Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001
THE ARTICLE by Reneman et al1 in this issue of the ARCHIVES is timely and provocative and highlights several areas of controversy in the fields of substance abuse, drug-induced neurotoxic effects, and neuroimaging. The authors present evidence that the illicit recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or "ecstasy") may cause persistent cognitive deficits2- 9 and that these deficits are related to the extent of previous MDMA use. Based on single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging with 123I-labeled 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane (β-CIT), they conclude that MDMA causes neurotoxic injury to cortical serotonin (5-HT) axon terminals that may be reversible. This is the first study to evaluate a separate cohort of previous MDMA users who have abstained from use for longer than 1 year, and thus has the potential to provide information regarding long-term effects of exposure to MDMA.
McCann UD, Ricaurte GA, Molliver ME. "Ecstasy" and Serotonin NeurotoxicityNew Findings Raise More Questions. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(10):907-908. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.58.10.907