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Table of Contents
Vol. 42, No. 1, 2000
Issue release date: June 2000
Section title: Paper
Neuropsychobiology 2000;42:42–48
(DOI:10.1159/000026669)

‘Is MDMA a Human Neurotoxin?’:Diverse Views from the Discussants

Turner J.J.D. · Parrott A.C.
Department of Psychology, University of East London, London, UK

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: 6/29/2000

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

Abstract

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.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: 6/29/2000

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


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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 goverment 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.
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