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Author Topic: MDMA: Introduction, Effects of the Brain and in Pregnancy  (Read 4621 times)

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MDMA: Introduction, Effects of the Brain and in Pregnancy
« on: July 07, 2019, 11:13:29 AM »
master source:

I love MDMA and encourage only rare / sporadic use such as in therapy and the odd love-in. Chemical love; I used it in the late 80's when it was legal and I'm fine  :P (or am I ?  ::))


3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as Molly, Ecstasy, or X, continues to be used by millions of Americans across the country. This illegal drug is often taken for the feelings of well-being, stimulation, and distortions in time and sensory perceptions that it produces.

MDMA first became popular in the all-night party scene (e.g., “raves”),but its use has now spread to a wide range of settings. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 18 million people in the United States have tried MDMA at least once in their lifetime.

MDMA is a synthetic drug that became popular in the 1980s, leading researchers to begin investigating its effects. Their efforts identified a number of potentially serious negative side effects. For example, MDMA can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature that can be fatal in some environments.

MDMA can also stress the heart, increasing heart rate and blood pressure and can damage the kidneys.

Animal studies show that MDMA may also damage specific neurons in the brain,10–12 but research on MDMA’s effects on the human brain is not conclusive at this time.13 However, a number of studies show that long-term, heavy MDMA use is associated with cognitive deficits, including problems with learning and memory.14


What are MDMA’s effects on the brain ?

MDMA’s Effects on Serotonin, Dopamine and NorepinephrineWiki.

MDMA increases levels of these neurotransmitters within the synapse by enhancing their release from nerve endings and/or inhibiting their reuptake.

MDMA affects the brain by increasing the activity of at least three neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers of brain cells): serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Like other amphetamines, MDMA enhances release of these neurotransmitters and/or blocks their reuptake, resulting in increased neurotransmitter levels within the synaptic cleft (the space between the neurons at a synapse).

MDMA causes greater release of serotonin and norepinephrine than of dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep, pain, appetite, and other behaviors.

The excess release of serotonin by MDMA likely causes the mood-elevating effects people experience.

However, by releasing large amounts of serotonin, MDMA causes the brain to become significantly depleted of this important neurotransmitter, contributing to the negative psychological aftereffects that people may experience for several days after taking MDMA.

Reduced Serotonin in Cerebral Cortex Neurons Following Long-term MDMA Exposure

The left panel is brain tissue from a normal monkey. The middle and right panels illustrate the loss of serotonin-containing nerve endings following MDMA exposure.

Research in rodents and primates has shown that moderate to high doses of MDMA, given twice daily for four days, damages nerve cells that contain serotonin.

MDMA-exposed primates showed reduced numbers of serotonergic neurons 7 years later, indicating that some of MDMA’s effect on the brain can be long lasting.

MDMA has additional effects on the serotonin system. For example, 1 to 2 weeks following binge-dosing with MDMA (three or four low doses in one day), rats showed decreased expression of the serotonin transporter, a protein that allows cells to take up and recycle released serotonin. The rats also showed changes in the expression of genes that regulate tryptophan hydroxylase, an enzyme involved in serotonin synthesis.

Low serotonin is associated with poor memory and depressed mood, thus these findings are consistent with studies in humans that have shown that some people who use MDMA regularly experience confusion, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and impairment of memory and attention processes.

In addition, studies have found that the extent of MDMA use in humans correlates with a decrease in serotonin metabolites and other markers of serotonin function and the degree of memory impairment.

In addition, MDMA’s effects on norepinephrine contribute to the cognitive impairment, emotional excitation, and euphoria that accompanies MDMA use.

Positron emission tomographyWiki (PET) brain imaging studies of people who have stopped using MDMA have shown decreases in brain activity at rest in prefrontal, parietal, and mediotemporal cortices as well as in the amygdala, cingulate, and hippocampus. These are brain regions involved in learning, memory, and emotion formation and processing.

PET imaging also showed that one low dose of MDMA increased cerebral blood in the ventromedial frontalWiki and occipital cortexWiki and inferior temporal lobeWiki and cerebellum.

It decreased cerebral blood flow in the motor and somatosensory cortex, amygdala, cingulate cortex, insulaWiki, and thalamus.

These are brain regions involved in emotion formation and processing, behavioral learning, and sensory and motor function.

Few imaging studies have explored the effects of moderate MDMA use on the human brain, and results that do exist are inconsistent due to methodological differences across studies.

More studies are needed to determine whether the observed changes in brain activity in people who use MDMA are caused by MDMA, other drug use, or other common risk factors that predispose people to use MDMA.

Additionally, most studies in people do not have behavioral measures from before MDMA use started, making it difficult to rule out pre-existing differences or common underlying risk factors across groups that are separate from MDMA use.

Factors such as gender, dosage, frequency and intensity of use, age at which use began, and the use of other drugs, as well as genetic and environmental factors all may play a role in some of the cognitive deficits associated with MDMA use and should be taken into consideration when studying the effects of MDMA in humans.

Effects of MDMA

Potential Acute Adverse Health Effects:

Marked rise in body temperature (hyperthermia)
Electrolyte (sodium) imbalance
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding
Muscle or joint stiffness
Lack of appetite
Illogical or disorganized thoughts
Restless legs
Hot flashes or chills
Panic attacks
Loss of consciousness
Kidney failure
Swelling of the brain

Potential Longer Term Health Effects (including those observed days or weeks post-MDMA use):

Arrythmia (irregular heart beat) and heart damage
Impaired attention and memory
Sleep disturbances
Concentration difficulties
Lack of appetite
Heart disease
Decreased cognitive function


Can MDMA use during pregnancy harm the baby ?

Given that most people who use MDMA are young and in their reproductive years,50 some females may use MDMA when pregnant.

Research suggests that MDMA may have adverse effects on the developing fetus. One study in humans showed that prenatal MDMA exposure was associated with motor delays in the offspring up to 2 years after birth. More research is needed to determine if these delays persist later in life.

Behavioral studies in animals have found significant adverse effects on tests of learning and memory following exposure to MDMA during a developmental period equivalent to the latter portion of the third trimester in humans.

These changes are paralleled by long-lasting changes in brain regions underlying learning and memory.

There is less research into the effects of MDMA on animals earlier in development—that is, during the period equivalent to the first trimester in humans. One study showed that MDMA exposure during this developmental period produces increased motor activity and changes in serotonin and dopamine function in rodents.

In addition, rats prenatally exposed to MDMA and alcohol showed decreased exploratory activity, impaired working memory, and impaired neuronal development into adulthood, although the contribution of MDMA alone was not determined.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 11:40:14 AM by Chip »
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