Every discussant at the Novartis symposium was invited to submit a 250-word abstract, giving their views upon the question: ‘Is MDMA a human neurotoxin?’. These abstracts are presented here. They illustrate a wide range of viewpoints and opinions, as might be expected from experts in such diverse fields: animal neuroscience, human cognitive testing, police pathology laboratory, psychotherapeutic institute and psychiatric hospital. Some abstracts emphasized the methodological weaknesses of the human empirical data: the uncertain nature of ‘Ecstasy’ tablets, the reliance on self-report data, and the contributory factors of heat, dancing/exertion, poor diet and other illicit drugs. These factors may lead to psychobiological changes, which could be misinterpreted as neural damage. The absence of gliosis in animal models was also noted, which led to suggestions that there might be alternative interpretations for the neural changes which have been observed in rats and monkeys. Others noted the absence of neural/behavioural change following a single Ecstasy tablet, or commented upon the therapeutic benefits of MDMA in a quiet supportive environment. Nevertheless, novel studies from England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Wales confirmed and extended the range of cognitive, behavioural, EEG and neurological deficits, displayed by drug-free Ecstasy users. Moreover, these deficits often remained when other illicit drug use was statistically controlled. In conclusion: If MDMA neurotoxicity in humans is a myth, then it is a myth with a heavy serotonergic component.
© 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
Published online: 6/29/2000
Issue release date: June 2000
Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0
ISSN: 0302-282X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0224 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NPS
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.