Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans

Montgomery, Catharine and Roberts, Carl A ORCID: 0000-0003-4275-601X
(2021) Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans. Experimental Neurology, 347. p. 113888.

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3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine generally referred to as MDMA or 'ecstasy' is a ring-substituted phenethylamine stimulant which produces powerful empathogenic effects. Use of MDMA remains popular despite prohibition, and potential long-term negative consequences of repeated use. MDMA produces its acute subjective effects primarily by stimulating the release of serotonin via action at the serotonin transporter (SERT). There is evidence that MDMA administration may lead to long lasting neurotoxic effects on serotonin neurons in primates, and reductions in markers of central serotonin axons, and axon terminals in animals. In humans, demonstration of serotonergic neurotoxicity is much more difficult to identify, and much of the research is complicated by confounding issues of polysubstance use, genetic and environmental factors and reliance on self-reports of previous drug use. We do not review the mechanisms for neurotoxicity in detail as they are covered elsewhere in this special issue. There is a large body of literature, however, which has investigated potential cognitive and neurocognitive consequences of repeated MDMA use. Here we review the literature on cognition, and neuroimaging studies that have investigated structural and functional brain changes associated with ecstasy use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MDMA, Ecstasy, Cognition, Neurotoxicity, Memory, fMRI, PET, Substance use, Humans
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 10:32
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:27
DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113888
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