Re: virus: Ecstasy causes long-term brain damage: study

Sodom (
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 13:23:10 -0400

Just a note Tim, Everything you say there is consistent with my understanding of the drug. I dont think that Richard meant to be instilling fear, at least that would not be consistent with his past behaviour. I suspect that he is simply noting that MDMA abuse can lead to problems, as any substance can.

As for the positive effects of MDMA, I dont think any rational person can point a finger at MDMA and say "Now there is an evil drug" The positive effects of MDMA are much more recorded than any negative effects. I was under the impression that MDMA became a schedule 1 drug when Ronald Reagan found out how popular it was becoming in psychiatric circles as a pleasure drug. Obviously Ronnie the Red Baiter was not thinking too clearly and by criminalizing this drug, caused a great deal of pain and suffering when it could have been stopped. WooHoo - thanks to THEM, another beneficial invention has been crushed and criminalized.

Bill Roh

Tim Rhodes wrote:

> Richard forwarded:
> >Ecstasy causes long-term brain damage: study
> >Experiments on monkeys showed that as little as four days of using
> >Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, can cause damage that persists for up
> >to seven years.
> >
> Your spreading bad memes again, Richard.
> This blatant mis-information and scare tactics. (Which is nothing new from
> the National Institute on Drug Abuse--a policy arm of the DEA.) It's little
> more than shameless propaganda in the cause of their Drug War. And as you
> would expect, what they don't tell is as important as what they do.
> For instance, a little publicized sociological study conducted by Jerry
> Beck, Ph.D for the NIDA at a cost of over $200,000 (of your money) found
> that:
> "Based on MDMA's reputed qualities, one might assume that a significant
> number of users would eventually experience major problems resulting from
> abuse and/or dependence in the pursuit of "Ecstasy". However, the low levels
> of such problems seen with MDMA are perhaps best explained by limiting
> factors intrinsic to the experience itself."
> Yet these types of results seldom make it to the media.
> The study sited in the article you point to is ten years old and well know
> (McBean et al, 1990). Its results are inconclusive with regards to humans.
> It used intervienous MDMA in doses a hunderd times greater than human use,
> administered directly into the monkeys brain, rather than being absorbed
> orally. So it's a small wonder they got those results.
> For current research underway using MDMA in humans check:
> For a review of FDA approved human toxicity trials and their results
> (including MRI imaging) check:
> Harbor-UCLA MDMA Research Phase 1 (1995)
> MDMA Research Update: Phases 1 and 2 (1996):
> As for MDMA'a neurotoxicity, it has been known since 1993 that the use of
> seritonin re-uptake inhibitors (such a Prozac) up to six hours AFTER the use
> of MDMA effectively neutralizes any possibility of serotonin changes.
> "If someone were seriously concerned about neutralizing the possibility of
> serotonin changes, (though I think the evidence doesn't justify the effort),
> animal research has shown that combining the prescription drug Prozac with
> MDMA prevents neurotoxicity, even when Prozac is taken up to six hours after
> the MDMA. This works because Prozac binds to the same serotonin re-uptake
> sites which can be damaged by MDMA metabolites (though only when MDMA is
> administered at doses higher than the standard therapeutic or non-medical
> amount). The presence of Prozac at the re-uptake sites prevents the
> neurotoxic MDMA metabolites from binding, eliminating its potential effect
> on the re-uptake sites. An interesting paper by Dr. McCann and Dr. Ricaurte
> discusses the effects of the MDMA/Prozac combination (Journal of Clinical
> Psychopharmacology, 13 (3): pp. 214-217, 1993.)"
> MDMA Neurotoxicity Update (1994)
> Another excerpt from the same article:
> "The results of Dr. Ricaurte and Dr. McCann's multi-year study were first
> presented at a neurosciences conference in mid-November,1993 and will be
> reported on in more detail in the next issue of the MAPS newsletter. The
> study found that the MDMA-experienced group had on average 30% lower levels
> of a serotonin metabolite in their spinal fluid than did the control group.
> Interestingly enough, the only functional and behavioral differences between
> the MDMA group and the controls were that the MDMA users "reported less
> impulsive and hostile personality traits, and greater constraint and
> control". As Drs. Ricaurte and McCann point out, these differences are
> generally considered positive. Furthermore, these findings are perplexing in
> that the generally held view is that lower serotonin levels lead to more
> hostile and impulsive behavior, not less. As with most MDMA neurotoxicity
> studies so far, this one raises more questions than it resolves. More
> research is required to sort out the findings."
> One of the things the NIDA does not like to discuss is why MDMA is a
> Schedule 1 drug (in the same catagory as heroin) when it has been shown
> effective in combination with psychotherapy in treatment of tramas.
> Schedule 1 drugs are suppose to have no clinical use whatsover and a very
> high incidence of abuse. They cannot be used in ANY clinical trials
> (without special permission from the FDA) as a result of this clasification.
> Yet MDMA has shown no evidence of abuse and in trials in Switzerland from
> 1988-93 showed great promise when combined with psychotherapy:
> "Patients were asked if they experienced any changes both during and after
> treatment and, if so, what the quality of those changes were. During their
> course of therapy, good improvement was reported by 46.3%, slight
> improvement was reported by 38.8%, no change was reported by 5.8%, and
> slight deterioration was reported by 4.2%. Five percent said they
> experienced fluctuating changes, with both improvement and deterioration.
> After their period of treatment, good improvement was reported by 65%,
> slight improvement was reported by 25.6%, no change was reported by 4.1%,
> and slight deterioration was reported by 2.5%. Two and a half percent said
> they experienced fluctuating changes, with both improvement and
> deterioration.
> "To summarize, the percentage of patients who considered themselves to have
> experienced good improvement or slight improvement during their psycholytic
> treatment was 85.1%. After treatment, that percentage climbed to 90.9%. As a
> point of comparison, in a follow-up study undertaken by Mascher (1967) in
> Germany, 62% of the 82 patients treated by Leuner et al. considered
> themselves to have experienced good improvement or slight improvement."
> As with anything you put in your body, users should be well informed of the
> data out there and the research being done and make an informed decision
> based on as much information as possible.
> -Prof. Tim