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Ecstasy – long-term effects on the human central nervous system revealed by positron emission tomography

  • Jost Obrocki (a1), Ralph Buchert (a2), Ole Väterlein (a2), Rainer Thomasius (a3), Wolfgang Beyer (a2) and Thomas Schiemann (a3)...

Abstract

Background

The main psychotropic agent of the popular illicit drug ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). In the light of animal studies and examinations of human cerebrospinal fluid, MDMA is suspected of causing neurotoxic lesions to the serotonergic system.

Aims

To postulate a relationship between ecstasy use and lasting alterations to the cerebral glucose metabolic rate.

Method

Positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) was performed on seven ecstasy users and seven subjects without any known history of illicit drug use. Data were compared for a limited number of brain regions.

Results

By comparison with the control group, the glucose metabolic uptake of the ecstasy user group was altered within the amygdala, hippocampus and Brodmann's area 11

Conclusions

The results suggest the possibility that ecstasy use has lasting effects on central neuronal activity in humans.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr J. Obrocki. University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Martinistr. 52. 20246 Hamburg, Germany

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

No external funding. No conflict of interest.

Footnotes

References

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Ecstasy – long-term effects on the human central nervous system revealed by positron emission tomography

  • Jost Obrocki (a1), Ralph Buchert (a2), Ole Väterlein (a2), Rainer Thomasius (a3), Wolfgang Beyer (a2) and Thomas Schiemann (a3)...
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