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    Ecstasy brain damage? 
    #1
    I'm so tired of ill informed people claiming that ecstasy causes brain damage. It has been known for quite a while that the major studies that made that claim have been rejected. Two were caught in outright lies.

    A moderator here still believes that the scientific community thinks that ecstasy causes brain damage. I really thought that this was common knowledge with all the publications disputing the claim.

    Here is a little clarification from MAPS. Buy it or not, know this, there is no more recent information available. MAPS is doing clinical trials in the US that found no brain damage, that is in 2009. You can read it on their web site.

    http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.ap...4&docType=GSRC

    Switzerland recently did studies as well and Germany did drug impact studies that originally called in to question the US government surveys. Both found no correlation between MDMA and brain damage.

    Click the drop down menus to see the results of the medical trials.
    http://www.maps.org/mdma/

    I wish I could find links to David Nutt's work. Unfortunately alarmists and anti drug politics keep people uninformed and make sure the anti ecstasy alarmism gets heard and not eh rebuttals. Unfortunately, this site seams to contain a few people who are alarmist and willing to suppress the evidence.
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-...15218451?f=rss

    Make any claim you want but David Nutt and his panel of 40 drug scientists are more credible then any one disputing his claims on this site and all of the English parliament that suppressed him.
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter FlippingTop's Avatar
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    Does it not depend on what exactly you refer to as 'brain damage'?

    Ecstacy abuse does lead to long term negative effects in people; anxiety, sleep problems, depression. These problems are sometimes permenant. I have seen it and there are loads of reports on here about long term problems. The fact is we don't know exactly what MDMA does, but that with safe, moderate use usually no lingering problems that impact day to day activities are reported.

    The new scientist had a nice article on it earlier in the year:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-revealed.html
     

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by FlippingTop View Post
    Does it not depend on what exactly you refer to as 'brain damage'?

    Ecstacy abuse does lead to long term negative effects in people; anxiety, sleep problems, depression. These problems are sometimes permenant. I have seen it and there are loads of reports on here about long term problems. The fact is we don't know exactly what MDMA does, but that with safe, moderate use usually no lingering problems are reported.
    I agree and disagree, yes ecstasy can cause long term problems we don't know about. It can probably cause the symptoms you mentioned. But there is no proof and never was. I'm not saying it is a vitamin, it is a drug but as we know, it has the lowest long term side effects of any of the major drugs.

    The symptoms you mentioned could be cause by heavy use of ecstasy, it could be caused by Ketamine or Meth or Meph or any of the other club drugs people take with ecstasy. E tends to get the blame, but in a scientifically isolated enviroment, no evidence of brain damage has been legitimately found.

    People who claim brain damage also want me to prove god doesn't exist... Sorry the burden is on you, you can not unquestioningly prove some thing doesn't exist. Just make a rational decision when all signs point that way.
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter F1n1shed's Avatar
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    Sorry but the symptoms of ecstasy use and long term problems are things we do know about.. not the other way around. And the symptoms he mentioned I will tell you right now WILL 100% happen with heavy use and could possibly happen with light and moderate use as it happened to me for a while ( FUCK ). See felix you have to understand, I am not trying to put you down or try to deny you at all but E is something that is of concern with me. You know why? because i used it moderately and had mostly tested pills through out my sessions and still had to deal with some negatives. Sure i had 1 or 2 fairly dirty pills but ill tell you right now those did not cause the problems, they caused horrible comedowns which i dealt with and then it was gone. Also anxiety is proven to be related to low levels of serotonin so there is one right there that is directly related to E. Wonder why you are more anxious after every roll and why your weed highs are different after every time you roll, its because your anxiety levels have increased due to low serotonin levels. Dont believe me? you probably don't watch this quick vid
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToSNC8levLg
    Also during the time while I was rolling I would randomly wake up in the middle of the night with a pretty fast heart rate and it would come out of no where, sometimes happening 5 times in a single night. I would have these random anxiety attacks where it would feel like i don't really have control over my mind or thoughts.This would become a ton worse sometimes when i was high and it would sometimes be uncontrollable. Also I just don't feel like i use to before, like i do have a subtle head change as bben was talking about in his post. Its hard to describe but i can tell you, something just doesn't feel right. There are more, but you get the picture and many people can relate to me. Felix you can keep finding studies supporting your claims but know that E does cause some form of damage on the serotonin system ( destruction of serotonin axon terminals ) and also drastically changes brain chemistry even if it is for the short term. I have more to say but I am off to light up a non neurotoxic natural drug called marijuana where there are no long term damage or permanent affects even after abuse :P (maybe just a tad)
     

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    #5
    Bluelighter Juice.'s Avatar
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    I agree that the neurotoxic effects are still grossly overstated, and that is because the myths associated with the propaganda effort of the late 90's/early 00's are still lingering.


    Long-Term Effects of "Ecstasy" Use on Serotonin Transporters of the Brain Investigated by PET
    Graph

    This study, published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, showed that long term users of MDMA have normalized serotonin function after 2-3 months of abstinence. So it seems that, not only does MDMA use only cause minor serotonergic damage, but it is reversible.

    Many people say that oxidized stress is the main problem with MDMA use. Since your body is capable of handling the free radical load on its own to a certain extent, the damage only begins once your antioxidant reserves are depleted. We have all seen the studies that show that when rats are given very high doses of Alpha Lipoic Acid and other antioxidants before a dose of MDMA, they appear to have no serotonergic damage. I want to see those results replicated in humans.

    In my opinion, the main issue with MDMA isn't oxidized stress, which can be prevented, or damage to serotonin transporters, which is reversible, but receptor downregulation. If you take too much ecstasy too often, the brain will temporarily make itself less susceptible to serotonin. That is why we lose the magic and why it is necessary to take 2 month long breaks. So yes, MDMA can be a very safe drug to take if used sparingly, but abuse can cause issues.
    Last edited by Juice.; 06-01-2010 at 21:50.
     

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    #6
    Bluelighter Juice.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1n1shed View Post
    Sorry but the symptoms of ecstasy use and long term problems are things we do know about.. not the other way around. And the symptoms he mentioned I will tell you right now WILL 100% happen with heavy use and could possibly happen with light and moderate use as it happened to me for a while ( FUCK ). See felix you have to understand, I am not trying to put you down or try to deny you at all but E is something that is of concern with me. You know why? because i used it moderately and had mostly tested pills through out my sessions and still had to deal with some negatives. Sure i had 1 or 2 fairly dirty pills but ill tell you right now those did not cause the problems, they caused horrible comedowns which i dealt with and then it was gone. Also anxiety is proven to be related to low levels of serotonin so there is one right there that is directly related to E. Wonder why you are more anxious after every roll and why your weed highs are different after every time you roll, its because your anxiety levels have increased due to low serotonin levels. Dont believe me? you probably don't watch this quick vid
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToSNC8levLg
    Also during the time while I was rolling I would randomly wake up in the middle of the night with a pretty fast heart rate and it would come out of no where, sometimes happening 5 times in a single night. I would have these random anxiety attacks where it would feel like i don't really have control over my mind or thoughts.This would become a ton worse sometimes when i was high and it would sometimes be uncontrollable. Also I just don't feel like i use to before, like i do have a subtle head change as bben was talking about in his post. Its hard to describe but i can tell you, something just doesn't feel right. There are more, but you get the picture and many people can relate to me. Felix you can keep finding studies supporting your claims but know that E does cause some form of damage on the serotonin system ( destruction of serotonin axon terminals ) and also drastically changes brain chemistry even if it is for the short term. I have more to say but I am off to light up a non neurotoxic natural drug called marijuana where there are no long term damage or permanent affects even after abuse :P (maybe just a tad)
    It's very likely that you already had psychological issues before taking MDMA. I've taken MDMA 11 times in my life, and I have never experienced any of the ill-effects you describe.

    I have never had a bad comedown. I do not feel anxious or depressed in the days following MDMA use. In fact, I feel positive and happy, I reflect on the good time I had and all the girls I met.

    MDMA has not destroyed my short term memory or my ability to learn. I'm a Biology major at the University of Utah. I currently have a 3.6 GPA (after one semester) and I got a 28 on my ACT. MDMA has not made me a depressed slob with constant anxiety attacks. I have never had mood issues, before or after taking MDMA.

    MDMA has however cured me of chorophobia (fear of social dancing), and greatly improved my ability to empathize and socialize. My point is, for every story of someone getting "fucked" on MDMA, there is another one of someone who has only benefited from using it.
     

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    #7
    MDMA can cause pretty major brain damage. It all depends on the dose.
    There is way more evidence for neurotoxicity than against at this point.

    Talk to people that have abused MDMA and only MDMA and say it doesnt cause brain damage.

    Obviously it doesnt harm everyone so fucking congradulations, you got lucky. That doesnt mean it cant. I really hope the OP continues to take ecstasy thinking its safe. I really hope you do. Maybe one day youll wake and not feel quite right, and from then on its downhill. You cant understand unless youve experienced it.

    So to Op please continue to take X and hopefully you will suffer damage so you can stop being so ignorant.

    Anyway if you take X in low doses of like 50mg and dont mix it or do it often you can negate alot of the damage but not all. Just because you dont notice damage occuring doesnt mean it doesnt happen. Compensating measures kick in within the brain to make up for losses.
     

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    #8
    Yeah, so you made another account? Let us see your proof...
     

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    #9
    there isnt any proof, but proof isnt needed. Just because there isnt concrete proof about something doesnt mean it isnt true. Its really just common sense in this case.

    Please go drop 1000 mgs of MDMA and come back and post. Tell me it isnt neurotoxic and that you are fine. Dont take any antioxidants with it either. Take it alone.

    If you think its not neurotoxic you should have 0 problems in doing this.

    I think MDMA can be reasonably safe at low low doses. At high doses IT IS neurotoxic period. I dont need any study to know thats true. I have buddies that are so fucked up its not even funny from mdma.
     

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    #10
    Bluelight Crew MazDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix77 View Post
    I'm so tired of ill informed people claiming that ecstasy causes brain damage.

    A moderator here still believes that the scientific community thinks that ecstasy causes brain damage. .


    You really are a goose arent you.

    You have been unable to produce any evidence that mdma does NOT cause brain damage at all.

    Any fool will know that there simply has not been enough study done and enough time elapsed to be able to state conclusively that mdma does not cause brain damage.

    This is a harm reduction site and we pride ourselves on being able to provide the truth and the truth is that there simply is not enough known at this stage.

    For anyone to make a blanket statement that mdma does not cause any brain damage is absolute lunacy.
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter F1n1shed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bben View Post
    there isnt any proof, but proof isnt needed. Just because there isnt concrete proof about something doesnt mean it isnt true. Its really just common sense in this case.

    Please go drop 1000 mgs of MDMA and come back and post. Tell me it isnt neurotoxic and that you are fine. Dont take any antioxidants with it either. Take it alone.

    If you think its not neurotoxic you should have 0 problems in doing this.

    I think MDMA can be reasonably safe at low low doses. At high doses IT IS neurotoxic period. I dont need any study to know thats true. I have buddies that are so fucked up its not even funny from mdma.
    tell em how it is bben, this shit is not a joke. I fuck around with alot of substances NOTHING makes u feel so drastically different after a single dose, ill say it again and again and again for some of your blocked brains. Sure a lot of other substances are neurotoxic as well I'm not saying their not, but i really think E holds a place as the highest or most brain damaging dose per dose. Ill drink every single week end to blindly drunk amounts, and you can take 1 clean tested pill every week end. end of the month mark or 6 month mark or year mark, no matter what I will guarantee much more damage and changes from your E use. This will consist of more anxiety on your part, more cognitive retardation as i like to call it, more sleep problems, more memory problems, more depression, even a psychotic episode will probably build. As with all of those things your serotonin levels will be low as fuck all the time and it would probably take 6 months absence at Minimum to sort of repair the damage. You can use E and suffer very small minimal effects but you have to take it truly on a blue moon as in ( 3 times a year max.)
     

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    #12
    Apparently my link doesn't work unless signed in to the University library. Here is my lack of proof...

    The Harmfulness of Ecstasy Has Been Exaggerated

    Table of Contents: Further Readings

    Rick Doblin, "Exaggerating MDMA’s Risks to Justify a Prohibitionist Policy," www.maps.org, January 16, 2004. Copyright 2004 by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Reproduced by permission.

    Rick Doblin is founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a research and educational organization that sponsors clinical studies designed to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the use of MDMA (Ecstasy) as a prescription medicine.

    Flawed research has been conducted to purposely mislead the public and scientific community regarding the risks of using Ecstasy. Exaggerating the dangers of using Ecstasy has successfully halted research into the possible therapeutic uses of the drug. Further, overstating the drug's harmfulness has led to excessive antirave legislation and increased criminal penalties for using it. The harmful effects of recreational use of Ecstasy can be mitigated by the judicious use of effective harm reduction techniques, such as adequate hydration and prevention of overheating. Only scientifically accurate, politically unbiased research into the effects of the drug on the human brain will provide answers as to the true risks and benefits of Ecstasy.

    The Ricaurte et al. retraction of their article claiming that MDMA [Ecstasy] causes Parkinson's, originally published in Science in September 2002 and retracted in September 2003, has created a unique opportunity for an interwoven series of challenges to the perception that any use of MDMA is exceptionally risky and dangerous. This perception has been created in the minds of the general public, regulators and lawmakers by NIDA/ONDCP/DEA/[National Institute on Drug Abuse/Office of National Drug Control Policy/Drug Enforcement Administration] Partnership for a Drug-Free America. According to this dominant but misleading view, even a single or a few uses can cause significant long-term brain damage with important deleterious functional consequences. From a scientific perspective, however, claims about the negative effects of MDMA on dopamine, serotonin and cerebral blood flow, by Drs. [George M.] Ricaurte, and [Unal D.] McCann and Dr. Alan Leshner, ex-Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, respectively, have either been retracted, shown to contain major methodological flaws, or are clearly misleading.

    The controversy surrounding the retraction provides some relatively easy ways to explain how scientific information has been misleadingly presented by grant-addicted scientists and prohibitionists and has facilitated the ramping up of the penalties against the non-medical use of MDMA, the efforts to shut down the rave movement, and the pressure to prevent research into the therapeutic uses of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Fortunately, the new NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow seems likely to live up to a statement she made in an August 19, 2003, New York Times interview, in which she said "If you want to be a scientist, you cannot allow politics to get in the way of your objectivity."

    Erroneous findings

    Ricaurte/McCann now acknowledge that their evidence about MDMA damaging dopamine neurons was erroneous (Ricaurte et al. 2003) and was based on the mistaken administration to their primates of methamphetamine instead of MDMA, supposedly due to mislabeled 10 gram bottles of MDMA and methamphetamine which arrived from the same provider in the same package. A September 18, 2003 editorial in Nature asked NIDA Director Nora Volkow to conduct a "thorough public review" of the circumstances and participant's roles in one of the more bizzare episodes in the history of drug research. The Nature editorial also accused former NIDA Director Leshner, now Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes Science, of "pander[ing] to the Bush administration's jihad against recreational drug use." The accusation was based in part on his hyperbolic statements in the press release that Science issued to draw attention to the original article, in which he said, "Using Ecstasy is like playing Russian roulette with your brain function." A September 18, 2003 news report in The Scientist mentions that Ricaurte/McCann have retracted a second paper and reports that two senior British scientists have demanded that Science investigate its review of the original article and release the comments of the peer reviewers.

    An October 14, 2003 article in Lancet Neurology reports that MAPS [Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies] has filed a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request with NIDA seeking more data on Ricaurte/McCann's other recent NIDA-funded research in order to determine whether additional studies need to be retracted. To date, Ricaurte et al. have accounted for less than 2 11/44 grams of the 10 grams of methamphetamine that was contained in the original bottle mislabeled MDMA, all of which was used in research before the mislabeling was discovered. No accounting has yet been made of which studies used the MDMA from the bottle mislabeled methamphetamine.

    Since MAPS is seeking to conduct FDA [Food and Drug Administration]-approved research in which MDMA is administered to human subjects, our FOIA request also seeks the release of more details about the design and results of Dr. Ricaurte and McCann's subsequent studies that they mention in their retraction, in which they administered genuine MDMA to primates, both orally and by injection, and found no evidence of dopaminergic neurotoxicity. These studies can provide data that bears directly on the estimation of the risk of dopaminergic neurotoxicity to subjects in the human research that MAPS is seeking to conduct.

    Anti-Ecstasy bias

    Ricaurte/McCann's anti-Ecstasy bias is now more clearly visible. In their original Science paper with its surprising results, the authors ignored three published human studies showing no effect of MDMA on dopamine, claimed that they administered the equivalent of a "common recreational dose regime" despite a reported 20% mortality rate in their primates (later modified to a 13.3% death rate when Ricaurte et al. admitted that they actually used 5 more animals than they reported to gather the data for their original Science article), and ignored their own research showing that oral administration of MDMA is less neurotoxic than the injection of MDMA. These and other criticisms of the original study were published in Science in a letter written by the MAPS MDMA/PTSD [Posttraumatic Stress Disorder] research team.

    Ricaurte et al.'s retraction letter itself provides further evidence of their anti-Ecstasy bias. In the retraction letter, Drs. Ricaurte and McCann still claim that doses of MDMA used by some humans could cause dopaminergic neurotoxicity and Parkinson's, based on exceedingly flimsy evidence.

    Ironically, recent animal research has been published showing that MDMA, when administered in combination with L-Dopa, actually helps reduce dyskinesias, painful symptoms of Parkinson's.

    McCann et al.'s evidence from their PET [Positron Emission Tomography] studies in Ecstasy users on which they based their claims that MDMA causes massive reductions in serotonin, published in the Lancet, are now generally considered to be based on methodologically flawed data. Basically, the values for the serotonin transporter levels in McCann's control group are so spread out, with some control subjects having 35 times more serotonin transporters than others, as to be biologically implausible. To deal with this variation, McCann et al. log transformed their data, something no other PET researchers have needed to do. Subsequent studies by other researchers using the same PET technique generated control values similar to McCann's Ecstasy users. A much larger and better controlled study, published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, with 117 subjects as compared to McCann's 29, found that former users of Ecstasy, who had consumed an average of 799 doses and had abstained for about 18 months, had serotonin levels identical to that of the control subjects. [R.] Buchert et al. found that current users of Ecstasy, with an average exposure of 827 doses, showed no reductions in some brain regions and only minimal reductions (4-6 in two other brain regions, unlikely to be of even temporary clinical significance.

    A bogus ad campaign

    The data from McCann et al.'s Lancet paper formed the basis of NIDA's major anti-Ecstasy educational campaign, the Plain Brain/Brain After Ecstasy image. NIDA had this image printed on hundreds of thousands of cards distributed in bars and restaurants across the United States, used the image in NIDA publications and websites, and encouraged its use in media reports, all part of its now-abandoned $42 million "club drugs" campaign. This image wasn't even an accurate representation of the data in the Lancet article if that data had actually been valid. NIDA used images chosen for dramatic effect comparing subjects from the extremes of the MDMA and control groups rather than from the subjects scoring closest to the median, using some normal individual variability to exaggerate the evidence of MDMA neurotoxicity. NIDA has now withdrawn this educational campaign and even told the Peter Jennings' Ecstasy documentary team that it couldn't locate a copy of the image!

    From another perspective, NIDA's anti-Ecstasy educational campaign, and Dr. Leshner's other efforts to pander to the Bush and Clinton administrations' jihad against recreational drug use, have been wildly successful. A simple chart showing the annual increases provided by Congress to NIDA's budget during the tenure of Dr. Leshner reveals the short-term dividends of exaggerating the risks of MDMA and other illicit drugs in support of prohibitionist policies.

    Testimony that then-NIDA Director Alan Leshner gave on July 30, 2001 to the Senate Subcommittee on Government Affairs, illustrated with a large poster purporting to show that MDMA negatively affects (reduces) cerebral blood flow, was clearly misleading. The poster showed a healthy-looking brain with what was represented as normal cerebral blood flow, with this image labeled "Baseline." For comparison purposes, the poster also contained a second brain scan image of the same subject with reduced cerebral blood flow. This image was labeled "Two weeks post-MDMA." What Leshner didn't tell the Senators is that the scans were drawn from a study that showed no difference between Ecstasy users and controls in cerebral blood flow.

    The images Leshner used in his Senate testimony came from one of the subset of the Ecstasy users in the larger study who participated in Dr. [Charles] Grob's Phase I MDMA safety study. These 10 subjects were scanned at baseline, like the other 11 Ecstasy-using subjects in Dr. [L.] Chang's research. They were then scanned again after receiving two doses of MDMA administered in the context of Dr. Grob's study, at time points ranging from two weeks to 2-3 months after the last dose of MDMA. Subjects scanned two weeks after MDMA showed a temporary reduction in cerebral blood flow while subjects scanned from 2-3 months after MDMA showed a return to baseline. The impression Leshner left the Senators was that MDMA caused permanent changes in cerebral blood flow when the changes were both temporary and of no clinical consequence.

    Ironically, Leshner didn't realize that in order to participate in the Phase I study and receive MDMA, FDA required subjects to have already had substantial exposure to MDMA. On average, the subjects in Dr. Chang's study had an exposure to MDMA of 211 times. Thus, the healthy-looking brain that Leshner showed to the Senators to contrast with the image of the same brain two weeks post-MDMA was actually the brain of a heavy MDMA user at baseline! If he had fully understood the science underlying the images he showed to the Senator, Leshner should have reported that the baseline image dramatically illustrated that MDMA caused no persisting long-term differences in cerebral blood flow as compared to the non-MDMA using controls. Instead, he used the image to convey an impression of the dangers of MDMA at odds with what the study actually demonstrated.

    No holes

    Frightening and disturbing images of the brain of an MDMA user that showed explicit holes in the brain that were claimed to have been caused by MDMA have been shown on an MTV special documentary about Ecstasy, as well as on an Oprah Winfrey show. These images were graphically manipulated to represent areas of lower cerebral blood flow as holes and are completely fraudulent. According to a March 2001 educational program about drugs aimed at young people that NIDA helped create, Alan Leshner stated, "We've heard people talk about Ecstasy causing holes in the brain and of course that's a bit of an exaggeration, but there is a core truth to it." We should be appalled, but not surprised, at the fact that the young woman whose brain scan image was manipulated has been working for several years at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, miseducating other young people about the dangers of MDMA (her choice of employment, perhaps, reflecting the only genuine signs of brain damage).

    Ever since MDMA was criminalized in the United States in 1985, exaggerated risk estimates have played an essential role in preventing research into the therapeutic uses of MDMA. In 1985, the FDA even refused to permit researchers to administer MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to a dying cancer patient who had experienced no significant side effects and had obtained relief from pain, both physical and emotional, through the use of such therapy that he had received prior to MDMA being made illegal. An FDA official wrote that even dying subjects deserved to be protected by US law from the potential damaging effects of MDMA neurotoxicity. In this case, it didn't matter that the damage was hypothetical, the benefits were real, and the patient was willing to accept the consequences of participating in the research.

    In 1999, after human research with MDMA had begun in Switzerland, a group of Dutch researchers tried to stop Swiss researcher Dr. Franz Vollenweider from conducting basic safety studies by claiming in a letter to the journal Neuropsychopharmacology that Dr. Vollenweider was engaging in unethical research. Their rationale was that Dr. Vollenweider was administering MDMA to MDMA-naive subjects, a design that Dr. Vollenweider considered useful to obtain the clearest evidence of the effects of MDMA but that [researcher H.S.] Gijsman considered too risky due to the dangers of MDMA neurotoxicity. A debate took place in a series of letters published in Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Vollenweider defended his research and risk estimates. Courageously, the editors disagreed with Gijsman and supported Dr. Vollenweider's research. Two years later, Drs. McCann and Ricaurte entered the discussion to raise the issue of the dangers of MDMA neurotoxicity from even a single dose but were rebutted by Dr. Vollenweider and again by the editors.

    Sadly, the world's only fully-approved MDMA psychotherapy study was successfully halted for political reasons, with efforts to restart the study complicated by Dr. Ricaurte. In 2000, in Madrid, Spain, Jose Carlos Bouso, with the support of MAPS, was able to obtain all the necessary federal and local permissions to start the world's first legally-approved controlled study into any therapeutic use of MDMA. The study was designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response pilot study into the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of women survivors of sexual assault with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By April 2002, six subjects had been enrolled in the study without any complications. On May 6, 2002, favorable media coverage of the study appeared in prominent Spanish media. On May 13, 2002, as a result of pressure from the Madrid Anti-Drug Authority, the Manager of the Hospital Psiquiatrico de Madrid sent a letter saying that he wouldn't let the experimenters use the facilities of the Hospital anymore. In October 2002, just one week after Ricaurte's paper in Science came out, the research team's struggles to resume the study were significantly complicated by the appearance in Madrid of Dr. Ricaurte, who gave a highly-publicized talk about his MDMA/Parkinson's findings at the invitation of the Spanish Anti-Drug Agency. Additional talks by Dr. Ricaurte in Spain in April, June and July 2003, further reinforced both the scientific and popular perception in Spain of the dangerousness of even a few doses of MDMA....

    The struggle for government approval

    MAPS has now worked for 17 years, since it was founded in 1986, to sponsor FDA-approved research investigating the therapeutic uses of MDMA. From 1986 to 1992, concerns over the risks of MDMA neurotoxicity were used to justify FDA refusals to approve any research in which MDMA was to be administered to human subjects. Starting in 1992, after a change in personnel and policy, FDA approved three basic safety studies with MDMA. The evidence from these studies, as well as from research conducted abroad, eventually persuaded the FDA that the risk/benefit ratio of MDMA was favorable in certain patient populations. As a result, in November 2001, the FDA approved a MAPS-sponsored pilot study into the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in treatment-resistant PTSD subjects.

    The controversy over the neurotoxic risks of MDMA, and over its widespread recreational use, made it exceptionally difficult for MAPS to obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for our study of the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Once IRB approved the study, then two months later revoked approval after an IRB official who wasn't comfortable with the approval of MDMA psychotherapy research spoke to Dr. Una McCann and two other researchers. The other two researchers actually supported the study (one initially and the other after MAPS agreed to add some language to the informed consent form), but Dr. McCann and Dr. Ricaurte refrained from doing so. The IRB refused to review the scientific evidence and made a policy decision to return the fee that MAPS paid for the review. Five other IRBs refused to even accept the protocol for review and one that did accept it finally tabled the review, after spending months formally reviewing the study before making it clear, through unreasonable demands, that the committee did not feel comfortable approving it. After diligent and persistent work, MAPS managed to obtain IRB approval in September 2003.

    However, the study is still not fully approved. Research can start only after the principal investigator, Dr. Michael Mithoefer, receives a Schedule I license from the DEA so that he can legally possess and administer the total of 3 grams of MDMA that will be given to the subjects in the study (each MDMA subject in the MDMA group will receive two oral doses of 125 mgs each, three to five weeks apart). Dr. Mithoefer submitted his application to DEA for a Schedule I license over 17 months ago, with a decision from DEA still pending. On October 28, 2003 South Carolina DEA agents and officials from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) finally inspected Dr. Mithoefer's facility. They examined the DEA-required safe bolted to the concrete floor, the alarm system and the MDMA tracking procedures, in order to ensure that the 3.5 grams of MDMA will be protected from diversion to non-research uses. On November 12, 2003, Dr. Mithoefer received his Schedule I research registration (R1) from the DHEC. We expect that sometime soon DEA will issue Dr. Mithoefer his Schedule I license so that we can start MDMA psychotherapy research after more than 18 years of struggle.1 (MDMA was criminalized in 1985 on an emergency basis, justified in part based on Dr. Ricaurte's research in rats showing that MDA, a drug related to MDMA, caused reductions in serotonin at some doses.)

    The above review isn't meant to build a case that MDMA is harmless, or completely benign. MDMA has its risks, some of which can be fatal, like hyperthermia, a very rare occurrence that results from overheating, most often due to prolonged exercise and inadequate fluid replacement. The effects of heavy Ecstasy use on neurocognitive functioning is still being researched, with some well-designed studies showing that heavy MDMA users perform worse on some neurocognitive tests. Whether this is due to MDMA remains to be determined. What the above review is trying to communicate is that the risks of MDMA-related brain damage have been exaggerated, in yet another historical example of science being twisted to suit political ends. The risks that MDMA does present can be mitigated to a large extent by the wise use of harm reduction efforts. Unfortunately, the anti-rave legislation that Congress passed under the false assumption that MDMA caused unusually powerful brain damage after only a few doses perversely empowers police and prosecutors to use harm reduction efforts as a legal weapon against promoters and venue owners.

    For almost two decades, MDMA research has been primarily focused on neurotoxicity research into the risks of MDMA, with MDMA psychotherapy research essentially forbidden. Perhaps the tide is turning and the next two decades will see a more balanced focus on research into both the potential risks and benefits of MDMA, with a variety of social, legal structures eventually to be created that will minimize the potential harms of MDMA and maximize its benefits. If we will it, it need not remain a dream.

    Footnotes
    1. In March 2004 the DEA issued Dr. Mithoefer's Schedule I registration, clearing the way for him to immediately begin the first government-approved study of MDMA.
    Last edited by felix77; 05-01-2010 at 22:49.
     

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    #13
    Bluelighter
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    I have never seen anyone on here try and justify their own abuse of a durg by claiming it is safe/no brain damage/ no nuerotoxicity/ ect... than this guy.

    The plain and simple facts are here...over ten years of research done by the members here speaks for itself. most people develope long term issues with prolonged abuse of MDXX substances. there are countless accounts of damaging effects of E here and only one person refuting them...YOU.

    Are you calling everyone that has developed issues after MDXX abuse liars? or are you just too caught up in trying to justify your own usage that you refuse to see them as credible evidence?
     

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    #14
    Funny, I see quite a few that never had negative symptoms. Maybe it's a trait we have like self control and not experimenting with whippits and ketamine...

    The science doesn't back up your strict laboratory examples. It's not a debate of your experience, you people are calling people liars and irresponsible for posting scientific proof versus your bullshit.
     

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    #15
    Bluelight Crew MazDan's Avatar
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    Felix.............stop and sit back for a moment because you are so far off track its not even funny.

    What you have reproduced up there is NOT proof that mdma doesnt cause brain damage.........its just proof that one fools study was false.

    The fact is that you CANNOT produce proof that it doesnt cause brain damage because no such thing exists.

    You cannot claim that it causes NO brain damage.
    You CAN however claim that IN YOUR OPINION it does not cause brain damage.

    Then a discussion can be had.
     

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    #16
    it has yet to be proven that the results seen in rats is also true for humans, so the OP is correct there is no proof that ecstasy causes irreversible brain damage. having said that, i think we can all say with certainty that damage is indeed done, it's just not proven that it's irreversible like some studies have said.

    then of course there's the old retracted "holes in the brain" monkey crap that was methamphetamine and not mdma.
     

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    #17
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    I will call anyone who post that E is 100% safe and causes no lasting cognative effect a liar and irresponsible, yes.

    You are trying to polish a piece os shit here.
     

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    #18
    bottom line is... the jury is still out on this topic.
     

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    #19
    Bluelight Crew purplefirefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poopstation View Post
    bottom line is... the jury is still out on this topic.
    This is what I truly believe as well.

    The problem is that "brain damage" is a subjective term. What exactly does that mean in the context of this discussion? I think before anyone (on either side of this argument) can post an opinion or evidence it needs to be established what exactly "brain damage" means. I could offer a few suggestions as to what I think that it might mean, but I'm not the opening poster and I didn't create this thread for discussion.

    There is of course all of the ancedotal evidence that has been expressed on this board for the last 10 years. The ancedotal evidence that suggests that mdma may at least be partially responsible for increases in depression, anxiety, moodiness...etc. Maybe other drugs were influencing those feelings, but it's still possible that there were some (many) people who used mdma exclusively and not in conjunction with any other drug.

    I don't think that there is anyone here who is saying that mdma should not be used because it causes such significant damage to your brain. I think that common advice here is, "please use the drug with caution, don't abuse it and take it daily or even weekly, because the long term effects are not widely known or published". I was summarizing of course, but you get the picture.

    Bluelight is a site that is dedicated to harm reduction and I'm sorry but studies done on primates and rats isn't research that has been done on humans, and it's still all suggestive research rather than any study that concretely states conclusions. Sure the studies say "we believe mdma isn't as neurotoxic was what was once believed" but there isn't anything conclusive. Until there is a study that actually offers conclusive evidence then I'm going to stick by my guns of "use with caution, in moderation, and listen to your body" I don't see anything wrong with that stance.
     

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    #20
    i'm not going to front. i noticed some of those same side effects

    1)waking up in the middle of the night 3 or 4 times, thirsty as hell and heart pounding

    2)moodiness

    3)waves of mild depression, not wanting to leave the house for a day or two after a strong roll..

    4)different weed high... but not bad.

    5)one psychotic episode lol. once i wigged out on all my friends and made them fear for their lives (but thats another story)..

    doesnt all happen every time, but they have happened depending on the pill and also the state of my body when i take it.


    the thing that i noticed with my body is that all of those symptoms fade away and its not after 6 months like has been mentioned, but for me it takes about 5 or 6 days before i have my usual self back. i take 5 htp twice a day for the next 4 days after a roll and it has worked tremendously. i've had times where i've had it and did not have it and believe me its better to have it on stash all the time even when not rolling. my cognitive functions return to normal after that time. maybe its just me, but i also agree that the jury is still out. IMO xtc has changed my personality but in a good way. i'm way more open than i used to be and the realizations and paradigm shifts i've had while on it have been freakin great and i remember all of them. its a trade off as with everything. i feel its hard to abuse this drug because the effects diminish considerably. the drug kind've forces you to take a break.

    P.S.

    in my opinion alcohol does a lot of damage to ones body also. mix it with smoking and you're doing major damage to your cells. every cell in your body.. trust me, been there too.. and not going back.. the xtc has helped me with that also.. just being real.
     

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    #21
    Bluelighter netcrusher's Avatar
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    I know someone who stopped taking mdma after his first experience because : " this drug is so far beyond amazing that there must be a negative - nothing in life is this good without something bad happening to counter it" He is kind of right... I myself can not imagine a world without mdma use in moderation... that is engraved in my mindset, which is kind of scary because it means I have to seek this drug after 3-4 months without use. It is a part of me. I tried to escape it once and I could not. It is not addictive like cocaine in that I need to do it in a short period of time, but it has to be done eventually. It is the most amazing feeling a human can experience. It makes me uncomfortable to see the posts where the guy is tricking himself to believe that this drug causes no harm/ or little harm. Why - because it is exactly what I do....
     

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    #22
    Bluelighter augustaB's Avatar
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    My impression is that there is no substantial evidence of brain damage due to mdma abuse so far.

    Of course there is the possibility that such evidence may yet be found.

    On the other hand if the possibility of brain damage is high, one might be justified in arguing that it's surprising that no evidence has so far been turned up.

    What we must admit is that mdma does have some lasting subjective effects, namely the ones underlying what we call "losing the magic".

    At this stage though, I think we are justified in saying that the likelihood of measurable cognitive deterioration due to sensible mdma use is low.
     

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    #23
    Bluelighter Woodrowbt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by augustaB View Post
    My impression is that there is no substantial evidence of brain damage due to mdma abuse so far.

    Of course there is the possibility that such evidence may yet be found.

    On the other hand if the possibility of brain damage is high, one might be justified in arguing that it's surprising that no evidence has so far been turned up.

    What we must admit is that mdma does have some lasting subjective effects, namely the ones underlying what we call "losing the magic".

    At this stage though, I think we are justified in saying that the likelihood of measurable cognitive deterioration due to sensible mdma use is low.

    DING DING DING we have a winner. Thats what i get out of it also.
     

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    #24
    If we can agree that there is no evidence of brain damage, then I will stop saying that ecstasy doesn't cause it. The problem is, there is no evidence. There is still the possibility that there are unknown effects, however, ecstasy is well studied now anf the vast majority have found no evidence.

    What is irresponsible is trying to claim ecstasy causes brain damage and that it is a dangerous drug. That lying DEA moralistic attitude has kept it class A and has gotten piperazines put on the street in the place of MDMA. That is a lot more dangerous then MDMA.

    I'm not going to change my stance on the subject and I won't stop saying there is no evidence of brain damage. Because science backs that position. I'm not trying to promote it for kids to go out and try and believe there are no consequences. But I will certainly not perpetuate and anti drug lie to "protect" people from them selves.
     

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    #25
    Bluelighter F1n1shed's Avatar
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    All your doing is causing harm for the people that believe you and want to justify their usage just like you. You say some absurd things at times like marijuana being more harmful on cognitive function as well as other things but you are just so lost its not even funny. You rate ecstasy as a much safer drug on your brain than many other drugs but you are wrong bottom line. Have fun keep dosing.. maybe once you really feel a far more noticeable change in your self you will say its enough with this because you have fucked your self where the repairable damage will take quite a fucking long time off a while off your little miracle drug. Btw how often is your usage, something i want to know.
     

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