroxylindoleacetic acid, which tracks serotonin function in the brain, were shown. These results were gathered by liquid chromatography.

[3] These types of impaired memory symptoms are also prevalent in former heavy ecstasy users, which enhances the evidence that ecstasy does cause long term damage with regards to memory functions. [8]Discussion.It is known that MDMA causes problems in the production of serotonin in non-human primates, which share a lot of the same physiology as humans. [2][3][9] This has hit the science world with mixed views, with sceptics believing that because MDMA is an illegal substance, some scientists have already made up their mind about MDMA, selectively using experiments and evidence that does show ecstasy to have adverse effects, but discounting reports which show the contrary. [5] Most of the scientific studies, however, conclude that methylenedioxymethamphetamine does cause brain damage in one form or another.It has been reported that it causes psychological problems as well as problems in memory. It is well publicised that MDMA causes a drop in the level of serotonin transporters which assist in functions such as memory and emotional stability in the short-term.

[2]-[9] But there is much less evidence that it causes long-term damage, however there are a few reports that show psychological effects and memory deficiencies 7 years after heavily using the drug. [8]The adverse effects are also disputed because of the proposed clinical uses of the drug. Some people believe that the benefits could potentially outweigh the benefits, such as in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It is reported to reduce the tremors in Parkinson’s sufferers which can make day-to-day tasks almost impossible. [10]Despite the possible benefits, there is no doubt that MDMA cause’s damage to serotonin transporters in the human brain, as well as long-term damage (;1 year) in non-human primates. As it affects important chemical transporters such as serotonin, it could have the ability to cause emotional damage and cause mental illnesses, and physical damage such as memory loss. The fact that some of humans’ closest relatives suffer long term damage and some humans have also suffered long-term damage, the damage to primates should be used as reliable evidence that MDMA causes serotonergic neurones to be damaged.

References.1. Freudenmann R. W.

, F. Oxler, S. Bernschneider-Reif. 2006. The origin of MDMA (ecstasy) revisited: the true story reconstructed from the original documents. Addiction 101(9): 1241-45.

2. McCann, U. D., Z. Szabo, U. Scheffel, R. F.Dannals, G.

A. Ricaurte. 1998. Positron emission tomographic evidence of toxic effect of MDMA (“Ecstasy”) on brain serotonin neurones in human beings.

Lancet 352: 1433-37.3. Bolla, K. I., U. D. McCann, G. A Ricaurte.

1998. Memory impairment in abstinent MDMA (“Ecstasy”) users. Neurology 51:1532-1537.


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