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  1. MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Alerts Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Prescription Drugs & Cold ... combination with other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana. How does MDMA affect the brain? MDMA increases ...

  2. Neurotoxicity of ecstasy (MDMA): an overview.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Sumit; Schmued, Larry

    2010-08-01

    "Ecstasy" (MDMA) is a powerful hallucinogenic drug which has raised concern worldwide because of its high abuse liability. A plethora of studies have demonstrated that MDMA has the potential to induce neurotoxicity both in human and laboratory animals. Although research on MDMA has been carried out by many different laboratories, the mechanism underlying MDMA induced toxicity has not been fully elucidated. MDMA has the ability to reduce serotonin levels in terminals of axons in the cortex of rats and mice. Recently we have shown that it also has the potential to produce degenerate neurons in discrete areas of the brain such as insular and parietal cortex, thalamus, tenia tecta and bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BST). Acute effects of MDMA can result in a constellation of changes including arrthymias, hypertension, hyperthermia, serotonin (5-HT) syndrome, liver problems, seizures and also long lasting neurocognitive impairments including mood disturbances. In human MDMA abusers, there is evidence for reduction of serotonergic biochemical markers. Several factors may contribute to the MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, especially hyperthermia. Other factors potentially influencing MDMA toxicity include monoamine oxidase metabolism of dopamine and serotonin, nitric oxide generation, glutamate excitotoxicity, serotonin 2A receptor agonism and the formation of MDMA neurotoxic metabolites. In this review we will cover the following topics: pharmacological mechanisms, metabolic pathways and acute effects in laboratory animals, as well as in humans, with special attention on the mechanism and pathology of MDMA induced neurotoxicity.

  3. MDMA, cortisol, and heightened stress in recreational ecstasy users.

    PubMed

    Parrott, Andrew C; Montgomery, Cathy; Wetherell, Mark A; Downey, Luke A; Stough, Con; Scholey, Andrew B

    2014-09-01

    Stress develops when an organism requires additional metabolic resources to cope with demanding situations. This review will debate how recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') can increase some aspects of acute and chronic stress in humans. Laboratory studies on the acute effects of MDMA on cortisol release and neurohormone levels in drug-free regular ecstasy/MDMA users have been reviewed, and the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic changes in anxiety, stress, and cognitive coping is debated. In the laboratory, acute ecstasy/MDMA use can increase cortisol levels by 100-200%, whereas ecstasy/MDMA-using dance clubbers experience an 800% increase in cortisol levels, because of the combined effects of the stimulant drug and dancing. Three-month hair samples of abstinent users revealed cortisol levels 400% higher than those in controls. Chronic users show heightened cortisol release in stressful environments and deficits in complex neurocognitive tasks. Event-related evoked response potential studies show altered patterns of brain activation, suggestive of increased mental effort, during basic information processing. Chronic mood deficits include more daily stress and higher depression in susceptible individuals. We conclude that ecstasy/MDMA increases cortisol levels acutely and subchronically and that changes in the HPA axis may explain why recreational ecstasy/MDMA users show various aspects of neuropsychobiological stress.

  4. Active and passive MDMA ('ecstasy') intake induces differential transcriptional changes in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Fernàndez-Castillo, N; Orejarena, M J; Ribasés, M; Blanco, E; Casas, M; Robledo, P; Maldonado, R; Cormand, B

    2012-02-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') is a recreational drug widely used by adolescents and young adults. Although its rewarding effects are well established, there is controversy on its addictive potential. We aimed to compare the consequences of active and passive MDMA administration on gene expression in the mouse brain since all previous studies were based on passive MDMA administration. We used a yoked-control operant intravenous self-administration paradigm combined with microarray technology. Transcriptomic profiles of ventral striatum, frontal cortex, dorsal raphe nucleus and hippocampus were analysed in mice divided in contingent MDMA, yoked MDMA and yoked saline groups, and several changes were validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The comparison of contingent MDMA and yoked MDMA vs. yoked saline mice allowed the identification of differential expression in several genes, most of them with immunological and inflammatory functions, but others being involved in neuroadaptation. In the comparison of contingent MDMA vs. yoked MDMA administration, hippocampus and the dorsal raphe nucleus showed statistically significant changes. The altered expression of several genes involved in neuroadaptative changes and synapse function, which may be related to learning self-administration behaviour, could be validated in these two brain structures. In conclusion, our study shows a strong effect of MDMA administration on the expression of immunological and inflammatory genes in all the four brain regions studied. In addition, experiments on MDMA self-administration suggest that the dorsal raphe nucleus and hippocampus may be involved in active MDMA-seeking behaviour, and show specific alterations on gene expression that support the addictive potential of this drug.

  5. Increased intensity of Ecstasy and polydrug usage in the more experienced recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users: a WWW study.

    PubMed

    Scholey, Andrew B; Parrott, Andrew C; Buchanan, Tom; Heffernan, Thomas M; Ling, Jonathan; Rodgers, Jacqui

    2004-06-01

    Recreational Ecstasy/MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users often take a variety of psychoactive drugs, but there is little empirical data on how these drug consumption patterns change with greater experience of Ecstasy. The aim of this study was to compare the polydrug usage patterns reported by non-Ecstasy users, novice Ecstasy users, moderate Ecstasy users, and heavy Ecstasy users. In a WWW study of 763 unpaid volunteers, 481 had never taken Ecstasy, whereas 282 reported they had taken it. The Ecstasy users comprised 109 novice users (1-9 occasions), 136 moderate Ecstasy users (10-99 occasions), and 36 heavy Ecstasy users (+100 occasions). Each participant also reported their experience with a range of other psychoactive drugs. The Ecstasy users reported significantly greater psychoactive drug usage than the non-Ecstasy users. The novice, moderate, and heavy Ecstasy users also differed significantly from each other in the use of cocaine, amphetamine, LSD, and psilocybin mushrooms, but not of alcohol, cannabis, or cigarettes/nicotine. Experienced Ecstasy users also took significantly more MDMA tablets on each occasion, and reported a higher maximum weekly intake. The increased use of Ecstasy is associated with more intensive patterns of Ecstasy/MDMA intake, and the greater use of illicit CNS stimulants and hallucinogens, but not of alcohol, nicotine, or cannabis. These results are discussed in the context of cross-tolerance and drug predisposition/preference.

  6. Information processing speed in ecstasy (MDMA) users.

    PubMed

    Wareing, Michelle; Fisk, John E; Montgomery, Catharine; Murphy, Philip N; Chandler, Martin D

    2007-03-01

    Previous research draws parallels between ecstasy-related and age-related deficits in cognitive functioning. Age-related impairments in working memory have been attributed to a slow down in information processing speed. The present study compared 29 current ecstasy users, 10 previous users and 46 non-users on two tests measuring information processing speed and a computation span task measuring working memory. Results showed that ecstasy users performed worse than non-ecstasy users in the letter comparison task although the overall difference was not significant (p=0.089). Results from the pattern recognition task showed that current ecstasy users produced significantly more errors than the other two groups (p<0.01). When results were combined for both the letter and pattern tasks, once again current ecstasy users produced significantly more errors than non-ecstasy users (p<0.01). Working memory deficits obtained were statistically significant with both ecstasy using groups performing significantly worse than non-users on the computation span measure (p<0.01). Moreover, ANCOVA with measures of processing speed as covariates failed to eliminate the group difference in computation span (p<0.01). Therefore, it is likely the mechanism responsible for impairments in the computation span measure is not the same as that in elderly adults where processing speed generally removes most of the age-related variance. Also of relevance is the fact that the ecstasy users reported here had used a range of other drugs making it difficult to unambiguously attribute the results obtained to ecstasy use.

  7. Multiple molecular and neuropharmacological effects of MDMA (Ecstasy).

    PubMed

    Simantov, Rabi

    2004-01-02

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly referred to as Ecstasy, is a widely abused, psychoactive recreational drug, which induces short- and long-term neuropsychiatric behaviors. This drug is neurotoxic to serotonergic neurons in vivo, and induces programmed cell death in cultured human serotonergic cells and rat neocortical neurons. Over the years it has been shown that MDMA alters the release of several neurotransmitters in the brain, it induces recompartmentation of intracellular serotonin and c-fos, and modifies the expression of a few genes. Recently, we observed changes in gene expression in mice treated with MDMA, and cloned and sequenced 11 cDNAs thus affected (4 correspond to known and 7 to unknown genes). The effect of MDMA on two of these genes, GABA transporter 1 and synaptotagmin IV was studied in detail. Characterization of the relationship between a given gene and certain physiological or behavioral effects of MDMA could shed light on the mechanism of the drug's action. However, establishing such a connection is difficult for several reasons, including that serotonergic neurons are not the only cells affected by MDMA. In this review, molecular and neurochemical events that occur in the brain following exposure to MDMA, and link between the observed molecular changes with known physiological effects of the drug are discussed. It is indicated that MDMA alters the expression of several proteins involved in GABA neurotransmission, thus having critical effect on thermoregulation and MDMA acute toxicity. This analysis should facilitate development of novel approaches to prevent deleterious effects, especially mortality induced by MDMA and other abused psychostimulants.

  8. Use of MDA (the "love drug") and methamphetamine in Toronto by unsuspecting users of ecstasy (MDMA).

    PubMed

    Kalasinsky, Kathryn S; Hugel, John; Kish, Stephen J

    2004-09-01

    It has recently been reported that purity of illicit tablets of ecstasy (MDMA) is now high. Our objective was to confirm whether hair of drug users, who request only ecstasy from their supplier, contains MDMA in the absence of other drugs. GC-MS analysis of scalp hair segments disclosed the presence of MDMA in 19 of 21 subjects and amphetamine/methamphetamine in eight subjects. Surprisingly, seven subjects had hair levels of the MDMA metabolite, MDA, equal to or greater than those of MDMA, suggesting use of MDA in addition to that of MDMA. These amphetamine derivatives might be included by clandestine laboratories to enhance effects of the drug cocktail or because of a perception that MDA synthesis might be simpler than that of MDMA. Drug users and investigators examining possible brain neurotoxic effects of MDMA need to consider that "ecstasy" tablets can contain MDA and methamphetamine despite no demand for the drugs.

  9. Neurotoxic effects of MDMA (ecstasy) on the developing rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Dzietko, M; Sifringer, M; Klaus, J; Endesfelder, S; Brait, D; Hansen, H H; Bendix, I; Felderhoff-Mueser, U

    2010-08-01

    The incidence of methamphetamine abuse is particularly high in adolescents and is a common problem among women of childbearing age, leading to an increasing number of children with prenatal exposure. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) is an amphetamine-like stimulant and is known to induce apoptotic damage to fine serotonergic fibers in the adult rat brain. Little is known about toxic effects of MDMA and potential underlying molecular mechanisms in the developing brain. Here, we investigated whether MDMA exposure during the period of rapid brain growth causes neurodegeneration in the developing rat brain. MDMA significantly enhanced neuronal death in the brains of 6-day-old rat pups at a dose of 60 mg/kg, but no significant toxicity was detected at the ages of 14 and 21 days. Brain regions mainly affected were the cortex, septum, thalamus, hypothalamus and the cornu ammonis 1 region. To explore possible molecular mechanisms involved in this neurodegenerative process, we investigated the impact of MDMA on the expression of the neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and nerve growth factor. Neonatal exposure of 6-day-old rats to MDMA triggered a considerable increase in cortical BDNF and NT-3 levels. Moreover, P7 CD1/BDNF knockout mice were noticeably more sensitive to MDMA exposure as compared to their wild-type age-matched littermates. These data suggest that a single injection of MDMA causes neurodegeneration in the neonatal rat brain. The upregulation of BDNF and NT-3 expression may indicate an important compensatory mechanism leading to the survival of neuronal cells in the developing brain.

  10. Ecstasy (MDMA) effects upon mood and cognition: before, during and after a Saturday night dance.

    PubMed

    Parrott, A C; Lasky, J

    1998-10-01

    Three groups of young people (aged 19-30 years) were compared: 15 regular ecstasy users who had taken MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) on ten or more occasions; 15 novice ecstasy users who had taken MDMA on fewer than ten previous occasions; and 15 controls who had never taken MDMA. Each subject completed a cognitive test and mood scale battery four times: an initial drug-free baseline, at a Saturday night dance/club (on-drug), then 2 days later, and 7 days later. On the Saturday night, regular ecstasy users took an average of 1.80 MDMA tablets, novice users took 1.45 MDMA tablets, while controls mostly drank alcohol. The consumption of cannabis and cocaine at the club was similar across groups. All three groups reported positive moods at the dance club (on-drug), although there were borderline trends (P < 0.10) for less sadness/depression in the MDMA subgroups. However 2 days afterwards, the ecstasy users felt significantly more depressed, abnormal, unsociable, unpleasant, and less good tempered, than the controls. Cognitive performance on both tasks (verbal recall, visual scanning) was significantly reduced on-MDMA. Memory recall was also significantly impaired in drug-free MDMA users, with regular ecstasy users displaying the worst memory scores at every test session. This agrees with previous findings of memory impairments in drug-free ecstasy users. Animal data have shown that MDMA can generate long-term serotonergic neurodegeneration in various brain areas, including the hippocampus. The cognitive deficits in drug-free recreational ecstasy users, suggest that MDMA may also be neurotoxic in humans.

  11. False-positive amphetamine/ecstasy (MDMA/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) (CEDIA) and ecstasy (MDMA/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) (DRI) test results with fenofibrate.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Yusuf Cem; Erol, Almla; Karadaş, Barş

    2012-10-01

    This case report describes a false-positive amphetamine/ecstasy [3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)] and ecstasy (MDMA) screen after therapeutic use of antihyperlipidemic drug, fenofibrate. A 60-year-old male patient was admitted to inpatient psychiatry unit with the diagnosis of alcohol dependency. He was prescribed diazepam 30 mg/day, thiamine 300 mg/day, and naltrexone 50 mg/day. He had also been using fenofibrate 267 mg/day for 3 years for hyperlipidemia and trazodone 100 mg/day for 5 months for insomnia. On routine, urine drugs-of-abuse screening amphetamine/MDMA (CEDIA) test was positive for 4 different occasions and MDMA (DRI) test was positive on 5 different occasions. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry confirmation of the first positive 3 samples were negative for amphetamine and MDMA. After discontinuation of fenofibrate, amphetamine/MDMA, and MDMA immunoassay results turned out to be negative. Caution should be given to interpretation of amphetamine/MDMA (CEDIA) and MDMA (DRI) tests in patients taking fenofibrate. Specific confirmation with a suitable method should be used to prevent erroneous interpretations.

  12. Severe Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity in Primates After a Common Recreational Dose Regimen of MDMA (``Ecstasy'')

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricaurte, George A.; Yuan, Jie; Hatzidimitriou, George; Cord, Branden J.; McCann, Una D.

    2002-09-01

    The prevailing view is that the popular recreational drug (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ``ecstasy'') is a selective serotonin neurotoxin in animals and possibly in humans. Nonhuman primates exposed to several sequential doses of MDMA, a regimen modeled after one used by humans, developed severe brain dopaminergic neurotoxicity, in addition to less pronounced serotonergic neurotoxicity. MDMA neurotoxicity was associated with increased vulnerability to motor dysfunction secondary to dopamine depletion. These results have implications for mechanisms of MDMA neurotoxicity and suggest that recreational MDMA users may unwittingly be putting themselves at risk, either as young adults or later in life, for developing neuropsychiatric disorders related to brain dopamine and/or serotonin deficiency.

  13. Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance.

    PubMed

    Lamers, C T J; Ramaekers, J G; Muntjewerff, N D; Sikkema, K L; Samyn, N; Read, N L; Brookhuis, K A; Riedel, W J

    2003-12-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition, psychomotor performance and driving-related task performance. Twelve healthy recreational ecstasy users participated in an experimental study conducted according to a double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled three-way cross-over design. MDMA improved psychomotor performance, such as movement speed and tracking performance in a single task, as well as in a divided attention task. MDMA impaired the ability to predict object movement under divided attention. However, the inability to accurately predict object movement after MDMA may indicate impairment of particular performance skills relevant to driving. There was no effect of MDMA on visual search, planning or retrieval from semantic memory.

  14. Increased cortisol levels in hair of recent Ecstasy/MDMA users.

    PubMed

    Parrott, A C; Sands, H R; Jones, L; Clow, A; Evans, P; Downey, L A; Stalder, T

    2014-03-01

    Previous research has revealed an acute 8-fold increase in salivary cortisol following self-administrated Ecstasy/MDMA in dance clubbers. It is currently not known to what extent repeated usage impacts upon activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis over a more prolonged period of time. This study investigated the integrated cortisol levels in 3-month hair samples from recent Ecstasy/MDMA users and non-user controls. One hundred and one unpaid participants (53 males, 48 females; mean age 21.75 years) completed the University of East London recreational drug use questionnaire, modified to cover the past 3-months of usage. They comprised 32 light recent Ecstasy/MDMA users (1-4 times in last 3 months), 23 recent heavy MDMA users (+5 times in last 3 months), and 54 non-user controls. Volunteers provided 3 cm hair samples for cortisol analysis. Hair cortisol levels were observed to be significantly higher in recent heavy MDMA users (mean = 55.0 ± 80.1 pg/mg), compared to recent light MDMA users (19.4 ± 16.0 pg/mg; p=0.015), and to non-users (13.8 ± 6.1 pg/mg; p<0.001). Hence the regular use of Ecstasy/MDMA was associated with almost 4-fold raised hair cortisol levels, in comparison with non-user controls. The present results are consistent with the bio-energetic stress model for Ecstasy/MDMA, which predicts that repeated stimulant drug use may increase cortisol production acutely, and result in greater deposits of the hormone in hair. These data may also help explain the neurocognitive, psychiatric, and other psychobiological problems of some abstinent users. Future study design and directions for research concerning the psychoneuroendocrinological impact of MDMA are also discussed.

  15. The confounding problem of polydrug use in recreational ecstasy/MDMA users: a brief overview.

    PubMed

    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne; Daumann, Jörg

    2006-03-01

    The popular dance drug ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine -- MDMA) is neurotoxic upon central serotonergic neurons in laboratory animals and possibly also in humans. In recent years, several studies reported alterations of serotonergic transmission and neuropsychiatric abnormalities in ecstasy users which might be related to MDMA-induced neurotoxic brain damage. To date, the most consistent findings associate subtle cognitive, particularly memory, deficits with heavy ecstasy use. However, most studies have important inherent methodological problems. One of the most serious confounds is the widespread pattern of polydrug use which makes it dif.cult to relate the findings in user populations to one specific drug. The present paper represents a brief overview on this issue. The most commonly co-used substances are alcohol, cannabis and stimulants (amphetamines and cocaine). Stimulants are also neurotoxic upon both serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. Hence, they may act synergistically with MDMA and enhance its long-term adverse effects. The interactions between MDMA and cannabis use may be more complex: cannabis use is a well-recognized risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders and it was shown to contribute to psychological problems and cognitive failures in ecstasy users. However, at the cellular level, cannabinoids have neuroprotective actions and they were shown to (partially) block MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in laboratory animals. In future, longitudinal and prospective research designs should hopefully lead to a better understanding of the relation between drug use and subclinical psychological symptoms or neurocognitive failures and, also, of questions around interactions between the various substances of abuse.

  16. An in vitro approach to assessing a potential drug interaction between MDMA (ecstasy) and caffeine.

    PubMed

    Downey, C; Daly, F; O'Boyle, K M

    2014-03-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a popular recreational drug which causes long-term neurotoxicity and increased risk of fatality. In rats, MDMA toxicity is exacerbated by co-administration of caffeine. The aim of this study was to investigate whether caffeine altered the effects of MDMA in a battery of in vitro tests selected to model some of the known actions of MDMA in vivo. In cytotoxicity studies, caffeine modestly enhanced the effect of MDMA on neuronal N2a cell viability but not that of liver, intestinal or kidney cells. MDMA inhibited the formation of fluorescent metabolites by CYP2D6≫CYP3A4>CYP1A2 but this was not altered by caffeine. Similarly, the inhibition of synaptosomal [(3)H] 5-HT uptake by MDMA was not affected by the presence of caffeine. Thus, these in vitro tests failed to detect any substantial interaction between caffeine and MDMA, highlighting the difficulty of modelling in vivo drug interactions using in vitro tests. However, the results show that the inhibition of synaptosomal [(3)H] 5-HT uptake by MDMA was greater at 41°C and 25°C than at 37°C which raises the possibility that MDMA's effect on SERT in vivo may be increased as body temperature increases, contributing to its harmful effects in users.

  17. Mechanism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction in rat liver.

    PubMed

    Moon, Kwan-Hoon; Upreti, Vijay V; Yu, Li-Rong; Lee, Insong J; Ye, Xiaoying; Eddington, Natalie D; Veenstra, Timothy D; Song, Byoung-Joon

    2008-09-01

    Despite numerous reports citing the acute hepatotoxicity caused by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (ecstasy), the underlying mechanism of organ damage is poorly understood. We hypothesized that key mitochondrial proteins are oxidatively modified and inactivated in MDMA-exposed tissues. The aim of this study was to identify and investigate the mechanism of inactivation of oxidatively modified mitochondrial proteins, prior to the extensive mitochondrial dysfunction and liver damage following MDMA exposure. MDMA-treated rats showed abnormal liver histology with significant elevation in plasma transaminases, nitric oxide synthase, and the level of hydrogen peroxide. Oxidatively modified mitochondrial proteins in control and MDMA-exposed rats were labeled with biotin-N-maleimide (biotin-NM) as a sensitive probe for oxidized proteins, purified with streptavidin-agarose, and resolved using 2-DE. Comparative 2-DE analysis of biotin-NM-labeled proteins revealed markedly increased levels of oxidatively modified proteins following MDMA exposure. Mass spectrometric analysis identified oxidatively modified mitochondrial proteins involved in energy supply, fat metabolism, antioxidant defense, and chaperone activities. Among these, the activities of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase, 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolases, and ATP synthase were significantly inhibited following MDMA exposure. Our data show for the first time that MDMA causes the oxidative inactivation of key mitochondrial enzymes which most likely contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent liver damage in MDMA-exposed animals.

  18. Neuroimaging findings with MDMA/ecstasy: technical aspects, conceptual issues and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Reneman, Liesbeth; de Win, Maartje M L; van den Brink, Wim; Booij, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J

    2006-03-01

    Users of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) may be at risk of developing MDMA-induced injury to the serotonin (5-HT) system. Previously, there were no methods available for directly evaluating the neurotoxic effects of MDMA in the living human brain. However, development of in vivoneuroimaging tools have begun to provide insights into the effects of ecstasy on the human brain. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission computed tomography (PET) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) studies which have evaluated ecstasy's neurotoxic potential will be reviewed and discussed in terms of technical aspects, conceptual issues and future prospects. Although PET and SPECT may be limited by several factors such as the low cortical uptake and the use of a non-optimal reference region (cerebellum) the few studies conducted so far provide suggestive evidence that people who heavily use ecstasy are at risk of developing subcortical, and probably also cortical reductions in serotonin transporter (SERT) densities, a marker of 5-HT neurotoxicity. There seem to be dose-dependent and transient reductions in SERT for which females may be more vulnerable than males. 1H-MRS appears to be a less sensitive technique for studying ecstasy's neurotoxic potential. Whether individuals with a relatively low ecstasy exposure also demonstrate loss of SERT needs to be determined. Because most studies have had a retrospective design, in which evidence is indirect and differs in the degree to which any causal links can be implied, longitudinal studies in human ecstasy users are needed to draw definite conclusions.

  19. 'Ecstasy' as a social drug: MDMA preferentially affects responses to emotional stimuli with social content.

    PubMed

    Wardle, Margaret C; Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; de Wit, Harriet

    2014-08-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') is used recreationally to improve mood and sociability, and has generated clinical interest as a possible adjunct to psychotherapy. One way that MDMA may produce positive 'prosocial' effects is by changing responses to emotional stimuli, especially stimuli with social content. Here, we examined for the first time how MDMA affects subjective responses to positive, negative and neutral emotional pictures with and without social content. We hypothesized that MDMA would dose-dependently increase reactivity to positive emotional stimuli and dampen reactivity to negative stimuli, and that these effects would be most pronounced for pictures with people in them. The data were obtained from two studies using similar designs with healthy occasional MDMA users (total N = 101). During each session, participants received MDMA (0, 0.75 and 1.5 mg/kg oral), and then rated their positive and negative responses to standardized positive, negative and neutral pictures with and without social content. MDMA increased positive ratings of positive social pictures, but reduced positive ratings of non-social positive pictures. We speculate this 'socially selective' effect contributes to the prosocial effects of MDMA by increasing the comparative value of social contact and closeness with others. This effect may also contribute to its attractiveness to recreational users.

  20. Neurotoxicity of drugs of abuse--the case of methylenedioxyamphetamines (MDMA, ecstasy), and amphetamines.

    PubMed

    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne; Daumann, Joerg

    2009-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA, 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine) and the stimulants methamphetamine (METH, speed) and amphetamine are popular drugs among young people, particularly in the dance scene. When given in high doses both MDMA and the stimulant amphetamines are clearly neurotoxic in laboratory animals. MDMA causes selective and persistent lesions of central serotonergic nerve terminals, whereas amphetamines damage both the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. In recent years, the question of ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity and possible functional sequelae has been addressed in several studies in drug users. Despite large methodological problems, the bulk of evidence suggests residual alterations of serotonergic transmission in MDMA users, although at least partial recovery may occur after long-term abstinence. However, functional sequelae may persist even after longer periods of abstinence. To date, the most consistent findings associate subtle cognitive impairments with ecstasy use, particularly with memory. In contrast, studies on possible long-term neurotoxic effects of stimulant use have been relatively scarce. Preliminary evidence suggests that alterations of the dopaminergic system may persist even after years of abstinence from METH, and may be associated with deficits in motor and cognitive performance. In this paper, we will review the literature focusing on human studies.

  1. Mechanisms of MDMA (Ecstasy)-Induced Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, and Organ Damage

    PubMed Central

    Song, Byoung-Joon; Moon, Kwan-Hoon; Upreti, Vijay V.; Eddington, Natalie D.; Lee, Insong J.

    2010-01-01

    Despite numerous reports about the acute and sub-chronic toxicities caused by MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy), the underlying mechanism of organ damage is poorly understood. The aim of this review is to present an update of the mechanistic studies on MDMA-mediated organ damage partly caused by increased oxidative/nitrosative stress. Because of the extensive reviews on MDMA-mediated oxidative stress and tissue damage, we specifically focus on the mechanisms and consequences of oxidative-modifications of mitochondrial proteins, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. We briefly describe a method to systematically identify oxidatively-modified mitochondrial proteins in control and MDMA-exposed rats by using biotin-N-maleimide (biotin-NM) as a sensitive probe for oxidized proteins. We also describe various applications and advantages of this Cys-targeted proteomics method and alternative approaches to overcome potential limitations of this method in studying oxidized proteins from MDMA-exposed tissues. Finally we discuss the mechanism of synergistic drug-interaction between MDMA and other abused substances including alcohol (ethanol) as well as application of this redox-based proteomics method in translational studies for developing effective preventive and therapeutic agents against MDMA-induced organ damage. PMID:20420575

  2. Mechanisms of MDMA (ecstasy)-induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and organ damage.

    PubMed

    Song, Byoung-Joon; Moon, Kwan-Hoon; Upreti, Vijay V; Eddington, Natalie D; Lee, Insong J

    2010-08-01

    Despite numerous reports about the acute and sub-chronic toxicities caused by MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy), the underlying mechanism of organ damage is poorly understood. The aim of this review is to present an update of the mechanistic studies on MDMA-mediated organ damage partly caused by increased oxidative/nitrosative stress. Because of the extensive reviews on MDMA-mediated oxidative stress and tissue damage, we specifically focus on the mechanisms and consequences of oxidative-modifications of mitochondrial proteins, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. We briefly describe a method to systematically identify oxidatively-modified mitochondrial proteins in control and MDMA-exposed rats by using biotin-N-maleimide (biotin-NM) as a sensitive probe for oxidized proteins. We also describe various applications and advantages of this Cys-targeted proteomics method and alternative approaches to overcome potential limitations of this method in studying oxidized proteins from MDMA-exposed tissues. Finally we discuss the mechanism of synergistic drug-interaction between MDMA and other abused substances including alcohol (ethanol) as well as application of this redox-based proteomics method in translational studies for developing effective preventive and therapeutic agents against MDMA-induced organ damage.

  3. The origin of MDMA ("ecstasy")--separating the facts from the myth.

    PubMed

    Bernschneider-Reif, S; Oxler, F; Freudenmann, R W

    2006-11-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), better known as "Ecstasy", is a synthetic drug with psychedelic and stimulant effects which has gained great popularity. It is closely tied to the underground scene, but has also been used therapeutically as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Both scientific as well as newspaper articles communicate faulty or incomplete information on the origin of MDMA and the role of the German pharmaceutical-chemical company Merck in its development. One of the most common misconceptions is that the substance was synthesized with the goal of creating an anorectic but was not marketed by Merck because of side effects. It was our aim to clarify the circumstances of MDMA's discovery at Merck. An interdisciplinary working group conducted a comprehensive analysis of the original documents in Merck's historical archive in Darmstadt, Germany. It could be revealed that MDMA was in fact mentioned for the first time in files from 1912, but not under this name. In the lab journals it was called "Methylsafrylamin". In a patent certificate it was mentioned only with its chemical structure. Merck applied for this patent to protect an alternative chemical method for synthesizing the styptic hydrastinine, not appetite suppressants. MDMA was not the key substance in this patent, only a precursor. Archive documents revealed that Merck's scientists did not perform basic pharmacological tests with MDMA (now called "Safrylmethylamin") before 1927. These tests were halted for economic reasons. In the 1950s, primitive toxicological studies were conducted but MDMA was not tested in humans.

  4. Dissociation of the neurochemical and behavioral toxicology of MDMA ('Ecstasy') by citalopram.

    PubMed

    Piper, Brian J; Fraiman, Joseph B; Owens, Cullen B; Ali, Syed F; Meyer, Jerrold S

    2008-04-01

    High or repeated doses of the recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or 'Ecstasy') produce long-lasting deficits in several markers of serotonin (5-HT) system integrity and also alter behavioral function. However, it is not yet clear whether MDMA-induced serotonergic neurotoxicity is responsible for these behavioral changes or whether other mechanisms are involved. The present experiment tested the hypothesis that blocking serotonergic neurotoxicity by pretreatment with the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram will also prevent the behavioral and physiological consequences of an MDMA binge administration. Male, Sprague-Dawley rats (N=67) received MDMA (4 x 10 mg/kg) with or without citalopram (10 mg/kg) pretreatment. Core temperature, ejaculatory response, and body weight were monitored during and immediately following drug treatments. A battery of tests assessing motor, cognitive, exploratory, anxiety, and social behaviors was completed during a 10-week period following MDMA administration. Brain tissue was collected at 1 and 10 weeks after drug treatments for measurement of regional 5-HT transporter binding and (for the 1-week samples) 5-HT and 5-HIAA concentrations. Citalopram pretreatment blocked MDMA-related reductions in aggressive and exploratory behavior measured in the social interaction and hole-board tests respectively. Such pretreatment also had the expected protective effect against MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity at 1 week following the binge. In contrast, citalopram did not prevent most of the acute effects of MDMA (eg hyperthermia and weight loss), nor did it block the decreased motor activity seen in the binge-treated animals 1 day after dosing. These results suggest that some of the behavioral and physiological consequences of a high-dose MDMA regimen in rats are mediated by mechanisms other than the drug's effects on the serotonergic system. Elucidation of these mechanisms requires further study of the influence of

  5. Chronic tolerance to recreational MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or Ecstasy.

    PubMed

    Parrott, A C

    2005-01-01

    This review of chronic tolerance to MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine) covers the empirical data on dosage escalation, reduced subjective efficacy and bingeing in recreational Ecstasy users. Novice users generally take a single Ecstasy tablet, regular users typically take 2-3 tablets, whereas the most experienced users may take 10-25 tablets in a single session. Reduced subjective efficacy following repeated usage is typically described, with many users subjectively reporting the development of tolerance. Intensive self-administration or bingeing is often noted by experienced users. This can comprise 'stacking' on several tablets together, and 'boosting' on successive doses over an extended period. Some experienced users snort Ecstasy powder nasally, whereas a small minority inject MDMA. Chronic tolerance and bingeing are statistically linked to higher rates of drug-related psychobiological problems. In terms of underlying mechanisms, neuroadaptive processes are certainly involved, but there is a paucity of evidence on hepatic and behavioural mechanisms. Further studies specifically designed to investigate chronic tolerance, involving low intermittent dose regimens, are required. Most animal research has involved intensive MDMA dosing regimens designed to engender serotonergic neurotoxicity, and this may comprise another underlying mechanism. If distal serotonin axon terminal loss was also developing in recreational users, it may help to explain why reducing subjective efficacy, dosage escalation and increasing psychobiological problems often develop in parallel. In conclusion, there is extensive evidence for chronic pharmacodynamic tolerance to recreational Ecstasy/MDMA, but the underlying mechanisms are currently unclear. Several traditional processes are probably involved, but one of the possible causes is a novel mechanism largely unique to the ring substituted amphetamine derivatives, namely serotonergic neurotoxicity.

  6. Procedural and declarative memory task performance, and the memory consolidation function of sleep, in recent and abstinent ecstasy/MDMA users.

    PubMed

    Blagrove, Mark; Seddon, Jennifer; George, Sophie; Parrott, Andrew C; Stickgold, Robert; Walker, Matthew P; Jones, Katy A; Morgan, Michael J

    2011-04-01

    Ecstasy/MDMA use has been associated with various memory deficits. This study assessed declarative and procedural memory in ecstasy/MDMA users. Participants were tested in two sessions, 24 h apart, so that the memory consolidation function of sleep on both types of memory could also be assessed. Groups were: drug-naive controls (n = 24); recent ecstasy/MDMA users, who had taken ecstasy/MDMA 2-3 days before the first testing session (n = 25), and abstinent users, who had not taken ecstasy/MDMA for at least 8 days before testing (n = 17). Procedural memory did not differ between groups, but greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy was associated with poorer procedural memory. Recent ecstasy/MDMA users who had taken other drugs (mainly cannabis) 48-24 h before testing exhibited poorer declarative memory than controls, but recent users who had not taken other drugs in this 48-24-h period did not differ from controls. Greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy, and of cocaine, were associated with greater deficits in declarative memory. These results suggest that procedural, as well as declarative, memory deficits are associated with the extent of past ecstasy use. However, ecstasy/MDMA did not affect the memory consolidation function of sleep for either the declarative or the procedural memory task.

  7. Human pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) after repeated doses taken 4 h apart Human pharmacology of MDMA after repeated doses taken 4 h apart.

    PubMed

    Farré, Magí; Tomillero, Angels; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Yubero, Samanta; Papaseit, Esther; Roset, Pere-Nolasc; Pujadas, Mitona; Torrens, Marta; Camí, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a popular psychostimulant, frequently associated with multiple administrations over a short period of time. Repeated administration of MDMA in experimental settings induces tolerance and metabolic inhibition. The aim is to determine the acute pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetics resulting from two consecutive 100mg doses of MDMA separated by 4h. Ten male volunteers participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial. The four conditions were placebo plus placebo, placebo plus MDMA, MDMA plus placebo, and MDMA plus MDMA. Outcome variables included pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetic parameters. After a second dose of MDMA, most effects were similar to those after a single dose, despite a doubling of MDMA concentrations (except for systolic blood pressure and reaction time). After repeated MDMA administration, a 2-fold increase was observed in MDMA plasma concentrations. For a simple dose accumulation MDMA and MDA concentrations were higher (+23.1% Cmax and +17.1% AUC for MDMA and +14.2% Cmax and +10.3% AUC for MDA) and HMMA and HMA concentrations lower (-43.3% Cmax and -39.9% AUC for HMMA and -33.2% Cmax and -35.1% AUC for HMA) than expected, probably related to MDMA metabolic autoinhibition. Although MDMA concentrations doubled after the second dose, most pharmacological effects were similar or slightly higher in comparison to the single administration, except for systolic blood pressure and reaction time which were greater than predicted. The pharmacokinetic-effects relationship suggests that when MDMA is administered at a 4h interval there exists a phenomenon of acute tolerance to its effects.

  8. MDMA ("ecstasy") abuse as an example of dopamine neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Schenk, Susan

    2011-04-01

    A number of reviews have focused on the short- and long-term effects of MDMA and, in particular, on the persistent deficits in serotonin neurotransmission that accompany some exposure regimens. The mechanisms underlying the serotonin deficits and their relevance to various behavioral and cognitive consequences of MDMA use are still being debated. It has become clear, however, that some individuals develop compulsive and uncontrolled drug-taking that is consistent with abuse. For other drugs of abuse, this transition has been attributed to neuroadaptations in central dopamine mechanisms that occur as a function of repeated drug exposure. A question remains as to whether similar neuroadaptations occur as a function of exposure to MDMA and the impact of serotonin neurotoxicity in the transition from use to abuse. This review focuses specifically on this issue by first providing an overview of human studies and then reviewing the animal literature with specific emphasis on paradigms that measure subjective effects of drugs and self-administration as indices of abuse liability. It is suggested that serotonin deficits resulting from repeated exposure to MDMA self-administration lead to a sensitized dopaminergic response to the drug and that this sensitized response renders MDMA comparable to other drugs of abuse.

  9. A cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist ameliorates impairment of recognition memory on withdrawal from MDMA (Ecstasy).

    PubMed

    Nawata, Yoko; Hiranita, Takato; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki

    2010-01-01

    (+/-)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') abusers have persistent neuropsychiatric deficits including memory impairments after the cessation of abuse. On the other hand, cannabinoid CB(1) receptors have been implicated in learning/memory, and are highly expressed in the hippocampus, a region of the brain believed to have an important function in certain forms of learning and memory. In this study, we clarified the mechanism underlying the cognitive impairment that develops during MDMA withdrawal from the standpoint of the cannabinoid CB(1) receptors. Mice were administered MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) once a day for 7 days. On the 7th day of withdrawal, a novel object recognition task was performed and the amount of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor protein was measured with western blotting. Recognition performance was impaired on the 7th day of withdrawal. This impairment was blocked by AM251, a cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, administered 30 min before the training trial or co-administered with MDMA. At this time, the level of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor protein increased significantly in the hippocampus but not the prefrontal cortex or striatum. This increase of CB(1) receptor protein in the hippocampus was also blocked by the co-administration of AM251. Furthermore, CB(1) receptor knockout mice showed no impairment of recognition performance on the withdrawal from MDMA. The impairment of recognition memory during withdrawal from MDMA may result from the activation of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in the hippocampus.

  10. Stereoselective urinary MDMA (ecstasy) and metabolites excretion kinetics following controlled MDMA administration to humans.

    PubMed

    Schwaninger, Andrea E; Meyer, Markus R; Barnes, Allan J; Kolbrich-Spargo, Erin A; Gorelick, David A; Goodwin, Robert S; Huestis, Marilyn A; Maurer, Hans H

    2012-01-01

    The R- and S-enantiomers of racemic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) exhibit different dose-concentration curves. In plasma, S-MDMA was eliminated at a higher rate, most likely due to stereoselective metabolism. Similar data were shown in various in vitro experiments. The aim of the present study was the in vivo investigation of stereoselective elimination of MDMA's phase I and phase II metabolites in human urine following controlled oral MDMA administration. Urine samples from 10 participants receiving 1.0 and 1.6 mg/kg MDMA separated by at least one week were analyzed blind by liquid chromatography-high resolution-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after chiral derivatization with S-heptafluorobutyrylprolyl chloride. R/S ratios at C(max) were comparable after low and high doses with ratios >1 for MDMA, free DHMA, and HMMA sulfate, and with ratios <1 for MDA, free HMMA, DHMA sulfate and HMMA glucuronide. In the five days after the high MDMA dose, a median of 21% of all evaluated compounds were excreted as R-stereoisomers and 17% as S-stereoisomers. Significantly greater MDMA, DHMA, and HMMA sulfate R-enantiomers and HMMA and HMMA glucuronide S-stereoisomers were excreted. No significant differences were observed for MDA and DHMA sulfate stereoisomers. Changes in R/S ratios could be observed over time for all analytes, with steady increases in the first 48 h. R/S ratios could help to roughly estimate time of MDMA ingestion and therefore, improve interpretation of MDMA and metabolite urinary concentrations in clinical and forensic toxicology.

  11. Behavioral effects and pharmacokinetics of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) after intragastric administration to baboons.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Amy K; Mueller, Melanie; Shell, Courtney D; Ricaurte, George A; Ator, Nancy A

    2013-06-01

    (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is a popular drug of abuse. We aimed to characterize the behavioral effects of intragastric MDMA in a species closely related to humans and to relate behavioral effects to plasma MDMA and metabolite concentrations. Single doses of MDMA (0.32-7.8 mg/kg) were administered via an intragastric catheter to adult male baboons (N = 4). Effects of MDMA on food-maintained responding were assessed over a 20-hour period, whereas untrained behaviors and fine-motor coordination were characterized every 30 minutes until 3 hours postadministration. Levels of MDMA and metabolites in plasma were measured in the same animals (n = 3) after dosing on a separate occasion. MDMA decreased food-maintained responding over the 20-hour period, and systematic behavioral observations revealed increased frequency of bruxism as the dose of MDMA was increased. Drug blood level determinations showed no MDMA after the lower doses of MDMA tested (0.32-1.0 mg/kg) and modest levels after higher MDMA doses (3.2-7.8 mg/kg). High levels of 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA) were detected after all doses of MDMA, suggesting extensive first-pass metabolism of MDMA in the baboon. The present results demonstrate that MDMA administered via an intragastric catheter produced behavioral effects that have also been reported in humans. Similar to humans, blood levels of MDMA after oral administration may not be predictive of the behavioral effects of MDMA. Metabolites, particularly HHMA, may play a significant role in the behavioral effects of MDMA.

  12. Toxicity of MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) considered for relevance to hazards of MDMA (Ecstasy) abuse.

    PubMed

    Davis, W M; Hatoum, H T; Waters, I W

    1987-01-01

    Despite a paucity of data on its animal pharmacology and toxicology, MDMA [Ecstasy, XTC, ADAM; (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine] was introduced as an "underground" (FDA-unapproved) adjunct to psychotherapy in the late 1970's and early 1980's, in addition to its use as a recreational drug. Analysis of the limited experimental literature indicates that LD50's for MDMA in five species by several routes of administration tend to predict a significant human toxicity. MDMA was either equally toxic or slightly to moderately less toxic than its close congener, MDA, (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine. It is suggested that extrapolation of the pharmacologic/toxicologic data available for MDA to MDMA should be assumed to be valid until disproven. Recently published canine data describe physiologic disturbances caused by acute overdosage of MDA, and also indicate the utility of chlorpromazine as an antidote preventing fatalities associated with severe hyperthermia, lactacidemia, hypertension and tachycardia. The toxicology of MDMA warrants further direct study in view of its continuing illegal distribution.

  13. Psychiatric profiles of mothers who take Ecstasy/MDMA during pregnancy: Reduced depression 1 year after giving birth and quitting Ecstasy

    PubMed Central

    Turner, John JD; Parrott, Andrew C; Goodwin, Julia; Moore, Derek G; Fulton, Sarah; Min, Meeyoung O; Singer, Lynn T

    2016-01-01

    Background The recreational drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or ‘Ecstasy’ is associated with heightened psychiatric distress and feelings of depression. The Drugs and Infancy Study (DAISY) monitored the psychiatric symptom profiles of mothers who used Ecstasy/MDMA while pregnant, and followed them over the first year post-partum. Methods We compared 28 young women whom took MDMA during their pregnancy with a polydrug control group of 68 women who took other psychoactive drugs while pregnant. The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was completed for several periods: The first trimester of pregnancy; and 1, 4 and 12 months after childbirth. Recreational drug use was monitored at each time point. Results During the first trimester of pregnancy, MDMA-using mothers reported higher depression scores than the polydrug controls. At 1 year after childbirth, their BSI depression scores were significantly lower, now closer to the control group values. At the same time point, their self-reported use of MDMA became nearly zero, in contrast to their continued use of Cannabis/marijuana, nicotine and alcohol. We found significant symptom reductions in those with BSI obsessive-compulsive and interpersonal sensitivity, following Ecstasy/MDMA cessation. Conclusions The findings from this unique prospective study of young recreational drug-using mothers are consistent with previous reports of improved psychiatric health after quitting MDMA. PMID:24327452

  14. Neurobehavioral outcomes of infants exposed to MDMA (Ecstasy) and other recreational drugs during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Singer, Lynn T; Moore, Derek G; Fulton, Sarah; Goodwin, Julia; Turner, John J D; Min, Meeyoung O; Parrott, Andrew C

    2012-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or "Ecstasy" is one of the most widely used illicit recreational drugs among young adults. MDMA is an indirect monoaminergic agonist and reuptake inhibitor that primarily affects the serotonin system. Preclinical studies in animals have found prenatal exposure related to neonatal tremors and long-term learning and memory impairments. To date, there are no prospective studies of the sequelae of prenatal exposure to MDMA in humans, despite concerns about its potential for harmful effects to the fetus. The present study is the first to prospectively identify MDMA-using women during pregnancy and to document patterns and correlates of use with neonatal and early infancy outcomes of offspring. All mothers and infants were prospectively recruited through the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and University of East London (UEL) Drugs and Infancy Study (DAISY) that focused on recreational drug use in pregnant women. Women were interviewed about substance use prior to and during pregnancy and infants were seen at 1 and 4 months using standardized, normative assessments of neonatal behavior, and cognitive and motor development, including the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), the Bayley Mental and Motor Development Scales (MDI, PDI), and the Alberta Infant Motor Scales (AIMS). The sample was primarily middle class with some university education and in stable partner relationships. The majority of women recruited had taken a number of illicit drugs prior to or during pregnancy. Group differences between those polydrug using women who had specifically used MDMA during pregnancy (n=28) and those who had not (n=68) were assessed using chi-square and t-tests. MDMA and other drug effects were assessed through multiple regression analyses controlling for confounding variables. Women who used MDMA during pregnancy had fewer prior births and more negative sequelae associated with their drug use, including more health, work, and

  15. [Chronic neurotoxic damage in ecstasy (MDMA) users. Review of the current state of research].

    PubMed

    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E; Daumann, J; Sass, H

    2002-05-01

    The popular dance drug ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, and some analogues) causes selective and persistent neurotoxic damage of the central serotonergic system in laboratory animals. Serotonin plays a role in numerous functional systems in the CNS. Consequently, various abnormalities including psychiatric, vegetative, neuroendocrine, and cognitive disorders might be expected in humans following damage of the central serotonergic system. In recent years, the questions of possible functional disorders following ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity were addressed in several cross-sectional studies with drug users. In this review we summarize and evaluate the quality of design of these studies. Despite large methodological problems, evidence accumulates in favor of persisting brain damage in ecstasy users resulting in subtle cognitive deterioration. Findings of relatively low memory performance associated with heavy ecstasy use are highly consistent across different studies and user populations. In addition, low performance in tests of higher executive function were reported in some but not all studies. The important questions about progression, persistence, or reversibility of damage after long periods of abstinence have to be addressed in future studies with longitudinal design.

  16. The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy").

    PubMed

    Green, A Richard; Mechan, Annis O; Elliott, J Martin; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, M Isabel

    2003-09-01

    The amphetamine derivative (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a popular recreational drug among young people, particularly those involved in the dance culture. MDMA produces an acute, rapid enhancement in the release of both serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine from nerve endings in the brains of experimental animals. It produces increased locomotor activity and the serotonin behavioral syndrome in rats. Crucially, it produces dose-dependent hyperthermia that is potentially fatal in rodents, primates, and humans. Some recovery of 5-HT stores can be seen within 24 h of MDMA administration. However, cerebral 5-HT concentrations then decline due to specific neurotoxic damage to 5-HT nerve endings in the forebrain. This neurodegeneration, which has been demonstrated both biochemically and histologically, lasts for months in rats and years in primates. In general, other neurotransmitters appear unaffected. In contrast, MDMA produces a selective long-term loss of dopamine nerve endings in mice. Studies on the mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity in both rats and mice implicate the formation of tissue-damaging free radicals. Increased free radical formation may result from the further breakdown of MDMA metabolic products. Evidence for the occurrence of MDMA-induced neurotoxic damage in human users remains equivocal, although some biochemical and functional data suggest that damage may occur in the brains of heavy users. There is also some evidence for long-term physiological and psychological changes occurring in human recreational users. However, such evidence is complicated by the lack of knowledge of doses ingested and the fact that many subjects studied are or have been poly-drug users.

  17. Brain serotonin synthesis in MDMA (ecstasy) polydrug users: an alpha-[(11) C]methyl-l-tryptophan study.

    PubMed

    Booij, Linda; Soucy, Jean-Paul; Young, Simon N; Regoli, Martine; Gravel, Paul; Diksic, Mirko; Leyton, Marco; Pihl, Robert O; Benkelfat, Chawki

    2014-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) use may have long-term neurotoxic effects. In this study, positron emission tomography with the tracer alpha-[(11) C]methyl-l-tryptophan ((11) C-AMT) was used to compare human brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis capacity in 17 currently drug-free MDMA polydrug users with that in 18 healthy matched controls. Gender differences and associations between regional (11) C-AMT trapping and characteristics of MDMA use were also examined. MDMA polydrug users exhibited lower normalized (11) C-AMT trapping in pre-frontal, orbitofrontal, and parietal regions, relative to controls. These differences were more widespread in males than in females. Increased normalized (11) C-AMT trapping in MDMA users was also observed, mainly in the brainstem and in frontal and temporal areas. Normalized (11) C-AMT trapping in the brainstem and pre-frontal regions correlated positively and negatively, respectively, with greater lifetime accumulated MDMA use, longer durations of MDMA use, and shorter time elapsed since the last MDMA use. Although the possibility of pre-existing 5-HT alterations pre-disposing people to use MDMA cannot be ruled out, regionally decreased 5-HT synthesis capacity in the forebrain could be interpreted as neurotoxicity of MDMA on distal (frontal) brain regions. On the other hand, increased 5-HT synthesis capacity in the raphe and adjacent areas could be due to compensatory mechanisms.

  18. Ecstasy (MDMA) Alters Cardiac Gene Expression and DNA Methylation: Implications for Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction in the Heart.

    PubMed

    Koczor, Christopher A; Ludlow, Ivan; Hight, Robert S; Jiao, Zhe; Fields, Earl; Ludaway, Tomika; Russ, Rodney; Torres, Rebecca A; Lewis, William

    2015-11-01

    MDMA (ecstasy) is an illicit drug that stimulates monoamine neurotransmitter release and inhibits reuptake. MDMA's acute cardiotoxicity includes tachycardia and arrhythmia which are associated with cardiomyopathy. MDMA acute cardiotoxicity has been explored, but neither long-term MDMA cardiac pathological changes nor epigenetic changes have been evaluated. Microarray analyses were employed to identify cardiac gene expression changes and epigenetic DNA methylation changes. To identify permanent MDMA-induced pathogenetic changes, mice received daily 10- or 35-day MDMA, or daily 10-day MDMA followed by 25-day saline washout (10 + 25 days). MDMA treatment caused differential gene expression (p < .05, fold change >1.5) in 752 genes following 10 days, 558 genes following 35 days, and 113 genes following 10-day MDMA + 25-day saline washout. Changes in MAPK and circadian rhythm gene expression were identified as early as 10 days. After 35 days, circadian rhythm genes (Per3, CLOCK, ARNTL, and NPAS2) persisted to be differentially expressed. MDMA caused DNA hypermethylation and hypomethylation that was independent of gene expression; hypermethylation of genes was found to be 71% at 10 days, 68% at 35 days, and 91% at 10 + 25 days washout. Differential gene expression paralleled DNA methylation in 22% of genes at 10-day treatment, 17% at 35 days, and 48% at 10 + 25 days washout. We show here that MDMA induced cardiac epigenetic changes in DNA methylation where hypermethylation predominated. Moreover, MDMA induced gene expression of key elements of circadian rhythm regulatory genes. This suggests a fundamental organism-level event to explain some of the etiologies of MDMA dysfunction in the heart.

  19. Anticataleptic activity of cathinone and MDMA (Ecstasy) upon acute and subchronic administration in rat.

    PubMed

    Banjaw, Mehret Yerdaw; Mayerhofer, Andreas; Schmidt, Werner J

    2003-09-15

    It was recently demonstrated that acute administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphet-amine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is capable of counteracting haloperidol-induced catalepsy in rats. The present study was done with another psychostimulant, S-(-)-cathinone. In these experiments, 32 male Sprague-Dawley rats, 225 +/- 25 g, were used. They were divided into three groups. All groups received 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol in normal saline (s.c.) as a first injection. Then 30 min later each group received either isotonic phosphate-buffered saline, 1 mg/kg S-(-)-cathinone, or 2.5 mg/kg (RS)-MDMA (s.c.) as a second injection. The results of descent latency on both the horizontal bar and vertical grid showed that S-(-)-cathinone or (RS)-MDMA upon acute administration induces a strong anticataleptic activity (P < 0.0001) compared to rats treated with haloperidol plus vehicle. The effect of both drugs was later masked upon subchronic administration (days 2-7, 26-29). This is probably due to sensitization of cataleptic behavior. However, when the same groups of rats were tested on day 8 in a different task, i.e., open-field, they showed a significant difference (P < 0.05). The detailed mechanism of the observed strong anticataleptic activity of S-(-)-cathinone (which is considered a potent dopamine releaser) requires further investigation.

  20. Non-Serotonergic Neurotoxicity by MDMA (Ecstasy) in Neurons Derived from Mouse P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Popova, Dina; Forsblad, Andréas; Hashemian, Sanaz; Jacobsson, Stig O P

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is a commonly abused recreational drug that causes neurotoxic effects in both humans and animals. The mechanism behind MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is suggested to be species-dependent and needs to be further investigated on the cellular level. In this study, the effects of MDMA in neuronally differentiated P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cells have been examined. MDMA produces a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent toxicity in differentiated P19 neurons, as measured by intracellular MTT reduction and extracellular LDH activity assays. The P19-derived neurons express both the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT), that is functionally active, and the serotonin metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). The involvement of these proteins in the MDMA-induced toxicity was investigated by a pharmacological approach. The MAO inhibitors clorgyline and deprenyl, and the SERT inhibitor fluoxetine, per se or in combination, were not able to mimic the toxic effects of MDMA in the P19-derived neurons or block the MDMA-induced cell toxicity. Oxidative stress has been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, but pre-treatment with the antioxidants α-tocopherol or N-acetylcysteine did not reveal any protective effects in the P19 neurons. Involvement of mitochondria in the MDMA-induced cytotoxicity was also examined, but MDMA did not alter the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in the P19 neurons. We conclude that MDMA produce a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent neurotoxicity and our results suggest that the mechanism behind MDMA-induced toxicity in mouse-derived neurons do not involve the serotonergic system, oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction.

  1. High ambient temperature increases 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy")-induced Fos expression in a region-specific manner.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, G A; Hunt, G E; Cornish, J L; McGregor, I S

    2007-03-16

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is a popular drug that is often taken under hot conditions at dance clubs. High ambient temperature increases MDMA-induced hyperthermia and recent studies suggest that high temperatures may also enhance the rewarding and prosocial effects of MDMA in rats. The present study investigated whether ambient temperature influences MDMA-induced expression of Fos, a marker of neural activation. Male Wistar rats received either MDMA (10 mg/kg i.p.) or saline, and were placed in test chambers for 2 h at either 19 or 30 degrees C. MDMA caused significant hyperthermia at 30 degrees C and a modest hypothermia at 19 degrees C. The 30 degrees C ambient temperature had little effect on Fos expression in vehicle-treated rats. However MDMA-induced Fos expression was augmented in 15 of 30 brain regions at the high temperature. These regions included (1) sites associated with thermoregulation such as the median preoptic nucleus, dorsomedial hypothalamus and raphe pallidus, (2) the supraoptic nucleus, a region important for osmoregulation and a key mediator of oxytocin and vasopressin release, (3) the medial and central nuclei of the amygdala, important in the regulation of social and emotional behaviors, and (4) the shell of the nucleus accumbens and (anterior) ventral tegmental area, regions associated with the reinforcing effects of MDMA. MDMA-induced Fos expression was unaffected by ambient temperature at many other sites, and was diminished at high temperature at one site (the islands of Calleja), suggesting that the effect of temperature on MDMA-induced Fos expression was not a general pharmacokinetic effect. Overall, these results indicate that high temperatures accentuate key neural effects of MDMA and this may help explain the widespread use of the drug under hot conditions at dance parties as well as the more hazardous nature of MDMA taken under such conditions.

  2. Non-Serotonergic Neurotoxicity by MDMA (Ecstasy) in Neurons Derived from Mouse P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Popova, Dina; Forsblad, Andréas; Hashemian, Sanaz

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is a commonly abused recreational drug that causes neurotoxic effects in both humans and animals. The mechanism behind MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is suggested to be species-dependent and needs to be further investigated on the cellular level. In this study, the effects of MDMA in neuronally differentiated P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cells have been examined. MDMA produces a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent toxicity in differentiated P19 neurons, as measured by intracellular MTT reduction and extracellular LDH activity assays. The P19-derived neurons express both the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT), that is functionally active, and the serotonin metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). The involvement of these proteins in the MDMA-induced toxicity was investigated by a pharmacological approach. The MAO inhibitors clorgyline and deprenyl, and the SERT inhibitor fluoxetine, per se or in combination, were not able to mimic the toxic effects of MDMA in the P19-derived neurons or block the MDMA-induced cell toxicity. Oxidative stress has been implicated in MDMA-induced neurotoxicity, but pre-treatment with the antioxidants α-tocopherol or N-acetylcysteine did not reveal any protective effects in the P19 neurons. Involvement of mitochondria in the MDMA-induced cytotoxicity was also examined, but MDMA did not alter the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in the P19 neurons. We conclude that MDMA produce a concentration-, time- and temperature-dependent neurotoxicity and our results suggest that the mechanism behind MDMA-induced toxicity in mouse-derived neurons do not involve the serotonergic system, oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction. PMID:27861613

  3. Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Alerts Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Prescription Drugs & Cold ... other medications to treat stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) addiction. People who use more than one ...

  4. Increased oxidative-modifications of cytosolic proteins in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)-exposed rat liver.

    PubMed

    Upreti, Vijay V; Moon, Kwan-Hoon; Yu, Li-Rong; Lee, Insong J; Eddington, Natalie D; Ye, Xiaoying; Veenstra, Timothy D; Song, Byoung-Joon

    2011-01-01

    It is well established that 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) causes acute liver damage in animals and humans. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize oxidative modification and inactivation of cytosolic proteins in MDMA-exposed rats. Markedly increased levels of oxidized and nitrated cytosolic proteins were detected 12 h after the second administration of two consecutive MDMA doses (10 mg/kg each). Comparative 2-DE analysis showed markedly increased levels of biotin-N-methylimide-labeled oxidized cytosolic proteins in MDMA-exposed rats compared to vehicle-treated rats. Proteins in the 22 gel spots of strong intensities were identified using MS/MS. The oxidatively modified proteins identified include anti-oxidant defensive enzymes, a calcium-binding protein, and proteins involved in metabolism of lipids, nitrogen, and carbohydrates (glycolysis). Cytosolic superoxide dismutase was oxidized and its activity significantly inhibited following MDMA exposure. Consistent with the oxidative inactivation of peroxiredoxin, MDMA activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase and p38 kinase. Since these protein kinases phosphorylate anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein, their activation may promote apoptosis in MDMA-exposed tissues. Our results show for the first time that MDMA induces oxidative-modification of many cytosolic proteins accompanied with increased oxidative stress and apoptosis, contributing to hepatic damage.

  5. Motivations for Using MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) among African Americans: Implications for Prevention and Harm-Reduction Programs.

    PubMed

    Rigg, Khary K

    2017-04-13

    Despite the growing popularity of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) among African Americans, their motives for using the drug are still largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the most salient motivations for using MDMA among this understudied population. In-depth interviews (n = 15) were conducted with a sample of African American young adults in Southwest Florida between August 2014 and November 2015. The primary motivations for using MDMA included: (1) altering the effects of marijuana and alcohol; (2) lasting longer sexually; (3) enhancing sexual pleasure; and (4) facilitating "freaky" sexual experiences. This is the first study to directly examine MDMA motivations specifically among African American drug users, and findings shed light on why some African Americans use MDMA. A better understanding of why African Americans use this drug should help to inform prevention and harm-reduction efforts. Study findings show the need for health messages that include the potential consequences of mixing MDMA with other drugs, and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors after taking MDMA. These data contrast with motivations (e.g., introspection, self-enlightenment, getting into the music) commonly reported among groups of largely White MDMA users, suggesting that interventions tailored specifically for African American users are needed.

  6. MDMA in humans: factors which affect the neuropsychobiological profiles of recreational ecstasy users, the integrative role of bioenergetic stress.

    PubMed

    Parrott, Andy C

    2006-03-01

    Many recreational ecstasy/MDMA users display neuropsychobiological deficits, whereas others remain problem free. This review will investigate some of the drug and non-drug factors which influence the occurrence of these deficits. Acute and chronic MDMA usage are both important. Intensive use within a session is often associated with more problems. In term of lifetime usage, novice users generally remain unimpaired, whereas most heavy users report memory or other psychobiological problems which they attribute to ecstasy. These complaints are confirmed by objective deficits in working memory, attention, frontal-executive, and episodic memory tasks. Psychobiological deficits include disturbed sleep, sexual dysfunction, reduced immuno-competence, and increased oxidative stress. Further MDMA-related factors which may contribute to these changes, include acute and chronic tolerance, and drug dependence. Around 90ñ95% of ecstasy/MDMA users also take cannabis, and this can independently contribute to the adverse neuropsychobiological pro.les; although in some situations the acute co-use of these two drugs may be interactive rather than additive, since cannabis has relaxant and hypothermic properties. Alcohol, nicotine, amphetamine, and other drugs, can also affect the psychobiological pro.les of ecstasy polydrug users in complex ways. Pure MDMA users are rare but they have been shown to display significant neurocognitive deficits. Psychiatric aspects are debated in the context of the diathesis-stress model. Here the stressor of ecstasy polydrug drug use, interacts with various predisposition factors (genetic, neurochemical, personality), to determine the psychiatric outcome. Recreational MDMA is typically taken in hot and crowded dances/raves. Prolonged dancing, feeling hot, and raised body temperature, can also be associated with more psychobiological problems. This is consistent with the animal literature, where high ambient temperature and other metabolic stimulants

  7. Ecstasy (MDMA) Alters Cardiac Gene Expression and DNA Methylation: Implications for Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction in the Heart

    PubMed Central

    Koczor, Christopher A.; Ludlow, Ivan; Hight, Robert S.; Jiao, Zhe; Fields, Earl; Ludaway, Tomika; Russ, Rodney; Torres, Rebecca A.; Lewis, William

    2015-01-01

    MDMA (ecstasy) is an illicit drug that stimulates monoamine neurotransmitter release and inhibits reuptake. MDMA’s acute cardiotoxicity includes tachycardia and arrhythmia which are associated with cardiomyopathy. MDMA acute cardiotoxicity has been explored, but neither long-term MDMA cardiac pathological changes nor epigenetic changes have been evaluated. Microarray analyses were employed to identify cardiac gene expression changes and epigenetic DNA methylation changes. To identify permanent MDMA-induced pathogenetic changes, mice received daily 10- or 35-day MDMA, or daily 10-day MDMA followed by 25-day saline washout (10 + 25 days). MDMA treatment caused differential gene expression (p < .05, fold change >1.5) in 752 genes following 10 days, 558 genes following 35 days, and 113 genes following 10-day MDMA + 25-day saline washout. Changes in MAPK and circadian rhythm gene expression were identified as early as 10 days. After 35 days, circadian rhythm genes (Per3, CLOCK, ARNTL, and NPAS2) persisted to be differentially expressed. MDMA caused DNA hypermethylation and hypomethylation that was independent of gene expression; hypermethylation of genes was found to be 71% at 10 days, 68% at 35 days, and 91% at 10 + 25 days washout. Differential gene expression paralleled DNA methylation in 22% of genes at 10-day treatment, 17% at 35 days, and 48% at 10 + 25 days washout. We show here that MDMA induced cardiac epigenetic changes in DNA methylation where hypermethylation predominated. Moreover, MDMA induced gene expression of key elements of circadian rhythm regulatory genes. This suggests a fundamental organism-level event to explain some of the etiologies of MDMA dysfunction in the heart. PMID:26251327

  8. Caffeine promotes hyperthermia and serotonergic loss following co-administration of the substituted amphetamines, MDMA ("Ecstasy") and MDA ("Love").

    PubMed

    McNamara, Ruth; Kerans, Aoife; O'Neill, Barry; Harkin, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The present study determined the effect of caffeine co-administration on the core body temperature response and long-term serotonin (5-HT) loss induced by methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") and its metabolite methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA; "Love") to rats. In group-housed animals, caffeine (10 mg/kg) enhanced the acute toxicity of MDMA (15 mg/kg) and MDA (7.5 mg/kg), resulting in an exaggerated hyperthermic response (+2 degrees C for 5 h following MDMA and +1.5 degrees C for 3 h following MDA) when compared to MDMA (+1 degree C for 3 h) and MDA (+1 degree C for 1 h) alone. Co-administration of caffeine with MDMA or MDA was also associated with increased lethality. To reduce the risk of lethality, doses of MDMA and MDA were reduced in further experiments and the animals were housed individually. To examine the effects of repeated administration, animals received MDMA (10 mg/kg) or MDA (5 mg/kg) with or without caffeine (10 mg/kg) twice daily for 4 consecutive days. MDMA and MDA alone induced hypothermia (fall of 1 to 2 degrees C) over the 4 treatment days. Co-administration of caffeine with MDMA or MDA resulted in hyperthermia (increase of up to 2.5 degrees C) following acute administration compared to animals treated with caffeine or MDMA/MDA alone. This hyperthermic response to caffeine and MDMA was not observed with repeated administration, unlike caffeine + MDA, where hyperthermia was obtained over the 4 day treatment period. In addition, 4 weeks after the last treatment, co-administration of caffeine with MDA (but not MDMA) induced a reduction in 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) concentrations in frontal cortex (to 61% and 58% of control, respectively), hippocampus (48% and 60%), striatum (79% and 64%) and amygdala (63% and 37%). However, when caffeine (10 mg/kg) and MDMA (2.5 mg/kg) were co-administered four times daily for 2 days to group-housed animals, both hyperthermia and hippocampal 5-HT loss were observed (reduced to 68% of

  9. Acute psychological effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") are attenuated by the serotonin uptake inhibitor citalopram.

    PubMed

    Liechti, M E; Baumann, C; Gamma, A; Vollenweider, F X

    2000-05-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is a recreational drug that has been shown to release serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) in animals. The effect of MDMA on 5-HT release can be blocked by 5-HT uptake inhibitors such as citalopram, suggesting that MDMA interacts with the 5-HT uptake site. It is unknown whether this mechanism is also responsible for the psychological effects of MDMA in humans. We investigated the effect of citalopram pretreatment (40 mg iv) on the psychological effects of MDMA (1.5 mg/kg po) in a double-blind placebo-controlled psychometric study in 16 healthy human volunteers. MDMA produced an emotional state with heightened mood, increased self-confidence and extroversion, moderate derealization, and an intensification of sensory perception. Most of these effects were markedly reduced by citalopram. This finding suggests that the psychological effects of MDMA are mediated via action at the 5-HT uptake site to increase 5-HT release through the carrier, as expected from animal studies.

  10. Constructing the ecstasy of MDMA from its component mental organs: Proposing the primer/probe method.

    PubMed

    Ray, Thomas S

    2016-02-01

    The drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, produces a specific and distinct open hearted mental state, which led to the creation of a new pharmacological class, "entactogens". Extensive literature on its mechanisms of action has come to characterize MDMA as a "messy" drug with multiple mechanisms, but the consensus is that the distinctive entactogenic effects arise from the release of neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin. I propose an alternative hypothesis: The entactogenic mental state is due to the simultaneous direct activation of imidazoline-1 (I1) and serotonin-2 (5-HT2) receptors by MDMA. This hypothesis emerges from "mental organ" theory, which embodies many hypotheses, the most relevant of which are: "Mental organs" are populations of neurons that all express their defining metabotropic receptor, and each mental organ plays a distinct role in the mind, a role shaped by evolution as mental organs evolve by duplication and divergence. Mental organs are the mechanism by which evolution sculpts the mind. Mental organs can be in or out of consciousness. In order for a mental organ to enter consciousness, three things must happen: The mental organ must be activated directly at its defining receptor. 5-HT2 must be simultaneously activated. One of the functions of activated 5-HT2 is to load other simultaneously activated mental organs fully into consciousness. In some cases THC must be introduced to remove long-term blocks mediated by the cannabinoid system. I propose the "primer/probe" method to test these hypotheses. A "primer" is a drug that selectively activates 5-HT2 (e.g. DOB or MEM) or serotonin-1 (5-HT1) and 5-HT2 (e.g. DOET or 2C-B-fly). A "probe" is a drug that activates a receptor whose corresponding mental organ we wish to load into consciousness in order to understand its role in the mind. The mental organ is loaded into consciousness when the primer and probe are taken together, but not when taken separately. For example, the blood pressure

  11. Ecstasy (MDMA) and its effects on kidneys and their treatment: a review

    PubMed Central

    Bora, Feyza; Yılmaz, Fatih; Bora, Taner

    2016-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA; 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) is an illicit drug that has been increasingly abused by young people. Its effects include euphoria, enhanced sociability and heightened mental awareness. These come about via the increase of serotonin in both the central nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. Despite the drug’s prevalent abuse, serious or adverse effects are rare. Due to personal pharmacokinetics, effects from the same dosage vary according to the individual. Fatal instances may include acute hyponatremia, hyperthermia (>42 °C), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) resulting from hyperthermia affecting the kidneys, and non-traumatic rhabdomyolysis. However, it is seldom the case that hyponatremia and hyperthermia co-exist. Hyponatremia is thought to be caused by HMMA – a metabolite of MDMA. Hyponatremia is caused by the inappropriate secretion of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and the excessive intake of hypotonic liquid accompanied by increased hyperthermia. Symptomatic, even deadly hyponatremia is seen more frequently in females, with the effects of oestrogen on arginine vasopressin believed to be the cause. Onset in such cases is acute, and treatment should be given to symptomatic patients as quickly as possible, with 3% saline administered when necessary. Reasons for acute kidney injury may include rhabdomyolysis, malign hypertension, and necrotizing vasculitis. PMID:27917269

  12. Ecstasy (MDMA, MDA, MDEA, MBDB) consumption, seizures, related offences, prices, dosage levels and deaths in the UK (1994-2003).

    PubMed

    Schifano, Fabrizio; Corkery, John; Deluca, Paolo; Oyefeso, Adenekan; Ghodse, A Hamid

    2006-05-01

    In the last decade, a global trend of escalating ecstasy (MDMA, MDA, MDEA, MBDB) use was observed. Mentions on medical death certificates, last year's ecstasy use, number of drug offenders, seizures, prices and dosage levels figures were used for this descriptive and correlational study. Figures (1994-2003) were taken from the UK General Mortality Registers, from the Home Office Statistical Bulletins, from the British Crime Survey and from those reported to both the National Crime Intelligence and Forensic Science Services. A total of 394 ecstasy deaths mentions were here identified from the UK; in 42% of cases ecstasy was the sole drug mentioned. Overall, number of fatalities showed a year-per-year increase and positively correlated with: prevalence of last year's use (p < 0.01); number of offenders (p < 0.01) and number of seizures (p < 0.01) but negatively correlated with ecstasy price (p < 0.05). Price negatively correlated with: prevalence of last year's use (p < 0.001) and number of seizures (p < 0.01); but positively correlated with average MDMA dosage per tablet (p < 0.01). MDA, MDEA and MBDB accounted for a significant proportion of tablets only up to 1997, but not afterwards. Increasing production with a concomitant decrease in ecstasy price may have facilitated an increase in consumption levels and this, in turn, may have determined an increase in number of ecstasy deaths mentions. Only medical death certificates and not coroners' reports at the end of their inquests were here analysed; no data were available in respect of other drugs use and toxicology results.

  13. Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) or 'ecstasy' and self-focused compassion: Preliminary steps in the development of a therapeutic psychopharmacology of contemplative practices.

    PubMed

    Kamboj, Sunjeev K; Kilford, Emma J; Minchin, Stephanie; Moss, Abigail; Lawn, Will; Das, Ravi K; Falconer, Caroline J; Gilbert, Paul; Curran, H Valerie; Freeman, Tom P

    2015-09-01

    3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) produces diverse pro-social effects. Cognitive training methods rooted in Eastern contemplative practices also produce these effects through the development of a compassionate mindset. Given this similarity, we propose that one potential mechanism of action of MDMA in psychotherapy is through enhancing effects on intrapersonal attitudes (i.e. pro-social attitudes towards the self). We provide a preliminary test of this idea. Recreational MDMA (ecstasy) users were tested on two occasions, having consumed or not consumed ecstasy. Self-critical and self-compassionate responses to self-threatening scenarios were assessed before (T1) and after (T2) ecstasy use (or non-use), and then after compassionate imagery (T3). Moderating roles of dispositional self-criticism and avoidant attachment were examined. Separately, compassionate imagery and ecstasy produced similar sociotropic effects, as well as increases in self-compassion and reductions in self-criticism. Higher attachment-related avoidance was associated with additive effects of compassionate imagery and ecstasy on self-compassion. Findings were in line with MDMA's neuropharmacological profile, its phenomenological effects and its proposed adjunctive use in psychotherapy. However, although conditions were balanced, the experiment was non-blind and MDMA dose/purity was not determined. Controlled studies with pharmaceutically pure MDMA are still needed to test these effects rigorously.

  14. A study on the mechanisms by which minocycline protects against MDMA ('ecstasy')-induced neurotoxicity of 5-HT cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Orio, Laura; Llopis, Noemi; Torres, Elisa; Izco, Maria; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, M Isabel

    2010-08-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') is a selective 5-HT neurotoxin in rat brain which has been shown to produce acute neuroinflammation characterized by activation of microglia and release of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). We aimed to determine whether or not minocycline, a semi-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic capable of inhibiting microglial activation, could prevent the inflammatory response and reduce the toxicity induced by MDMA. Adult male Dark Agouti rats were given minocycline twice a day for 2 days (45 mg/kg on the first day and 90 mg/kg on the second day; 12-h apart, i.p.). MDMA (12.5 mg/kg; i.p.) was given after the third minocycline injection and animals were killed either 1 h later for the determination of NFkappaB binding activity, 3 h later for the determination of IL-1beta, 24 h later for the determination of microglial activation or 7 days later for the determination of [(3)H]-paroxetine binding as a measure of 5-HT neurotoxicity. MDMA increased NFkappaB activation, IL-1beta release and microglial activation both in the frontal cortex and in the hypothalamus and 7 days later produced a reduction in the density of 5-HT uptake sites in both these brain areas. Minocycline prevented the MDMA-induced increase in NFkappaB activation, IL-1beta release and microglial activation in the frontal cortex and prevented the 5-HT neurotoxicity 7 days later. However, in the hypothalamus, in spite of preventing MDMA-induced microglial activation, minocycline failed to prevent MDMA-induced NFkappaB activation, IL-1beta release and neurotoxicity. This suggests that the protective mechanism of minocycline against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in frontal cortex involves inhibition of MDMA-induced NFkappaB activation possibly through a reduction in IL-1beta signalling.

  15. Signs of Drug Use and Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Marijuana (Weed, Pot) Facts MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly) Facts Meth (Crank, Ice) Facts Pain Medicine (Oxy, Vike) Facts ... Antonio_Diaz Matt's brother Stephen is addicted to meth. Matt wants to help Stephen, but he isn' ...

  16. Dorsal hippocampal NMDA receptors mediate the interactive effects of arachidonylcyclopropylamide and MDMA/ecstasy on memory retrieval in rats.

    PubMed

    Ghaderi, Marzieh; Rezayof, Ameneh; Vousooghi, Nasim; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-04-03

    A combination of cannabis and ecstasy may change the cognitive functions more than either drug alone. The present study was designed to investigate the possible involvement of dorsal hippocampal NMDA receptors in the interactive effects of arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA) and ecstasy/MDMA on memory retrieval. Adult male Wistar rats were cannulated into the CA1 regions of the dorsal hippocampus (intra-CA1) and memory retrieval was examined using the step-through type of passive avoidance task. Intra-CA1 microinjection of a selective CB1 receptor agonist, ACPA (0.5-4ng/rat) immediately before the testing phase (pre-test), but not after the training phase (post-training), impaired memory retrieval. In addition, pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of MDMA (0.5-1μg/rat) dose-dependently decreased step-through latency, indicating an amnesic effect of the drug by itself. Interestingly, pre-test microinjection of a higher dose of MDMA into the CA1 regions significantly improved ACPA-induced memory impairment. Moreover, pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of a selective NMDA receptor antagonist, D-AP5 (1 and 2μg/rat) inhibited the reversal effect of MDMA on the impairment of memory retrieval induced by ACPA. Pre-test intra-CA1 microinjection of the same doses of D-AP5 had no effect on memory retrieval alone. These findings suggest that ACPA or MDMA consumption can induce memory retrieval impairment, while their co-administration improves this amnesic effect through interacting with hippocampal glutamatergic-NMDA receptor mechanism. Thus, it seems that the tendency to abuse cannabis with ecstasy may be for avoiding cognitive dysfunction.

  17. Reduced 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)-initiated oxidative DNA damage and neurodegeneration in prostaglandin H synthase-1 knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Jeng, Winnie; Wells, Peter G

    2010-05-19

    The neurodegenerative potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) and underlying mechanisms are under debate. Here, we show that MDMA is a substrate for CNS prostaglandin H synthase (PHS)-catalyzed bioactivation to a free radical intermediate that causes reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and neurodegenerative oxidative DNA damage. In vitro PHS-1-catalyzed bioactivation of MDMA stereoselectively produced free radical intermediate formation and oxidative DNA damage that was blocked by the PHS inhibitor eicosatetraynoic acid. In vivo, MDMA stereoselectively caused gender-independent DNA oxidation and dopaminergic nerve terminal degeneration in several brain regions, dependent on regional PHS-1 levels. Conversely, MDMA-initiated striatal DNA oxidation, nerve terminal degeneration, and motor coordination deficits were reduced in PHS-1 +/- and -/- knockout mice in a gene dose-dependent fashion. These results confirm the neurodegenerative potential of MDMA and provide the first direct evidence for a novel molecular mechanism involving PHS-catalyzed formation of a neurotoxic MDMA free radical intermediate.

  18. N-substituted piperazines abused by humans mimic the molecular mechanism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or 'Ecstasy').

    PubMed

    Baumann, Michael H; Clark, Robert D; Budzynski, Allison G; Partilla, John S; Blough, Bruce E; Rothman, Richard B

    2005-03-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or 'Ecstasy') is an illicit drug that stimulates the release of serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) from neurons. Recent evidence reveals that drug users are ingesting piperazine analogs, like 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP, or 'A2') and 1-(m-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP, or 'Molly'), to mimic psychoactive effects of MDMA. In the present study, we compared the neurochemistry of MDMA, BZP, and TFMPP in rats. The effects of MDMA, BZP, and TFMPP on transporter-mediated efflux of [3H]5-HT and [3H]MPP+ (DA transporter substrate) were determined in synaptosomes. The effects of drugs on extracellular levels of 5-HT and DA were examined using in vivo microdialysis in conscious rats. MDMA evoked transporter-mediated release of [3H]5-HT and [3H]MPP+. BZP released [3H]MPP+, whereas TFMPP was a selective releaser of [3H]5-HT. MDMA (1-3 mg/kg, i.v.) increased dialysate 5-HT and DA in a dose-related fashion, with actions on 5-HT being predominant. BZP (3-10 mg/kg, i.v.) elevated dialysate DA and 5-HT, while TFMPP (3-10 mg/kg, i.v.) elevated 5-HT. Administration of BZP plus TFMPP at a 1:1 ratio (BZP/TFMPP) produced parallel increases in dialysate 5-HT and DA; a 3 mg/kg dose of BZP/TFMPP mirrored the effects of MDMA. At a 10 mg/kg dose, BZP/TFMPP increased dialysate DA more than the summed effects of each drug alone, and some rats developed seizures. Our results show that BZP/TFMPP and MDMA share the ability to evoke monoamine release, but dangerous drug-drug synergism may occur when piperazines are coadministered at high doses.

  19. Critical role of peripheral vasoconstriction in fatal brain hyperthermia induced by MDMA (Ecstasy) under conditions that mimic human drug use.

    PubMed

    Kiyatkin, Eugene A; Kim, Albert H; Wakabayashi, Ken T; Baumann, Michael H; Shaham, Yavin

    2014-06-04

    MDMA (Ecstasy) is an illicit drug used by young adults at hot, crowed "rave" parties, yet the data on potential health hazards of its abuse remain controversial. Here, we examined the effect of MDMA on temperature homeostasis in male rats under standard laboratory conditions and under conditions that simulate drug use in humans. We chronically implanted thermocouple microsensors in the nucleus accumbens (a brain reward area), temporal muscle, and facial skin to measure temperature continuously from freely moving rats. While focusing on brain hyperthermia, temperature monitoring from the two peripheral locations allowed us to evaluate the physiological mechanisms (i.e., intracerebral heat production and heat loss via skin surfaces) that underlie MDMA-induced brain temperature responses. Our data confirm previous reports on high individual variability and relatively weak brain hyperthermic effects of MDMA under standard control conditions (quiet rest, 22-23°C), but demonstrate dramatic enhancements of drug-induced brain hyperthermia during social interaction (exposure to male conspecific) and in warm environments (29°C). Importantly, we identified peripheral vasoconstriction as a critical mechanism underlying the activity- and state-dependent potentiation of MDMA-induced brain hyperthermia. Through this mechanism, which prevents proper heat dissipation to the external environment, MDMA at a moderate nontoxic dose (9 mg/kg or ~1/5 of LD50 in rats) can cause fatal hyperthermia under environmental conditions commonly encountered by humans. Our results demonstrate that doses of MDMA that are nontoxic under cool, quiet conditions can become highly dangerous under conditions that mimic recreational use of MDMA at rave parties or other hot, crowded venues.

  20. The ugly side of amphetamines: short- and long-term toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy'), methamphetamine and D-amphetamine.

    PubMed

    Steinkellner, Thomas; Freissmuth, Michael; Sitte, Harald H; Montgomery, Therese

    2011-01-01

    Amphetamine ('Speed'), methamphetamine ('Ice') and its congener 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy') are illicit drugs abused worldwide for their euphoric and stimulant effects. Despite compelling evidence for chronic MDMA neurotoxicity in animal models, the physiological consequences of such toxicity in humans remain unclear. In addition, distinct differences in the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of MDMA between species and different strains of animals prevent the rationalisation of realistic human dose paradigms in animal studies. Here, we attempt to review amphetamine toxicity and in particular MDMA toxicity in the pathogenesis of exemplary human pathologies, independently of confounding environmental factors such as poly-drug use and drug purity.

  1. The Variety of Ecstasy/MDMA Users: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Li-Tzy; Parrott, Andy C.; Ringwalt, Christopher L.; Yang, Chongming; Blazer, Dan G.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the potential heterogeneity of ecstasy or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) users. Data came from the 2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression procedures were used to identify subtypes of ecstasy users. Approximately 1.6% (n=562) of adult participants (N=43,093) reported lifetime ecstasy use. LCA identified three subtypes of ecstasy users. Class 1 exhibited pervasive use of most drug classes (ecstasy–polydrug users, 37%). Class 2 reported a high rate of use of marijuana and cocaine and a moderate use of amphetamines (ecstasy–marijuana–stimulant users, 29%). Class 3 was characterized by a high rate of use of marijuana and a low use of primarily prescription-type drugs (ecstasy– marijuana users, 34%). Subtypes were distinguished by family income, history of substance abuse treatment, and familial substance abuse. Class 1 exhibited the highest prevalence of disorders related to the use of marijuana (77%), tobacco (66%), amphetamines (36%), opioids (35%), sedatives (31%), and tranquilizers (30%). The recent resurgence in ecstasy use among adults underscores the need to monitor trends in its use. PMID:19874166

  2. Distribution of temperature changes and neurovascular coupling in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") exposure.

    PubMed

    Coman, Daniel; Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G; Jiang, Lihong; Hyder, Fahmeed; Behar, Kevin L

    2015-10-01

    (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is an abused psychostimulant that produces strong monoaminergic stimulation and whole-body hyperthermia. MDMA-induced thermogenesis involves activation of uncoupling proteins (UCPs), primarily a type specific to skeletal muscle (UCP-3) and absent from the brain, although other UCP types are expressed in the brain (e.g. thalamus) and might contribute to thermogenesis. Since neuroimaging of brain temperature could provide insights into MDMA action, we measured spatial distributions of systemically administered MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in rat cortex and subcortex using a novel magnetic resonance method, Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation in Shifts (BIRDS), with an exogenous temperature-sensitive probe (thulium ion and macrocyclic chelate 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetramethyl-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate (DOTMA(4-))). The MDMA-induced temperature rise was greater in the cortex than in the subcortex (1.6 ± 0.4 °C versus 1.3 ± 0.4 °C) and occurred more rapidly (2.0 ± 0.2 °C/h versus 1.5 ± 0.2 °C/h). MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in the cortex and body were correlated, although the body temperature exceeded the cortex temperature before and after MDMA. Temperature, neuronal activity, and blood flow (CBF) were measured simultaneously in the cortex and subcortex (i.e. thalamus) to investigate possible differences of MDMA-induced warming across brain regions. MDMA-induced warming correlated with increases in neuronal activity and blood flow in the cortex, suggesting that the normal neurovascular response to increased neural activity was maintained. In contrast to the cortex, a biphasic relationship was seen in the subcortex (i.e. thalamus), with a decline in CBF as temperature and neural activity rose, transitioning to a rise in CBF for temperature above 37 °C, suggesting that MDMA affected CBF and neurovascular coupling differently in subcortical regions

  3. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict implementation of harm reduction strategies among MDMA/ecstasy users.

    PubMed

    Davis, Alan K; Rosenberg, Harold

    2016-06-01

    This prospective study was designed to test whether the variables proposed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were associated with baseline intention to implement and subsequent use of 2 MDMA/ecstasy-specific harm reduction interventions: preloading/postloading and pill testing/pill checking. Using targeted Facebook advertisements, an international sample of 391 recreational ecstasy users were recruited to complete questionnaires assessing their ecstasy consumption history, and their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, habit strength (past strategy use), and intention to use these two strategies. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were significantly associated with baseline intention to preload/postload and pill test/pill check. Out of the 391 baseline participants, 100 completed the two-month follow-up assessment. Baseline habit strength and frequency of ecstasy consumption during the three months prior to baseline were the only significant predictors of how often participants used the preloading/postloading strategy during the follow-up. Baseline intention to pill test/pill check was the only significant predictor of how often participants used this strategy during the follow-up. These findings provide partial support for TPB variables as both correlates of baseline intention to implement and predictors of subsequent use of these two strategies. Future investigations could assess whether factors related to ecstasy consumption (e.g., subjective level of intoxication, craving, negative consequences following consumption), and environmental factors (e.g., accessibility and availability of harm reduction resources) improve the prediction of how often ecstasy users employ these and other harm reduction strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record

  4. Tolerance to the locomotor-activating effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) predicts escalation of MDMA self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA seeking in rats.

    PubMed

    Ball, Kevin T; Slane, Mylissa

    2014-11-01

    Pre-clinical studies of individual differences in addiction vulnerability have been increasing over recent years, but the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) has received relatively little attention in this regard. Previously, we reported large individual differences both in rats' initial behavioral response to experimenter-administered MDMA and their degree of behavioral sensitization to repeated administration. To determine whether these differences could predict subsequent patterns of MDMA-taking or -seeking behaviors we used the self-administration-extinction-reinstatement model to examine addiction-like behavior (i.e., escalation of MDMA self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA seeking) in rats a priori characterized for either locomotor sensitization or tolerance to MDMA. Rats that developed tolerance to the locomotor-activating effects of MDMA had a significantly larger locomotor response to the first MDMA injection relative to rats that developed sensitization. Importantly, rats that developed tolerance subsequently displayed an escalation of MDMA self-administration over days, as well as clear cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA seeking following extinction. Conversely, rats that developed locomotor sensitization to MDMA subsequently maintained relatively stable levels of MDMA self-administration over days and showed no cue-induced reinstatement of MDMA seeking. These results show that differences in the level of psychomotor activation following acute and repeated MDMA administration can reliably predict two important addiction-like behaviors in rats, which may have implications in the prediction of compulsive MDMA use in humans.

  5. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) produces edema due to BBB disruption induced by MMP-9 activation in rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Hernández, Mercedes; Fernández-Valle, María Encarnación; Rubio-Araiz, Ana; Vidal, Rebeca; Gutiérrez-López, María Dolores; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, María Isabel

    2017-03-16

    The recreational drug of abuse, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) disrupts blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity in rats through an early P2X7 receptor-mediated event which induces MMP-9 activity. Increased BBB permeability often causes plasma proteins and water to access cerebral tissue leading to vasogenic edema formation. The current study was performed to examine the effect of a single neurotoxic dose of MDMA (12.5 mg/kg, i.p.) on in vivo edema development associated with changes in the expression of the perivascular astrocytic water channel, AQP4, as well as in the expression of the tight-junction (TJ) protein, claudin-5 and Evans Blue dye extravasation in the hippocampus of adult male Dark Agouti rats. We also evaluated the ability of the MMP-9 inhibitor, SB-3CT (25 mg/kg, i.p.), to prevent these changes in order to validate the involvement of MMP-9 activation in MDMA-induced BBB disruption. The results show that MDMA produces edema of short duration temporally associated with changes in AQP4 expression and a reduction in claudin-5 expression, changes which are prevented by SB-3CT. In addition, MDMA induces a short-term increase in both tPA activity and expression, a serine-protease which is involved in BBB disruption and upregulation of MMP-9 expression. In conclusion, this study provides evidence enough to conclude that MDMA induces edema of short duration due to BBB disruption mediated by MMP-9 activation.

  6. Cardiac oxidative stress determination and myocardial morphology after a single ecstasy (MDMA) administration in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Cerretani, Daniela; Riezzo, Irene; Fiaschi, Anna Ida; Centini, Fabio; Giorgi, Giorgio; D'Errico, Stefano; Fiore, Carmela; Karch, Steven B; Neri, Margherita; Pomara, Cristoforo; Turillazzi, Emanuela; Fineschi, Vittorio

    2008-11-01

    Experimental and clinical data indicate that 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) abuse can produce significant cardiovascular toxicity. A mechanism may be a direct toxic effect of redox active metabolites of MDMA. To evaluate the effect of a single MDMA dose on cellular antioxidant defence system and to investigate the morphology in male albino rats, total glutathione (GSH), oxidised glutathione (GSSG), ascorbic acid (AA), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDAL) were studied. The effects were evaluated at 3, 6, 16 and 24 h after MDMA administration. Antioxidant enzymes activity was significantly reduced: GPx (-24%) and SOD (-50%) after 3 h and GR (-19%) after 6 h from treatment. AA levels decrease (-37%) after 3 h and (-30%) after 6 h; MDAL level increased (+119%) after 3 h; GSH levels decreased after 3 (31.3%) and 6 h (37.9%) from MDMA treatment. GSSG content was not affected by ecstasy administration. Myocardial contraction band necrosis (CBN) was already visible in rats killed at 6 h. After 16 h, macrophagic monocytes around the necrotic myocardial cells were observed, and within 24 h, this infiltrate became more widespread with an early removal of the necrotic material. Calcium deposits were observed within ventricular cardiomyocytes with intact nuclei and sarcomeres. Single administration of MDMA can significantly alter the cellular antioxidant defence system and produce oxidative stress which may result in lipid peroxidation and disruption of Ca(2 +) homeostasis. The depression in Ca(2+) regulatory mechanism by reactive oxygen species ultimately results in intracellular Ca(2 +) overload, CBN and cell death.

  7. Yohimbine reinstates extinguished 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) seeking in rats with prior exposure to chronic yohimbine.

    PubMed

    Ball, Kevin T; Jarsocrak, Hanna; Hyacinthe, Johanna; Lambert, Justina; Lockowitz, James; Schrock, Jordan

    2015-11-01

    Although exposure to acute stress has been shown to reinstate extinguished responding for a wide variety of drugs, no studies have investigated stress-induced reinstatement in animals with a history of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) self-administration. Thus, rats were trained to press a lever for MDMA (0.50 mg/kg/infusion) in daily sessions, and lever pressing was subsequently extinguished in the absence of MDMA and conditioned cues (light and tone). We then tested the ability of acute yohimbine (2.0 mg/kg), a pharmacological stressor, to reinstate lever-pressing under extinction conditions. Additionally, to model chronic stress, some rats were injected daily with yohimbine (5.0 mg/kg × 10 days) prior to reinstatement tests. To assess dopaminergic involvement, chronic yohimbine injections were combined with injections of SCH-23390 (0.0 or 10.0 μg/kg), a dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist. In a separate experiment, rats with a history of food self-administration were treated and tested in the same way. Results showed that acute yohimbine injections reinstated extinguished MDMA and food seeking, but only in rats with a history of chronic yohimbine exposure. Co-administration of SCH-23390 with chronic yohimbine injections prevented the potentiation of subsequent food seeking, but not MDMA seeking. These results suggest that abstinent MDMA users who also are exposed to chronic stress may be at increased risk for future relapse, and also that the effects of chronic stress on relapse may be mediated by different mechanisms depending on one's drug use history.

  8. Fluoxetine pretreatment effects pharmacokinetics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ECSTASY) in rat.

    PubMed

    Upreti, Vijay V; Eddington, Natalie D

    2008-04-01

    Fluoxetine has been shown to provide protection from MDMA induced long term neurotoxicity. The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the pharmacokinetic drug interaction between MDMA and fluoxetine and also to determine the role of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) on mediating drug-drug interactions with MDMA. Bi-directional transport studies were conducted across MDCK-MDR1 and Caco-2 monolayers. MDMA brain and plasma levels were measured in P-gp deficient [mdr1a(-/-)] and normal [mdr1a(+/+)] mice after a 5 mg/kg i.p. dose of MDMA. Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated with fluoxetine (4 days, 10 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline followed by MDMA (10 mg/kg, p.o.) and brain and plasma samples were collected over 10 h. MDMA and its active metabolite MDA were quantified using a HPLC method with fluorescence detection. In transport studies MDMA exhibited high permeability with essentially unpolarized transport. No significant difference in MDMA and MDA brain levels were seen in P-gp deficient versus normal mice. Pretreatment of rats with fluoxetine resulted in an increase in MDMA (1.4-fold) and MDA (1.5-fold) exposure in both brain and plasma. Elimination half-life was increased for MDMA (2.4 vs. 4.9 h) and MDA (1.8 vs. 8.2 h) with fluoxetine pretreatment. P-gp does not play a physiologically relevant role in absorption and distribution of MDMA, hence this transporter may not have a role in drug-drug interactions with MDMA. Fluoxetine pretreatment to provide protection from MDMA induced long term neurotoxicity decreases elimination of MDMA and MDA and may lead to enhanced risk of MDMA acute toxic effects. Overall, our results indicate that caution need to be practiced when recommending fluoxetine as an agent to provide protection from MDMA induced long term neurotoxicity.

  9. Identification and quantitation of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in human urine by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Application to five cases of intoxication.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jonathan; Decatur, John; Proni, Gloria; Champeil, Elise

    2010-01-30

    Identification of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in five cases of intoxication using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of human urine is reported. A new water suppression technique PURGE (Presaturation Utilizing Relaxation Gradients and Echoes) was used. A calibration curve was obtained using spiked samples. The method gave a linear response (correlation coefficient of 0.992) over the range 0.01-1mg/mL. Subsequently, quantitation of the amount of MDMA present in the samples was performed. The benefit and reliability of NMR investigations of human urine for cases of intoxication with MDMA are discussed.

  10. Short- and long-term effects of MDMA ("ecstasy") on synaptosomal and vesicular uptake of neurotransmitters in vitro and ex vivo.

    PubMed

    Bogen, Inger Lise; Haug, Kristin Huse; Myhre, Oddvar; Fonnum, Frode

    2003-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a commonly abused drug which has been shown to be neurotoxic to serotonergic neurons in many species. The exact mechanism responsible for the neurotoxicity of MDMA is, however, poorly understood. In this study, the effects of MDMA on the synaptosomal and vesicular uptake of neurotransmitters were investigated. Our results show that MDMA (0.5-20 microM) reduces both synaptosomal and vesicular uptake of serotonin and dopamine in a dose dependent manner in vitro, while the uptake of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) remains unaffected. Ex vivo experiments support the importance of the monoamines, with predominant dopaminergic inhibition at short-term exposure (3 x 15 mg/kg; 2-h intervals), and exclusively serotonergic inhibition at long-term exposure (2 x 10 mg/kg per day; 4 days). This study also compares MDMA and the structurally related antidepressant paroxetine, in an attempt to reveal possible cellular mechanisms for the serotonergic toxicity of MDMA. One important difference between paroxetine and MDMA is that only MDMA has the capability of inhibiting vesicular uptake of monoamines at doses used. We suggest that inhibition of the vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and a following increase in cytoplasmatic monoamine concentrations, might be crucial for the neurotoxic effect of MDMA.

  11. Detection of “Bath Salts” and Other Novel Psychoactive Substances in Hair Samples of Ecstasy/MDMA/“Molly” Users

    PubMed Central

    Palamar, Joseph J.; Salomone, Alberto; Vincenti, Marco; Cleland, Charles M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Ecstasy (MDMA) in the US is commonly adulterated with other drugs, but research has not focused on purity of ecstasy since the phenomenon of “Molly” (ecstasy marketed as pure MDMA) arose in the US. Methods We piloted a rapid electronic survey in 2015 to assess use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other drugs among 679 nightclub/festival-attending young adults (age 18–25) in New York City. A quarter (26.1%) of the sample provided a hair sample to be analyzed for the presence of select synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) and some other NPS. Samples were analyzed using fully validated UHPLC-MS/MS methods. To examine consistency of self-report, analyses focused on the 48 participants with an analyzable hair sample who reported lifetime ecstasy/MDMA/Molly use. Results Half (50.0%) of the hair samples contained MDMA, 47.9% contained butylone, and 10.4% contained methylone. Of those who reported no lifetime use of “bath salts”, stimulant NPS, or unknown pills or powders, about four out of ten (41.2%) tested positive for butylone, methylone, alpha-PVP, 5/6-APB, or 4-FA. Racial minorities were more likely to test positive for butylone or test positive for NPS after reporting no lifetime use. Frequent nightclub/festival attendance was the strongest predictor of testing positive for MDMA, butylone, or methylone. Discussion Results suggest that many ecstasy-using nightclub/festival attendees may be unintentionally using “bath salts” or other NPS. Prevention and harm reduction education is needed for this population and “drug checking” (e.g., pill testing) may be beneficial for those rejecting abstinence. PMID:26883685

  12. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Jerrold S

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy is a widely used recreational drug that usually consists primarily of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Most ecstasy users consume other substances as well, which complicates the interpretation of research in this field. The positively rated effects of MDMA consumption include euphoria, arousal, enhanced mood, increased sociability, and heightened perceptions; some common adverse reactions are nausea, headache, tachycardia, bruxism, and trismus. Lowering of mood is an aftereffect that is sometimes reported from 2 to 5 days after a session of ecstasy use. The acute effects of MDMA in ecstasy users have been attributed primarily to increased release and inhibited reuptake of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine, along with possible release of the neuropeptide oxytocin. Repeated or high-dose MDMA/ecstasy use has been associated with tolerance, depressive symptomatology, and persisting cognitive deficits, particularly in memory tests. Animal studies have demonstrated that high doses of MDMA can lead to long-term decreases in forebrain 5-HT concentrations, tryptophan hydroxylase activity, serotonin transporter (SERT) expression, and visualization of axons immunoreactive for 5-HT or SERT. These neurotoxic effects may reflect either a drug-induced degeneration of serotonergic fibers or a long-lasting downregulation in 5-HT and SERT biosynthesis. Possible neurotoxicity in heavy ecstasy users has been revealed by neuroimaging studies showing reduced SERT binding and increased 5-HT2A receptor binding in several cortical and/or subcortical areas. MDMA overdose or use with certain other drugs can also cause severe morbidity and even death. Repeated use of MDMA may lead to dose escalation and the development of dependence, although such dependence is usually not as profound as is seen with many other drugs of abuse. MDMA/ecstasy-dependent patients are treated with standard addiction programs, since there are no specific programs for this substance and no proven

  13. Sprague-Dawley rats display metabolism-mediated sex differences in the acute toxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)

    SciTech Connect

    Fonsart, Julien ||; Menet, Marie-Claude |; Decleves, Xavier ||; Galons, Herve |; Crete, Dominique; Debray, Marcel; Scherrmann, Jean-Michel ||; Noble, Florence ||

    2008-07-01

    The use of the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has been associated with unexplained deaths. Male humans and rodents are more sensitive to acute toxicity than are females, including a potentially lethal hyperthermia. MDMA is highly metabolized to five main metabolites, by the enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP2D. The major metabolite in rats, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), also causes hyperthermia. We postulated that the reported sex difference in rats is due to a sexual dimorphism(s). We therefore determined (1) the LD50 of MDMA and MDA, (2) their hyperthermic effects, (3) the activities of liver CYP1A2 and CYP2D, (4) the liver microsomal metabolism of MDMA and MDA, (5) and the plasma concentrations of MDMA and its metabolites 3 h after giving male and female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats MDMA (5 mg.kg{sup -1} sc). The LD50 of MDMA was 2.4-times lower in males than in females. MDMA induced greater hyperthermia (0.9 deg. C) in males. The plasma MDA concentration was 1.3-fold higher in males, as were CYP1A2 activity (twice) and N-demethylation to MDA (3.3-fold), but the plasma MDMA concentration (1.4-fold) and CYP2D activity (1.3-fold) were higher in females. These results suggest that male SD rats are more sensitive to MDMA acute toxicity than are females, probably because their CYP1A2 is more active, leading to higher N-demethylation and plasma MDA concentration. This metabolic pathway could be responsible for the lethality of MDMA, as the LD50 of MDA is the same in both sexes. These data strongly suggest that the toxicity of amphetamine-related drugs largely depends on metabolic differences.

  14. MDMA (Ecstasy) association with impaired fMRI BOLD thalamic coherence and functional connectivity*

    PubMed Central

    Salomon, Ronald M.; Karageorgiou, John; Dietrich, Mary S.; McLellan, Jessica Y.; Charboneau, Evonne J.; Blackford, Jennifer U.; Cowan, Ronald L.

    2011-01-01

    Background MDMA exposure is associated with chronic serotonergic dysfunction in preclinical and clinical studies. A recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) comparison of past MDMA users to non-MDMA-using controls revealed increased spatial extent and amplitude of activation in the supplementary motor area during motor tasks (Karageorgiou et al., 2009). Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) data from that study were reanalyzed for intraregional coherence and for inter-regional temporal correlations between time series, as functional connectivity. Methods Fourteen MDMA users and ten controls reporting similar non-MDMA abuse performed finger taps during fMRI. Fourteen motor pathway regions plus a pontine raphé region were examined. Coherence was expressed as percent of voxels positively correlated with an intraregional index voxel. Functional connectivity was determined using wavelet correlations. Results Intraregional thalamic coherence was significantly diminished at low frequencies in MDMA users compared to controls (p=0.009). Inter-regional functional connectivity was significantly weaker for right thalamo - left caudate (p=0.002), right thalamo - left thalamus (p=0.007), right caudate - right postcentral (p=0.007) and right supplementary motor area - right precentral gyrus (p=0.011) region pairs compared to controls. When stratified by lifetime exposure, significant negative associations were observed between cumulative MDMA use and functional connectivity in seven other region-pairs, while only one region-pair showed a positive association. Conclusions Reported prior MDMA use was associated with deficits in BOLD intraregional coherence and inter-regional functional connectivity, even among functionally robust pathways involving motor regions. This suggests that MDMA use is associated with long-lasting effects on brain neurophysiology beyond the cognitive domain. PMID:21807471

  15. Examining the role of oxytocin in the interoceptive effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') using a drug discrimination paradigm in the rat.

    PubMed

    Broadbear, Jillian H; Tunstall, Brendan; Beringer, Katherine

    2011-04-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') use results in distinctive mood changes of a prosocial nature, most likely through its enhancement of serotonin (5HT) neurotransmission. Activation of 5HT-1A postsynaptic receptors has been shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin in the central nervous system where it regulates aspects of mood and behavior. Using a drug discrimination paradigm, we examined whether modulation of oxytocin receptor activity would affect conditioned behavioral responses to MDMA. Male and female Sprague Dawley rats (n=24) were trained to reliably differentiate between MDMA and a related stimulant, amphetamine (AMP), and saline using a three-lever drug discrimination paradigm. The extent to which substitution with carbetocin (an oxytocin analog) or co-administration with atosiban (an oxytocin receptor antagonist) affected drug-appropriate responding was evaluated. The tricyclic antidepressant imipramine was included as a negative control. The results supported the hypotheses that substitution with an oxytocin analog (carbetocin) would partially generalize to the MDMA training cue, whereas blocking oxytocin receptors with atosiban would result in a selective disruption of MDMA--but not AMP-appropriate responding. These findings were specific to the oxytocin receptor ligands as imipramine pre-treatment did not affect drug-appropriate responding. The results of this study implicate oxytocin receptor activation as a key MDMA-specific interoceptive cue in male and female rats and support the conclusion that this is one of the features of MDMA's subjective effects that distinguishes it from AMP.

  16. Changes in CYP1A2 activity in humans after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) administration using caffeine as a probe drug.

    PubMed

    Yubero-Lahoz, Samanta; Pardo, Ricardo; Farre, Magí; Mathuna, Brian Ó; Torrens, Marta; Mustata, Cristina; Perez-Mañá, Clara; Langohr, Klaus; Carbó, Marcel Lí; de la Torre, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is a ring-substituted amphetamine widely used for recreational purposes. MDMA is predominantly O-demethylenated in humans by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2D6, and is also a potent mechanism-based inhibitor of the enzyme. After assessing the inhibition and recovery of CYP2D6 in a previous study, the aim of this work was to study in humans the activity of CYP1A2 in vivo after CYP2D6 had been inhibited by MDMA, using caffeine as a probe drug. Twelve male and nine female recreational MDMA users were included. In session 1, 100 mg of caffeine was given at 0 h. In session 2, a 1.5 mg/kg MDMA dose (range 75-100 mg) was given at 0 h followed by a 100 mg dose of caffeine 4 h later. Aliquots of plasma were assayed for caffeine (137X) and paraxanthine (17X) and statistically significant differences were assessed with a one-way ANOVA. There were significant gender differences at basal condition, which persisted after MDMA administration. CYP1A2 activity was higher in both genders after drug administration, with an increase in 40% in females and 20% in males. Results show an increase in CYP1A2 activity when CYP2D6 is inhibited by MDMA in both genders, being more pronounced in females.

  17. The role of monoamines in the changes in body temperature induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) and its derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Docherty, JR; Green, AR

    2010-01-01

    Hyperthermia is probably the most widely known acute adverse event that can follow ingestion of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) by recreational users. The effect of MDMA on body temperature is complex because the drug has actions on all three major monoamine neurotransmitters [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), dopamine and noradrenaline], both by amine release and by direct receptor activation. Hyperthermia and hypothermia can be induced in laboratory animals by MDMA, depending on the ambient temperature, and involve both central thermoregulation and peripheral changes in blood flow and thermogenesis. Acute 5-HT release is not directly responsible for hyperthermia, but 5-HT receptors are involved in modulating the hyperthermic response. Impairing 5-HT function with a neurotoxic dose of MDMA or p-chlorophenylalanine alters the subsequent MDMA-induced hyperthermic response. MDMA also releases dopamine, and evidence suggests that this transmitter is involved in both the hyperthermic and hypothermic effects of MDMA in rats. The noradrenergic system is also involved in the hyperthermic response to MDMA. MDMA activates central α2A-adrenoceptors and peripheral α1-adrenoceptors to produce cutaneous vasoconstriction to restrict heat loss, and β3-adrenoceptors in brown adipose tissue to increase heat generation. The hyperthermia occurring in recreational users of MDMA can be fatal, but data reviewed here indicate that it is unlikely that any single pharmaceutical agent will be effective in reversing the hyperthermia, so careful body cooling remains the principal clinical approach. Crucially, educating recreational users about the potential dangers of hyperthermia and the control of ambient temperature should remain key approaches to prevent this potentially fatal problem. PMID:20590597

  18. In vivo evidence against clomethiazole being neuroprotective against MDMA ('ecstasy')-induced degeneration of rat brain 5-HT nerve terminals by a free radical scavenging mechanism.

    PubMed

    Colado, M I; O'Shea, E; Esteban, B; Granados, R; Green, A R

    1999-02-01

    Clomethiazole is an effective neuroprotective agent against the degeneration of 5-HT neurones that follows administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'). Since there is good evidence that free radical formation resulting from auto-oxidation of MDMA metabolites is responsible for the degeneration we have examined whether clomethiazole is a free radical scavenger. MDMA (15 mg/kg i.p.) increased the formation of 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acids (2,3-DHBA and 2,5-DHBA) from salicylic acid perfused through a microdialysis tube implanted in the hippocampus, indicating increased free radical formation. Clomethiazole (50 mg/kg i.p.) administered 5 min prior and 55 min post MDMA prevented both the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermia and the rise in 2,3- and 2,5-DHBA. However, when the temperature of the MDMA + clomethiazole treated rats was kept elevated to that of the MDMA treated rats with a homeothermic blanket there was no inhibition of the MDMA-induced increase in 2,3-DHBA or 2,5-DHBA. These data suggest firstly that free radical formation is inhibited when the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermia is prevented. Secondly the data further indicate that clomethiazole has no free radical scavenging activity since the drug produces substantial neuroprotection when MDMA + clomethiazole treated rats are kept hyperthermic. This conclusion was strengthened by our observation that clomethiazole is a weak inhibitor (IC50 > 1 mM) of lipid peroxidation in synaptosomes when it had been induced by addition of FeCl2 + ascorbic acid.

  19. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA--Ecstasy) decreases neutrophil activity through the glucocorticoid pathway and impairs host resistance to Listeria monocytogenes infection in mice.

    PubMed

    Ferraz-de-Paula, V; Ribeiro, A; Souza-Queiroz, J; Pinheiro, M L; Vecina, J F; Souza, D P M; Quinteiro-Filho, W M; Moreau, R L M; Queiroz, M L S; Palermo-Neto, J

    2014-12-01

    Ecstasy is the popular name of the abuse drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) that decreases immunity in animals. The mechanisms that generate such alterations are still controversial. Seven independent pharmacological approaches were performed in mice to identify the possible mechanisms underlying the decrease of neutrophil activity induced by MDMA and the possible effects of MDMA on host resistance to Listeria monocytogenes. Our data showed that MDMA (10 mg kg(-1)) administration decreases NFκB expression in circulating neutrophils. Metyrapone or RU-486 administration prior to MDMA treatment abrogated MDMA effects on neutrophil activity and NFκB expression, while 6-OHDA or ICI-118,551 administration did not. As MDMA treatment increased the plasmatic levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline, propranolol pre-treatment effects were also evaluated. Propranolol suppressed both MDMA-induced increase in corticosterone serum levels and its effects on neutrophil activity. In a L. monocytogenes experimental infection context, we showed that MDMA: induced myelosuppression by decreasing granulocyte-macrophage hematopoietic progenitors (CFU-GM) in the bone marrow but increased CFU-GM in the spleen; decreased circulating leukocytes and bone marrow cellularity and increased spleen cellularity; decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-12p70, TNF, IFN-γ, IL-6) and chemokine (MCP-1) production 24 h after the infection; increased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines 72 h after infection and decreased IL-10 levels at all time points analyzed. It was proposed that MDMA immunosuppressive effects on neutrophil activity and host resistance to L monocytogenes rely on NFκB signaling, being mediated by HPA axis activity and corticosterone.

  20. A one-generation reproductive toxicity study of 3,4-methylenedioxy-n-methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy), an amphetamine derivative, in C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Kwack, Seung Jun; Yoon, Kyung Sil; Lim, Seong Kwang; Gwak, Hyo-Min; Kim, Ji Yun; Um, Yoon Mi; Lee, Jung Dae; Hyeon, Ji Hyeon; Kim, Yeon Joo; Kim, Hyung Sik; Lee, Byung-Mu

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is an amphetamine derivative and is a popular type of drug that is abused due to its effects on the central nervous system (CNS), including alertness and euphoria. However, life-threatening (brain edema, heart failure, and coma) and fatal hyperthermia sometimes occur in some individuals taking MDMA. In a one-generation reproductive toxicity study, the potential toxicity of chronic exposure of MDMA was investigated on the reproductive capabilities of parental mice (F0), as well as the survival/development of their subsequent offspring (F1). Male and female C57BL/6 mice were administered orally MDMA at 0, 1.25, 5 or 20 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) throughout the study, beginning at the premating period, through mating, gestation, and lactation periods. MDMA did not produce any apparent clinical signs in F0 or F1 mice, and produced no significant changes in body weight, feed/water intake, or organ weights. In contrast, administration of MDMA produced external abnormalities in fetuses, stillbirth and labored delivery, and diminished viability and weaning indices in offspring, but these data were not significant. In addition, physical development of F1 mice was not markedly influenced by MDMA treatment. Nonetheless, serum biochemistry markers showed that levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were markedly elevated in a dose-dependent manner from 5 mg and higher MDMA/kg b.w., whereas levels of triglycerides (TG), potassium (K), and uric acid (UA) were reduced. Data suggest that MDMA may exert a weak reproductive and developmental toxicity, and the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of MDMA is estimated to be 1.25 mg/kg b.w./d.

  1. The hyperthermia mediated by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is sensitive to sex differences

    SciTech Connect

    Wyeth, Richard P.; Mills, Edward M.; Ullman, Alison; Kenaston, M. Alexander; Burwell, Johanna; Sprague, Jon E.

    2009-02-15

    Female subjects have been reported to be less sensitive to the hyperthermic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamine (MDMA) than males. Studies were designed to examine the cellular mechanisms involved in these sex sensitive differences. Gonadectomized female and male rats were treated with a 200 {mu}g 100 {mu}L{sup -1} of estrogen or 100 {mu}g 100 {mu}L{sup -1} of testosterone respectively every 5 days for a total of three doses. Rats were then challenged with either saline or MDMA (20 mg kg{sup -1}, sc). Rats were then euthanized and aortas were constricted, in vitro, by serial phenylephrine (Phe) addition with or without the inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, g-nitro-L-Arginine-Methyl Ester (L-NAME). Skeletal muscle uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3) expression was measured as well as plasma norepinephrine (NE) levels. All males but no females developed hyperthermia following MDMA treatment. The EC{sub 50} for Phe dose response curves increased only in the females treated with MDMA and T{sub max} for Phe increased following L-NAME only in the females. Both males and females demonstrated an increase in plasma NE following MDMA treatment; however, males displayed a significantly greater NE concentration. Skeletal muscle UCP3 expression was 80% less in females than in males. These results suggest that the inability of MDMA to induce a thermogenic response in the female subjects may be due to four sex-specific mechanisms: 1) Female subjects have reduced sympathetic activation following MDMA challenge; 2) Female vasculature is less sensitive to {alpha}{sub 1}-AR stimulation following MDMA challenge; 3) Female vasculature has an increased sensitivity to NO; 4) UCP3 expression in skeletal muscle is less in females.

  2. An in-depth qualitative examination of the ecstasy experience: results of a focus group with ecstasy-using college students.

    PubMed

    Levy, Kira B; O'Grady, Kevin E; Wish, Eric D; Arria, Amelia M

    2005-01-01

    This study examined ecstasy use in 30 college students who participated in one of four 60-minute focus groups with other participants who also had a history of ecstasy use. Ten topics emerged in the sessions: 1) pill ingredients, 2) mechanism of MDMA effects, 3) reasons for initiating ecstasy use, 4) risky behaviors and ecstasy use, 5) sexual activity and ecstasy, 6) positive effects from ecstasy use, 7) negative effects related to ecstasy use, 8) ecstasy and polysubstance use, 9) perceived risks of ecstasy use, and 10) motivational factors related to quitting ecstasy use. Most participants had a basic understanding of the contents of ecstasy pills, and the effects that ecstasy has on the brain and bodily functions. Participants reported positive effects on mood, social pressure, curiosity, availability, boredom, desire for an altered state of mind, desire to escape, self-medication, desire to have fun, and the ease of use of ecstasy in comparison to other drugs as reasons for initiating ecstasy use. They were divided regarding whether ecstasy increased the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, including risky sexual behavior. Participants described their experiences of both the positive and negative effects (physical and psychological) that they attributed to their use of ecstasy. All participants were polysubstance users, consuming a number of other substances simultaneously and concurrently with ecstasy. The majority was unaware of specific types of problems ecstasy could potentially cause and discounted its potential harm. Participants varied in their motivation for quitting ecstasy use, including negative personal experiences while using ecstasy, health concerns, and addiction/tolerance. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed.

  3. Visuo-spatial working memory deficits in current and former users of MDMA ('ecstasy').

    PubMed

    Wareing, Michelle; Fisk, John E; Murphy, Philip; Montgomery, Catharine

    2005-03-01

    Verbal working memory and executive deficits have been observed in ecstasy users. The present study sought to establish whether these also extended to visuo-spatial working memory. Thirty-six current ecstasy users, 12 former users (abstinent for at least 6 months) and 31 individuals that had never used ecstasy were tested on a maintenance plus type visuo-spatial working memory task. The task required participants to recall a sequence of specially marked cells in a four-by-four matrix display while at the same time performing a concurrent visual judgement task. Both the current and former user groups registered impairments relative to nonusers. These remained significant following statistical controls for a range of potentially confounding variables including the use of various other drugs during the 3 months prior to testing. Users were unimpaired on a simple spatial span measure suggesting that the deficits observed reflected the executive aspects of the spatial working memory task. Also consistent with executive involvement, statistical controls for measures of verbal working memory performance (computation span) removed half of the ecstasy-related variance in spatial working memory. The possibility that the pattern of results obtained might reflect some general impairment in information processing efficiency is discussed.

  4. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) disrupts blood-brain barrier integrity through a mechanism involving P2X7 receptors.

    PubMed

    Rubio-Araiz, Ana; Perez-Hernandez, Mercedes; Urrutia, Andrés; Porcu, Francesca; Borcel, Erika; Gutierrez-Lopez, Maria Dolores; O'Shea, Esther; Colado, Maria Isabel

    2014-08-01

    The recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') produces a neuro-inflammatory response in rats characterized by an increase in microglial activation and IL-1β levels. The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is important in preserving the homeostasis of the brain and has been shown to be affected by neuro-inflammatory processes. We aimed to study the effect of a single dose of MDMA on the activity of metalloproteinases (MMPs), expression of extracellular matrix proteins, BBB leakage and the role of the ionotropic purinergic receptor P2X7 (P2X7R) in the changes induced by the drug. Adult male Dark Agouti rats were treated with MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and killed at several time-points in order to evaluate MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity in the hippocampus and laminin and collagen-IV expression and IgG extravasation in the dentate gyrus. Microglial activation, P2X7R expression and localization were also determined in the dentate gyrus. Separate groups were treated with MDMA and the P2X7R antagonists Brilliant Blue G (BBG; 50 mg/kg, i.p.) or A-438079 (30 mg/kg, i.p.). MDMA increased MMP-3 and MMP-9 activity, reduced laminin and collagen-IV expression and increased IgG immunoreactivity. In addition, MDMA increased microglial activation and P2X7R immunoreactivity in these cells. BBG suppressed the increase in MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity, prevented basal lamina degradation and IgG extravasation into the brain parenchyma. A-438079 also prevented the MDMA-induced reduction in laminin and collagen-IV immunoreactivity. These results indicate that MDMA alters BBB permeability through an early P2X7R-mediated event, which in turn leads to enhancement of MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity and degradation of extracellular matrix.

  5. The impact of experimental design on assessing mechanism-based inactivation of CYP2D6 by MDMA (Ecstasy).

    PubMed

    Van, Linh M; Heydari, Amir; Yang, Jiansong; Hargreaves, Judith; Rowland-Yeo, Karen; Lennard, Martin S; Tucker, Geoffrey T; Rostami-Hodjegan, Amin

    2006-11-01

    MDMA (3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as Ecstasy) is a potent mechanism-based inhibitor (MBI) of cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6), causing quasi-irreversible inhibition of the enzyme in vitro. An evaluation of the in vivo implications of this phenomenon depends on the accuracy of the estimates of the parameters that define the inhibition in vitro, namely k(inact) (the maximal inhibition rate) and KI (the inactivation constant). These values are determined in two steps, pre-incubation of the enzyme with the inhibitor (enzyme inactivation), followed by dilution and further incubation to measure residual enzyme activity with a probe substrate. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of different dilutions and probe substrate concentrations on the estimates of k(inact) and KI using recombinantly expressed CYP2D6. Enzyme activity was measured by the conversion of dextromethorphan (DEX) to dextrorphan (DOR). Dilution factors of 1.25, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 (DEX at 30 microM) gave mean (+/-SE) values of k(inact) (min-1) of 0.20+/-0.06, 0.21+/-0.05, 0.31+/-0.06, 0.37+/-0.11, 0.51+/-0.10 and 0.58+/-0.08, respectively, and KI (microM) values (after correction for non-specific microsomal binding) of 2.22+/-1.90, 2.80+/-1.34, 5.78+/-2.07, 6.36+/-2.93, 3.99+/-1.57 and 4.86+/-1.37, respectively. Accordingly, high (e.g. 50 fold) and low (e.g. 1.25 fold) dilutions were associated with statistically significant differences in kinetic values (p <0.05). Varying DEX concentration (10-100 microM) was not associated with significant changes in k(inact) and KI values when a five-fold dilution was used (with the exception of a lower KI at 10 microM DEX). High dilution was also shown to reduce non-specific microsomal binding of MDMA. The changes in the two kinetic parameters were dependent on the experimental procedure and shown to be unlikely to have a material influence on the maximum inhibition of CYP2D6 expected in vivo after typical recreational doses of MDMA (50

  6. Methamphetamine, amphetamine, MDMA ('ecstasy'), MDA and mCPP modulate electrical and cholinergic input in PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Hondebrink, Laura; Meulenbelt, Jan; Rietjens, Saskia J; Meijer, Marieke; Westerink, Remco H S

    2012-03-01

    Reversal of the dopamine (DA) membrane transporter is the main mechanism through which many drugs of abuse increase DA levels. However, drug-induced modulation of exocytotic DA release by electrical (depolarization) and neurochemical inputs (e.g., acetylcholine (ACh)) may also contribute. We therefore investigated effects of methamphetamine, amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) (1-1000 μM) on these inputs by measuring drug-induced changes in basal, depolarization- and ACh-evoked intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca(2+)](i)) using a dopaminergic model (PC12 cells) and Fura 2 calcium imaging. The strongest drug-induced effects were observed on cholinergic input. At 0.1mM all drugs inhibited the ACh-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) increases by 40-75%, whereas ACh-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) increases were nearly abolished following higher drug exposure (1mM, 80-97% inhibition). Additionally, high MDMA and mCPP concentrations increased basal [Ca(2+)](i), but only following prior stimulation with ACh. Interestingly, low concentrations of methamphetamine or amphetamine (10 μM) potentiated ACh-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) increases. Depolarization-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) increases were also inhibited following exposure to high drug concentrations, although drugs were less potent on this endpoint. Our data demonstrate that at high drug concentrations all tested drugs reduce stimulation-evoked increases in [Ca(2+)](i), thereby probably reducing dopaminergic output through inhibition of electrical and cholinergic input. Furthermore, the increases in basal [Ca(2+)](i) at high concentrations of MDMA and mCPP likely increases dopaminergic output. Similarly, the increases in ACh-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) upon cholinergic stimulation following exposure to low concentrations of amphetamines can contribute to drug-induced increases in DA levels observed in vivo. Finally, this study shows that mCPP, which is regularly found in

  7. Ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine, and date rape (drug-facilitated sexual assault): a consideration of the issues.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Karl L R; Theron, Lynn

    2006-03-01

    The term "date rape drug" has traditionally been applied by the media to powerful sedatives, such as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), which can render a person unconscious and hence unable to resist and/or recall an assault. However, some law enforcement agents and others have recently obtained convictions by arguing that the empathy-generating and sensual effects of MDMA, and an occasional increase in disinhibition and sexual desire linked with methamphetamine use, remove a person's ability to give a reasoned consent, turning the person into "a helpless slave" to their own sexual desires and those of the alleged perpetrator. The argument holds that the victim becomes part of the assault because they may appear to be cooperating and colluding with activity which they would not have consented to without taking these drugs. This interpretation of the term "date rape" has been fed by data that sometimes finds MDMA and amphetamines in samples taken from sexual assault victims, and hence these prosecutions sometimes rely on expert testimony from toxicologists, pathologists and police officers rather than psychologists and psychiatrists who are expert in the human effects of these drugs. Some of those in the latter group have dismissed claims that MDMA is an aphrodisiac or a date rape drug as myths propagated by the media. In this article, these arguments and their respective strengths and weaknesses will be examined to assist professionals and others who may become involved in these cases.

  8. Role of metabolites in MDMA (ecstasy)-induced nephrotoxicity: an in vitro study using rat and human renal proximal tubular cells.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Márcia; Hawksworth, Gabrielle; Milhazes, Nuno; Borges, Fernanda; Monks, Terrence J; Fernandes, Eduarda; Carvalho, Félix; Bastos, Maria Lourdes

    2002-10-01

    The metabolism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has recently been implicated in the mechanisms underlying ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. However, its potential role in ecstasy-induced kidney toxicity has yet to be investigated. Thus, primary cultures of rat and human renal proximal tubular cells (PTCs) were used to investigate the cytotoxicity induced by MDMA and its metabolites methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), alpha-methyldopamine (alpha-MeDA), and the glutathione (GSH) conjugates 5-(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA and 2,5- bis(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA. Cell viability was evaluated using the mitochondrial MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay. MDMA and MDA were not found to be toxic to either rat or human PTCs at any concentration tested (100-800 micro M). In contrast, 800 micro M alpha-MeDA caused 60% and 40% cell death in rat and human PTCs, respectively. Conjugation of alpha-MeDA with GSH resulted in the formation of even more potent nephrotoxicants. Thus, exposure of rat and human PTC monolayers to 400 micro M 5-(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA caused approximately 80% and 70% cell death, respectively. 5-(Glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA (400 micro M) was more toxic than 2,5- bis(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA to rat renal PTCs but equally potent in human renal PTCs. Pre-incubation of rat PTCs with either acivicin, an inhibitor of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT), or bestatin, an inhibitor of aminopeptidase M, resulted in increased toxicity of 5-(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA but had no effect on 2,5- bis(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA-mediated cytotoxicity. The present data provide evidence that metabolism is required for the expression of MDMA-induced renal toxicity in vitro. In addition, metabolism of 5-(glutathion- S-yl)-alpha-MeDA by gamma-GT and aminopeptidase M to the corresponding cystein- S-yl-glycine and/or cystein- S-yl conjugates is likely to be associated with detoxication of

  9. The solid-state terahertz spectrum of MDMA (Ecstasy) - A unique test for molecular modeling assignments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allis, Damian G.; Hakey, Patrick M.; Korter, Timothy M.

    2008-10-01

    The terahertz (THz, far-infrared) spectrum of 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine hydrochloride (Ecstasy) is simulated using solid-state density functional theory. While a previously reported isolated-molecule calculation is noteworthy for the precision of its solid-state THz reproduction, the solid-state calculation predicts that the isolated-molecule modes account for only half of the spectral features in the THz region, with the remaining structure arising from lattice vibrations that cannot be predicted without solid-state molecular modeling. The molecular origins of the internal mode contributions to the solid-state THz spectrum, as well as the proper consideration of the protonation state of the molecule, are also considered.

  10. The Correlation between the Communication of the Health Risks of Ecstasy (MDMA) and the Drug's Use among College Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campe, Brian; Frye, Kristin; Hood, Caitlin; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey; Parsons, Michael

    The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between college students and their awareness of the hazardous effects of the drug Ecstasy. Ecstasy use has risen among college students even though readily available research shows Ecstasy use having extremely hazardous effects on its users. Research also shows a lack of communication about…

  11. Simultaneous analysis of six amphetamines and analogues in hair, blood and urine by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Application to the determination of MDMA after low ecstasy intake.

    PubMed

    Chèze, Marjorie; Deveaux, Marc; Martin, Claire; Lhermitte, Michel; Pépin, Gilbert

    2007-08-06

    A rapid and sensitive method using LC-MS/MS triple stage quadrupole for the determination of traces of amphetamine (AP), methamphetamine (MA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy"), 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA), and N-methyl-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-butanamine (MBDB) in hair, blood and urine has been developed and validated. Chromatography was carried out on an Uptisphere ODB C(18) 5 microm, 2.1 mm x 150 mm column (Interchim, France) with a gradient of acetonitrile and formate 2 mM pH 3.0 buffer. Urine and blood were extracted with Toxitube A (Varian, France). Segmented scalp hair was treated by incubation 15 min at 80 degrees C in NaOH 1M before liquid-liquid extraction with hexane/ethyl acetate (2/1, v/v). The limits of quantification (LOQ) in blood and urine were at 0.1 ng/mL for all analytes. In hair, LOQ was <5 pg/mg for MA, MDMA, MDEA and MBDB, at 14.7 pg/mg for AP and 15.7 pg/mg for MDA. Calibration curves were linear in the range 0.1-50 ng/mL in blood and urine; in the range 5-500 pg/mg for MA, MDMA, MDEA and MBDB, and 20-500 pg/mg for AP and MDA. Inter-day precisions were <13% for all analytes in all matrices. Accuracy was <20% in blood and urine at 1 and 50 ng/mL and <10% in hair at 20 and 250 pg/mg. This method was applied to the determination of MDMA in a forensic case of single administration of ecstasy to a 16-year-old female without her knowledge during a party. She suffered from hyperactivity, sweating and agitation. A first sample of urine was collected a few hours after (T+12h) and tested positive to amphetamines by immunoassay by a clinical laboratory. Blood and urine were sampled for forensic purposes at day 8 (D+8) and scalp hair at day 60 (D+60). No MDMA was detected in blood, but urine and hair were tested positive, respectively at 0.42 ng/mL and at 22 pg/mg in hair only in the segment corresponding to the period of the offence, while no MDA was detectable. This method allows

  12. Association of MDMA/ecstasy and other substance use with self-reported sexually transmitted diseases among college-aged adults: a national study

    PubMed Central

    Wu, L-T.; Ringwalt, C.L.; Patkara, A.A.; Hubbard, R.L.; Blazer, D.G.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Objectives MDMA/ecstasy use among college students has increased and reportedly leads to risky sexual behaviours. However, little is known about its association with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To evaluate this public health concern, this study examined the association between substance use (particularly MDMA) and self-reported STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and syphilis) among college students and non-students aged 18–22 years (n=20,858). Study design A cross-sectional data analysis of a national survey. Methods Data were drawn from the 2005–2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health; a nationally representative survey of non-institutionalized Americans. Self-reported STDs and substance use were assessed by the audio computer-assisted self-interviewing method. The association between MDMA use and STDs was determined while taking into account young adults’ use of other substances, healthcare utilization and sociodemographic characteristics. Results Overall, 2.1% of college students and 2.5% of non-students reported contracting an STD in the past year. MDMA use in the past year was not associated with STDs. Among non-students, onset of MDMA use before 18 years of age increased the odds of past-year STDs. In both groups, alcohol use, marijuana use, female gender and African American race increased the odds of both past-year and lifetime STDs. Additional analyses indicated that, regardless of college-attending status, greater odds of past-year STDs were noted among users of alcohol and drugs, and users of alcohol alone, but not among users of drugs alone. Conclusions Alcohol use is a robust correlate of STDs. Irrespective of college-attending status, young women and African Americans have a higher rate of STDs than young men and Whites. PMID:19656538

  13. Can MDMA play a role in the treatment of substance abuse?

    PubMed

    Jerome, Lisa; Schuster, Shira; Yazar-Klosinski, B Berra

    2013-03-01

    A wider array of treatments are needed for people with substance abuse disorders. Some psychedelic compounds have been assessed as potential substance abuse treatments with promising results. MDMA may also help treat substance abuse based on shared features with psychedelic compounds and recent reports indicating that MDMAassisted psychotherapy can reduce symptoms of PTSD. Narrative reports and data from early investigations found that some people reduced or eliminated their substance use after receiving MDMA, especially in a therapeutic setting. MDMA is a potent monoamine releaser with sympathomimetic effects that may indirectly activate 5-HT2A receptors. It increases interpersonal closeness and prosocial feelings, potentially through oxytocin release. Findings suggest that ecstasy, material represented as containing MDMA, is associated with deleterious long-term effects after heavy lifetime use, including fewer serotonin transporter sites and impaired verbal memory. Animal and human studies demonstrate moderate abuse liability for MDMA, and this effect may be of most concern to those treating substance abuse disorders. However, subjects who received MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in two recent clinical studies were not motivated to seek out ecstasy, and tested negative in random drug tests during follow-up in one study. MDMA could either directly treat neuropharmacological abnormalities associated with addiction, or it could indirectly assist with the therapeutic process or reduce symptoms of comorbid psychiatric conditions, providing a greater opportunity to address problematic substance use. Studies directly testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in people with active substance abuse disorder may be warranted.

  14. Effects of long-term exposure of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy") on neuronal transmitter transport, brain immuno-regulatory systems and progression of experimental periodontitis in rats.

    PubMed

    Breivik, Torbjørn; Bogen, Inger Lise; Haug, Kristin Huse; Fonnum, Frode; Opstad, Per-Kristian; Eide, Dag Marcus; Myhre, Oddvar

    2014-06-01

    The present study was designed to investigate the effects of long-term exposure (4 weeks) to the widely used narcotic drug and putative neurotoxicant 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy") on neuronal transmitter transport and progression of experimental periodontitis in male Wistar rats. The rats were exposed to MDMA (10mg/kg/day i.p.) or saline five days a week for four consecutive weeks. Exposure to MDMA induced a significant reduction in the synaptosomal reuptake of serotonin, while the uptake of dopamine was significantly increased 24h after the last injection of MDMA. In contrast, the synaptosomal uptake of noradrenaline and the vesicular uptake through the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 were not affected. In the experiments of periodontitis development, ligature-induced periodontitis was induced three days prior to MDMA administration. Compared to controls, MDMA-treated rats developed significantly more periodontitis. In conclusion, our results show that long-term exposure to MDMA affects the serotonergic and dopaminergic transport systems in the rat brain and increased the susceptibility to the psychosomatic ailment periodontitis following disturbances of brain immune-regulatory systems. These results are interesting with respect to recent research showing that changes in neurotransmitter signalling may alter the reactivity of brain-controlled immunoregulatory systems controlling pathogenic microorganisms colonizing mucosal surfaces.

  15. MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)

    MedlinePlus

    ... neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers of brain cells): serotonin , dopamine , and norepinephrine . Let's take a look at the ... a heightened sense of emotional closeness and empathy. Dopamine —helps to control movement, motivation, emotions, and sensations ...

  16. Increased CRE-binding activity and tryptophan hydroxylase mRNA expression induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") in the rat frontal cortex but not in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    García-Osta, Ana; Del Río, Joaquín; Frechilla, Diana

    2004-07-26

    A single administration of either 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") or p-chloroamphetamine (PCA) produced a rapid and marked reduction of serotonin (5-HT) content in rat frontal cortex and hippocampus. In the cortex of MDMA-treated rats, 5-HT levels returned to control values 48 h after drug administration. This recovery was correlated with an induction of CRE-binding activity and an enhanced expression of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) mRNA, the rate-limiting enzyme in 5-HT biosynthesis, suggesting that MDMA may up-regulate the TPH gene through a CREB-dependent mechanism. In the cortex of PCA-treated rats, neither a recovery of 5-HT levels nor changes in DNA-binding or TPH mRNA were found at the same time point. In the hippocampus of rats receiving either PCA or MDMA a decrease in TPH mRNA levels was found at all times, along with a reduced CRE-binding at the 8-h time point. The results show region-specific effects of MDMA. In the frontal cortex, the increased TPH expression suggests a compensatory response to MDMA-induced loss of serotonergic function.

  17. Studies on the role of dopamine in the degeneration of 5-HT nerve endings in the brain of Dark Agouti rats following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘ecstasy') administration

    PubMed Central

    Colado, M I; O'Shea, E; Granados, R; Esteban, B; Martín, A B; Green, A R

    1999-01-01

    We investigated whether dopamine plays a role in the neurodegeneration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) nerve endings occurring in Dark Agouti rat brain after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘ecstasy') administration. Haloperidol (2 mg kg−1 i.p.) injected 5 min prior and 55 min post MDMA (15 mg kg−1 i.p.) abolished the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermia and attenuated the neurotoxic loss of 5-HT 7 days later. When the rectal temperature of MDMA+haloperidol treated rats was kept elevated, this protective effect was marginal. MDMA (15 mg kg−1) increased the dopamine concentration in the dialysate from a striatal microdialysis probe by 800%. L-DOPA (25 mg kg−1 i.p., plus benserazide, 6.25 mg kg−1 i.p.) injected 2 h after MDMA (15 mg kg−1) enhanced the increase in dopamine in the dialysate, but subsequent neurodegeneration was unaltered. L-DOPA (25 mg kg−1) injected before a sub-toxic dose of MDMA (5 mg kg−1) failed to induce neurodegeneration. The MDMA-induced increase in free radical formation in the hippocampus (indicated by increased 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid in a microdialysis probe perfused with salicylic acid) was unaltered by L-DOPA. The neuroprotective drug clomethiazole (50 mg kg−1 i.p.) did not influence the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular dopamine. These data suggest that previous observations on the protective effect of haloperidol and potentiating effect of L-DOPA on MDMA-induced neurodegeneration may have resulted from effects on MDMA-induced hyperthermia. The increased extracellular dopamine concentration following MDMA may result from effects of MDMA on dopamine re-uptake, monoamine oxidase and 5-HT release rather than an ‘amphetamine-like' action on dopamine release, thus explaining why the drug does not induce degeneration of dopamine nerve endings. PMID:10193771

  18. Enhancement of conditioned place preference response to cocaine in rats following subchronic administration of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

    PubMed

    Horan, B; Gardner, E L; Ashby, C R

    2000-02-01

    In this study, we measured conditioned place preference (CPP) responses to cocaine following subchronic administration of the recreationally abused drug (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals were given either vehicle (1 ml/kg of distilled water, s.c.) or MDMA (20 mg/kg, s.c.) twice a day for 4 consecutive days. Two weeks later, CPP responses to cocaine (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg, i.p.) were measured. The MDMA-treated animals showed a significantly greater CPP response to cocaine than the vehicle-treated animals. Since conditioned place preference is believed to be a measure of appetitive behavior, these results suggest that MDMA abuse could lead to an increased vulnerability to the rewarding actions of cocaine and, hence, to increased vulnerability to cocaine addiction and dependence.

  19. Mechanisms underlying the hepatotoxic effects of ecstasy.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Márcia; Pontes, Helena; Remião, Fernando; Bastos, Maria L; Carvalho, Félix

    2010-08-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is a worldwide illegally used amphetamine-derived designer drug known to be hepatotoxic to humans. Jaundice, hepatomegaly, centrilobular necrosis, hepatitis and fibrosis represent some of the adverse effects caused by MDMA in the liver. Although there is irrefutable evidence of MDMA-induced hepatocellular damage, the mechanisms responsible for that toxicity remain to be thoroughly clarified. One well thought-of mechanism imply MDMA metabolism in the liver into reactive metabolites as responsible for the MDMA-elicited hepatotoxicity. However, other factors, including MDMA-induced hyperthermia, the increase in neurotransmitters efflux, the oxidation of biogenic amines, polydrug abuse pattern, and environmental features accompanying illicit MDMA use, may increase the risk for liver complications. Liver damage patterns of MDMA in animals and humans and current research on the mechanisms underlying the hepatotoxic effects of MDMA will be highlighted in this review.

  20. 'Ecstasy' enhances noise-induced hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Church, Michael W; Zhang, Jinsheng S; Langford, Megan M; Perrine, Shane A

    2013-08-01

    'Ecstasy' or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) is an amphetamine abused for its euphoric, empathogenic, hallucinatory, and stimulant effects. It is also used to treat certain psychiatric disorders. Common settings for Ecstasy use are nightclubs and "rave" parties where participants consume MDMA and dance to loud music. One concern with the club setting is that exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent sensorineural hearing loss. Another concern is that consumption of MDMA may enhance such hearing loss. Whereas this latter possibility has not been investigated, this study tested the hypothesis that MDMA enhances noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) by exposing rats to either MDMA, noise trauma, both MDMA and noise, or neither treatment. MDMA was given in a binge pattern of 5 mg/kg per intraperitoneal injections every 2 h for a total of four injections to animals in the two MDMA-treated groups (MDMA-only and Noise + MDMA). Saline injections were given to the animals in the two non-MDMA groups (Control and Noise-only). Following the final injection, noise trauma was induced by a 10 kHz tone at 120 dB SPL for 1 h to animals in the two noise trauma-treated groups (Noise-only and Noise + MDMA). Hearing loss was assessed by the auditory brainstem response (ABR) and cochlear histology. Results showed that MDMA enhanced NIHL compared to Noise-only and that MDMA alone caused no hearing loss. This implies that "clubbers" and "rave-goers" are exacerbating the amount of NIHL when they consume MDMA and listen to loud sounds. In contrast to earlier reports, the present study found that MDMA by itself caused no changes in the click-evoked ABR's wave latencies or amplitudes.

  1. Ecstasy is a dangerous drug.

    PubMed

    Murray, J B

    2001-06-01

    Ecstasy, a dangerous psychoactive drug, has become a popular recreational drug on college campuses and dance halls in the United States, United Kingdom, and around the world. No reports on ecstasy have shown addictiveness, and some users of ecstasy claim they prefer infrequent use which is not the usual addictive pattern. Jaw clenching, bruxism, and some cardiac arrhythmias requiring medical attention have been associated with consumption of ecstasy and some fatalities. In large scale retrospective questionnaire studies of subjective experiences users claimed that they felt a gentle relaxation and openness to others and few adversive effects. In rats and monkeys ecstasy has caused depletion of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain but similar effects have not been identified for humans. Case reports have shown panic attacks, flashbacks, paranoia, and even fatalities. The Drug Enforcement Administration in 1985 placed ecstasy in Schedule I, the most restrictive drug category.

  2. Rewarding effects of the optical isomers of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine ('Ecstasy') and 3,4-methylenedioxy-ethylamphetamine ('Eve') measured by conditioned place preference in rats.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Anja; Mayerhofer, Andreas; Kovar, Karl-Artur; Schmidt, Werner J

    2002-09-27

    3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA) ('Ecstasy') and its analogue 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDE) ('Eve') are well known illicit street drugs mainly abused by young people. In spite of the actual research going on, the classification of their abuse potential remains unclear. Since secondary reinforcers are the main factors responsible for craving and relapse, the aim of our study was to assess the potency of MDMA and MDE in a second order reinforcement paradigm, i.e. conditioned place preference (CPP). For the general assessment of our study conditions, we compared MDMA with amphetamine. Unexpectedly, no significant CPP for MDMA was found in contrast to amphetamine. Detailed analysis of current literature led us to the working hypothesis that social environment is crucial for the development of CPP. In a subsequent experiment we tested the influence of housing conditions on CPP using MDMA and demonstrated that isolated animals show significant CPP compared to group-housed ones. In order to better understand the rewarding mechanisms of Ecstasy-derivatives, we tested both the racemic drugs and the pure isomers in the CPP paradigm. Both MDMA's optical isomers and racemic MDMA showed significant CPP without notable differences, while MDE and its isomers completely failed to show any significant CPP. In conclusion, the mechanism by which MDMA induces addiction is much more complicated than assumed so far and more pronounced in isolated animals. The fact that both optical isomers of MDMA led to CPP implies that at least two pathways by which MDMA induces craving behaviour exist.

  3. Repeated adolescent MDMA ("Ecstasy") exposure in rats increases behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to a 5-HT2A/2C agonist.

    PubMed

    Biezonski, Dominik K; Courtemanche, Andrea B; Hong, Sang B; Piper, Brian J; Meyer, Jerrold S

    2009-02-03

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a popular recreational drug among adolescents. The present study aimed to determine the effects of repeated intermittent administration of 10 mg/kg MDMA during adolescence on behavioral (Experiment 1) and neuroendocrine (Experiment 2) responses of rats to the 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) and on [(3)H]ketanserin binding to 5-HT(2A) receptors. In the first experiment, MDMA pretreatment increased the frequency of head twitches and back muscle contractions, but not wet-dog shakes, to a high-dose DOI challenge. In the second experiment, both the prolactin and corticosterone responses to DOI were potentiated in MDMA-pretreated animals. No changes were found in 5-HT(2A) receptor binding in the hypothalamus or other forebrain areas that were examined. These results indicate that intermittent adolescent MDMA exposure enhances sensitivity of 5-HT(2A/2C) receptors in the CNS, possibly through changes in downstream signaling mechanisms.

  4. Ecstasy-Associated Pneumomediastinum

    PubMed Central

    Marasco, Silvana F; Lim, H Kiat

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Ecstasy, also known as MDMA (3,4, methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a popular illicit party drug amongst young adults. The drug induces a state of euphoria secondary to its stimulant activity in the central nervous system. PATIENTS AND METHODS A database review at two major inner city hospitals was undertaken to identify patients presenting with pneumomediastinum and their charts reviewed. A Medline review of all reported cases of pneumomediastinum associated with ecstasy abuse was undertaken. RESULTS A total of 56 patients presenting with pneumomediastinum were identified over a 5-year period. Review of the charts revealed a history of ecstasy use in the hours prior to presentation in six of these patients, representing the largest series reported to date. CONCLUSIONS Review of previously reported cases reveals the likely mechanism is due to Valsalva manoeuvre during periods of extreme physical exertion, and not a direct pharmacological effect of the drug. PMID:17535617

  5. Simultaneous liquid chromatographic-electrospray ionization mass spectrometric quantification of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine in squirrel monkey and human plasma after acidic conjugate cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Melanie; Peters, Frank T.; Huestis, Marilyn A.; Ricaurte, George A.; Maurer, Hans H.

    2009-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a psychoactive drug with abuse liability and neurotoxic potential. Specimen preparation of a recently presented LC–MS assay with electrospray ionization for quantifying MDMA and its main metabolites in squirrel monkey plasma was modified to include acidic hydrolysis to obtain total 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine. Method re-validation for squirrel monkey plasma and full validation for human plasma showed selectivity for all analytes. Recoveries were ≥71.0%. Changed specimen preparation or matrix did not affect accuracy or precision. No instability was observed after repeated freezing or in processed samples. Plasma MDMA and metabolites quantification, derived pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic data and neurotoxicity research will benefit from this validated method. PMID:19131196

  6. There's something about Molly: The underresearched yet popular powder form of ecstasy in the United States.

    PubMed

    Palamar, Joseph J

    2017-01-01

    Molly has been the street name for powder or crystalline ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) in the United States since the early 2000s; however, few studies have examined Molly use or included Molly in the definition of ecstasy/MDMA. Prevalence of self-reported ecstasy use is being underreported on surveys due to the lack of inclusion of "Molly," although Molly is often so adulterated with novel psychoactive substances such as synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") that the name "Molly" may no longer adequately represent ecstasy/MDMA. The author recommends that Molly use and Molly purity be further studied to more adequately inform prevention and harm reduction.

  7. Comparison and evaluation of DRI methamphetamine, DRI ecstasy, Abuscreen ONLINE amphetamine, and a modified Abuscreen ONLINE amphetamine screening immunoassays for the detection of amphetamine (AMP), methamphetamine (MTH), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in human urine.

    PubMed

    Stout, Peter R; Klette, Kevin L; Wiegand, Russell

    2003-01-01

    The performances of four immunoassays (DRI amphetamines, DRI ecstasy, Abuscreen ONLINE amphetamines, and a modified Abuscreen ONLINE amphetamines) were evaluated for control failure rates, sensitivity, and specificity for amphetamine (AMP), methamphetamine (MTH), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The two DRI reagents and the ONLINE reagents were run according to manufacturer specifications using a Roche Hitachi Modular DDP system. The modified ONLINE reagent was calibrated with MDMA and had 16mM sodium periodate added to the R2 reagent. These assays were run on approximately 27,500 human urine samples and 7000 control urine samples prepared at 350 and 674 ng/mL over the course of 8 days. All assays were calibrated using a single point, qualitative cutoff standard with the manufacturer-recommended compound at the Department of Defense cutoff (500 ng/mL). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmation was conducted on screened-positive samples. Control performance for the manufacturer recommended assays was excellent, with a maximum qualitative control failure rate of 2.03%. The modified ONLINE reagent demonstrated poor control performance with a maximum failure rate of 38.3% and showed no improved MDMA sensitivity when compared with the ONLINE reagent; the confirmation rate (20%) was improved when compared with the production ONLINE reagent (8%). The DRI ecstasy reagent provided improved sensitivity for MDMA as compared with the ONLINE reagent, with approximately 23% more samples screening and confirming positive for MDMA and a confirmation rate of approximately 90%. The DRI methamphetamine reagent had a low confirmation rate (6% or less) and produced numerous positives for samples with only ephedrine or pseudoephedrine present.

  8. Evidence for Significant Polydrug Use among Ecstasy-Using College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wish, Eric D.; Fitzelle, Dawn Bonanno; O'Grady, Kevin E.; Hsu, Margaret H.; Arria, Amelia M.

    2006-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) has been added to the spectrum of illicit drugs used by college students. In this study, the authors estimated the prevalence of ecstasy use within a large college student sample and investigated the polydrug-use history of those ecstasy users. They administered an anonymous questionnaire to college students (N = 1,206) in…

  9. MDMA enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior.

    PubMed

    Hysek, Cédric M; Schmid, Yasmin; Simmler, Linda D; Domes, Gregor; Heinrichs, Markus; Eisenegger, Christoph; Preller, Katrin H; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') releases serotonin and norepinephrine. MDMA is reported to produce empathogenic and prosocial feelings. It is unknown whether MDMA in fact alters empathic concern and prosocial behavior. We investigated the acute effects of MDMA using the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET), dynamic Face Emotion Recognition Task (FERT) and Social Value Orientation (SVO) test. We also assessed effects of MDMA on plasma levels of hormones involved in social behavior using a placebo-controlled, double-blind, random-order, cross-over design in 32 healthy volunteers (16 women). MDMA enhanced explicit and implicit emotional empathy in the MET and increased prosocial behavior in the SVO test in men. MDMA did not alter cognitive empathy in the MET but impaired the identification of negative emotions, including fearful, angry and sad faces, in the FERT, particularly in women. MDMA increased plasma levels of cortisol and prolactin, which are markers of serotonergic and noradrenergic activity, and of oxytocin, which has been associated with prosocial behavior. In summary, MDMA sex-specifically altered the recognition of emotions, emotional empathy and prosociality. These effects likely enhance sociability when MDMA is used recreationally and may be useful when MDMA is administered in conjunction with psychotherapy in patients with social dysfunction or post-traumatic stress disorder.

  10. Psychosocial Correlates of Recreational Ecstasy Use among College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sim, Tiffanie; Jordan-Green, Lisa; Lee, Jieun; Wolfman, Jade; Jahangiri, Ava

    2005-01-01

    College students' ecstasy (MDMA) use increased significantly in recent years, yet little is known about these students. In this study, the authors used the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (CORE) survey to compare 29 college students who had used ecstasy and other illicit drugs with 90 students who had used marijuana and no other illicit…

  11. Synthesis, in vitro formation, and behavioural effects of glutathione regioisomers of alpha-methyldopamine with relevance to MDA and MDMA (ecstasy).

    PubMed

    Easton, Neil; Fry, Jeff; O'Shea, Esther; Watkins, Adam; Kingston, Shaun; Marsden, Charles A

    2003-10-17

    Administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) to rats produces serotonergic nerve terminal degeneration. However, they are not neurotoxic when injected directly into the brain, suggesting the requirement for peripheral metabolism of MDMA to a neurotoxic metabolite. Alpha-methyldopamine (alpha-MeDA) is a major metabolite of MDA. There are indications that a glutathione metabolite of alpha-MeDA and/or 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine may be responsible for the neurotoxicity and some of the behavioural effects produced by MDMA and/or MDA. The present study details the synthesis, purification and separation of the 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-MeDA and 6-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-MeDA regioisomers of alpha-MeDA. Incubation of MDA with human liver microsomes demonstrated that production of both glutathione adducts are related to cytochrome P450 2D6 isoform activity. Following intracerebroventricular administration (180 nmol) of either GSH adduct into Dark Agouti or Sprague-Dawley rats only 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-MeDA produced behavioural effects characterised by hyperactivity, teeth chattering, tremor/trembling, head weaving, splayed posture, clonus and wet dog shakes. Pre-treatment with a dopamine receptor antagonist (haloperidol, 0.25 mg/kg; i.p.) attenuated hyperactivity, teeth chattering, low posture and clonus and potentiated splayed postural effects. These results indicate that MDA can be converted into two glutathione regioisomers by human liver microsomes, but only the 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-MeDA adduct is behaviourally active in the rat.

  12. Profound Hypoglycemia with Ecstasy Intoxication

    PubMed Central

    Carrera, Perliveh; Iyer, Vivek N.

    2015-01-01

    Background. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy is a synthetic drug that is commonly abused for its stimulant and euphoric effects. Adverse MDMA effects include hyperthermia, psychomotor agitation, hemodynamic compromise, renal failure, hyponatremia, and coma. However, endogenous hyperinsulinemia with severe persistent hypoglycemia has not been reported with MDMA use. Case Report. We report the case of a 29-year-old woman who remained severely hypoglycemic requiring continuous intravenous infusion of high-dose dextrose solutions for more than 24 hours after MDMA intoxication. Serum insulin and C-peptide levels confirmed marked endogenous hyperinsulinemia as the cause of the severe hypoglycemia. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? Immediate and frequent monitoring of blood glucose should be instituted in patients presenting with MDMA ingestion particularly if found to be initially hypoglycemic. Early recognition can help prevent the deleterious effects of untreated hypoglycemia that can add to the morbidity from MDMA use. Clinicians need to be aware of this side effect of MDMA so they can carefully monitor and treat it, especially in patients presenting with altered mental status. PMID:25692049

  13. A perhaps unexpected role of norepinephrine in actions of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Newton, T F

    2011-08-01

    In this issue, Hysek and colleagues present new data describing the impact of treatment with reboxetine on the effects produced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") in human volunteers. They demonstrate that several effects of MDMA are mediated by reboxetine's actions on norepinephrine (NE) transporters, an unexpected finding. Building on earlier work, their new data provide new insights into the pharmacodynamics of MDMA and other monoamine-releasing agents.

  14. Evidence for Significant Polydrug Use Among Ecstasy-Using College Students

    PubMed Central

    Wish, Eric D.; Fitzelle, Dawn Bonanno; O’Grady, Kevin E.; Hsu, Margaret H.; Arria, Amelia M.

    2010-01-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) has been added to the spectrum of illicit drugs used by college students. In this study, the authors estimated the prevalence of ecstasy use within a large college student sample and investigated the polydrug-use history of those ecstasy users. They administered an anonymous questionnaire to college students (N = 1,206) in classrooms at a large university in the mid-Atlantic United States. The overall student response rate was 91%. Nine percent of the sample reported lifetime ecstasy use. Because 98% of ecstasy users had used marijuana, the authors compared polydrug use between ecstasy users and individuals who had used marijuana but not ecstasy. Ecstasy users, as compared with these marijuana users, were significantly more likely to have used inhalants (38% vs. 10%), LSD (38% vs. 5%), cocaine (46% vs 2%), and heroin (17% vs 1%) in the past year. Significant polydrug use among college student ecstasy users has important implications for their substance abuse treatment. PMID:17017306

  15. Toward an Ecstasy and Other Club Drug (EOCD) Prevention Intervention for Rave Attendees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yacoubian, George S., Jr.; Miller, Sarah; Pianim, Selwyn; Kunz, Michael; Orrick, Erin; Link, Tanja; Palacios, Wilson R.; Peters, Ronald J.

    2004-01-01

    A growing body of recent research has identified that "rave" attendees are at high risk for the use of "club drugs," such as 3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"). Rave attendees, however, comprise only one of several club-going populations. In the current study, we explore the prevalence of ecstasy and other club drug (EOCD) use…

  16. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of methylphenidate and MDMA administered alone or in combination.

    PubMed

    Hysek, Cédric M; Simmler, Linda D; Schillinger, Nathalie; Meyer, Nicole; Schmid, Yasmin; Donzelli, Massimiliano; Grouzmann, Eric; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-03-01

    Methylphenidate and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') are widely misused psychoactive drugs. Methylphenidate increases brain dopamine and norepinephrine levels by blocking the presynaptic reuptake transporters. MDMA releases serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine through the same transporters. Pharmacodynamic interactions of methylphenidate and MDMA are likely. This study compared the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of methylphenidate and MDMA administered alone or in combination in healthy subjects using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Methylphenidate did not enhance the psychotropic effects of MDMA, although it produced psychostimulant effects on its own. The haemodynamic and adverse effects of co-administration of methylphenidate and MDMA were significantly higher compared with MDMA or methylphenidate alone. Methylphenidate did not change the pharmacokinetics of MDMA and vice versa. Methylphenidate and MDMA shared some subjective amphetamine-type effects; however, 125 mg of MDMA increased positive mood more than 60 mg of methylphenidate, and methylphenidate enhanced activity and concentration more than MDMA. Methylphenidate and MDMA differentially altered facial emotion recognition. Methylphenidate enhanced the recognition of sad and fearful faces, whereas MDMA reduced the recognition of negative emotions. Additionally, the present study found acute pharmacodynamic tolerance to MDMA but not methylphenidate. In conclusion, the combined use of methylphenidate and MDMA does not produce more psychoactive effects compared with either drug alone, but potentially enhances cardiovascular and adverse effects. The findings may be of clinical importance for assessing the risks of combined psychostimulant misuse. Trial registration identification number: NCT01465685 (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01465685).

  17. Increased oxytocin concentrations and prosocial feelings in humans after ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) administration.

    PubMed

    Dumont, G J H; Sweep, F C G J; van der Steen, R; Hermsen, R; Donders, A R T; Touw, D J; van Gerven, J M A; Buitelaar, J K; Verkes, R J

    2009-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or "ecstasy") is a recreationally used drug with remarkable and characteristic prosocial effects. In spite of abundant attention in the scientific literature, the mechanism of its prosocial effects has not been elucidated in humans. Recently, research in animals has suggested that the neuropeptide oxytocin may induce these effects. In a double blind, randomized, crossover, and placebo-controlled study in 15 healthy volunteers we assessed blood oxytocin and MDMA concentrations and subjective prosocial effects after oral administration of 100 mg MDMA or placebo. MDMA induced a robust increase of blood oxytocin concentrations and an increase of subjective prosocial feelings. Within subjects, the variations in these feelings were significantly and positively correlated with variation in oxytocin levels, and the correlations between these feelings and oxytocin were significantly stronger than those between these feelings and blood MDMA levels. MDMA induces oxytocin release in humans, which may be involved in the characteristic prosocial effects of ecstasy.

  18. Fear, Rationality and Opportunity: Reasons and Motives for Not Trying Ecstasy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vervaeke, Hylke Karen Eva; Benschop, Annemieke; Korf, Dirk Jan

    2008-01-01

    Aim: To gain more insight into the reasons and motives why people do not start taking ecstasy. Method: As part of the NeXT Study, we prospectively monitored 188 subjects who were ecstasy-naive at baseline but seemed likely to take ecstasy (MDMA) of their own accord during the course of the study. After an 11- to 26-month follow-up period, 160…

  19. Changes in leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone and neuropeptide-Y after an acute model of MDMA and methamphetamine exposure in rats.

    PubMed

    Kobeissy, Firas H; Jeung, Jennifer A; Warren, Matthew W; Geier, Jacqueline E; Gold, Mark S

    2008-03-01

    Club drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States. Beyond addiction and toxicity are endocrine effects which are not well characterized. Specifically, the changes in appetite following exposure to drugs of abuse are an interesting but poorly understood phenomenon. Serum hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone (GH), and neuropeptide-Y (NP-Y) are known to affect appetite, but have not been studied extensively with drugs of abuse. In this work, we examine the effects of club drugs 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (ecstasy) and methamphetamine (METH) (doses of 5, 20 and 40 mg/kg) on serum concentrations of these hormones in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours after drug administration. In a dose-dependent manner, MDMA was shown to cause transient significant decreases in serum leptin and GH followed by a base line recovery after 24 hours. Conversely, serum ghrelin increased and normalized after 24 hours. Interestingly, serum NP-Y showed a steady decrease in both treatment of MDMA and METH at different time points and dosages. In humans, abuse of these drugs reduces eating. As evident from these data, acute administration of METH and MDMA had significant effects on different serum hormone levels involved in appetite regulation. Future studies should be performed to see how chronic, low dose drug administration would affect hormone levels and try to answer questions about the physiological mechanisms involved in the anorexic paradigm observed in drug use.

  20. MDMA as a Probe and Treatment for Social Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Heifets, Boris D; Malenka, Robert C

    2016-07-14

    MDMA, better known as the recreational drug "ecstasy," is well known for stimulating a feeling of closeness and empathy in its users. We advocate that exploring its mechanism of action could lead to new treatments for psychiatric conditions characterized by impairments in social behavior.

  1. Pharmacological interaction between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) and paroxetine: pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetics.

    PubMed

    Farré, Magí; Abanades, Sergio; Roset, Pere N; Peiró, Ana M; Torrens, Marta; O'Mathúna, Bryan; Segura, Mireia; de la Torre, Rafael

    2007-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is increasingly used by young people for its euphoric and empathic effects. MDMA can be used in combination with other drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. A clinical trial was designed where subjects pretreated with paroxetine, one of the most potent inhibitors of both 5-hydroxytryptamine reuptake and CYP2D6 activity, were challenged with a single dose of MDMA. The aim of the study was to evaluate the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interaction between paroxetine and MDMA in humans. A randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 12 healthy male subjects. Variables included physiological parameters, psychomotor performance, subjective effects, and pharmacokinetics. Subjects received 20 mg/day paroxetine (or placebo) orally for the 3 days before MDMA challenge (100 mg oral). MDMA alone produced the prototypical effects of the drug. Pretreatment with paroxetine was associated with marked decreases of both physiological and subjective effects of MDMA, despite a 30% increase in MDMA plasma concentrations. The decreases of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxymethamphetamine plasma concentrations suggest a metabolic interaction of paroxetine and MDMA. These data show that pretreatment with paroxetine significantly attenuates MDMA-related physiological and psychological effects. It seems that paroxetine could interact with MDMA at pharmacodynamic (serotonin transporter) and pharmacokinetic (CYP2D6 metabolism) levels. Marked decrease in the effects of MDMA could lead users to take higher doses of MDMA and to produce potential life-threatening toxic effects.

  2. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Abstinent MDMA Users: A Review.

    PubMed

    Garg, Aayushi; Kapoor, Saloni; Goel, Mishita; Chopra, Saurav; Chopra, Manav; Kapoor, Anirudh; McCann, Una D; Behera, Chittaranjan

    2015-01-01

    Ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular drug of abuse. In the animal studies MDMA has been shown to have deleterious effects on the serotonergic neurotransmitter system. Understanding the adverse effects of MDMA on human brain function is of considerable importance owing to the rising number of MDMA users. Various neuroimaging studies have investigated the structural, chemical and functional differences in the brain integrity of chronic MDMA users. Various neurocognitive domains like working memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, visual stimulation, motor function and impulsivity have been compared between chronic MDMA users and nonusers using fMRI. The fMRI studies remain much more sensitive in studying the neurological deficits associated with chronic MDMA use as compared to the cognitive studies alone and therefore they serve as a prelude in our understanding of MDMA induced neurotoxicity. However they still face certain limitations contributing to inconsistency in the results and further research is needed before we can draw definitive conclusions regarding the neurotoxic effects of MDMA.

  3. Identifying the Prevalence and Correlates of Ecstasy Use among High School Seniors Surveyed through 2002 Monitoring the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yacoubian, George S., Jr.; Peters, Ronald J.

    2005-01-01

    Media reports have suggested that the use of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is a significant problem across the United States. To date, however, available evidence has shown that the use of ecstasy has been concentrated among "rave" attendees, with mainstream youth remaining relative-immune from its proliferation. In the…

  4. Impact of Pharmaceutical Impurities in Ecstasy Tablets: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Study.

    PubMed

    Jalali, Amir; Hatamie, Amir; Saferpour, Tahere; Khajeamiri, Alireza; Safa, Tahere; Buazar, Foad

    2016-01-01

    In this study, a simple and reliable method by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was developed for the fast and regular identification of 3, 4-MDMA impurities in ecstasy tablets. In so doing, 8 samples of impurities were extracted by diethyl ether under alkaline condition and then analyzed by GC-MS. The results revealed high MDMA levels ranging from 37.6% to 57.7%. The GC-MS method showed that unambiguous identification can be achieved for MDMA from 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), Amphetamine (AM), methamphetamine (MA) and ketamine (Keta) compounds, respectively. The experimental results indicated the acceptable time window without interfering peaks. It is found that GC-MS was provided a suitable and rapid identification approach for MDMA (Ecstacy) tablets, particularly in the Forensic labs. Consequently, the intense MDMA levels would support the police to develop a simple quantification of impurity in Ecstasy tablets.

  5. Impact of Pharmaceutical Impurities in Ecstasy Tablets: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Study

    PubMed Central

    Jalali, Amir; Hatamie, Amir; Saferpour, Tahere; Khajeamiri, Alireza; Safa, Tahere; Buazar, Foad

    2016-01-01

    In this study, a simple and reliable method by gas chromatograph–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was developed for the fast and regular identification of 3, 4-MDMA impurities in ecstasy tablets. In so doing, 8 samples of impurities were extracted by diethyl ether under alkaline condition and then analyzed by GC–MS. The results revealed high MDMA levels ranging from 37.6% to 57.7%. The GC-MS method showed that unambiguous identification can be achieved for MDMA from 3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), Amphetamine (AM), methamphetamine (MA) and ketamine (Keta) compounds, respectively. The experimental results indicated the acceptable time window without interfering peaks. It is found that GC-MS was provided a suitable and rapid identification approach for MDMA (Ecstacy) tablets, particularly in the Forensic labs. Consequently, the intense MDMA levels would support the police to develop a simple quantification of impurity in Ecstasy tablets. PMID:27610162

  6. [Acute and long-term effects of ecstasy].

    PubMed

    Salzmann, Julie; Marie-Claire, Cynthia; Noble, Florence

    2004-10-23

    Side effects in the short term Recreational use of Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA), a synthetic drug, has considerably increased over the last decade. Since its appearance it is associated with the rave culture, but its use has spread to other social settings. The drug produces euphoria and empathy, but can lead to side effects, notably acute, potentially lethal, toxicity (malignant hyperthermia and/or hepatitis). Neurotoxicity in the long-term Moreover, MDMA has been shown to induce long-term deleterious effects and provoke neurotoxic affecting the serotoninergic system. However, the psychopathological consequences of such neurotoxicity are still controversial, particularly since many ecstasy consumers are multi-drug users. A complex pharmacological profile The mechanism of action of MDMA involves various neurobiological systems (serotonin, dopamine, noradrenalin), that may all interact.

  7. Inhibition of MDMA-induced increase in cortisol does not prevent acute impairment of verbal memory

    PubMed Central

    Kuypers, KPC; Torre, R; Farre, M; Pujadas, M; Ramaekers, JG

    2013-01-01

    Background Ecstasy use is commonly linked with memory deficits in abstinent ecstasy users. Similar impairments are being found during ecstasy intoxication after single doses of ± 3,4 metylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The concordance of memory impairments during intoxication and abstinence suggests a similar neuropharmacological mechanism underlying acute and chronic memory impairments. The mechanism underlying this impairment is to date not known. We hypothesized that cortisol might play an important role in this mechanism as cortisol, implicated in the regulation of memory performance, can be brought out of balance by stressors like MDMA. Methods In the present study, we aimed to block the MDMA-induced acute memory defect by giving participants a cortisol synthesis inhibitor (metyrapone) together with a single dose of MDMA. Seventeen polydrug MDMA users entered this placebo-controlled within subject study with four treatment conditions. The treatments consisted of MDMA (75 mg) and metyrapone (750 mg), alone and in combination, and double placebo. Pre-treatment with metyrapone or Placebo occurred 1 h prior to MDMA or Placebo administration. Memory performance was tested at peak drug concentrations by means of several memory tests. Cortisol levels were determined in blood and oral fluid; this served as a control measure to see whether manipulations were effective. Results Main findings indicated that whereas treatment with metyrapone blocked the expected MDMA-induced increase in cortisol levels in blood, it did not prevent the MDMA-induced memory deficit from happening. Conclusion We therefore conclude that MDMA-induced increments in cortisol concentrations are not related to MDMA-induced memory impairments. PMID:22946487

  8. Ecstasy overdoses at a New Year's Eve rave--Los Angeles, California, 2010.

    PubMed

    2010-06-11

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) is an illegal synthetic amphetamine used as a stimulant and hallucinogen. On January 4, 2010, the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health (DPH) learned of six MDMA-related emergency department (ED) visits and one death, all linked to a New Year's Eve event attended by approximately 45,000 persons. LAC DPH conducted an investigation to search for additional MDMA-related ED visits, characterize the cases, and determine whether drug contamination was involved. This report summarizes the results of the investigation, which determined that 18 patients visited EDs in LAC for MDMA-related illness within 12 hours of the rave. All were aged 16-34 years, and nine were female. In addition to using MDMA, 10 of the 18 had used alcohol, and five had used other drugs. Three patients were admitted to the hospital, including one to intensive care. A tablet obtained from one of the patients contained MDMA and caffeine, without known toxic contaminants. The cluster of apparent ecstasy overdoses occurred in the context of likely increasing MDMA use in the county during 2005-2009, as indicated by increased identification of MDMA-containing forensic specimens and a large increase in LAC residents entering drug treatment programs for MDMA. Collaboration between public health, police, fire, and emergency medical service (EMS) officials on a comprehensive prevention strategy might reduce the number of overdoses at similar events.

  9. Drug interaction between ethanol and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy").

    PubMed

    Upreti, Vijay V; Eddington, Natalie D; Moon, Kwan-Hoon; Song, Byoung-Joon; Lee, Insong J

    2009-07-24

    Alcohol (ethanol) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) are frequently co-abused, but recent findings indicate a harmful drug interaction between these two agents. In our previous study, we showed that MDMA exposure inhibits the activity of the acetaldehyde (ACH) metabolizing enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase2 (ALDH2). Based on this finding, we hypothesized that the co-administration of MDMA and ethanol would reduce the metabolism of ACH and result in increased accumulation of ACH. Rats were treated with MDMA or vehicle and then administered a single dose of ethanol. Liver ALDH2 activity decreased by 35% in the MDMA-treated rats compared to control rats. The peak concentration and the area under the concentration versus time curve of plasma ACH were 31% and 59% higher, respectively, in the MDMA-ethanol group compared to the ethanol-only group. In addition, the MDMA-ethanol group had 80% higher plasma transaminase levels than the ethanol-only group, indicating greater hepatocellular damage. Our results not only support a drug interaction between MDMA and ethanol but a novel underlying mechanism for the interaction.

  10. MDMA modulates spontaneous firing of subthalamic nucleus neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Liebig, Luise; von Ameln-Mayerhofer, Andreas; Hentschke, Harald

    2015-01-01

    3,4-Methylene-dioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') has a broad spectrum of molecular targets in the brain, among them receptors and transporters of the serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and noradrenergic systems. Its action on the serotonergic system modulates motor systems in rodents and humans. Although parts of the basal ganglia could be identified as mediators of the motor effects of MDMA, very little is known about the role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Therefore, this study investigated the modulation of spontaneous action potential activity of the STN by MDMA (2.5-20 µM) in vitro. MDMA had very heterogeneous effects, ranging from a complete but reversible inhibition to a more than twofold increase in firing at 5 µM. On average, MDMA excited STN neurons moderately, but lost its excitatory effect in the presence of the 5-HT(2A) antagonist MDL 11,939. 5-HT(1A) receptors did not appear to play a major role. Effects of MDMA on transporters for serotonin (SERT) and norepinephrine (NET) were investigated by coapplication of the reuptake inhibitors citalopram and desipramine, respectively. Similar to the effects of 5-HT(2A) receptor blockade, antagonism of SERT and NET bestowed an inhibitory effect on MDMA. From these results, we conclude that both the 5-HT and the noradrenergic system mediate MDMA-induced effects on STN neurons.

  11. Neural mechanisms underlying ecstasy-related attentional bias.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Gloria M P; Garavan, Hugh

    2013-08-30

    Conditioned responses to cues associated with drug taking play a pivotal role in a number of theories of drug addiction. This study examined whether attentional biases towards drug-related cues exist in recreational drug users who predominantly used ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Experiment 1 compared 30 ecstasy users, 25 cannabis users, and 30 controls in an attentional distraction task in which neutral, evocative, and ecstasy-related pictures were presented within a coloured border, requiring participants to respond as quickly as possible to the border colour. Experiment 2 employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the attentional distraction task and tested 20 ecstasy users and 20 controls. Experiment 1 revealed significant response speed interference by the ecstasy-related pictures in the ecstasy users only. Experiment 2 revealed increased prefrontal and occipital activity in ecstasy users in all conditions. Activations in response to the ecstasy stimuli in these regions showed an apparent antagonism whereby ecstasy users, relative to controls, showed increased occipital but decreased right prefrontal activation. These results are interpreted to reflect increased visual processing of, and decreased prefrontal control over, the irrelevant but salient ecstasy-related stimuli. These results suggest that right inferior frontal cortex may play an important role in controlling drug-related attentional biases and may thus play an important role in mediating control over drug usage.

  12. Plasma oxytocin concentrations following MDMA or intranasal oxytocin in humans.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; Francis, Sunday M; Lee, Royce; de Wit, Harriet; Jacob, Suma

    2014-08-01

    MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 'ecstasy') is reportedly used recreationally because it increases feelings of sociability and interpersonal closeness. Prior work suggests that the pro-social effects of MDMA may be mediated by release of oxytocin. A direct examination of plasma levels of oxytocin after acute doses of oxytocin and MDMA, in the same individuals, would provide further evidence for the idea that MDMA produces its pro-social effects by increasing oxytocin. Fourteen healthy MDMA users participated in a 4-session, double-blind study in which they received oral MDMA (0.75 and 1.5mg/kg), intranasal oxytocin (20IU or 40IU), and placebo. Plasma oxytocin concentrations, as well as cardiovascular and subjective effects were assessed before and at several time points after drug administration. MDMA (1.5mg/kg only) increased plasma oxytocin levels to a mean peak of 83.7pg/ml at approximately 90-120min, compared to 18.6pg/ml after placebo. Intranasal oxytocin (40IU, but not 20IU) increased plasma oxytocin levels to 48.0pg/ml, 30-60min after nasal spray administration. MDMA dose-dependently increased heart rate, blood pressure, feelings of euphoria (e.g., 'High' and 'Like Drug'), and feelings of sociability, whereas oxytocin had no cardiovascular or subjective effects. The subjective and cardiovascular responses to MDMA were not related to plasma oxytocin levels, although the N was small for this analysis. Future studies examining the effects of oxytocin antagonists on responses to MDMA will help to determine the mechanism by which MDMA produces pro-social effects.

  13. Long-term effects of 'ecstasy' abuse on the human brain studied by FDG PET.

    PubMed

    Buchert, R; Obrocki, J; Thomasius, R; Väterlein, O; Petersen, K; Jenicke, L; Bohuslavizki, K H; Clausen, M

    2001-08-01

    The popular recreational drug, 'ecstasy', mainly contains 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as the psychotropic agent. MDMA is suspected of causing neurotoxic lesions to the serotonergic system as demonstrated by animal studies, examinations of human cerebrospinal fluid, and the first positron emission tomography (PET) studies using the serotonin transporter ligand [11C]-McN5652. Damage of serotonergic afferents might mediate long-lasting alterations of cerebral glucose metabolism as a secondary effect. To study a relationship between ecstasy use and long-lasting alterations, PET using 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) was performed in 93 ecstasy users and 27 subjects without any known history of illicit-drug abuse. As an index of glucose metabolism, mean normalized FDG uptake was determined in both groups using a computerized brain atlas, and was compared for a selected number of brain regions. FDG uptake was normalized in each individual by dividing local FDG uptake by the maximum FDG uptake in the individual's brain. Within the group of ecstasy users we examined the relationship between FDG uptake and cumulative ecstasy dose, time since last ecstasy ingestion at the time of PET scanning, and age at first ecstasy use, respectively. Normalized FDG uptake was reduced within the striatum and amygdala of ecstasy users when compared to controls. No statistically significant correlation of the FDG uptake and the cumulative dose of ecstasy was detected. A positive correlation was found in the cingulate between FDG uptake and the time since last ecstasy ingestion. As compared to the control group, normalized FDG uptake in the cingulate was reduced in ecstasy users who took ecstasy during the last 6 months, while it was elevated in former ecstasy users who did not consume ecstasy for more than 1 year. FDG uptake was significantly more affected in ecstasy users who started to consume ecstasy before the age of 18 years. In conclusion, ecstasy abuse causes long

  14. [Addiction].

    PubMed

    Besson, J; Grivel, J; Tomei, A; Falcheri, J-P; Waelchli, M; Simon, O; Rossier, V

    2012-01-11

    The news in addiction medicine for 2011 include new knowledges coming from the neurosciences, but also new clinical concepts, as the role of hospital addiction units in an integrated network of care. The issue of cocaine vaccination is discussed from an ethical point of view. Finally, the integration of mindfulness techniques is introduced as a useful approach in the treatment of the addictions.

  15. Effects of MDMA on body temperature in humans

    PubMed Central

    Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-01-01

    Hyperthermia is a severe complication associated with the recreational use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy). In this review, the clinical laboratory studies that tested the effects of MDMA on body temperature are summarized. The mechanisms that underlie the hyperthermic effects of MDMA in humans and treatment of severe hyperthermia are presented. The data show that MDMA produces an acute and dose-dependent rise in core body temperature in healthy subjects. The increase in body temperature is in the range of 0.2-0.8°C and does not result in hyperpyrexia (>40°C) in a controlled laboratory setting. However, moderately hyperthermic body temperatures >38.0°C occur frequently at higher doses, even in the absence of physical activity and at room temperature. MDMA primarily releases serotonin and norepinephrine. Mechanistic clinical studies indicate that the MDMA-induced elevations in body temperature in humans partially depend on the MDMA-induced release of norepinephrine and involve enhanced metabolic heat generation and cutaneous vasoconstriction, resulting in impaired heat dissipation. The mediating role of serotonin is unclear. The management of sympathomimetic toxicity and associated hyperthermia mainly includes sedation with benzodiazepines and intravenous fluid replacement. Severe hyperthermia should primarily be treated with additional cooling and mechanical ventilation. PMID:27626046

  16. Differential effects of MDMA and methylphenidate on social cognition.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Yasmin; Hysek, Cédric M; Simmler, Linda D; Crockett, Molly J; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2014-09-01

    Social cognition is important in everyday-life social interactions. The social cognitive effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and methylphenidate (both used for neuroenhancement and as party drugs) are largely unknown. We investigated the acute effects of MDMA (75 mg), methylphenidate (40 mg) and placebo using the Facial Emotion Recognition Task, Multifaceted Empathy Test, Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition, Social Value Orientation Test and the Moral Judgment Task in a cross-over study in 30 healthy subjects. Additionally, subjective, autonomic, pharmacokinetic, endocrine and adverse drug effects were measured. MDMA enhanced emotional empathy for positive emotionally charged situations in the MET and tended to reduce the recognition of sad faces in the Facial Emotion Recognition Task. MDMA had no effects on cognitive empathy in the Multifaceted Empathy Test or social cognitive inferences in the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition. MDMA produced subjective 'empathogenic' effects, such as drug liking, closeness to others, openness and trust. In contrast, methylphenidate lacked such subjective effects and did not alter emotional processing, empathy or mental perspective-taking. MDMA but not methylphenidate increased the plasma levels of oxytocin and prolactin. None of the drugs influenced moral judgment. Effects on emotion recognition and emotional empathy were evident at a low dose of MDMA and likely contribute to the popularity of the drug.

  17. Addiction.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Terry E; Berridge, Kent C

    2003-01-01

    The development of addiction involves a transition from casual to compulsive patterns of drug use. This transition to addiction is accompanied by many drug-induced changes in the brain and associated changes in psychological functions. In this article we present a critical analysis of the major theoretical explanations of how drug-induced alterations in psychological function might cause a transition to addiction. These include: (a) the traditional hedonic view that drug pleasure and subsequent unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are the chief causes of addiction; (b) the view that addiction is due to aberrant learning, especially the development of strong stimulus-response habits; (c) our incentive-sensitization view, which suggests that sensitization of a neural system that attributes incentive salience causes compulsive motivation or "wanting" to take addictive drugs; and (d) the idea that dysfunction of frontal cortical systems, which normally regulate decision making and inhibitory control over behavior, leads to impaired judgment and impulsivity in addicts.

  18. Quantitative determination of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine by thin-layer chromatography in ecstasy illicit pills in Tehran.

    PubMed

    Shetab Boushehri, Seyed Vahid; Tamimi, Maryam; Kebriaeezadeh, Abbas

    2009-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is the major ingredient of ecstasy illicit pills. It is a hallucinogen, central nervous system stimulant, and serotonergic neurotoxin that strongly releases serotonin from serotonergic nerves terminals. Moreover, it releases norepinephrine and dopamine from nerves terminal, but to a lesser extent than serotonin. Poisoning and even death from abusing MDMA-containing ecstasy illicit pills among abusers is usual. Thus, quantitative determination of MDMA content of ecstasy illicit pills in illicit drug bazaar must be done regularly to find the most high dose ecstasy illicit pills and removing them from illicit drug bazaar. In the present study, MDMA contents of 13 most abundant ecstasy illicit pills were determined by quantitative thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Two procedures for quantitative determination of MDMA contents of ecstasy illicit pills by TLC were used: densitometric and so-called 'scraping off' methods. The former was done in a reflection mode at 285 nm and the latter was done by absorbance measurement of eluted scraped off spots. Limit of detection (LOD), considering signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 2, and limit of quantification (LOQ), regarding S/N of 10, of densitometric and scraping off methods were 0.40 microg, 1.20 microg, and 6.87 mug, 20.63 microg, respectively. Repeatabilities (within-laboratory error) of densitometric and scraping off methods were 0.5% and 3.6%, respectively. The results showed that the ecstasy illicit pills contained 24-124.5 mg and 23.9-122.2 mg MDMA by densitometric and scraping off methods, respectively.

  19. Oral fluid and plasma 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and metabolite correlation after controlled oral MDMA administration.

    PubMed

    Desrosiers, Nathalie A; Barnes, Allan J; Hartman, Rebecca L; Scheidweiler, Karl B; Kolbrich-Spargo, Erin A; Gorelick, David A; Goodwin, Robert S; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2013-05-01

    Oral fluid (OF) offers a noninvasive sample collection for drug testing. However, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in OF has not been adequately characterized in comparison to plasma. We administered oral low-dose (1.0 mg/kg) and high-dose (1.6 mg/kg) MDMA to 26 participants and collected simultaneous OF and plasma specimens for up to 143 h after dosing. We compared OF/plasma (OF/P) ratios, time of initial detection (t first), maximal concentrations (C max), time of peak concentrations (t max), time of last detection (t last), clearance, and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)-to-MDMA ratios over time. For OF MDMA and MDA, C max was higher, t last was later, and clearance was slower compared to plasma. For OF MDA only, t first was later compared to plasma. Median (range) OF/P ratios were 5.6 (0.1-52.3) for MDMA and 3.7 (0.7-24.3) for MDA. OF and plasma concentrations were weakly but significantly correlated (MDMA: R(2) = 0.438, MDA: R(2) = 0.197, p < 0.0001). Median OF/P ratios were significantly higher following high dose administration: MDMA low = 5.2 (0.1-40.4), high = 6.0 (0.4-52.3, p < 0.05); MDA low = 3.3 (0.7-17.1), high = 4.1 (0.9-24.3, p < 0.001). There was a large inter-subject variation in OF/P ratios. The MDA/MDMA ratios in plasma were higher than those in OF (p < 0.001), and the MDA/MDMA ratios significantly increased over time in OF and plasma. The MDMA and MDA concentrations were higher in OF than in plasma. OF and plasma concentrations were correlated, but large inter-subject variability precludes the estimation of plasma concentrations from OF.

  20. Young adults' trajectories of Ecstasy use: a population based study.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, Andrew; Najman, Jake M; Hayatbakhsh, Reza; Plotnikova, Maria; Wells, Helene; Legosz, Margot; Kemp, Robert

    2013-11-01

    Young adults' Ecstasy use trajectories have important implications for individual and population-level consequences of Ecstasy use, but little relevant research has been conducted. This study prospectively examines Ecstasy trajectories in a population-based sample. Data are from the Natural History Study of Drug Use, a retrospective/prospective cohort study conducted in Australia. Population screening identified a probability sample of Ecstasy users aged 19-23 years. Complete data for 30 months of follow-up, comprising 4 time intervals, were available for 297 participants (88.4% of sample). Trajectories were derived using cluster analysis based on recent Ecstasy use at each interval. Trajectory predictors were examined using a generalized ordered logit model and included Ecstasy dependence (World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Instrument), psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale), aggression (Young Adult Self Report) and contextual factors (e.g. attendance at electronic/dance music events). Three Ecstasy trajectories were identified (low, intermediate and high use). At its peak, the high-use trajectory involved 1-2 days Ecstasy use per week. Decreasing frequency of use was observed for intermediate and high-use trajectories from 12 months, independently of market factors. Intermediate and high-use trajectory membership was predicted by past Ecstasy consumption (>70 pills) and attendance at electronic/dance music events. High-use trajectory members were unlikely to have used Ecstasy for more than 3 years and tended to report consistently positive subjective effects at baseline. Given the social context and temporal course of Ecstasy use, Ecstasy trajectories might be better understood in terms of instrumental rather than addictive drug use patterns.

  1. Metabolites of MDMA induce oxidative stress and contractile dysfunction in adult rat left ventricular myocytes.

    PubMed

    Shenouda, Sylvia K; Varner, Kurt J; Carvalho, Felix; Lucchesi, Pamela A

    2009-03-01

    Repeated administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (ecstasy) produces eccentric left ventricular (LV) dilation and diastolic dysfunction. While the mechanism(s) underlying this toxicity are unknown, oxidative stress plays an important role. MDMA is metabolized into redox cycling metabolites that produce superoxide. In this study, we demonstrated that metabolites of MDMA induce oxidative stress and contractile dysfunction in adult rat left ventricular myocytes. Metabolites of MDMA used in this study included alpha-methyl dopamine, N-methyl alpha-methyl dopamine and 2,5-bis(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-MeDA. Dihydroethidium was used to detect drug-induced increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in ventricular myocytes. Contractile function and changes in intracellular calcium transients were measured in paced (1 Hz), Fura-2 AM loaded, myocytes using the IonOptix system. Production of ROS in ventricular myocytes treated with MDMA was not different from control. In contrast, all three metabolites of MDMA exhibited time- and concentration-dependent increases in ROS that were prevented by N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). The metabolites of MDMA, but not MDMA alone, significantly decreased contractility and impaired relaxation in myocytes stimulated at 1 Hz. These effects were prevented by NAC. Together, these data suggest that MDMA-induced oxidative stress in the left ventricle can be due, at least in part, to the metabolism of MDMA to redox active metabolites.

  2. Studies of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) metabolism and disposition in rats and mice: relationship to neuroprotection and neurotoxicity profile.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Melanie; Maldonado-Adrian, Concepcion; Yuan, Jie; McCann, Una D; Ricaurte, George A

    2013-02-01

    The neurotoxicity of (±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") is influenced by temperature and varies according to species. The mechanisms underlying these two features of MDMA neurotoxicity are unknown, but differences in MDMA metabolism have recently been implicated in both. The present study was designed to 1) assess the effect of hypothermia on MDMA metabolism, 2) determine whether the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia is related to inhibition of MDMA metabolism, and 3) determine if different neurotoxicity profiles in mice and rats are related to differences in MDMA metabolism and/or disposition in the two species. Rats and mice received single neurotoxic oral doses of MDMA at 25°C and 4°C, and body temperature, pharmacokinetic parameters, and serotonergic and dopaminergic neuronal markers were measured. Hypothermia did not alter MDMA metabolism in rats and only modestly inhibited MDMA metabolism in mice; however, it afforded complete neuroprotection in both species. Rats and mice metabolized MDMA in a similar pattern, with 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine being the major metabolite, followed by 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine and 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine, respectively. Differences between MDMA pharmacokinetics in rats and mice, including faster elimination in mice, did not account for the different profile of MDMA neurotoxicity in the two species. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that inhibition of MDMA metabolism is not responsible for the neuroprotective effect of hypothermia in rodents, and that different neurotoxicity profiles in rats and mice are not readily explained by differences in MDMA metabolism or disposition.

  3. Is emotional intelligence impaired in ecstasy-polydrug users?

    PubMed

    Craig, L; Fisk, J E; Montgomery, C; Murphy, P N; Wareing, M

    2010-02-01

    Previous findings report use of the drug ecstasy (MDMA) to be associated with lower emotional intelligence (EI), and compromised functioning in brain areas responsible for emotion. This study explored the relationship between ecstasy use, EI, mood and parenting styles. Questionnaire measures of drug use, lifestyle, parenting style and EI were obtained, with separate IQ measures for fluid intelligence (Ravens matrices) and pre-morbid intelligence [National Adult Reading Test (NART)]. Current mood measures were obtained from an adjective checklist. The sample comprised 78 ecstasy/polydrug users, 38 cannabis only users and 34 non-drug users. Drug use was categorised at three levels (non-user, cannabis-only user and ecstasy-polydrug user). Factorial ANOVA using drug use as an independent variable showed no significant group effects in EI. EI showed significant correlations with current mood that were positive for arousal and negative for both anxiety and depression. EI was also significantly and positively correlated with the perceived degree of parental control. Regression analyses showed that these relationships remained significant after controlling for differences in IQ, age, gender, and ecstasy use. Adverse mood effects specifically associated with ecstasy use were significantly related to lower EI, and were independent of IQ, age and gender. Higher EI was significantly associated with ecstasy-related precautions used when taking this drug. Contrary to earlier findings, ecstasy-polydrug users did not differ from non-users on EI. However, self-reported ecstasy-related mood disturbances were related to lower EI, with the compromising of orbitofrontal cortical functioning being possible here.

  4. Is behavioral sensitization to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) mediated in part by cholinergic receptors?

    PubMed

    Lettfuss, Nadine Y; Seeger-Armbruster, Sonja; von Ameln-Mayerhofer, Andreas

    2013-05-01

    Behavioral sensitization to the repeated administration of a psychostimulant presumably plays a key role in the pathogenesis of addiction and schizophrenia. Among other psychostimulants, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is known to produce behavioral sensitization, too, but its mechanism of action is still not fully understood. Along with the strong release of catecholamines and serotonin, MDMA exerts actions at additional transmitter systems, including acetylcholine (ACh). To identify the cholinergic involvement in the development and expression of MDMA-induced sensitization, rats were treated daily with MDMA (5.0 mg/kg), MDMA plus the muscarinic antagonist atropine (4.28 mg/kg), or MDMA plus the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (1.0 mg/kg) for 13 consecutive days. The results show that atropine co-treatment was able to block the development of behavioral sensitization to MDMA, measured as horizontal activity and rearing, whereas mecamylamine did not. Pharmacological challenge with MDMA alone increased the locomotion in all substance pretreated groups with the MDMA plus atropine group showing the lowest values. The second challenge with MDMA plus atropine showed a decrease in locomotor behavior in the MDMA- and an increase in the MDMA plus atropine pretreated groups, resulting in similar levels of activity for both groups. A control experiment revealed no change in horizontal activity and rearing when only the cholinergic antagonists (atropine; mecamylamine) were administered. This is the first study that shows a substantial role of muscarinic receptors for the development of behavioral sensitization to MDMA.

  5. Correlates of Ecstasy use among tenth graders surveyed through monitoring the future.

    PubMed

    Yacoubian, George S

    2002-01-01

    Media reports have suggested that the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") is a prodigious problem among youth in the United States. Unfortunately, little scientific evidence exists to support this contention. In the current study, the drug-using behaviors of 3,376 10th graders are examined with data collected through the 1999 Monitoring the Future (MTF) project. Prevalence estimates of Ecstasy use are generated and associations between Ecstasy use, demographic characteristics, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use are explored. Seven percent of the sample reported lifetime Ecstasy use, 5% reported use within the past 12 months, and 2% reported use within the 30 days preceding the interview. Compared to nonusers, 12-month Ecstasy users were significantly more likely to be White, to have less supervision after school, and to have used all other drugs of abuse during the 12 months preceding the interview. Implications for these findings are discussed.

  6. Adolescent pre-exposure to ethanol and 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) increases conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA and drug-induced reinstatement.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro Do Couto, Bruno; Daza-Losada, Manuel; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Nadal, Roser; Guerri, Consuelo; Summavielle, Teresa; Miñarro, Jose; Aguilar, Maria A

    2012-05-01

    Many adolescents often take ethanol (EtOH) in combination with 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA). In the present work, we used a mouse model to study the effect of repeated pre-exposure during adolescence to EtOH (2 g/kg), MDMA (10 or 20 mg/kg) or EtOH + MDMA on the rewarding and reinstating effects of MDMA in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Pre-exposure to EtOH, MDMA or both increased the rewarding effects of a low dose of MDMA (1.25 mg/kg). These pre-treatments did not affect the acquisition of the CPP induced by 5 mg/kg of MDMA. However, the CPP was more persistent in mice pre-exposed to both doses of MDMA or to EtOH + MDMA20. After extinction of the CPP induced by 5 mg/kg of MDMA, reinstatement was observed in all groups with a priming dose of 2.5 mg/kg of MDMA, in the groups pre-exposed to EtOH or MDMA alone with a priming dose of 1.25 mg/kg, and in the groups pre-treated with MDMA alone with a priming dose of 0.625 mg/kg. Pre-treatment during adolescence with MDMA or EtOH induced long-term changes in the level of biogenic amines [dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid, homovanillic acid, dopamine turnover, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the striatum, and 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the cortex] after the first reinstatement test, although these effects depended on the dose used during conditioning. These results suggest that exposure to EtOH and MDMA during adolescence reinforces the addictive properties of MDMA.

  7. The role of serotonin in drug use and addiction.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christian P; Homberg, Judith R

    2015-01-15

    The use of psychoactive drugs is a wide spread behaviour in human societies. The systematic use of a drug requires the establishment of different drug use-associated behaviours which need to be learned and controlled. However, controlled drug use may develop into compulsive drug use and addiction, a major psychiatric disorder with severe consequences for the individual and society. Here we review the role of the serotonergic (5-HT) system in the establishment of drug use-associated behaviours on the one hand and the transition and maintenance of addiction on the other hand for the drugs: cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), morphine/heroin, cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine. Results show a crucial, but distinct involvement of the 5-HT system in both processes with considerable overlap between psychostimulant and opioidergic drugs and alcohol. A new functional model suggests specific adaptations in the 5-HT system, which coincide with the establishment of controlled drug use-associated behaviours. These serotonergic adaptations render the nervous system susceptible to the transition to compulsive drug use behaviours and often overlap with genetic risk factors for addiction. Altogether we suggest a new trajectory by which serotonergic neuroadaptations induced by first drug exposure pave the way for the establishment of addiction.

  8. Auditory stimuli enhance MDMA-conditioned reward and MDMA-induced nucleus accumbens dopamine, serotonin and locomotor responses.

    PubMed

    Feduccia, Allison A; Duvauchelle, Christine L

    2008-10-22

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also known as ecstasy, is a popular drug often taken in environments rich in audio and visual stimulation, such as clubs and dance parties. The present experiments were conducted to test the notion that auditory stimulation influences the rewarding effects of MDMA. In Experiment 1, a conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure was conducted in which rats received MDMA (1.5mg/kg, s.c.) in a distinctive environment accompanied by music (65-75dB), white noise (70dB), or no added sound. Animals were pretreated with saline on alternating days in an alternate environment. Results revealed CPP in animals exposed to white noise during MDMA trials. For Experiment 2, rats from Experiment 1 had access to operant levers that delivered intravenous MDMA (0.5mg/kg/inj) or saline (0.1ml) on alternate days in the presence or absence of the same types of auditory stimuli as previously experienced. After three each of MDMA and non-reinforced (saline) sessions, animals were tested for NAcc DA and 5-HT responses to MDMA (1.5mg/kg) or saline under the same stimulus conditions. Findings revealed that NAcc DA and 5-HT increased after an MDMA injection, and both DA and 5-HT were significantly highest in animals exposed to music during the test session. These results indicate that paired sensorial stimuli can engage the same systems activated during drug use and enhance neurochemical and behavioral responses to MDMA administration.

  9. Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) limits murine gammaherpesvirus-68 induced monokine expression.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Daniel A; Nirmaier, Jamie L; Singh, Sam J; Tolbert, Melanie D; Bost, Kenneth L

    2008-08-01

    While Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) has been shown to modulate immune responses, no studies have addressed drug-induced alterations to viral infection. In this study, bone marrow-derived macrophages were exposed to MDMA, then infected with murine gammaherpesvirus-68, and the expression of monokines assessed. MDMA-induced reductions in virus-stimulated monokine mRNA expression were observed in a dose-dependent manner. In particular, IL-6 mRNA expression and secretion was significantly decreased in gammaherpesvirus-infected macrophages exposed to MDMA. Concentrations of MDMA capable of reducing monokine production did not induce significant cell death and allowed normal viral gene expression. These studies represent the first to demonstrate the ability of this drug of abuse to alter a viral-induced macrophage response.

  10. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘Ecstasy’): Neurodegeneration versus Neuromodulation

    PubMed Central

    Puerta, Elena; Aguirre, Norberto

    2011-01-01

    The amphetamine analogue 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) is widely abused as a recreational drug due to its unique psychological effects. Of interest, MDMA causes long-lasting deficits in neurochemical and histological markers of the serotonergic neurons in the brain of different animal species. Such deficits include the decline in the activity of tryptophan hydroxylase in parallel with the loss of 5-HT and its main metabolite 5-hydoxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) along with a lower binding of specific ligands to the 5-HT transporters (SERT). Of concern, reduced 5-HIAA levels in the CSF and SERT density have also been reported in human ecstasy users, what has been interpreted to reflect the loss of serotonergic fibers and terminals. The neurotoxic potential of MDMA has been questioned in recent years based on studies that failed to show the loss of the SERT protein by western blot or the lack of reactive astrogliosis after MDMA exposure. In addition, MDMA produces a long-lasting down-regulation of SERT gene expression; which, on the whole, has been used to invoke neuromodulatory mechanisms as an explanation to MDMA-induced 5-HT deficits. While decreased protein levels do not necessarily reflect neurodegeneration, the opposite is also true, that is, neuroregulatory mechanisms do not preclude the existence of 5-HT terminal degeneration.

  11. Prenatal exposure to MDMA alters noradrenergic neurodevelopment in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, V.B.; Koprich, J.B.; Chen, E.Y.; Kordower, J.H.; Terpstra, B.; Lipton, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) binds with high affinity to the norepinephrine transporter (NET), making the noradrenergic system a potential target during fetal exposure. Recent data indicates that adult rats that had been prenatally exposed to MDMA display persistent deficits in working memory and attention; behaviors consistent with abnormal noradrenergic signaling in the forebrain. The present study was designed to investigate whether prenatal exposure to MDMA from embryonic days 14–20 affects the structure and/or function of the noradrenergic system of the rat on postnatal day 21. Offspring that were prenatally exposed to MDMA exhibited an increase in noradrenergic fiber density in the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex and the CA1 region of the hippocampus that was not accompanied by an increase in the number of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. Direct tissue autoradiography using tritiated nisoxetine demonstrated that while NET binding was not altered in the prelimbic cortex, the dentate gyrus, or the locus coeruleus, it was increased in the CA1, CA2, and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. Basal levels of norepinephrine were increased in the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens of MDMA-exposed rats, as compared to saline-treated controls. These findings indicate that prenatal exposure to MDMA results in structural changes in the noradrenergic system as well as functional alterations in NE neurotransmission in structures that are critical in attentional processing. PMID:21978916

  12. Tracking Ecstasy Trends in the United States with Data from Three National Drug Surveillance Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yacoubian, George S., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    Anecdotal reports have suggested that the use of 3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is a prodigious problem across the United States. Unfortunately, no longitudinal evidence exists to support this contention. In the current study, data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), Monitoring the Future (MTF), and…

  13. Blockade of 5-HT2 Receptor Selectively Prevents MDMA-Induced Verbal Memory Impairment

    PubMed Central

    van Wel, J H P; Kuypers, K P C; Theunissen, E L; Bosker, W M; Bakker, K; Ramaekers, J G

    2011-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ‘ecstasy' has been associated with memory deficits during abstinence and intoxication. The human neuropharmacology of MDMA-induced memory impairment is unknown. This study investigated the role of 5-HT2A and 5-HT1A receptors in MDMA-induced memory impairment. Ketanserin is a 5-HT2A receptor blocker and pindolol a 5-HT1A receptor blocker. It was hypothesized that pretreatment with ketanserin and pindolol would protect against MDMA-induced memory impairment. Subjects (N=17) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject design involving six experimental conditions consisting of pretreatment (T1) and treatment (T2). T1 preceded T2 by 30 min. T1–T2 combinations were: placebo–placebo, pindolol 20 mg–placebo, ketanserin 50 mg–placebo, placebo–MDMA 75 mg, pindolol 20 mg–MDMA 75 mg, and ketanserin 50 mg–MDMA 75 mg. Memory function was assessed at Tmax of MDMA by means of a word-learning task (WLT), a spatial memory task and a prospective memory task. MDMA significantly impaired performance in all memory tasks. Pretreatment with a 5-HT2A receptor blocker selectively interacted with subsequent MDMA treatment and prevented MDMA-induced impairment in the WLT, but not in the spatial and prospective memory task. Pretreatment with a 5-HT1A blocker did not affect MDMA-induced memory impairment in any of the tasks. Together, the results demonstrate that MDMA-induced impairment of verbal memory as measured in the WLT is mediated by 5-HT2A receptor stimulation. PMID:21562484

  14. 3,4-methylenedioxyamfetamine (ecstasy) use reduces cognition.

    PubMed

    Chummun, Harry; Tilley, Victoria; Ibe, Jude

    3,4-methylenedioxyamfetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) use reduces cognition by reducing levels of dopamine and serotonin in the central nervous system. This results in dose-related cognition impairment, particularly in complex cognitive skills, as well as causing disorders such as mood changes, hallucinations, altered perception amd memory loss. MDMA reduces the level of these neurotransmitters within the neural synapses by reducing the number of intraneural transporters to the synaptic clefts, increasing deactivation with the synapse and/ or increasing degradation with the pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Users may have varied reasons for MDMA use and therefore require help and support from their families or friends, and knowledgeable and well-skilled healthcare professionals for successful abstinence, avoidance of further psychological damage and a reversal of adverse health effects or reduction in their severity.

  15. The Influence of Genetic and Environmental Factors among MDMA Users in Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Cuyàs, Elisabet; Verdejo-García, Antonio; Fagundo, Ana Beatriz; Khymenets, Olha; Rodríguez, Joan; Cuenca, Aida; de Sola Llopis, Susana; Langohr, Klaus; Peña-Casanova, Jordi; Torrens, Marta; Martín-Santos, Rocío; Farré, Magí; de la Torre, Rafael

    2011-01-01

    This study is aimed to clarify the association between MDMA cumulative use and cognitive dysfunction, and the potential role of candidate genetic polymorphisms in explaining individual differences in the cognitive effects of MDMA. Gene polymorphisms related to reduced serotonin function, poor competency of executive control and memory consolidation systems, and high enzymatic activity linked to bioactivation of MDMA to neurotoxic metabolites may contribute to explain variations in the cognitive impact of MDMA across regular users of this drug. Sixty ecstasy polydrug users, 110 cannabis users and 93 non-drug users were assessed using cognitive measures of Verbal Memory (California Verbal Learning Test, CVLT), Visual Memory (Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, ROCFT), Semantic Fluency, and Perceptual Attention (Symbol Digit Modalities Test, SDMT). Participants were also genotyped for polymorphisms within the 5HTT, 5HTR2A, COMT, CYP2D6, BDNF, and GRIN2B genes using polymerase chain reaction and TaqMan polymerase assays. Lifetime cumulative MDMA use was significantly associated with poorer performance on visuospatial memory and perceptual attention. Heavy MDMA users (>100 tablets lifetime use) interacted with candidate gene polymorphisms in explaining individual differences in cognitive performance between MDMA users and controls. MDMA users carrying COMT val/val and SERT s/s had poorer performance than paired controls on visuospatial attention and memory, and MDMA users with CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolizers performed worse than controls on semantic fluency. Both MDMA lifetime use and gene-related individual differences influence cognitive dysfunction in ecstasy users. PMID:22110616

  16. Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on serotonin transporter and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 protein and gene expression in rats: implications for MDMA neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Biezonski, Dominik K; Meyer, Jerrold S

    2010-02-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy') is a popular recreational drug used worldwide. This study aimed to determine the effects of this compound on the expression of nerve terminal serotonergic markers in rats. Experiment 1 investigated MDMA-induced changes in levels of the serotonin transporter (SERT) and the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT-2) in the hippocampus, a region with sparse dopaminergic innervation, after lesioning noradrenergic input with N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 100 mg/kg DSP-4 or saline 1 week prior to either an MDMA (10 mg/kg x 4) or saline binge. Two weeks following the binge treatment, the DSP-4/MDMA group unexpectedly showed little change in hippocampal VMAT-2 protein expression compared with DSP-4/Saline controls, despite large reductions in SERT levels in all regions examined in the MDMA-treated animals. Furthermore, animals treated with binge MDMA (Experiment 2) showed a striking decrease in SERT gene expression (and a lesser effect on VMAT-2) measured by quantitative RT-PCR in pooled dorsal and median raphe tissue punches, when compared with saline-treated controls. These results demonstrate that MDMA causes substantial regulatory changes in the expression of serotonergic markers, thus questioning the need to invoke distal axotomy as an explanation of MDMA-related serotonergic deficits.

  17. Patterns of use and harm reduction practices of ecstasy users in Australia.

    PubMed

    Allott, Kelly; Redman, Jennifer

    2006-04-28

    Harm reduction refers to the use of strategies to prevent or reduce harmful consequences associated with illicit drug use. There is a paucity of research concerning the harm reduction practices employed by ecstasy users. This study aimed to explore the prevalence, nature and factors associated with harm reduction practices employed by ecstasy users in Australia, with a specific focus on the practice of preloading and postloading--the use of pharmaceuticals and natural products prior and subsequent to ecstasy use. One hundred and sixteen Australian residents aged 18 years and over who had used ecstasy at least once in their lifetime were recruited via convenience sampling, 'snowballing' and via web-based advertisements and completed an anonymous questionnaire. Participants reported using a wide range of strategies for minimising ecstasy-associated harm. The most common strategies used for reducing negative side effects, 'comedown' or neurotoxicity were drinking water, limiting or reducing ecstasy use, taking breaks and taking vitamins or other natural substances. Forty percent of the sample had tested their ecstasy pills for the presence of MDMA. Forty-one percent and 47% of participants had engaged in pre- and postloading, respectively, with the most common pre- and postloading substances being multivitamins, 5-HTP, magnesium and fruit or fruit juice. Younger mean age and 'high' total occasions of ecstasy use was significantly associated with preloading, and 'high' total use and frequency of use was associated with postloading. The results indicate that ecstasy users are aware of the potential for harm associated with ecstasy use and attempt to minimise harm by actively employing strategies. By exploring the pattern of harm reduction practices among ecstasy users, this study has highlighted the need for further research into the efficacy and potential clinical drug interactions associated with such practices, as well as the need for investigation of how such

  18. Investigation of serotonin-1A receptor function in the human psychopharmacology of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Hasler, F; Studerus, E; Lindner, K; Ludewig, S; Vollenweider, F X

    2009-11-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) release is the primary pharmacological mechanism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') action in the primate brain. Dopamine release and direct stimulation of dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors also contributes to the overall action of MDMA. The role of 5-HT1A receptors in the human psychopharmacology of MDMA, however, has not yet been elucidated. In order to reveal the consequences of manipulation at the 5-HT1A receptor system on cognitive and subjective effects of MDMA, a receptor blocking study using the mixed beta-adrenoreceptor blocker/5-HT1A antagonist pindolol was performed. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject design, 15 healthy male subjects were examined under placebo (PL), 20 mg pindolol (PIN), MDMA (1.6 mg/kg b.wt.), MDMA following pre-treatment with pindolol (PIN-MDMA). Tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery were used for the assessment of cognitive performance. Psychometric questionnaires were applied to measure effects of treatment on core dimensions of Altered States of Consciousness, mood and state anxiety. Compared with PL, MDMA significantly impaired sustained attention and visual-spatial memory, but did not affect executive functions. Pre-treatment with PIN did not significantly alter MDMA-induced impairment of cognitive performance and only exerted a minor modulating effect on two psychometric scales affected by MDMA treatment ('positive derealization' and 'dreaminess'). Our findings suggest that MDMA differentially affects higher cognitive functions, but does not support the hypothesis from animal studies, that some of the MDMA effects are causally mediated through action at the 5-HT1A receptor system.

  19. Role of Serotonin via 5-HT2B Receptors in the Reinforcing Effects of MDMA in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Doly, Stéphane; Bertran-Gonzalez, Jesus; Callebert, Jacques; Bruneau, Alexandra; Banas, Sophie Marie; Belmer, Arnauld; Boutourlinsky, Katia; Hervé, Denis; Launay, Jean-Marie; Maroteaux, Luc

    2009-01-01

    The amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) reverses dopamine and serotonin transporters to produce efflux of dopamine and serotonin, respectively, in regions of the brain that have been implicated in reward. However, the role of serotonin/dopamine interactions in the behavioral effects of MDMA remains unclear. We previously showed that MDMA-induced locomotion, serotonin and dopamine release are 5-HT2B receptor-dependent. The aim of the present study was to determine the contribution of serotonin and 5-HT2B receptors to the reinforcing properties of MDMA. We show here that 5-HT2B−/− mice do not exhibit behavioral sensitization or conditioned place preference following MDMA (10 mg/kg) injections. In addition, MDMA-induced reinstatement of conditioned place preference after extinction and locomotor sensitization development are each abolished by a 5-HT2B receptor antagonist (RS127445) in wild type mice. Accordingly, MDMA-induced dopamine D1 receptor-dependent phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinase in nucleus accumbens is abolished in mice lacking functional 5-HT2B receptors. Nevertheless, high doses (30 mg/kg) of MDMA induce dopamine-dependent but serotonin and 5-HT2B receptor-independent behavioral effects. These results underpin the importance of 5-HT2B receptors in the reinforcing properties of MDMA and illustrate the importance of dose-dependent effects of MDMA on serotonin/dopamine interactions. PMID:19956756

  20. Comparative neurochemical profile of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and its metabolite alpha-methyldopamine on key targets of MDMA neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Escubedo, E; Abad, S; Torres, I; Camarasa, J; Pubill, D

    2011-01-01

    The neurotoxicity of MDMA or "Ecstasy" in rats is selectively serotonergic, while in mice it is both dopaminergic and serotonergic. MDMA metabolism may play a key role in this neurotoxicity. The function of serotonin and dopamine transporter and the effect of MDMA and its metabolites on them are essential to understand MDMA neurotoxicity. The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the effects of MDMA and its metabolite alpha-methyldopamine (MeDA) on several molecular targets, mainly the dopamine and serotonin transporter functionality, to provide evidence for the role of this metabolite in the neurotoxicity of MDMA in rodents. MeDA had no affinity for the serotonin transporter but competed with serotonin for its uptake. It had no persistent effects on the functionalism of the serotonin transporter, in contrast to the effect of MDMA. Moreover, MeDA inhibited the uptake of dopamine into the serotonergic terminal and also MAO(B) activity. MeDA inhibited dopamine uptake with a lower IC(50) value than MDMA. After drug washout, the inhibition by MeDA persisted while that of MDMA was significantly reduced. The effect of MDMA on the dopamine transporter is related with dopamine release from vesicular stores, as this inhibition disappeared in reserpine-treated animals. However, the effect of MeDA seems to be a persistent conformational change of this transporter. Moreover, in contrast with MDMA, MeDA did not show affinity for nicotinic receptors, so no effects of MeDA derived from these interactions can be expected. The metabolite reduced cell viability at lower concentrations than MDMA. Apoptosis plays a key role in MDMA induced cellular toxicity but necrosis is the major process involved in MeDA cytotoxicity. We conclude that MeDA could protect against the serotonergic lesion induced by MDMA but potentiate the dopaminergic lesion as a result of the persistent blockade of the dopamine transporter induced this metabolite.

  1. Vasopressin and oxytocin secretion in response to the consumption of ecstasy in a clubbing population.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Kim; Tsapakis, E M; Winstock, A R; Hartley, D; Holt, D; Forsling, M L; Aitchison, Katherine J

    2006-05-01

    Despite the common use of MDMA (ecstasy) in the UK, the mechanism underlying associated potentially fatal cerebral oedema is unclear. We used a new experimental approach working directly with clubbers to perform a study on 30 (17 male) experienced clubbers (mean 6.6 years of clubbing). Pre- and post-clubbing measurements were performed to compare plasma levels of pituitary hormones (vasopressin, oxytocin), plasma and urine osmolality, urinary pH, and plasma sodium and urea. Ecstasy consumption was confirmed by using urinary drug screening pre- and post-clubbing. MDMA was detected in the urine samples of 17 subjects, three of which tested positive during pre-clubbing tests. Mean plasma vasopressin concentration increased in the MDMA group (1.28 +/- 0.29 to 1.43 +/- 0.41 pmol/l), but fell in other participants (1.23 +/- 0.42 to 1.16 +/- 0.0.34 pmol/l). Similarly, mean plasma oxytocin concentrations increased after ingestion of MDMA (2.02 +/- 0.29 to 2.43 +/- 0.24 pmol/l), but fell in the group that did not use MDMA (2.17 +/- 0.36 pmol/l to 1.89 +/- 0.37 pmol/l). There was a significant group by time interaction for plasma osmolality and plasma sodium (p = 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively) and between change in urinary osmolality (p < 0.001) and MDMA use, with the pattern of change being consistent with the induction of inappropriate vasopressin secretion (also known as SIADH) by MDMA. This report demonstrates SIADH in ecstasy-using "clubbers", which has important clinical implications.

  2. Risperidone attenuates and reverses hyperthermia induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in rats.

    PubMed

    Shioda, Katsutoshi; Nisijima, Koichi; Yoshino, Tatsuki; Kuboshima, Kyoko; Iwamura, Tatsunori; Yui, Kunio; Kato, Satoshi

    2008-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a widely used recreational drug. Despite an increase in the number of fatalities related to its use, no definite therapeutic method has been established thus far. In the present study, risperidone's ability to attenuate MDMA-induced hyperthermia and its mechanism of action were investigated in rats. The pharmacological effect of MDMA was evaluated using microdialysis. In the body temperature experiment, administration of risperidone before and after MDMA administration significantly suppressed MDMA-induced hyperthermia in a dose-dependent fashion. Furthermore, risperidone completely inhibited MDMA-induced hyperthermia at a low ambient temperature. Moreover, pretreatment with ritanserin, ketanserin, or R-96544, all of which are 5-HT(2A)-receptor antagonists, significantly prevented MDMA-induced hyperthermia. On the other hand, pretreatment with WAY-100635 (a 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist), SB 206553 (a 5-HT(2B/2C) receptor antagonist), or SB 242084 (a 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonist) did not prevent MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Pretreatment with haloperidol, which blocks the dopamine (DA) receptors D(2) and D(1), significantly prevented MDMA-induced hyperthermia. However, sulpiride and L-741626, which are D(2) receptor blockers, did not prevent MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Pretreatment with SCH 23390 (a D(1) receptor antagonist) significantly prevented MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Furthermore, postadministration of ritanserin, haloperidol, and SCH23390 reversed MDMA-induced hyperthermia. These results demonstrate that the mechanism underlying the suppression of MDMA-induced hyperthermia by risperidone is primarily based on the drug's potent 5-HT(2A) receptor blocking effect, and to a lesser extent, on its D(1) receptor blocking effect. A microdialysis study showed that when MDMA (10mg/kg) was subcutaneously (s.c.) injected into the rats, the DA and serotonin (5-HT) levels in the anterior hypothalamus of the rats increased

  3. Risky Behavior, Ecstasy, and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callier, Heather H.

    2011-01-01

    Ecstasy is a risky behavior that continues to be a concern in the education system today. The review of the Ecstasy literature focused on the definition of risky behavior, prevalence, and other basis aspects of Ecstasy; discovering life events that are associated with Ecstasy use, the function of this behavior, interventions for substance abuse,…

  4. Impurity profiling of ecstasy tablets seized in Hong Kong by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jack Yuk Ki; Chan, Man Fai; Chan, Tai Wai; Hung, Mei Yuen

    2006-10-16

    In Hong Kong, ecstasy tablets are more commonly known as "Fing Tau Yuen", literally meaning "Shake Head Pills". The tablets contain mainly amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) including 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), methamphetamine (MA) and/or ketamine. Adulterant such as caffeine was also detected in the tablets. This paper reports a study on the impurity profiles of ecstasy tablets from 89 seizures in Hong Kong from 2002 to early 2004. Tablet samples were extracted by diethyl ether under alkaline condition and then analyzed by gas GC-MS. The chromatograms obtained were compared. A total of 19 identified impurities were selected as markers for impurity profiling. They are different precursors, intermediates and by-products. The data matrices were examined by hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and then the ecstasy tablets were classified into different groups. Cluster analysis of ecstasy tablets is shown to be capable of providing intelligence on clandestine laboratory networks.

  5. Human Ecstasy Use is Associated with Increased Cortical Excitability: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Bauernfeind, Amy L; Dietrich, Mary S; Blackford, Jennifer U; Charboneau, Evonne J; Lillevig, James G; Cannistraci, Christopher J; Woodward, Neil D; Cao, Aize; Watkins, Tristan; Di Iorio, Christina R; Cascio, Carissa; Salomon, Ronald M; Cowan, Ronald L

    2011-01-01

    The serotonergic neurotoxin, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA/Ecstasy), is a highly popular recreational drug. Human recreational MDMA users have neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric impairments, and human neuroimaging data are consistent with animal reports of serotonin neurotoxicity. However, functional neuroimaging studies have not found consistent effects of MDMA on brain neurophysiology in human users. Several lines of evidence suggest that studying MDMA effects in visual system might reveal the general cortical and subcortical neurophysiological consequences of MDMA use. We used 3 T functional magnetic resonance imaging during visual stimulation to compare visual system lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and Brodmann Area (BA) 17 and BA 18 activation in 20 long abstinent (479.95±580.65 days) MDMA users and 20 non-MDMA user controls. Lifetime quantity of MDMA use was strongly positively correlated with blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity in bilateral LGN (rs=0.59; p=0.007), BA 17 (rs=0.50; p=0.027), and BA 18 (rs=0.48; p=0.031), and with the spatial extent of activation in BA 17 (rs=0.059; p=0.007) and BA 18 (rs=0.55; p=0.013). There were no between-group differences in brain activation in any region, but the heaviest MDMA users showed a significantly greater spatial extent of activation than controls in BA 17 (p=0.031) and BA 18 (p=0.049). These results suggest that human recreational MDMA use may be associated with a long-lasting increase in cortical excitability, possibly through loss of serotonin input to cortical and subcortical regions. When considered in the context of previous results, cortical hyper-excitability may be a biomarker for MDMA-induced serotonin neurotoxicity. PMID:21326196

  6. MDMA induces cardiac contractile dysfunction through autophagy upregulation and lysosome destabilization in rats.

    PubMed

    Shintani-ishida, Kaori; Saka, Kanju; Yamaguchi, Koji; Hayashida, Makiko; Nagai, Hisashi; Takemura, Genzou; Yoshida, Ken-ichi

    2014-05-01

    The underlying mechanisms of cardiotoxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") abuse are unclear. Autophagy exerts either adaptive or maladaptive effects on cardiac function in various pathological settings, but nothing is known on the role of autophagy in the MDMA cardiotoxicity. Here, we investigated the mechanism through which autophagy may be involved in MDMA-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction. Rats were injected intraperitoneally with MDMA (20mg/kg) or saline. Left ventricular (LV) echocardiography and LV pressure measurement demonstrated reduction of LV systolic contractility 24h after MDMA administration. Western blot analysis showed a time-dependent increase in the levels of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and cathepsin-D after MDMA administration. Electron microscopy showed the presence of autophagic vacuoles in cardiomyocytes. MDMA upregulated phosphorylation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) at Thr172, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at Thr2446, Raptor at Ser792, and Unc51-like kinase (ULK1) at Ser555, suggesting activation of autophagy through the AMPK-mTOR pathway. The effects of autophagic inhibitors 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine (CQ) on LC3-II levels indicated that MDMA enhanced autophagosome formation, but attenuated autophagosome clearance. MDMA also induced release of cathepsins into cytosol, and western blotting and electron microscopy showed cardiac troponin I (cTnI) degradation and myofibril damage, respectively. 3-MA, CQ, and a lysosomal inhibitor, E64c, inhibited cTnI proteolysis and improved contractile dysfunction after MDMA administration. In conclusion, MDMA causes lysosome destabilization following activation of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway, through which released lysosomal proteases damage myofibrils and induce LV systolic dysfunction in rat heart.

  7. Major depression: the relative contribution of gender, MDMA, and cannabis use.

    PubMed

    Durdle, Heather; Lundahl, Leslie H; Johanson, Chris-Ellyn; Tancer, Manuel

    2008-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) users have elevated depressive symptomatology, although it is not clear whether this is due to MDMA or other drug use. This study aimed to investigate the contributions of MDMA and cannabis use to Major Depressive Disorder in MDMA users. A total of 226 MDMA users were studied. Participants (65% male) reported an average number of 35.8 uses of MDMA (SD = 45.6, range = 2-400). Participants were administered a Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Twenty-six individuals (11.5%) met lifetime criteria for Major Depressive Disorder. High rates of lifetime Cannabis Abuse (30.1%) and Cannabis Dependence (12.4%) were reported. No association was found between number of uses of MDMA and Major Depressive Disorder. Those with lifetime major depression were found, however, to have higher rates of lifetime cannabis use disorder (adjusted OR = 2.40). A logistic regression indicated that lifetime cannabis use disorder, but not MDMA use, was significantly associated with lifetime Major Depressive Disorder. Stratified analyses suggested that for males, neither drug use variable was associated with major depression. For females, a lifetime cannabis use disorder (adjusted OR = 4.99), but not MDMA use, was associated with lifetime Major Depressive Disorder. Results of this study suggest that although MDMA use was not found to be significantly associated with major depression for either gender, a lifetime cannabis use disorder was significantly associated with lifetime major depression for female, but not male, users of MDMA.

  8. High Suicide Risk after the Development of Cognitive and Working Memory Deficits Caused by Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pompili, Maurizio; Lester, David; Girardi, Paolo; Tatarelli, Roberto

    2007-01-01

    We report the case of attempted suicide by a 30-year-old man who had significant cognitive deficits that developed after at least three years of polysubstance use with cannabis, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") and cocaine. The patient reported increasing difficulties in his professional and interpersonal life which may have been…

  9. Cardiac effects of MDMA on the metabolic profile determined with 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the rat.

    PubMed

    Perrine, Shane A; Michaels, Mark S; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Hyde, Elisabeth M; Tancer, Manuel E; Galloway, Matthew P

    2009-05-01

    Despite the potential for deleterious (even fatal) effects on cardiac physiology, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) abuse abounds driven mainly by its euphoric effects. Acute exposure to MDMA has profound cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and heart rate in humans and animals. To determine the effects of MDMA on cardiac metabolites in rats, MDMA (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg) was injected every 2 h for a total of four injections; animals were sacrificed 2 h after the last injection (8 h drug exposure), and their hearts removed and tissue samples from left ventricular wall dissected. High resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) at 11.7 T, a specialized version of MRS aptly suited for analysis of semi-solid materials such as intact tissue samples, was used to measure the cardiac metabolomic profile, including alanine, lactate, succinate, creatine, and carnitine, in heart tissue from rats treated with MDMA. MDMA effects on MR-visible choline, glutamate, glutamine, and taurine were also determined. Body temperature was measured following each MDMA administration and serotonin and norepinephrine (NE) levels were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in heart tissue from treated animals. MDMA significantly and dose-dependently increased body temperature, a hallmark of amphetamines. Serotonin, but not NE, levels were significantly and dose-dependently decreased by MDMA in the heart wall. MDMA significantly altered the MR-visible profile with an increase in carnitine and no change in other key compounds involved in cardiomyocyte energy metabolomics. Finally, choline levels were significantly decreased by MDMA in heart. The results are consistent with the notion that MDMA has significant effects on cardiovascular serotonergic tone and disrupts the metabolic homeostasis of energy regulation in cardiac tissue, potentially increasing utilization of fatty acid metabolism. The contributions of serotonergic

  10. Cardiac effects of MDMA on the metabolic profile determined with 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the rat†

    PubMed Central

    Perrine, Shane A.; Michaels, Mark S.; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Hyde, Elisabeth M.; Tancer, Manuel E.; Galloway, Matthew P.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the potential for deleterious (even fatal) effects on cardiac physiology, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) abuse abounds driven mainly by its euphoric effects. Acute exposure to MDMA has profound cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and heart rate in humans and animals. To determine the effects of MDMA on cardiac metabolites in rats, MDMA (0, 5, or 10 mg/kg) was injected every 2 h for a total of four injections; animals were sacrificed 2 h after the last injection (8 h drug exposure), and their hearts removed and tissue samples from left ventricular wall dissected. High resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) at 11.7 T, a specialized version of MRS aptly suited for analysis of semi-solid materials such as intact tissue samples, was used to measure the cardiac metabolomic profile, including alanine, lactate, succinate, creatine, and carnitine, in heart tissue from rats treated with MDMA. MDMA effects on MR-visible choline, glutamate, glutamine, and taurine were also determined. Body temperature was measured following each MDMA administration and serotonin and norepinephrine (NE) levels were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in heart tissue from treated animals. MDMA significantly and dose-dependently increased body temperature, a hallmark of amphetamines. Serotonin, but not NE, levels were significantly and dose-dependently decreased by MDMA in the heart wall. MDMA significantly altered the MR-visible profile with an increase in carnitine and no change in other key compounds involved in cardiomyocyte energy metabolomics. Finally, choline levels were significantly decreased by MDMA in heart. The results are consistent with the notion that MDMA has significant effects on cardiovascular serotonergic tone and disrupts the metabolic homeostasis of energy regulation in cardiac tissue, potentially increasing utilization of fatty acid metabolism. The contributions of serotonergic

  11. Trazodone, meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (an hallucinogenic drug and trazodone metabolite), and the hallucinogen trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine cross-react with the EMIT®II ecstasy immunoassay in urine.

    PubMed

    Logan, Barry K; Costantino, Anthony G; Rieders, Eric F; Sanders, David

    2010-11-01

    A series of patients whose urine screened positive for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) using a commercial enzyme immunoassay test (Ecstasy EMIT II assay), failed to confirm by substance-specific liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry tests for MDMA. Further evaluation of these urine specimens indicates that they were positive for trazodone and its metabolite meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP). Independent tests of standards showed significant crossreactivity on the Ecstasy EMIT II assay with trazodone, m-CPP, and the related recreational drug trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP). This is of further forensic significance because m-CPP is emerging as an illicit recreational drug in its own right or as an adulterant in illicit cocaine and MDMA. The hallucinogen benzylpiperazine was also assessed but found not to cross-react significantly with this assay. Patients taking trazodone may get false-positive results on the urine EMIT test for MDMA.

  12. Characteristics of drivers testing positive for heroin or ecstasy in Norway.

    PubMed

    Hausken, A M; Skurtveit, S; Christophersen, A S

    2004-06-01

    An increasing number of heroin and ecstasy seizures were recorded by the Norwegian police and customs authorities in the 1990s. The number of apprehended drivers in whom heroin and ecstasy were detected also rose in the same period (Heroin, 1991: n = 17, 1999: n = 320. Ecstasy, 1995: n = 6, 1999: n = 123). Drivers who tested positive for heroin (detected in urine as the metabolite 6-monoacetyl-morphine, 6-MAM) or ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxy-metamphetamine, MDMA, detected in blood) were characterized with regard to age distribution, drug use pattern, and earlier arrests. In 1998-1999, the police apprehended 9013 drivers on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. Blood and urine samples from the drivers were sent to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Toxicology and Drug Abuse and analyzed for the most commonly abused drugs. 6-MAM was detected in urine in 7% of the cases (n = 637), representing 542 different drivers (male: 85%, n = 463, female: 15%, n = 79) as some drivers were rearrested several times during the selection period. MDMA was detected in 2% of the cases (n = 190), representing 177 drivers (male: 90%, n = 160, female: 10%, n = 17). The median ages of drivers who tested positive for 6-MAM or MDMA were 32 and 24 years, respectively. Multi-drug use was very common in both groups (83% and 98% for the heroin and ecstasy group, respectively). Drivers in both groups were followed back to 1985 to detect earlier arrests for the same offence. Of the heroin group, 78% (n = 417) had earlier been arrested for drunken or drugged driving. Alcohol was the drug most frequently detected on first arrest. Of the ecstasy group, 47% (n = 83) had earlier been arrested, and amphetamine was most frequently found on first arrest.

  13. Cannabis coadministration potentiates the effects of "ecstasy" on heart rate and temperature in humans.

    PubMed

    Dumont, G J; Kramers, C; Sweep, F C; Touw, D J; van Hasselt, J G; de Kam, M; van Gerven, J M; Buitelaar, J K; Verkes, R J

    2009-08-01

    This study assessed the acute physiologic effects over time of (co)administration of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) (the main psychoactive compound of cannabis) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") in 16 healthy volunteers. Pharmacokinetics and cardiovascular, temperature, and catecholamine responses were assessed over time. Both single-drug conditions robustly increased heart rate, and coadministration showed additive effects. MDMA increased epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations, whereas THC did not affect the catecholamine response. Coadministration of MDMA and THC attenuated the increase of norepinephrine concentrations relative to administration of MDMA alone. These results show that THC mediates heart rate increase independent of sympathetic (catecholaminergic) activity, probably through direct cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1)) agonism in cardiac tissue. Furthermore, THC coadministration did not prevent MDMA-induced temperature increase, but it delayed the onset and prolonged the duration of temperature elevation. These effects may be of particular relevance for the cardiovascular safety of ecstasy users who participate in energetic dancing in nightclubs with high ambient temperature.

  14. The prosocial effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Controlled studies in humans and laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    Kamilar-Britt, Philip; Bedi, Gillinder

    2015-10-01

    Users of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') report prosocial effects such as sociability and empathy. Supporting these apparently unique social effects, data from controlled laboratory studies indicate that MDMA alters social feelings, information processing, and behavior in humans, and social behavior in rodents. Here, we review this growing body of evidence. In rodents, MDMA increases passive prosocial behavior (adjacent lying) and social reward while decreasing aggression, effects that may involve serotonin 1A receptor mediated oxytocin release interacting with vasopressin receptor 1A. In humans, MDMA increases plasma oxytocin and produces feelings of social affiliation. It decreases identification of negative facial expressions (cognitive empathy) and blunts responses to social rejection, while enhancing responses to others' positive emotions (emotional empathy) and increasing social approach. Thus, consistent with drug folklore, laboratory administration of MDMA robustly alters social processing in humans and increases social approach in humans and animals. Effects are consistent with increased sociability, with mixed evidence about enhanced empathy. These neurobiologically-complex prosocial effects likely motivate recreational ecstasy use.

  15. Influences of activity wheel access on the body temperature response to MDMA and methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Gilpin, N W; Wright, M J; Dickinson, G; Vandewater, S A; Price, J U; Taffe, M A

    2011-09-01

    Recreational ingestion of the drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") can result in pathologically elevated body temperature and even death in humans. Such incidents are relatively rare which makes it difficult to identify the relative contributions of specific environmental and situational factors. Although animal models have been used to explore several aspects of MDMA-induced hyperthermia and it is regularly hypothesized that prolonged physical activity (e.g., dancing) in the nightclub environment increases risk, this has never been tested directly. In this study the rectal temperature of male Wistar rats was monitored after challenge with doses of MDMA and methamphetamine (MA), another drug frequently ingested in the rave/nightclub environment, either with or without access to an activity wheel. Results showed that wheel activity did not modify the hyperthermia produced by 10.0mg/kg MDMA. However, individual correlations were observed in which wheel activity levels after a locomotor stimulant dose of MDMA were positively related to body temperature change and lethal outcome. A modest increase in the maximum body temperature observed after 5.6mg/kg MA was caused by wheel access but this was mostly attributable to a drop in temperature relative to vehicle treatment in the absence of wheel activity. These results suggest that nightclub dancing in the human Ecstasy consumer may not be a significant factor in medical emergencies.

  16. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to stress in subjects with 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine ('ecstasy') use history: correlation with dopamine receptor sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Gerra, Gilberto; Bassignana, Sara; Zaimovic, Amir; Moi, Gabriele; Bussandri, Monica; Caccavari, Rocco; Brambilla, Francesca; Molina, Enzo

    2003-09-30

    Fifteen 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') users who did not have other drug dependencies or prolonged alcohol abuse and 15 control subjects were studied. All the subjects were exposed to the same psychosocial stressor (Stroop Color-Word Interference Task, public speaking and mental arithmetic in front of an audience) 3 weeks after MDMA discontinuation. Plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were measured immediately before the tests began and at their end, 30 min later. Growth hormone (GH) responses to the dopaminergic agonist bromocriptine and psychometric measures (Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory) were also obtained 4 weeks after MDMA discontinuation for the same subjects. ACTH and cortisol basal levels were significantly higher in ecstasy users than in control subjects. In contrast, ACTH and cortisol responses to stress were significantly blunted in MDMA users. The sensitivity of dopamine D2 receptors, reflected by GH responses to bromocriptine challenge, was reduced in MDMA users compared with controls. The responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (ACTH and cortisol delta peaks) correlated directly with GH areas under curves in response to bromocriptine, and inversely with psychometric measures of aggressiveness and novelty seeking. No correlation was found between hormonal measures and the extent of MDMA exposure. Reduced D2 receptor sensitivity, HPA basal hyperactivation and reduced responsiveness to stress may represent a complex neuroendocrine dysfunction associated with MDMA use. The present findings do not exclude the possibility that dopamine dysfunction partly predated MDMA exposure.

  17. Non-linear pharmacokinetics of MDMA (‘ecstasy’) in humans

    PubMed Central

    de la Torre, R; Farré, M; Ortuño, J; Mas, M; Brenneisen, R; Roset, P N; Segura, J; Camí, J

    2000-01-01

    Aims 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, commonly called ecstasy) is a synthetic compound increasingly popular as a recreational drug. Little is known about its pharmacology, including its metabolism and pharmacokinetics, in humans in controlled settings. A clinical trial was designed for the evaluation of MDMA pharmacological effects and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers. Methods A total of 14 subjects were included. In the pilot phase six received MDMA at 50 (n = 2), 100 (n = 2), and 150 mg (n = 2). In the second phase eight received MDMA at both 75 and 125 mg (n = 8). Subjects were phenotyped for CYP2D6 activity and were classified as extensive metabolizers for substrates, such as MDMA, whose hepatic metabolism is regulated by this enzyme. Plasma and urine samples were collected throughout the study for the evaluation of MDMA pharmacokinetics. Body fluids were analysed for the determination of MDMA and its main metabolites 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-methamphetamine (HMMA) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-amphetamine (HMA). Results As the dose of MDMA administered was increased, volunteers showed rises in MDMA concentrations that did not follow the same proportionality which could be indicative of nonlinearity. In the full range of doses tested the constant recovery of HMMA in the urine combined with the increasing MDMA recovery seems to point towards a saturation or an inhibition of MDMA metabolism (the demethylenation step). These observations are further supported by the fact that urinary clearance was rather constant while nonrenal clearance was dose dependent. Conclusions It has previously been postulated that individuals genetically deficient for the hepatic enzyme CYP2D6 (about 10% of the Caucasian people) were at risk of developing acute toxicity at moderate doses of MDMA because the drug would accumulate in the body instead of being metabolized and inactivated. The lack of linearity of MDMA pharmacokinetics (in a window of

  18. Paradoxical effects of low dose MDMA on latent inhibition in the rat.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J D; Thur, K E; Marsden, C A; Cassaday, H J

    2013-04-01

    The cognitive effects of MDMA ('Ecstasy') are controversial, particularly in the case of acute administration of low doses. Latent inhibition (LI) refers to the reduction in conditioning to a stimulus that has received non-reinforced pre-exposure, an effect typically abolished by amphetamines and enhanced by antipsychotics. LI enhancement has also been shown using the 5-HT reuptake blocker sertraline. In the present study, the effects of MDMA (6 mg/kg, known to increase 5-HT release) were tested using 10 and 40 pre-exposures to produce weak and strong LI in controls, respectively. MDMA (injected twice, prior to pre-exposure and conditioning) significantly enhanced LI in that the effect was clearly demonstrated after only 10 pre-exposures, when it was absent in the saline controls. On its own such a profile of action would be consistent with a procognitive effect of MDMA mediated by increased availability of 5-HT. However, paradoxically the same MDMA treatment reduced LI in the 40 pre-exposures condition. This component of action is likely attributable to MDMA's actions on catecholaminergic systems and is consistent with other evidence of its adverse effects. Moreover, there were small but significant reductions in 5-HT in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala assayed 7 days post MDMA administration (2 × 6 mg/kg, 24 h apart).

  19. Serotonergic function after (+/-)3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine ('Ecstasy') in humans.

    PubMed

    Gerra, G; Zaimovic, A; Giucastro, G; Maestri, D; Monica, C; Sartori, R; Caccavari, R; Delsignore, R

    1998-01-01

    (+/-)3,4-Methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or 'Ecstasy') effects on serotonin system function and behaviour in humans are unclear. Fifteen MDMA users, who did not have other drug dependencies or alcohol abuse, and had not used other drugs for prolonged periods, and 15 control individuals were included in a study to assess the biological and psychological changes after chronic use of MDMA. Prolactin and cortisol responses to D-fenfluramine challenge, clinical psychobehavioural changes, personality characteristics, including mood, aggressiveness and temperamental aspects, were evaluated 3 weeks after MDMA discontinuation. MDMA users had significantly reduced prolactin and cortisol responses in comparison with control individuals (p < 0.001 and p < 0.005, respectively). Dysphoria and mood changes were exhibited in seven individuals, tiredness in five and sensation-seeking behaviour in twelve at the clinical evaluation. Significantly higher scores were found in MDMA individuals than in control individuals for Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory subscale for Depression, for Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory direct and guilt subscales, for Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and for novelty-seeking Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire subscale. Prolactin responses to D-fenfluramine stimulation area under the curve among MDMA users were negatively correlated with direct aggressiveness scores for Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory; a negative correlation between prolactin responses and novelty-seeking scores was also evidenced among MDMA users. These data suggest an association between serotonin system impairment and MDMA use in humans; in interpretation of these results, the possibility that serotonin deficit in MDMA individuals was partially related to a premorbid condition, in relationship with novelty-seeking behaviour and mood disorders, can not be excluded.

  20. Graphite furnace atomic absorption elemental analysis of ecstasy tablets.

    PubMed

    French, Holly E; Went, Michael J; Gibson, Stuart J

    2013-09-10

    Six metals (copper, magnesium, barium, nickel, chromium and lead) were determined in two separate batches of seized ecstasy tablets by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) following digestion with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Large intra-batch variations were found as expected for tablets produced in clandestine laboratories. For example, nickel in batch 1 was present in the range 0.47-13.1 parts per million (ppm) and in batch 2 in the range 0.35-9.06 ppm. Although batch 1 had significantly higher 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) content than batch 2, barium was the only element which discriminated between the two ecstasy seizures (batch 1: 0.19-0.66 ppm, batch 2: 3.77-5.47 ppm).

  1. MDMA is certainly damaging after 25 years of empirical research: a reply and refutation of Doblin et al. (2014).

    PubMed

    Parrott, Andrew C

    2014-03-01

    Human Psychopharmacology recently published my review into the increase in empirical knowledge about the human psychobiology of MDMA over the past 25 years (Parrott, 2013a). Deficits have been demonstrated in retrospective memory, prospective memory, higher cognition, complex visual processing, sleep architecture, sleep apnoea, pain, neurohormonal activity, and psychiatric status. Neuroimaging studies have shown serotonergic deficits, which are associated with lifetime Ecstasy/MDMA usage, and degree of neurocognitive impairment. Basic psychological skills remain intact. Ecstasy/MDMA use by pregnant mothers leads to psychomotor impairments in the children. Hence, the damaging effects of Ecstasy/MDMA were far more widespread than was realized a few years ago. In their critique of my review, Doblin et al. (2014) argued that my review contained misstatements, omitted contrary findings, and recited dated misconceptions. In this reply, I have answered all the points they raised. I have been able to refute each of their criticisms by citing the relevant empirical data, since many of their points were based on inaccurate summaries of the actual research findings. Doblin and colleagues are proponents of the use of MDMA for drug-assisted psychotherapy, and their strongest criticisms were focused on my concerns about this proposal. However, again all the issues I raised were based on sound empirical evidence or theoretical understanding. Indeed I would recommend potentially far safer co-drugs such as D-cycloserine or oxytocin. In summary, MDMA can induce a wide range of neuropsychobiological changes, many of which are damaging to humans.

  2. Verbal Memory Impairment in Polydrug Ecstasy Users: A Clinical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Kuypers, Kim P. C.; Theunissen, Eef L.; van Wel, Janelle H. P.; de Sousa Fernandes Perna, Elizabeth B.; Linssen, Anke; Sambeth, Anke; Schultz, Benjamin G.; Ramaekers, Johannes G.

    2016-01-01

    Background Ecstasy use has been associated with short-term and long-term memory deficits on a standard Word Learning Task (WLT). The clinical relevance of this has been debated and is currently unknown. The present study aimed at evaluating the clinical relevance of verbal memory impairment in Ecstasy users. To that end, clinical memory impairment was defined as decrement in memory performance that exceeded the cut-off value of 1.5 times the standard deviation of the average score in the healthy control sample. The primary question was whether being an Ecstasy user (E-user) was predictive of having clinically deficient memory performance compared to a healthy control group. Methods WLT data were pooled from four experimental MDMA studies that compared memory performance during placebo and MDMA intoxication. Control data were taken from healthy volunteers with no drug use history who completed the WLT as part of a placebo-controlled clinical trial. This resulted in a sample size of 65 E-users and 65 age- and gender-matched healthy drug-naïve controls. All participants were recruited by similar means and were tested at the same testing facilities using identical standard operating procedures. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models, Bayes factor, and logistic regressions. Results Findings were that verbal memory performance of placebo-treated E-users did not differ from that of controls, and there was substantial evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. History of use was not predictive of memory impairment. During MDMA intoxication of E-users, verbal memory was impaired. Conclusion The combination of the acute and long-term findings demonstrates that, while clinically relevant memory impairment is present during intoxication, it is absent during abstinence. This suggests that use of Ecstasy/MDMA does not lead to clinically deficient memory performance in the long term. Additionally, it has to be investigated whether the current findings apply to more

  3. Serotonin and psychostimulant addiction: focus on 5-HT1A-receptors.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christian P; Carey, Robert J; Huston, Joseph P; De Souza Silva, Maria A

    2007-02-01

    Serotonin(1A)-receptors (5-HT(1A)-Rs) are important components of the 5-HT system in the brain. As somatodendritic autoreceptors they control the activity of 5-HT neurons, and, as postsynaptic receptors, the activity in terminal areas. Cocaine (COC), amphetamine (AMPH), methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy", MDMA) are psychostimulant drugs that can lead to addiction-related behavior in humans and in animals. At the neurochemical level, these psychostimulant drugs interact with monoamine transporters and increase extracellular 5-HT, dopamine and noradrenalin activity in the brain. The increase in 5-HT, which, in addition to dopamine, is a core mechanism of action for drug addiction, hyperactivates 5-HT(1A)-Rs. Here, we first review the role of the various 5-HT(1A)-R populations in spontaneous behavior to provide a background to elucidate the contribution of the 5-HT(1A)-Rs to the organization of psychostimulant-induced addiction behavior. The progress achieved in this field shows the fundamental contribution of brain 5-HT(1A)-Rs to virtually all behaviors associated with psychostimulant addiction. Importantly, the contribution of pre- and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A)-Rs can be dissociated and frequently act in opposite directions. We conclude that 5-HT(1A)-autoreceptors mainly facilitate psychostimulant addiction-related behaviors by a limitation of the 5-HT response in terminal areas. Postsynaptic 5-HT(1A)-Rs, in contrast, predominantly inhibit the expression of various addiction-related behaviors directly. In addition, they may also influence the local 5-HT response by feedback mechanisms. The reviewed findings do not only show a crucial role of 5-HT(1A)-Rs in the control of brain 5-HT activity and spontaneous behavior, but also their complex role in the regulation of the psychostimulant-induced 5-HT response and subsequent addiction-related behaviors.

  4. Acute administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) induces oxidative stress, lipoperoxidation and TNFα-mediated apoptosis in rat liver.

    PubMed

    Cerretani, D; Bello, S; Cantatore, S; Fiaschi, A I; Montefrancesco, G; Neri, M; Pomara, C; Riezzo, I; Fiore, C; Bonsignore, A; Turillazzi, E; Fineschi, V

    2011-11-01

    Liver toxicity is one of the consequences of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine MDMA) abuse and hepatocellular damage is reported after MDMA consumption. Various factors probably play a role in ecstasy-induced hepatotoxicity, namely its metabolism, the increased efflux of neurotransmitters, the oxidation of biogenic amines, and hyperthermia. MDMA undergoes extensive hepatic metabolism that involves the production of reactive metabolites which form adducts with intracellular nucleophilic sites. MDMA-induced-TNF-α can promote multiple mechanisms to initiate apoptosis in hepatocytes, activation of pro-apoptotic (BID, SMAC/DIABLO) and inhibition of anti-apoptotic (NF-κB, Bcl-2) proteins. The aim of the present study was to obtain evidence for the oxidative stress mechanism and apoptosis involved in ecstasy-induced hepatotoxicity in rat liver after a single 20 mg/kg, i.p. MDMA administration. Reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH and GSSG), ascorbic acid (AA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR) and malondialdehyde (MDA), an indicator of lipid peroxidation, were determined in rat liver after 3 and 6h after MDMA treatment. The effect of a single MDMA treatment included decrease of GR and GPx activities (29% and 25%, respectively) and GSH/GSSG ratio (32%) with an increase of MDA (119%) after 3h from ecstasy administration compared to control rats. Liver cytosolic level of AA was increased (32%) after 6 h MDMA treatment. Our results demonstrate a strong positive reaction for TNFα (p<0.001) in hepatocytes and a diffuse apoptotic process in the liver specimens (p<0.001). There was correlation between immunohistochemical results and Western blotting which were quantitatively measured by densitometry, confirming the strong positivity for TNF-α (p<0.001) and NF-κB (p<0.001); weak and intense positivity reactions was confirmed for Bcl-2, SMAC/DIABLO (p<0.001) and BID reactions (p<0.001). The results obtained in the

  5. Expression of bax and bcl2 Genes in MDMA-induced Hepatotoxicity on Rat Liver Using Quantitative Real-Time PCR Method through Triggering Programmed Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Behroozaghdam, Mitra; Hashemi, Mehrdad; Javadi, Gholamreza; Mahdian, Reza; Soleimani, Mansoureh

    2015-01-01

    Background: 3-4methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic and psychoactive drug, which is known popularly as Ecstasy and has toxic effects on human organs. Objectives: Considering the potential toxic interaction, this study was performed to quantify the expression of bax and bcl2 genes in MDMA-induced hepatotoxicity on rat liver. Subsequently, we evaluated pentoxifylline as a possible protective drug on hepatotoxicity. Materials and Methods: Adult male Wistar rats weighting 250 - 300 grams were used in the study. The rats were equally distributed into four experimental groups (5 rat/group). MDMA was dissolved in PBS and injected intraperitoneally (IP) including untreated control, MDMA (MDMA dissolved in PBS), treated-1 (MDMA followed by PTX) and treated-2 (PTX followed by MDMA). All animals given MDMA received 3 doses of 7.5mg/kg with two hours gap between doses. Liver tissue was removed after anaesthetizing. Subsequently, RNA isolation, cDNA synthesis and Real-Time PCR were performed. Finally, data analyzed statistically to determine significantly differences between the groups (P value < 0.05). Results: Using Real-Time quantitative PCR results, the gene expression ratio of bcl2 were calculated 93.80±20.64, 340.45 ± 36.60 and 47.13 ± 5.84 fold in MDMA, treated-1 and treated-2 groups, respectively. Furthermore, this ratio for bax gene obtained 2.13±0.33 fold in MDMA, 1.55 ± 0.26 fold in treated-1 and 10.44 ± 1.56 fold in treated-2 groups. Conclusions: The present study focused on molecular mechanism of MDMA in programmed cell death using gene expression quantification of a pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptoic gene in MDMA-induced hepatotoxocity. The results showed that MDMA prompted apoptosis in liver and pentoxifylline protected against hepatotoxicity before and after taking MDMA. PMID:26732379

  6. The serotonin uptake inhibitor citalopram reduces acute cardiovascular and vegetative effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('Ecstasy') in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Liechti, M E; Vollenweider, F X

    2000-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or 'Ecstasy' is a widely used recreational drug that produces a state of heightened mood but also cardiovascular and vegetative side-effects. In animals, MDMA releases serotonin and, to a lesser extent, dopamine and norepinephrine. The release of serotonin can be blocked by serotonin uptake inhibitors such as citalopram. It is unknown to what extent this mechanism is also responsible for the physiological side-effects of MDMA seen in humans. We investigated the effect of citalopram pretreatment (40 mg i.v.) on vegetative and cardiovascular effects of MDMA (1.5 mg/kg p.o.) in a double-blind placebo-controlled study in 16 healthy volunteers. MDMA moderately increased blood pressure and heart rate, slightly elevated body temperature and produced a broad range of acute and short-term side-effects. Citalopram reduced all these MDMA-induced physiological changes except for body temperature. These findings suggest that physiological effects of MDMA in humans are partially due to an interaction of MDMA with the serotonin carrier and a subsequent release of serotonin.

  7. Intravenous methamphetamine self-administration in rats: effects of intravenous or intraperitoneal MDMA co-administration.

    PubMed

    Clemens, Kelly J; Cornish, Jennifer L; Hunt, Glenn E; McGregor, Iain S

    2006-10-01

    The combined use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') with methamphetamine (METH) by recreational drug users is of particular concern due to their similar pharmacological and toxic profiles. In the current study we sought to elucidate why combining these particular drugs is such a popular choice among party-drug users. This was investigated through characterisation of the possible interactive effects of MDMA on METH intravenous self-administration. The first experiment involved characterisation of the METH dose-response curve for intravenous self-administration. Male Hooded-Wistar rats were trained to self-administer intravenous METH (0.01-0.3 mg/kg/infusion) and an inverted-U dose-response curve was obtained. In Experiment 2, a second squad of rats self-administered 0.01, 0.03 or 0.1 mg/kg/infusion METH and had small amounts of MDMA (0.001-0.03 mg/kg) then introduced into the infusion solution. Addition of MDMA to the METH infusion solution resulted in a dose independent reduction in responding. In Experiment 3, a third squad of rats was treated 20 min pre-session with an intraperitoneal injection of saline, 1.25 or 2.5 mg/kg of MDMA or METH to evaluate whether the reduction in responding evident in Experiment 2 was due to an MDMA-induced decrease in locomotor activity. Pre-treatment with intraperitoneal MDMA or METH had no effect on METH self-administration nor activity. We hypothesise that the reduction in METH self-administration caused by MDMA may reflect inhibitory effects of MDMA-induced 5-HT release on dopaminergic mechanisms.

  8. Cutaneous vasoconstriction contributes to hyperthermia induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) in conscious rabbits.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, N P; Blessing, W W

    2001-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "Ecstasy") increases body temperature. This process could be associated with increased cutaneous blood flow, as normally occurs with exercise-induced hyperthermia. Alternatively, an MDMA-induced fall in cutaneous blood flow could contribute to the hyperthermia by diminishing normal heat transfer from the body to the environment. We investigated these possibilities by administering MDMA (1.5-6 mg/kg, i.v.) to conscious freely moving rabbits, determining effects on body temperature, cutaneous blood flow (measured by a Doppler ultrasonic probe that was chronically implanted around the ear pinna artery), and other cardiovascular parameters. MDMA caused a dose-dependent increase in body temperature (from 38.3 +/- 0.3 to 41.2 +/- 0.4 degrees C after 6 mg/kg; p < 0.01; n = 5), preceded and accompanied by a dose-dependent cutaneous vasoconstriction (from 29 +/- 6 to 5 +/- 1 cm/sec after 6 mg/kg; p < 0.01; n = 5). MDMA (3 mg/kg) did not change blood flow to the mesenteric vascular bed. Prior unilateral cervical sympathectomy reduced the increase in body temperature elicited by MDMA (6 mg/kg) from 2.0 +/- 0.2 to 1.3 +/- 0.2 degrees C (p < 0.01; n = 5). On the denervated side, ear pinna blood flow after MDMA injection was 13 +/- 3 cm/sec, compared with 3 +/- 1 cm/sec on the sympathetically intact side (p < 0.05; n = 5). Thus, sympathetically mediated cutaneous vasoconstriction is one mechanism whereby MDMA causes hyperthermia. Reversal of cutaneous vasoconstriction by appropriate pharmacological means could be of therapeutic benefit in humans suffering from life-threatening hyperthermia induced by MDMA.

  9. Neurotoxicity of Ecstasy metabolites in rat cortical neurons, and influence of hyperthermia.

    PubMed

    Capela, João Paulo; Meisel, Andreas; Abreu, Artur Reis; Branco, Paula Sério; Ferreira, Luísa Maria; Lobo, Ana Maria; Remião, Fernando; Bastos, Maria Lurdes; Carvalho, Félix

    2006-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") is a widely abused, psychoactive recreational drug. There is growing evidence that the MDMA neurotoxic profile may be highly dependent on both its hepatic metabolism and body temperature. Metabolism of MDMA involves N-demethylation to 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), which is also a drug of abuse. MDMA and MDA are O-demethylenated to N-methyl-alpha-methyldopamine (N-Me-alpha-MeDA) and alpha-methyldopamine (alpha-MeDA), respectively, both of which are catechols that can undergo oxidation to the corresponding ortho-quinones. In the presence of glutathione (GSH), ortho-quinones may be conjugated with GSH to form glutathionyl adducts. In this study, we evaluated the neurotoxicity of MDMA and three of its metabolites obtained by synthesis, N-Me-alpha-MeDA, alpha-MeDA, and 5-(GSH)-alpha-MeDA [5-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-methyldopamine] in rat cortical neuronal serum-free cultures under normal (36.5 degrees C) and hyperthermic (40 degrees C) conditions. Cell viability was assessed, and the mechanism of cell death was also evaluated. Our study shows that these metabolites are more neurotoxic [5-(GSH)-alpha-MeDA being the most toxic] than the parent compound MDMA. The neurotoxicity of MDMA metabolites was partially prevented by the antioxidants N-acetylcystein and also, in a minor extent, by alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butyl nitrone. All the tested compounds induced apoptotic cell death in cortical neurons, and their neurotoxic effect was potentiated under hyperthermic conditions. These data suggest that MDMA metabolites, especially under hyperthermic conditions, contribute to MDMA-induced neurotoxicity.

  10. The preclinical pharmacology of mephedrone; not just MDMA by another name.

    PubMed

    Green, A R; King, M V; Shortall, S E; Fone, K C F

    2014-05-01

    The substituted β-keto amphetamine mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) was banned in the UK in April 2010 but continues to be used recreationally in the UK and elsewhere. Users have compared its psychoactive effects to those of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy'). This review critically examines the preclinical data on mephedrone that have appeared over the last 2-3 years and, where relevant, compares the pharmacological effects of mephedrone in experimental animals with those obtained following MDMA administration. Both mephedrone and MDMA enhance locomotor activity and change rectal temperature in rodents. However, both of these responses are of short duration following mephedrone compared with MDMA probably because mephedrone has a short plasma half-life and rapid metabolism. Mephedrone appears to have no pharmacologically active metabolites, unlike MDMA. There is also little evidence that mephedrone induces a neurotoxic decrease in monoamine concentration in rat or mouse brain, again in contrast to MDMA. Mephedrone and MDMA both induce release of dopamine and 5-HT in the brain as shown by in vivo and in vitro studies. The effect on 5-HT release in vivo is more marked with mephedrone even though both drugs have similar affinity for the dopamine and 5-HT transporters in vitro. The profile of action of mephedrone on monoamine receptors and transporters suggests it could have a high abuse liability and several studies have found that mephedrone supports self-administration at a higher rate than MDMA. Overall, current data suggest that mephedrone not only differs from MDMA in its pharmacological profile, behavioural and neurotoxic effects, but also differs from other cathinones.

  11. Acute neuropsychological effects of MDMA and ethanol (co-)administration in healthy volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Wezenberg, E.; Valkenberg, M. M. G. J.; de Jong, C. A. J.; Buitelaar, J. K.; van Gerven, J. M. A.; Verkes, R. J.

    2008-01-01

    Rationale In Western societies, a considerable percentage of young people expose themselves to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “ecstasy”). Commonly, ecstasy is used in combination with other substances, in particular alcohol (ethanol). MDMA induces both arousing as well as hallucinogenic effects, whereas ethanol is a general central nervous system depressant. Objective The aim of the present study is to assess the acute effects of single and co-administration of MDMA and ethanol on executive, memory, psychomotor, visuomotor, visuospatial and attention function, as well as on subjective experience. Materials and methods We performed a four-way, double-blind, randomised, crossover, placebo-controlled study in 16 healthy volunteers (nine male, seven female) between the ages of 18–29. MDMA was given orally (100 mg) and blood alcohol concentration was maintained at 0.6‰ by an ethanol infusion regime. Results Co-administration of MDMA and ethanol was well tolerated and did not show greater impairment of performance compared to the single-drug conditions. Impaired memory function was consistently observed after all drug conditions, whereas impairment of psychomotor function and attention was less consistent across drug conditions. Conclusions Co-administration of MDMA and ethanol did not exacerbate the effects of either drug alone. Although the impairment of performance by all drug conditions was relatively moderate, all induced significant impairment of cognitive function. PMID:18305926

  12. Sprague-Dawley rats display sex-linked differences in the pharmacokinetics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)

    SciTech Connect

    Fonsart, Julien; Menet, Marie-Claude; Debray, Marcel; Hirt, Deborah; Noble, Florence; Scherrmann, Jean-Michel; Decleves, Xavier

    2009-12-15

    The use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has increased in recent years; it can lead to life-threatening hyperthermia and serotonin syndrome. Human and rodent males appear to be more sensitive to acute toxicity than are females. MDMA is metabolized to five main metabolites by the enzymes CYP1A2, CYP2D and COMT. Little is presently known about sex-dependent differences in the pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its metabolites. We therefore analyzed MDMA disposition in male and female rats by measuring the plasma and urine concentrations of MDMA and its metabolites using a validated LC-MS method. MDA AUC{sub last} and C{sub max} were 1.6- to 1.7-fold higher in males than in females given MDMA (5 mg/kg sc), while HMMA C{sub max} and AUC{sub last} were 3.2- and 3.5-fold higher, respectively. MDMA renal clearance was 1.26-fold higher in males, and that of MDA was 2.2-fold higher. MDMA AUC{sub last} and t{sub 1/2} were 50% higher in females given MDMA (1 mg/kg iv). MDA C{sub max} and AUC{sub last} were 75-82% higher in males, with a 2.8-fold higher metabolic index. Finally, the AUC{sub last} of MDA was 0.73-fold lower in males given 1 mg/kg iv MDA. The volumes of distribution of MDMA and MDA at steady-state were similar in the two sexes. These data strongly suggest that differences in the N-demethylation of MDMA to MDA are major influences on the MDMA and MDA pharmacokinetics in male and female rats. Hence, males are exposed to significantly more toxic MDA, which could explain previously reported sexual dysmorphism in the acute effects and toxicity of MDMA in rats.

  13. Polydipsia as another mechanism of hyponatremia after 'ecstasy' (3,4 methyldioxymethamphetamine) ingestion.

    PubMed

    Brvar, Miran; Kozelj, Gordana; Osredkar, Josko; Mozina, Martin; Gricar, Marko; Bunc, Matjaz

    2004-10-01

    Acute symptomatic hyponatremia after ecstasy (3,4 methyldioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) ingestion is well documented and has been attributed to the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). We report the case of an 18-year-old woman who took five tablets of ecstasy in a suicide attempt and drank 1700 ml water at the Emergency Department (ED). The laboratory findings obtained 5 h after ingestion showed a serum sodium concentration of 130 mmol/l, plasma osmolality of 264 mOsm/kg, urinary osmolality of 335 mOsm/kg and natriuresis of 101 mmol/l. The plasma arginine vasopressin level by radioimmunoassay was 33.7 pmol/l 5 h after ingestion. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry assay confirmed MDMA in blood samples, with serum concentrations of 0.87 mg/l on arrival. This case report strongly suggests that MDMA reduces serum sodium levels through the dual pathways of SIADH and polydipsia. Accordingly, we believe that hyponatremia may be prevented in ED patients after MDMA ingestion by the early restriction of water intake.

  14. MDMA impairs mitochondrial neuronal trafficking in a Tau- and Mitofusin2/Drp1-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Daniel José; Serrat, Román; Mirra, Serena; Quevedo, Martí; Gómez de Barreda, Elena; Avila, Jesús; Fernandes, Eduarda; Bastos, Maria de Lourdes; Capela, João Paulo; Carvalho, Félix; Soriano, Eduardo

    2014-08-01

    Identification of the mechanisms by which drugs of abuse cause neuronal dysfunction is essential for understanding the biological bases of their acute and long-lasting effects in the brain. Here, we performed real-time functional experiments of axonal transport of mitochondria to explore the role of in situ mitochondrial dysfunction in 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy")-related brain actions. We showed that MDMA dramatically reduced mitochondrial trafficking in hippocampal neurons in a Tau-dependent manner, in which glycogen synthase kinase 3β activity was implicated. Furthermore, we found that these trafficking abnormalities were rescued by over-expression of Mitofusin2 and dynamin-related protein 1, but not of Miro1. Given the relevance of mitochondrial targeting for neuronal function and neurotransmission, our data underscore a novel mechanism of action of MDMA that may contribute to our understanding of how this drug of abuse alters neuronal functioning.

  15. An Examination of Sociodemographic Correlates of Ecstasy Use Among High School Seniors in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Palamar, Joseph J.; Kamboukos, Dimitra

    2016-01-01

    Background Although ecstasy (MDMA) use is not as prevalent in the United States (US) as it was in the early 2000s, use remains popular among adolescents and young adults. Few recent studies have examined ecstasy use in national samples among those at particularly high risk for use—adolescents approaching adulthood. Research is needed to delineate sociodemographic correlates of use in this group. Methods Data were examined from a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the US (modal age = 18) from the Monitoring the Future study (years 2007–2012; weighted N = 26,504). Data from all cohorts were aggregated and correlates of recent (last 12-month) use of ecstasy were examined. Results Roughly 4.4% of high school seniors reported use of ecstasy within the last year. Females and religious students were consistently at lower odds for use. Black and Hispanic students, and students residing with two parents, were at lower odds for ecstasy use, until controlling for other drug use. Odds of use were consistently increased for those residing in a city, students with weekly income of >$50 from a job, and students earning >$10 weekly from other sources. Lifetime use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other illicit drugs each robustly increased odds of ecstasy use. Conclusion Subgroups of high school seniors, defined by specific sociodemographic factors, and those who have used other drugs, are currently at high risk for ecstasy initiation and use. Since ecstasy is regaining popularity in the US, prevention efforts should consider these factors. PMID:24955818

  16. Ecstasy: commodity or disease?

    PubMed

    Agar, Michael; Reisinger, Heather Schacht

    2004-06-01

    This article evaluates past work on heroin and crack cocaine epidemics by comparing it with the increase in Ecstasy use in the late 1990s. First of all, the authors make the case that there was, in fact, a dramatic increase in Ecstasy use in the late 1990s. Following that is a review of the rise and fall of several different Ecstasy scenes beginning in the 1960s. The most recent rise, in the late 1990s, requires a broadening of the theory of epidemics to include longer historical waves of change, so we do that by reviewing work on post World War II trends in social disconnection and consumerism. We then shift to a marketing rather than a public health framework and look at the nature of the Ecstasy "product," both its good and bad characteristics. Finally, we describe the narrative mechanism, developed in our earlier work, that plausibly explains why use rose when it did, given the needs of the market. The article concludes by discussing the changes this case motivates for our theory, particularly in light of globalized and normalized drug use that at the moment appears to be the current context for illicit drug use.

  17. Effect of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy") on body temperature and liver antioxidant status in mice: influence of ambient temperature.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Márcia; Carvalho, Félix; Remião, Fernando; de Lourdes Pereira, Maria; Pires-das-Neves, Ricardo; de Lourdes Bastos, Maria

    2002-04-01

    The consumption of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is known to cause severe hyperthermia and liver damage in humans. The thermogenic response induced by MDMA is complex and partially determined by the prevailing ambient temperature (AT). This is of extreme importance since ecstasy is often consumed at "rave" parties, where dancing takes place in a warm environment, which may exacerbate the effect of MDMA on thermoregulation. In view of the fact that hyperthermia is a well-known pro-oxidant aggressive condition, its potential role in ecstasy-induced hepatocellular toxicity should be further studied. Thus, the present study was performed in order to evaluate the influence of AT on the effects of single administration of MDMA on body temperature and liver toxicity in Charles River mice. Animals were given an acute intraperitoneal dose of MDMA (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg) and placed in AT of 20+/-2 degrees C or 30+/-2 degrees C for 24 h. Body temperature was measured during the study using implanted transponders and a temperature probe reading device. Plasma and liver samples were used for biochemical analysis. Liver sections were also taken for histological examination. The parameters evaluated were (1) plasma levels of transaminases and alkaline phosphatase, (2) hepatic glutathione (GSH), (3) hepatic lipid peroxidation, (4) activity of hepatic antioxidant enzymes (catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione- S-transferase, copper/zinc superoxide dismutase and manganese superoxide dismutase), and (5) liver histology. The hyperthermic response elicited by MDMA was clearly dose-related and potentiated by high AT. Administration of MDMA produced some evidence of oxidative stress, expressed as GSH depletion at both ATs studied, as well as by lipid peroxidation and decreased catalase activity at high AT. High AT, by itself, decreased glutathione peroxidase activity. Histological examination of the liver revealed abnormalities of a dose

  18. The role of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in the caffeine effect on MDMA-induced DA and 5-HT release in the mouse striatum.

    PubMed

    Górska, A M; Gołembiowska, K

    2015-04-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") popular as a designer drug is often used with caffeine to gain a stronger stimulant effect. MDMA induces 5-HT and DA release by interaction with monoamine transporters. Co-administration of caffeine and MDMA may aggravate MDMA-induced toxic effects on DA and 5-HT terminals. In the present study, we determined whether caffeine influences DA and 5-HT release induced by MDMA. We also tried to find out if adenosine A1 and A2A receptors play a role in the effect of caffeine by investigating the effect of the selective adenosine A1 and A2A receptor antagonists, DPCPX and KW 6002 on DA and 5-HT release induced by MDMA. Mice were treated with caffeine (10 mg/kg) and MDMA (20 or 40 mg/kg) alone or in combination. DA and 5-HT release in the mouse striatum was measured using in vivo microdialysis. Caffeine exacerbated the effect of MDMA on DA and 5-HT release. DPCPX or KW 6002 co-administered with MDMA had similar influence as caffeine, but KW 6002 was more potent than caffeine or DPCPX. To exclude the contribution of MAO inhibition by caffeine in the caffeine effect on MDMA-induced increase in DA and 5-HT, we also tested the effect of the nonxanthine adenosine receptor antagonist CGS 15943A lacking properties of MAO activity modification. Our findings indicate that adenosine A1 and A2A receptor blockade may account for the caffeine-induced exacerbation of the MDMA effect on DA and 5-HT release and may aggravate MDMA toxicity.

  19. Breaking the loop: oxytocin as a potential treatment for drug addiction.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Iain S; Bowen, Michael T

    2012-03-01

    Drug use typically occurs within a social context, and social factors play an important role in the initiation, maintenance and recovery from addictions. There is now accumulating evidence of an interaction between the neural substrates of affiliative behavior and those of drug reward, with a role for brain oxytocin systems in modulating acute and long-term drug effects. Early research in this field indicated that exogenous oxytocin administration can prevent development of tolerance to ethanol and opiates, the induction of stereotyped, hyperactive behavior by stimulants, and the withdrawal symptoms associated with sudden abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Additionally, stimulation of endogenous oxytocin systems is a key neurochemical substrate underlying the prosocial and empathogenic effects of party drugs such as MDMA (Ecstasy) and GHB (Fantasy). Brain oxytocin systems exhibit profound neuroplasticity and undergo major neuroadaptations as a result of drug exposure. Many drugs, including cocaine, opiates, alcohol, cannabis, MDMA and GHB cause long-term changes in markers of oxytocin function and this may be linked to enduring deficits in social behavior that are commonly observed in laboratory animals repeatedly exposed to these drugs. Very recent preclinical studies have illustrated a remarkable ability of exogenously delivered oxytocin to inhibit stimulant and alcohol self-administration, to alter associated drug-induced changes in dopamine, glutamate and Fos expression in cortical and basal ganglia sites, and to prevent stress and priming-induced relapse to drug seeking. Oxytocin therefore has fascinating potential to reverse the corrosive effects of long-term drugs abuse on social behavior and to perhaps inoculate against future vulnerability to addictive disorders. The results of clinical studies examining intranasal oxytocin effects in humans with drug use disorders are eagerly awaited. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin

  20. Movement disorders and MDMA abuse.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, James Allen; Wilcox, Aidee Herrera

    2009-06-01

    This article present the cases of two young men with chronic MDMA abuse who later developed movement disorders typical of the Parkinson's syndrome. It is worth noting that both men bought the presumed MDMA from the same illicit source. Potential risks of MDMA use and movement disorders are discussed. The risks inherent from contaminants and similar factors associated with illegal drug manufacture are discussed. The authors conclude that as long as nonpharmaceutical-grade MDMA is illicitly produced, health risks will be associated with its use.

  1. The Prosocial Effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Controlled Studies in Humans and Laboratory Animals

    PubMed Central

    Kamilar-Britt, Philip; Bedi, Gillinder

    2015-01-01

    Users of ±3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ‘ecstasy’) report prosocial effects such as sociability and empathy. Supporting these apparently unique social effects, data from controlled laboratory studies indicate that MDMA alters social feelings, information processing, and behavior in humans, and social behavior in rodents. Here, we review this growing body of evidence. In rodents, MDMA increases passive prosocial behavior (adjacent lying) and social reward while decreasing aggression, effects that may involve serotonin 1A receptor mediated oxytocin release interacting with vasopressin receptor 1A. In humans, MDMA increases plasma oxytocin and produces feelings of social affiliation. It decreases identification of negative facial expressions (cognitive empathy) and blunts responses to social rejection, while enhancing responses to others’ positive emotions (emotional empathy) and increasing social approach. Thus, consistent with drug folklore, laboratory administration of MDMA robustly alters social processing in humans and increases social approach in humans and animals. Effects are consistent with increased sociability, with mixed evidence about enhanced empathy. These neurobiologically-complex prosocial effects likely motivate recreational ecstasy use. PMID:26408071

  2. Effects of methylphenidate and MDMA on appraisal of erotic stimuli and intimate relationships.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Yasmin; Hysek, Cédric M; Preller, Katrin H; Bosch, Oliver G; Bilderbeck, Amy C; Rogers, Robert D; Quednow, Boris B; Liechti, Matthias E

    2015-01-01

    Methylphenidate mainly enhances dopamine neurotransmission whereas 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") mainly enhances serotonin neurotransmission. However, both drugs also induce a weaker increase of cerebral noradrenaline exerting sympathomimetic properties. Dopaminergic psychostimulants are reported to increase sexual drive, while serotonergic drugs typically impair sexual arousal and functions. Additionally, serotonin has also been shown to modulate cognitive perception of romantic relationships. Whether methylphenidate or MDMA alter sexual arousal or cognitive appraisal of intimate relationships is not known. Thus, we evaluated effects of methylphenidate (40 mg) and MDMA (75 mg) on subjective sexual arousal by viewing erotic pictures and on perception of romantic relationships of unknown couples in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 30 healthy adults. Methylphenidate, but not MDMA, increased ratings of sexual arousal for explicit sexual stimuli. The participants also sought to increase the presentation time of implicit sexual stimuli by button press after methylphenidate treatment compared with placebo. Plasma levels of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone were not associated with sexual arousal ratings. Neither MDMA nor methylphenidate altered appraisal of romantic relationships of others. The findings indicate that pharmacological stimulation of dopaminergic but not of serotonergic neurotransmission enhances sexual drive. Whether sexual perception is altered in subjects misusing methylphenidate e.g., for cognitive enhancement or as treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is of high interest and warrants further investigation.

  3. Looking for prosocial genes: ITRAQ analysis of proteins involved in MDMA-induced sociability in mice.

    PubMed

    Kuteykin-Teplyakov, Konstantin; Maldonado, Rafael

    2014-11-01

    Social behavior plays a fundamental role in life of many animal species, allowing the interaction between individuals and sharing of experiences, needs, and goals across them. In humans, some neuropsychiatric diseases, including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorders, are often characterized by impaired sociability. Here we report that N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") at low dose (3mg/kg) has differential effects on mouse social behavior. In some animals, MDMA promotes sociability without hyperlocomotion, whereas in other mice it elevates locomotor activity without affecting sociability. Both WAY-100635, a selective antagonist of 5-HT1A receptor, and L-368899, a selective oxytocin receptor antagonist, abolish prosocial effects of MDMA. Differential quantitative analysis of brain proteome by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification technology (iTRAQ) revealed 21 specific proteins that were highly correlated with sociability, and allowed to distinguish between entactogenic prosocial and hyperlocomotor effects of MDMA on proteome level. Our data suggest particular relevance of neurotransmission mediated by GABA B receptor, as well as proteins involved in energy maintenance for MDMA-induced sociability. Functional association network for differentially expressed proteins in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and amygdala were identified. These results provide new information for understanding the neurobiological substrate of sociability and may help to discover new therapeutic approaches to modulate social behavior in patients suffering from social fear and low sociability.

  4. Measurement of 3,4-MDMA and related amines in diagnostic and forensic laboratories.

    PubMed

    Skrinska, Victor A; Gock, Susan B

    2005-01-01

    The phenylalkylamine derivatives, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy, XTC, Adam), 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA, MDE, Eve), and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), are psychostimulants with hallucinogenic properties. MDA is also a metabolite of both MDMA and MDEA. These drugs are ring-substituted amphetamine derivatives that produce hallucinogenic, entactogenic ('love drug'), and stimulating effects. MDMA was initially developed as an appetite suppressant, however, its use as a therapeutic drug has been very limited. Because of its effects as a hallucinogenic psychostimulant with relatively low toxicity, it has emerged over the last two decades as a common recreational psychostimulant or 'club drug' at 'raves'. MDMA, MDEA, and MDA are often referred to as 'rave' or 'designer' drugs. They are produced in clandestine laboratories and have an increasing presence on the illicit drug market worldwide. Significant adverse health effects have been reported that include: serotonin neurotoxicity, severe psychiatric disorders, renal failure, malignant hyperthermia, hepatitis, rhabdomyolysis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. A number of fatal outcomes associated with severe MDMA intoxication have been reported.

  5. The role of peers in the initiation and continuation of ecstasy use.

    PubMed

    Vervaeke, Hylke K E; van Deursen, Lonneke; Korf, Dirk J

    2008-01-01

    This study is a supplement to the Netherlands XTC Toxicity Study (NeXT), funded by grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development as part of its Addiction Programme. To better understand the processes of peer influence and peer selection, in a field study 106 Ecstasy users (67M/39F, average age 25.4 years) were interviewed face-to-face in Amsterdam in 2005. In the initiation of Ecstasy use, peer influence emerged as the dominating mechanism; peer selection was uncommon. In the continuation of Ecstasy use, peer influence and peer selection occurred reciprocally in a dynamic process, although peer influence made a greater relative contribution. Our study confirms that peer influence is a multidimensional process: influence was quite often reciprocal (with respondents both exerting and undergoing influence) and it could have both restraining and encouraging effects on ecstasy use. The study's limitations are noted.

  6. Hyperthermia Severely Affects the Vascular Effects of MDMA and Metabolites in the Human Internal Mammary Artery In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, D A; Guerra, A F; Carvalho, F; Fernandes, E; Ferreira, L M; Branco, P S; Antunes, P E; Antunes, M J; Cotrim, M D

    2017-01-13

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is a recreational drug used worldwide for its distinctive psychotropic effects. Although important cardiovascular effects, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, have also been described, the vascular effects of MDMA and metabolites and their correlation with hyperthermia (major side effect of MDMA) are not yet fully understood and have not been previously reported. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of MDMA and its main catechol metabolites, alpha-methyldopamine (α-MeDA), N-methyl-alpha-methyldopamine (N-Me-α-MeDA), 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-alpha-methyldopamine [5-(GSH)-α-MeDA] and 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-N-methyl-alpha-methyldopamine [5-(GSH)-N-Me-α-MeDA], on the 5-HT-dependent vasoactivity in normothermia (37 °C) and hyperthermia (40 °C) of the human internal mammary artery (IMA) in vitro. The results showed the ability of MDMA, α-MeDA and N-Me-α-MeDA to exert vasoconstriction of the IMA which was considerably higher in hyperthermic conditions (about fourfold for MDMA and α-MeDA and twofold for N-Me-α-MeDA). The results also showed that all the compounds may influence the 5-HT-mediated concentration-dependent response of IMA, as MDMA, α-MeDA and N-Me-α-MeDA behaved as partial agonists and 5-(GSH)-α-MeDA and 5-(GSH)-N-Me-α-MeDA as antagonists. In conclusion, MDMA abuse may imply a higher cardiovascular risk associated both to MDMA and its metabolites that might be relevant in patients with underlying cardiovascular diseases, particularly in hyperthermia.

  7. Localization of MDMA-induced brain activity in healthy volunteers using low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA).

    PubMed

    Frei, E; Gamma, A; Pascual-Marqui, R; Lehmann, D; Hell, D; Vollenweider, F X

    2001-11-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy') is a psychostimulant drug producing heightened mood and facilitated social communication. In animal studies, MDMA effects are primarily mediated by serotonin (5-HT), but also by dopamine (DA) and possibly noradrenaline (NA). In humans, however, the neurochemical and neurophysiological basis of acute MDMA effects remains unknown. The distribution of active neuronal populations after administration of a single dose of MDMA (1.7 mg/kg) or placebo was studied in 16 healthy, MDMA-naïve volunteers. Thirty-one-channel scalp EEGs during resting with open and closed eyes was analyzed in the different EEG frequency bands. Scalp maps of power showed significant, global differences between MDMA and placebo in both eye conditions and all frequency bands. Low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) was used to compute 3D, functional images of electric neuronal activity from the scalp EEG data. MDMA produced a widespread decrease of slow and medium frequency activity and an increase of fast frequency activity in the anterior temporal and posterior orbital cortex, concomitant with a marked enhancement of mood, emotional arousal and increased extraversion. This activation of frontotemporal areas indicates that the observed enhancement of mood and possibly the increased extroversion rely on modulation of limbic orbitofrontal and anterotemporal structures known to be involved in emotional processes. Comparison of the MDMA-specific EEG pattern with that of various 5-HT, DA, and NA agonists indicates that serotonin, noradrenaline, and, to a lesser degree, dopamine, contribute to the effects of MDMA on EEG, and possibly also on mood and behavior.

  8. Pro-oxidant effects of Ecstasy and its metabolites in mouse brain synaptosomes

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Daniel José; Capela, João Paulo; Oliveira, Jorge MA; Silva, Renata; Ferreira, Luísa Maria; Siopa, Filipa; Branco, Paula Sério; Fernandes, Eduarda; Duarte, José Alberto; de Lourdes Bastos, Maria; Carvalho, Félix

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’) is a worldwide major drug of abuse known to elicit neurotoxic effects. The mechanisms underlying the neurotoxic effects of MDMA are not clear at present, but the metabolism of dopamine and 5-HT by monoamine oxidase (MAO), as well as the hepatic biotransformation of MDMA into pro-oxidant reactive metabolites is thought to contribute to its adverse effects. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Using mouse brain synaptosomes, we evaluated the pro-oxidant effects of MDMA and its metabolites, α-methyldopamine (α-MeDA), N-methyl-α-methyldopamine (N-Me-α-MeDA) and 5-(glutathion-S-yl)-α-methyldopamine [5-(GSH)-α-MeDA], as well as those of 5-HT, dopamine, l-DOPA and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC). KEY RESULTS 5-HT, dopamine, l-DOPA, DOPAC and MDMA metabolites α-MeDA, N-Me-α-MeDA and 5-(GSH)-α-MeDA, concentration- and time-dependently increased H2O2 production, which was significantly reduced by the antioxidants N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), ascorbic acid and melatonin. From experiments with MAO inhibitors, it was observed that H2O2 generation induced by 5-HT was totally dependent on MAO-related metabolism, while for dopamine, it was a minor pathway. The MDMA metabolites, dopamine, l-DOPA and DOPAC concentration-dependently increased quinoproteins formation and, like 5-HT, altered the synaptosomal glutathione status. Finally, none of the compounds modified the number of polarized mitochondria in the synaptosomal preparations, and the compounds’ pro-oxidant effects were unaffected by prior mitochondrial depolarization, excluding a significant role for mitochondrial-dependent mechanisms of toxicity in this experimental model. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS MDMA metabolites along with high levels of monoamine neurotransmitters can be major effectors of neurotoxicity induced by Ecstasy. PMID:21506960

  9. Analysis of ecstasy tablets using capillary electrophoresis with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection.

    PubMed

    Porto, Suely K S S; Nogueira, Thiago; Blanes, Lucas; Doble, Philip; Sabino, Bruno D; do Lago, Claudimir L; Angnes, Lúcio

    2014-11-01

    A method for the identification of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) was developed employing capillary electrophoresis (CE) with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (C(4) D). Sample extraction, separation, and detection of "Ecstasy" tablets were performed in <10 min without sample derivatization. The separation electrolyte was 20 mm TAPS/Lithium, pH 8.7. Average minimal detectable amounts for MDMA and mCPP were 0.04 mg/tablet, several orders of magnitude lower than the minimum amount encountered in a tablet. Seven different Ecstasy tablets seized in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were analyzed by CE-C(4) D and compared against routine gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The CE method demonstrated sufficient selectivity to discriminate the two target drugs, MDMA and mCPP, from the other drugs present in seizures, namely amphepramone, fenproporex, caffeine, lidocaine, and cocaine. Separation was performed in <90 sec. The advantages of using C(4) D instead of traditional CE-UV methods for in-field analysis are also discussed.

  10. Implications of mechanism-based inhibition of CYP2D6 for the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jiansong; Jamei, Masoud; Heydari, Amir; Yeo, Karen R; de la Torre, Rafael; Farré, Magí; Tucker, Geoffrey T; Rostami-Hodjegan, Amin

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this study was to model the in vivo kinetic consequences of mechanism-based inhibition (MBI) of CYP2D6 by 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy). A model with physiologically-based components of drug metabolism was developed, taking account of change in the hepatic content of active CYP2D6 due to MBI by MDMA. Based on the in vitro information, plasma concentration time profiles of MDMA after various doses were computed and compared with reported observations. The analysis suggested that a typical recreational MDMA dose could inactivate most hepatic CYP2D6 within an hour, and the return to a basal level of CYP2D6 could take at least 10 days. Thus, the genetic polymorphism of CYP2D6 and coadministration of CYP2D6 inhibitors may have less impact on MDMA pharmacokinetics and the risk of acute toxicity than previously thought. This is consistent with clinical observations that indicate no obvious link between inherited CYP2D6 deficiency and acute MDMA intoxication.

  11. The role of adenosine receptor agonist and antagonist on Hippocampal MDMA detrimental effects; a structural and behavioral study.

    PubMed

    Kermanian, Fatemeh; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi; Soleimani, Mansureh; Ebrahimzadeh Bideskan, Ali Reza; Asadi-Shekaari, Majid; Kheradmand, Hamed; Haghir, Hossein

    2012-12-01

    There is abundant evidence showing that repeated use of MDMA (3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) has been associated with depression, anxiety and deficits in learning and memory, suggesting detrimental effects on hippocampus. Adenosine is an endogenous purine nucleoside that has a neuromodulatory role in the central nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the role of A2a adenosine receptors agonist (CGS) and antagonist (SCH) on the body temperature, learning deficits, and hippocampal cell death induced by MDMA administration. In this study, 63 adult, male, Sprague - Dawley rats were subjected to MDMA (10 and 20 mg/kg) followed by intraperitoneal CGS (0.03 mg/kg) or SCH (0.03 mg/kg) injection. The animals were tested for spatial learning in the Morris water maze (MWM) task performance, accompanied by a recording of body temperature, electron microscopy and stereological study. Our results showed that MDMA treatment increased body temperature significantly, and impaired the ability of rats to locate the hidden platform(P < 0.05). The number of hippocampal dark neurons also increased especially in CA1. These impairments were aggravated by co-administration of A2a antagonist (SCH) with MDMA. Furthermore, the administration of the A2a receptor agonist (CGS) provided partial protection against MWM deficits and hippocampal cell death(P < 0.05). This study provides for the first time evidence that, in contrast to A2a antagonist (SCH) effects, co-administration of A2a agonist (CGS) with MDMA can protect against MDMA hippocampal neurotoxic effects; providing a potential value in the prevention of learning deficits observed in MDMA users. However, the exact mechanism of these interactions requires further studies.

  12. Neurotoxic thioether adducts of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine identified in human urine after ecstasy ingestion.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Ximena; O'Mathúna, Brian; Pizarro, Nieves; Cuyàs, Elisabet; Khymenets, Olha; Almeida, Bruno; Pellegrini, Manuela; Pichini, Simona; Lau, Serrine S; Monks, Terrence J; Farré, Magí; Pascual, Jose Antonio; Joglar, Jesús; de la Torre, Rafael

    2009-07-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a widely misused synthetic amphetamine derivative and a serotonergic neurotoxicant in animal models and possibly humans. The underlying mechanism of neurotoxicity involves the formation of reactive oxygen species although their source remains unclear. It has been postulated that MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is mediated via the formation of bioreactive metabolites. In particular, the primary catechol metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA) and 3,4-dihydroxyamphetamine (HHA), subsequently cause the formation of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine conjugates, which retain the ability to redox cycle and are serotonergic neurotoxicants in rats. Although the presence of such metabolites has been recently demonstrated in rat brain microdialysate, their formation in humans has not been reported. The present study describes the detection of 5-(N-acetylcystein-S-yl)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (N-Ac-5-Cys-HHMA) and 5-(N-acetylcystein-S-yl)-3,4-dihydroxyamphetamine (N-Ac-5-Cys-HHA) in human urine of 15 recreational users of MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) in a controlled setting. The results reveal that in the first 4 h after MDMA ingestion approximately 0.002% of the administered dose was recovered as thioether adducts. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP2D6 and catechol-O-methyltransferase expression, the combination of which are major determinants of steady-state levels of HHMA and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyamphetamine, probably explain the interindividual variability seen in the recovery of N-Ac-5-Cys-HHMA and N-Ac-5-Cys-HHA. In summary, the formation of neurotoxic thioether adducts of MDMA has been demonstrated for the first time in humans. The findings lend weight to the hypothesis that the bioactivation of MDMA to neurotoxic metabolites is a relevant pathway to neurotoxicity in humans.

  13. [Young woman dies of water intoxication after taking one tablet of ecstasy. Today's drug panorama calls for increased vigilance in health care].

    PubMed

    Bråbäck, L; Humble, M

    2001-02-21

    Increasing numbers of reports demonstrate that low doses of ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine--MDMA) may induce life-threatening conditions, such as hyperthermia and water intoxication. These lethal states are rarely due to overdose, and young women seem to be at particular risk. This is a case report of a 20-year-old previously healthy Swedish girl. She died of water intoxication and cerebral edema approximately 24 hours after ingestion of one tablet of "ecstasy" at a rave club in Amsterdam. Clinical findings and laboratory data suggested a syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) induced by MDMA in combination with excessive intake of water. This case illustrates the dire consequences of the present drug abuse panorama, if the increasing need for awareness of potentially lethal complications is not met within emergency health care services.

  14. Serotonin syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and hepatitis after a single ingestion of MDMA in an Asian woman.

    PubMed

    Nadkarni, Girish N; Hoskote, Sumedh S; Piotrkowski, Jared; Annapureddy, Narender

    2014-01-01

    N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA), also called "Ecstasy," is a commonly abused psychoactive drug among the American youth. We present the case of a 23-year-old Korean-American woman who presented with seizure, delirium, and rigidity after MDMA ingestion. She was febrile (38.7°C), tachycardic (188 beats/min), tachypneic (26 breaths/min) with a borderline blood pressure (95/43 mm Hg). Examination revealed generalized muscle rigidity, tremors, hyperreflexia, and ocular clonus, leading to the diagnosis of serotonin syndrome. Urine toxicology screen was only positive for amphetamines, consistent with the history of MDMA ingestion. Initial laboratory testing showed thrombocytopenia, further testing showed deranged prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, decreased fibrinogen, and elevated D-dimer, suggesting disseminated intravascular coagulation. Hepatic transaminases trended up dramatically reflecting acute hepatitis. The patient received supportive care and improved by hospital day 3. MDMA toxicity manifested as serotonin syndrome, hepatitis, and coagulopathy is exceedingly rare. MDMA is metabolized by the hepatic CYP2D6 enzyme. Certain populations, such as Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese have a high prevalence of a polymorphism that confers reduced enzyme activity. We discuss this hypothesis as a possible cause for this severe presentation in our patient after a single ingestion.

  15. [The new types of addiction].

    PubMed

    Semaille, P

    2009-09-01

    Addiction is characterized by the inability to control his consumption of product or control certain behaviors, and the continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of its adverse effects. Addictions to substances like heroin, cocaine, etc., are well known. But other substances potentially addictive are getting more common in Belgium: MDMA, GHB / GBL, Cristal, etc. The existence of addictions without substance (called also behavioral addiction) is well recognized now: gambling addiction seems to be the most common and has been recognized as a disease by WHO, but we can also observe cyberaddiction, addiction to sex, workalholic, addiction to shopping, etc. The screening of poly-addiction or to one substance or one behavior should be systematized in the history of every patient. This screening should be facilitated through the development and validation of a cross scale. Particular attention will be paid to certain groups, both in primary prevention and screening: men, adolescents and young adults, university students or high schools, clubbers, sporting people, prisoners, ethnic minorities, people with mental disorders like depression. Primary care workers, and especially general practitioners, are at the first place to detect those different forms of addiction, can affort appropriate care according to patient's characteristics and type addiction, and to identify high-risk situations for relapse.

  16. Cognitive and behavioural effects induced by social stress plus MDMA administration in mice.

    PubMed

    García-Pardo, M P; Roger-Sánchez, C; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J; Aguilar, M A

    2017-02-15

    Adverse life experiences such as social stress may make an individual more vulnerable to drug addiction and mental disorders associated with drug consumption. The present work aimed to evaluate the effects of stress induced by acute social defeat combined with the administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on depression-like behaviour, memory function and motor response to drug in late adolescent male mice. Two groups of mice were exposed to social defeat (SD) during four encounters with an aggressive co-specific, which took place on alternate days. Immediately after defeat, animals were treated with saline or MDMA 10mg/kg (SD+SAL and SD+MDMA). In control groups, mice were placed in a neutral cage without an opponent (Control+SAL, Control+MDMA). Corticosterone levels and temperature were measured on the last day of this phase. During the following days, the behaviour of the animals was evaluated in the tail suspension test (an animal model of depression), memory tasks (passive avoidance and object recognition) and, after administration of 5mg/kg of MDMA, in the open-field test. Exposure of adult mice to acute social defeat plus MDMA increased immobility in the tail suspension test (depression-like behaviour), produced cognitive impairment, and reduced the motor response to MDMA. An increase in corticosterone levels and a decrease of temperature were also observed. As hypothesised, a combination of social stress and consumption of MDMA increases the risk of developing mental and cognitive disorders. Our results support the idea that stress is a common contributing factor to the high rate of comorbidity between substance abuse and mental disease.

  17. Profiles of urine samples taken from Ecstasy users at Rave parties: analysis by immunoassays, HPLC, and GC-MS.

    PubMed

    Zhao, H; Brenneisen, R; Scholer, A; McNally, A J; ElSohly, M A; Murphy, T P; Salamone, S J

    2001-01-01

    The abuse of the designer amphetamines such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is increasing throughout the world. They have become popular drugs, especially at all-night techno dance parties (Raves), and their detection is becoming an important issue. Presently, there are no MDMA- or MDA-specific immunoassays on the market, and detection of the designer amphetamines is dependent upon the use of commercially available amphetamine assays. The success of this approach has been difficult to assess because of the general unavailability of significant numbers of samples from known drug users. The objectives of the present study are to characterize the drug content of urine samples from admitted Ecstasy users by chromatographic methods and to assess the ability of the available amphetamine/methamphetamine immunoassays to detect methylenedioxyamphetamines. We found that, when analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC-DAD), 64% of 70 urine samples (by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry [GC-MS]: 88% of 64 urine samples) obtained from Rave attendees contained MDMA and/or 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) alone or in combination with amphetamine, methamphetamine, or other designer amphetamines such as 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA). This suggests that the majority of the Ravers are multidrug users. At the manufacturer's suggested cutoffs, the Abbott TDx Amphetamine/Methamphetamine II and the new Roche HS Amphetamine/MDMA assays demonstrated greater detection sensitivity for MDMA than the other amphetamine immunoassays tested (Abuscreen OnLine Hitachi AMPS, Abuscreen OnLine Integra AMPS, Abuscreen OnLine Integra AMPSX, CEDIA AMPS, and EMIT II AMPS). There is 100% agreement between each of the two immunoassays with the reference chromatographic methods, HPLC-DAD and GC-MS, for the detection of methylenedioxyamphetamines.

  18. [The cognitive effects of ecstasy].

    PubMed

    Pázmány, Péter; Petschner, Péter; Ádori, Csaba; Kirilly, Eszter; Andó, Dénes Rómeó; Balogh, Brigitta; Gyöngyösi, Norbert; Bagdy, György

    2013-12-01

    The recreational drug ecstasy is widely used among dance clubbers for its acute euphoric and entactogenic effects. Ecstasy exerts its acute effects by increasing the extracellular concentration of monoamines in the brain by reversing the functions of reuptake mechanisms. These elevations in extracellular monoamine concentrations result in wake promoting effects, body hyperthermia and reductions in local cerebral blood flow. However, on the long-run, ecstasy reduces serotonin concentration and density of serotonergic markers in several brain areas. Functional deficits, like sleep disturbances, anxiogenic- and aggressive behavioral responses and mood disorders also may occur. However, one of the most prominent adverse effects is related to the cognitive functions. Following ecstasy use attenuated retro- and prospective memory and defective higher order cognitive functions can be observed, especially in heavy users. Several studies indicated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system, the sleep regulating centers and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis based on or parallel to serotonergic damage in these processes. Recent evidence, however, also showed that changes in one of the latter systems can influence the functions of each other. In this review we summarize the related literature, and propose a complex mechanism for the long-lasting cognitive deficits following heavy ecstasy use.

  19. Acutely applied MDMA enhances long-term potentiation in rat hippocampus involving D1/D5 and 5-HT2 receptors through a polysynaptic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Rozas, C; Loyola, S; Ugarte, G; Zeise, M L; Reyes-Parada, M; Pancetti, F; Rojas, P; Morales, B

    2012-08-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a drug of abuse that induces learning and memory deficit. However, there are no experimental data that correlate the behavioral evidence with models of synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). Using field potential recordings in rat hippocampal slices of young rats, we found that acute application of MDMA enhances LTP in CA3-CA1 synapses without affecting LTD. Using specific antagonists and paired-pulse facilitation protocols we observed that the MDMA-dependent increase of LTP involves presynaptic 5-HT₂ serotonin receptors and postsynaptic D1/D5 dopamine receptors. In addition, the inhibition of PKA suppresses the MDMA-dependent increase in LTP, suggesting that dopamine receptor agonism activates cAMP-dependent intracellular pathways. We propose that MDMA exerts its LTP-altering effect involving a polysynaptic interaction between serotonergic and dopaminergic systems in hippocampal synapses. Our results are compatible with the view that the alterations in hippocampal LTP could be responsible for MDMA-dependent cognitive deficits observed in humans and animals.

  20. Ecstasy analogues found in cacti.

    PubMed

    Bruhn, Jan G; El-Seedi, Hesham R; Stephanson, Nikolai; Beck, Olof; Shulgin, Alexander T

    2008-06-01

    Human interest in psychoactive phenethylamines is known from the use of mescaline-containing cacti and designer drugs such as Ecstasy. From the alkaloid composition of cacti we hypothesized that substances resembling Ecstasy might occur naturally. In this article we show that lophophine, homopiperonylamine and lobivine are new minor constituents of two cactus species, Lophophora williamsii (peyote) and Trichocereus pachanoi (San Pedro). This is the first report of putatively psychoactive phenethylamines besides mescaline in these cacti. A search for further biosynthetic analogues may provide new insights into the structure-activity relationships of mescaline. An intriguing question is whether the new natural compounds can be called "designer drugs."

  1. Potential Psychiatric Uses for MDMA

    PubMed Central

    Mithoefer, MC

    2017-01-01

    Phase II trials of 3,4‐methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)‐assisted psychotherapy have demonstrated initial safety and efficacy for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with potential for expansion to depression and anxiety disorders. In these trials, single doses of MDMA are administered in a model of medication‐assisted psychotherapy, differing from trials involving daily drug administration without psychotherapy. This model presents an opportunity to utilize accelerated regulatory pathways, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Therapy Designation, to most effectively and expeditiously test such novel approaches. PMID:27859039

  2. Prevalence of use study for amphetamine (AMP), methamphetamine (MAMP), 3,4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and 3,4-methylenedioxy-ethylamphetamine (MDEA) in military entrance processing stations (MEPS) specimens.

    PubMed

    Klette, Kevin L; Kettle, Aaron R; Jamerson, Matthew H

    2006-06-01

    The Roche Abuscreen Onlinetrade mark Amphetamine immunoassay (IA), modified to include sodium periodate, and the Microgenics DRI Ecstasy IA were used to determine the prevalence of amphetamine (AMP), methamphetamine (MAMP), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) in urine specimens from applicants seeking to join the United States Armed Forces. Over a 4-month period, a total of 85,658 specimens were IA screened using the Department of Defense 500 ng/mL administrative cutoff level for AMP and MDMA. All presumptively positive specimens were confirmed using a solid-phase extraction procedure coupled with simultaneous analysis of AMP, MAMP, MDA, MDMA, and MDEA by fast gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using the same cutoff levels as the IA. The Roche Online Amphetamine IA identified 216 specimens as presumptively positive; of these, 70 specimens confirmed positive for AMP and 87 specimens confirmed positive for AMP and/or MAMP, resulting in a confirmation rate of 73%. The Microgenics DRI Ecstasy IA identified eight specimens as presumptively positive; of these, five specimens confirmed positive for MDMA and/or MDA, resulting in a confirmation rate of 63%. The total use prevalence for AMP, MAMP, MDA, MDMA, and/or MDEA in military entrance processing stations specimens over the testing period was determined to be 0.19%.

  3. N-Methyl-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (PMMA) and N-Methyl-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (MDMA) produce non-identical discriminative stimuli in rats.

    PubMed

    Glennon, Richard A; Young, Richard; Dukat, Małgorzata; Chang-Fong, Jean; El-Zahabi, Mohamed

    2007-03-01

    N-Methyl-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, Ecstasy) and its structurally abbreviated congener N-methyl-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (para-methoxymethamphetamine, PMMA) are chemically related designer drugs, and PMMA is sometimes sold on the clandestine market as a substitute for MDMA. Prior drug discrimination studies have found that MDMA and PMMA substitute for one another suggesting that they produce similar discriminative stimulus effects in rats. However, there also are some indications that the two agents produce distinct stimulus effects. In this study, further comparisons were made between the stimulus effects of these two agents. Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate either 1.25 mg/kg of PMMA or 1.5 mg/kg of MDMA from saline vehicle in a two-lever operant paradigm. A structure-activity comparison revealed that MDMA and PMMA behave similarly upon homologation of their terminal amine substituents. In contrast, the PMMA stimulus, unlike an MDMA stimulus, failed to generalize completely to the psychostimulant cocaine, 8-hydroxy-2-(N,N-di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH DPAT), and R(-)-1-(3-methoxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane [R(-)MMA]. In an additional group of animals, a (+)amphetamine stimulus partially generalized to R(-)MMA. Taken together, the results argue and re-emphasize the conclusion that the stimulus effects produced by MDMA and PMMA are similar, but non-identical, and that PMMA is the less "stimulant-like" of the two.

  4. Low ambient temperature reveals distinct mechanisms for MDMA-induced serotonergic toxicity and astroglial Hsp27 heat shock response in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Adori, Csaba; Andó, Rómeó D; Balázsa, Tamás; Soti, Csaba; Vas, Szilvia; Palkovits, Miklós; Kovács, Gábor G; Bagdy, György

    2011-10-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') is a widely used recreational drug known to cause selective long-term serotonergic damage. In our recent paper we described region-specific, dose-dependent increase in the protein expression of astroglial Hsp27 and neuronal Hsp72 molecular chaperones after MDMA administration of rats. Here, we examined the possible interaction of elevated Hsp27 protein level to hyperthermic responses after MDMA administration and its separation from drug-induced serotonergic neurotoxicity. For this, 7-8 week old male Dark Agouti rats were treated with 15 mg/kg i.p. MDMA. Treatment at an ambient temperature of 22 ± 1°C caused a significant elevation of the rectal temperature, an increase of Hsp27 immunoreactive protoplasmic astrocytes in the hippocampus, the parietal and cingulate cortices, and a significant decrease in the density of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactive fibers in the same brain regions, 8h as well as 24h after drug administrations. In addition, serotonergic axons exhibited numerous swollen varicosities and fragmented morphology. MDMA treatment at low ambient temperature (10 ± 2°C) almost completely abolished the elevation of body temperature and the increased astroglial Hsp27 expression but failed to alter - or just slightly attenuated - the depletion in the density of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactive fibers. These results suggest that the increased astroglial Hsp27 protein expression is rather related to the hyperthermic response after the drug administration and it could be separated from the serotonergic neurotoxicity caused by MDMA. In addition, the induction of Hsp27 per se is uneffective to protect serotonergic fibers after MDMA administration. Our results also suggest that Tph immunohistochemistry is an early and sensitive method to demonstrate MDMA-caused vulnerability.

  5. MDMA increases glutamate release and reduces parvalbumin-positive GABAergic cells in the dorsal hippocampus of the rat: role of cyclooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Anneken, John H; Cunningham, Jacobi I; Collins, Stuart A; Yamamoto, Bryan K; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2013-03-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; Ecstasy) is a popular drug of abuse with well-documented acute effects on serotonergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic transmitter systems, as well as evidence of long-term disruption of serotoninergic systems in the rat brain. Recently, it was demonstrated that MDMA evokes a delayed and sustained increase in glutamate release in the hippocampus. The purpose of the present study was to determine the role of inflammatory mediators in the MDMA-induced increase in glutamate release, as well as the contribution of inflammatory pathways in the persistent neurochemical toxicity associated with repeated MDMA treatment. Treatment with the non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor ketoprofen and the COX-2 selective inhibitor nimesulide attenuated the increase in extracellular glutamate in the hippocampus evoked by repeated MDMA exposure (10 mg/kg, i.p., every 2 h); no attenuation was observed in rats treated with the COX-1 selective inhibitor piroxicam. Reverse dialysis of a major product of COX activity, prostaglandin E2, also resulted in a significant increase in extracellular glutamate in the hippocampus . Repeated exposure to MDMA diminished the number of parvalbumin-positive GABA interneurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, an effect that was attenuated by ketoprofen treatment. However, COX inhibition with ketoprofen did not prevent the long-term depletion of 5-HT in the hippocampus evoked by MDMA treatment. These data are supportive of the view that cyclooxygenase activity contributes to the mechanism underlying both the increased release of glutamate and decreased number of GABA interneurons in the rat hippocampus produced by repeated MDMA exposure.

  6. The risky cocktail: what combination effects can we expect between ecstasy and other amphetamines?

    PubMed

    Dias da Silva, Diana; Carmo, Helena; Silva, Elisabete

    2013-01-01

    The recreational and illicit use of amphetaminic designer compounds, specially 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; Ecstasy), is of concern worldwide. Such psychostimulating drugs are frequently present as complex mixtures in 'rave' pills, making concomitant polysubstance use a common trend. However, the understanding of possible combination effects with these substances is still scarce. The present study was aimed at predicting the cytotoxic effects of mixtures of four amphetaminic derivatives: MDMA, methamphetamine, 4-methylthioamphetamine and d-amphetamine in a human hepatoma cell line. Concentration-response curves for all single-mixture components were recorded by the MTT assay. Data obtained for individual agents were then used to compute the additivity expectations for mixtures of definite composition, using the pharmacological models of concentration addition (CA) and independent action. By comparing the predicted calculations with the experimentally observed effects, we concluded that CA accurately predicts the combination of amphetamines, which act together to generate additive effects over a large range of concentrations. Notably, we observed substantial mixture effects even when each drug was present at low concentrations, which individually produced unnoticeable effects. Nonetheless, for all tested mixtures, a small deviation from additivity was observed towards higher concentrations, particularly at high effect levels. A possible metabolic interaction, which could explain such deviation, was investigated, and it was observed that at higher mixture concentrations increased MDMA metabolism could be contributing to divergences from additivity. In conclusion, the present work clearly demonstrates that potentially harmful interactions among amphetaminic drugs are expected when these drugs are taken concomitantly.

  7. Neurotoxic Thioether Adducts of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine Identified in Human Urine After Ecstasy IngestionS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Perfetti, Ximena; O'Mathúna, Brian; Pizarro, Nieves; Cuyàs, Elisabet; Khymenets, Olha; Almeida, Bruno; Pellegrini, Manuela; Pichini, Simona; Lau, Serrine S.; Monks, Terrence J.; Farré, Magí; Pascual, Jose Antonio; Joglar, Jesús; de la Torre, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) is a widely misused synthetic amphetamine derivative and a serotonergic neurotoxicant in animal models and possibly humans. The underlying mechanism of neurotoxicity involves the formation of reactive oxygen species although their source remains unclear. It has been postulated that MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is mediated via the formation of bioreactive metabolites. In particular, the primary catechol metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA) and 3,4-dihydroxyamphetamine (HHA), subsequently cause the formation of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine conjugates, which retain the ability to redox cycle and are serotonergic neurotoxicants in rats. Although the presence of such metabolites has been recently demonstrated in rat brain microdialysate, their formation in humans has not been reported. The present study describes the detection of 5-(N-acetylcystein-S-yl)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (N-Ac-5-Cys-HHMA) and 5-(N-acetylcystein-S-yl)-3,4-dihydroxyamphetamine (N-Ac-5-Cys-HHA) in human urine of 15 recreational users of MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) in a controlled setting. The results reveal that in the first 4 h after MDMA ingestion ∼0.002% of the administered dose was recovered as thioether adducts. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP2D6 and catechol-O-methyltransferase expression, the combination of which are major determinants of steady-state levels of HHMA and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyamphetamine, probably explain the interindividual variability seen in the recovery of N-Ac-5-Cys-HHMA and N-Ac-5-Cys-HHA. In summary, the formation of neurotoxic thioether adducts of MDMA has been demonstrated for the first time in humans. The findings lend weight to the hypothesis that the bioactivation of MDMA to neurotoxic metabolites is a relevant pathway to neurotoxicity in humans. PMID:19349378

  8. Sex-dependent psychoneuroendocrine effects of THC and MDMA in an animal model of adolescent drug consumption.

    PubMed

    Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Puighermanal, Emma; Burokas, Aurelijus; Ozaita, Andrés; Maldonado, Rafael; Marco, Eva M; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy is a drug that is usually consumed by young people at the weekends and frequently, in combination with cannabis. In the present study we have investigated the long-term effects of administering increasing doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC; 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg; i.p.] from postnatal day (pnd) 28 to 45, alone and/or in conjunction with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA; two daily doses of 10 mg/kg every 5 days; s.c.] from pnd 30 to 45, in both male and female Wistar rats. When tested one day after the end of the pharmacological treatment (pnd 46), MDMA administration induced a reduction in directed exploration in the holeboard test and an increase in open-arm exploration in an elevated plus maze. In the long-term, cognitive functions in the novel object test were seen to be disrupted by THC administration to female but not male rats. In the prepulse inhibition test, MDMA-treated animals showed a decrease in prepulse inhibition at the most intense prepulse studied (80 dB), whereas in combination with THC it induced a similar decrease at 75 dB. THC decreased hippocampal Arc expression in both sexes, while in the frontal cortex this reduction was only evident in females. MDMA induced a reduction in ERK1/2 immunoreactivity in the frontal cortex of male but not female animals, and THC decreased prepro-orexin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of males, although this effect was prevented when the animals also received MDMA. The results presented indicate that adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA induces long-term, sex-dependent psychophysiological alterations and they reveal functional interactions between the two drugs.

  9. Sex-Dependent Psychoneuroendocrine Effects of THC and MDMA in an Animal Model of Adolescent Drug Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Puighermanal, Emma; Burokas, Aurelijus; Ozaita, Andrés; Maldonado, Rafael; Marco, Eva M.; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2013-01-01

    Ecstasy is a drug that is usually consumed by young people at the weekends and frequently, in combination with cannabis. In the present study we have investigated the long-term effects of administering increasing doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC; 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg; i.p.] from postnatal day (pnd) 28 to 45, alone and/or in conjunction with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA; two daily doses of 10 mg/kg every 5 days; s.c.] from pnd 30 to 45, in both male and female Wistar rats. When tested one day after the end of the pharmacological treatment (pnd 46), MDMA administration induced a reduction in directed exploration in the holeboard test and an increase in open-arm exploration in an elevated plus maze. In the long-term, cognitive functions in the novel object test were seen to be disrupted by THC administration to female but not male rats. In the prepulse inhibition test, MDMA-treated animals showed a decrease in prepulse inhibition at the most intense prepulse studied (80 dB), whereas in combination with THC it induced a similar decrease at 75 dB. THC decreased hippocampal Arc expression in both sexes, while in the frontal cortex this reduction was only evident in females. MDMA induced a reduction in ERK1/2 immunoreactivity in the frontal cortex of male but not female animals, and THC decreased prepro-orexin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of males, although this effect was prevented when the animals also received MDMA. The results presented indicate that adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA induces long-term, sex-dependent psychophysiological alterations and they reveal functional interactions between the two drugs. PMID:24223797

  10. Hyponatraemia and seizures after ecstasy use.

    PubMed

    Holmes, S B; Banerjee, A K; Alexander, W D

    1999-01-01

    A patient presented to our unit with seizures and profound hyponatraemia after ingestion of a single tablet of ecstasy. The seizures proved resistant to therapy and ventilation on the intensive care unit was required. Resolution of the seizures occurred on correction of the metabolic abnormalities. The pathogenesis of seizures and hyponatraemia after ecstasy use is discussed. Ecstasy use should be considered in any young patient presenting with unexplained seizures and attention should be directed towards electrolyte levels, particularly sodium.

  11. Protracted treatment with MDMA induces heteromeric nicotinic receptor up-regulation in the rat brain: an autoradiography study.

    PubMed

    Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Camarasa, Jorge; Pubill, David; Escubedo, Elena

    2014-08-04

    Previous studies indicate that 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) can induce a heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR, mainly of α4β2 subtype) up-regulation. In this study we treated male Sprague-Dawley rats twice-daily for 10 days with either saline or MDMA (7 mg/kg) and sacrificed them the day after to perform [(125)I]Epibatidine binding autoradiograms on serial coronal slices. MDMA induced significant increases in nAChR density in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, anterior caudate-putamen, somatosensory, motor, auditory and retrosplenial cortex, laterodorsal thalamus nuclei, amygdala, postsubiculum and pontine nuclei. These increases ranged from 3% (retrosplenial cortex) to 30 and 34% (amygdala and substantia nigra). No increased α4 subunit immunoreactivity was found in up-regulated areas compared with saline-treated rats, suggesting a post-translational mechanism as occurs with nicotine. The heteromeric nAChR up-regulation in certain areas could account, at least in part, for the reinforcing, sensitizing and psychiatric disorders observed after long-term consumption of MDMA.

  12. Adolescent pre-exposure to ethanol or MDMA prolongs the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Do Couto, B Ribeiro; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Fuentes, S; Gagliano, H; Armario, A; Miñarro, J; Aguilar, M A

    2011-07-06

    Adolescents often take ethanol (EtOH) in combination with MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine). In the present work we studied the effect of repeated intermittent adolescent pre-exposure to both drugs on the behavioral and neurochemical effects of MDMA in mice. Sixteen days after pre-treatment, the rewarding and reinstating effects of MDMA in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm were evaluated, along with the levels of biogenic amines, basal motor activity and corticosterone response to different challenges. Pre-exposure to EtOH, MDMA or EtOH+MDMA did not affect the CPP induced by 10mg/kg of MDMA. However, adolescent exposure to EtOH or MDMA increased the duration of the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA. Following extinction of the CPP, a priming dose of 5mg/kg of MDMA elicited reinstatement in all the groups, with the duration of this reinstated CPP being longer in mice pre-treated with MDMA. After reinstatement, an increase in monoamine levels was observed in mice pre-exposed to EtOH (DA, DOPAC and 5-HT in the striatum and 5-HIAA in the cortex and hippocampus) or MDMA (5-HT in the hippocampus). Basal motor activity and basal levels of corticosterone were not affected by any of these pre-treatments, but the group pre-exposed to MDMA showed higher levels of corticosterone in response to the administration of 10mg/kg of MDMA. Behavioral and hormonal effects of adolescent exposure to MDMA were reversed by co-administration of EtOH. Our results suggest that exposure to EtOH or MDMA during adolescence prolongs the rewarding properties of MDMA.

  13. Acquisition of MDMA self-administration: pharmacokinetic factors and MDMA-induced serotonin release.

    PubMed

    Bradbury, Sarah; Bird, Judith; Colussi-Mas, Joyce; Mueller, Melanie; Ricaurte, George; Schenk, Susan

    2014-09-01

    The current study aimed to elucidate the role of pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters and neurotransmitter efflux in explaining variability in (±) 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) self-administration in rats. PK profiles of MDMA and its major metabolites were determined after the administration of 1.0 mg/kg MDMA (iv) prior to, and following, the acquisition of MDMA self-administration. Synaptic levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) and dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens were measured following administration of MDMA (1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg, iv) using in vivo microdialysis and compared for rats that acquired or failed to acquire MDMA self-administration. Effects of the 5HT neurotoxin, 5,7 dihydroxytryptamine (5, 7-DHT), on the acquisition of MDMA and cocaine self-administration were also determined. In keeping with previous findings, approximately 50% of rats failed to meet a criterion for acquisition of MDMA self-administration. The PK profiles of MDMA and its metabolites did not differ between rats that acquired or failed to acquire MDMA self-administration. MDMA produced more overflow of 5HT than DA. The MDMA-induced 5HT overflow was lower in rats that acquired MDMA self-administration compared with those that did not acquire self-administration. In contrast, MDMA-induced DA overflow was comparable for the two groups. Prior 5,7-DHT lesions reduced tissue levels of 5HT and markedly increased the percentage of rats that acquired MDMA self-administration and also decreased the latency to acquisition of cocaine self-administration. These data suggest that 5HT limits the initial sensitivity to the positively reinforcing effects of MDMA and delays the acquisition of reliable self-administration.

  14. [Asceticism and ecstasy in Freud].

    PubMed

    Düe, M

    1993-05-01

    Contrasting concepts like "denial" and "fulfillment" are indicative of conflicting pulls in Freudian theory that can also be described in terms of the tension between "asceticism" and "ecstasy". The author divides Freud's thinking into three distinct phases--demonological speculation, labyrinthine speculation, cosmogonical speculation--and demonstrates that in each of these phases the relative emphasis on the ascetic and the ecstatic differs. Further, Düe points out that on the formal level Freud's theories are affected by those phenomena which he defines as being ascetic or ecstatic in nature. In terms of the history of ideas, the author sets the opposition between asceticism and ecstasy against the broader horizon of the opposition between Enlightenment and Romanticism.

  15. Factors Associated with Teenage Ecstasy Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mccrystal, Patrick; Percy, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Aims: The aim of this article was to investigate the factors associated with ecstasy use in school-aged teenagers. Methods: This was a longitudinal study of adolescent drug use, which was undertaken in three towns in Northern Ireland. A questionnaire was administered annually to participants. In this article ecstasy use patterns amongst a cohort…

  16. Impact of Cytochrome P450 2D6 Function on the Chiral Blood Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Its Phase I and II Metabolites in Humans.

    PubMed

    Steuer, Andrea E; Schmidhauser, Corina; Tingelhoff, Eva H; Schmid, Yasmin; Rickli, Anna; Kraemer, Thomas; Liechti, Matthias E

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) metabolism is known to be stereoselective, with preference for S-stereoisomers. Its major metabolic step involves CYP2D6-catalyzed demethylenation to 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA), followed by methylation and conjugation. Alterations in CYP2D6 genotype and/or phenotype have been associated with higher toxicity. Therefore, the impact of CYP2D6 function on the plasma pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its phase I and II metabolites was tested by comparing extensive metabolizers (EMs), intermediate metabolizers (IMs), and EMs that were pretreated with bupropion as a metabolic inhibitor in a controlled MDMA administration study. Blood plasma samples were collected from 16 healthy participants (13 EMs and three IMs) up to 24 h after MDMA administration in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period, cross-over design, with subjects receiving 1 week placebo or bupropion pretreatment followed by a single placebo or MDMA (125 mg) dose. Bupropion pretreatment increased the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC24) of R-MDMA (9% and 25%, respectively) and S-MDMA (16% and 38%, respectively). Bupropion reduced the Cmax and AUC24 of the CYP2D6-dependently formed metabolite stereoisomers of DHMA 3-sulfate, DHMA 4-sulfate, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA sulfate and HMMA glucuronide) by approximately 40%. The changes that were observed in IMs were generally comparable to bupropion-pretreated EMs. Although changes in stereoselectivity based on CYP2D6 activity were observed, these likely have low clinical relevance. Bupropion and hydroxybupropion stereoisomer pharmacokinetics were unaltered by MDMA co-administration. The present data might aid further interpretations of toxicity based on CYP2D6-dependent MDMA metabolism.

  17. Anxiogenic-like activity of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine ("Ecstasy") in the social interaction test is accompanied by an increase of c-fos expression in mice amygdala.

    PubMed

    Navarro, José Francisco; Rivera, Alicia; Maldonado, Enrique; Cavas, María; de la Calle, Adelaida

    2004-03-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic amphetamine popularly known as "Ecstasy." Animal studies examining acute effects of MDMA on anxiety are unclear because although an anxiolytic-like action of MDMA in different animal models of anxiety has been described, there is also substantial evidence supporting an anxiogenic-like effect of this drug. To date, several studies have examined c-fos expression following MDMA administration in rats. However, there is no information about the MDMA-induced c-fos expression in mice previously tested in an animal model of anxiety. In this study, male mice were injected with MDMA (1, 8 and 15 mg/kg ip) and assessed for changes on anxiety and for the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos in the amygdala (central, basolateral and basomedial). Anxiety was evaluated by the "social interaction test." Ten behavioral categories were recorded: body care, digging, nonsocial exploration, exploration from a distance, social investigation, threat, attack, avoidance/flee, defense/submission and immobility. As compared with the control group, mice treated with MDMA (all doses) showed a decrease in mean duration and total time spent in social investigation behaviors, whereas avoidance/flee behaviors were significantly increased after treatment with this compound (8 and 15 mg/kg). Likewise, a significant increase in c-fos expression was found in the basolateral (all doses) and central (15 mg/kg) amygdala after MDMA administration. Overall, these findings indicate that MDMA exhibits an anxiogenic-like profile in the social interaction test in mice, and that central and basolateral amygdala might be involved in these anxiogenic-like effects of the drug.

  18. Impact of Cytochrome P450 2D6 Function on the Chiral Blood Plasma Pharmacokinetics of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Its Phase I and II Metabolites in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Steuer, Andrea E.; Schmidhauser, Corina; Tingelhoff, Eva H.; Schmid, Yasmin; Rickli, Anna; Kraemer, Thomas; Liechti, Matthias E.

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) metabolism is known to be stereoselective, with preference for S-stereoisomers. Its major metabolic step involves CYP2D6-catalyzed demethylenation to 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA), followed by methylation and conjugation. Alterations in CYP2D6 genotype and/or phenotype have been associated with higher toxicity. Therefore, the impact of CYP2D6 function on the plasma pharmacokinetics of MDMA and its phase I and II metabolites was tested by comparing extensive metabolizers (EMs), intermediate metabolizers (IMs), and EMs that were pretreated with bupropion as a metabolic inhibitor in a controlled MDMA administration study. Blood plasma samples were collected from 16 healthy participants (13 EMs and three IMs) up to 24 h after MDMA administration in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period, cross-over design, with subjects receiving 1 week placebo or bupropion pretreatment followed by a single placebo or MDMA (125 mg) dose. Bupropion pretreatment increased the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC24) of R-MDMA (9% and 25%, respectively) and S-MDMA (16% and 38%, respectively). Bupropion reduced the Cmax and AUC24 of the CYP2D6-dependently formed metabolite stereoisomers of DHMA 3-sulfate, DHMA 4-sulfate, and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA sulfate and HMMA glucuronide) by approximately 40%. The changes that were observed in IMs were generally comparable to bupropion-pretreated EMs. Although changes in stereoselectivity based on CYP2D6 activity were observed, these likely have low clinical relevance. Bupropion and hydroxybupropion stereoisomer pharmacokinetics were unaltered by MDMA co-administration. The present data might aid further interpretations of toxicity based on CYP2D6-dependent MDMA metabolism. PMID:26967321

  19. Sex-dependent long-term effects of adolescent exposure to THC and/or MDMA on neuroinflammation and serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems in rats

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana Belen; Llorente-Berzal, Alvaro; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Background and PurposeMany young people consume ecstasy as a recreational drug and often in combination with cannabis. In this study, we aimed to mimic human consumption patterns and investigated, in male and female animals, the long-term effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on diverse neuroinflammation and neurotoxic markers. Experimental ApproachMale and female Wistar rats were chronically treated with increasing doses of THC and/or MDMA during adolescence. The effects of THC and/or MDMA on glial reactivity and on serotoninergic and cannabinoid systems were assessed by immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. Key ResultsTHC increased the area staining for glial fibrilar acidic protein in both sexes. In males, both drugs, either separately or in combination, increased the proportion of reactive microglia cells [ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1)]. In contrast, in females, each drug, administered alone, decreased of this proportion, whereas the combination of both drugs resulted in a ‘normalization’ to control values. In males, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres, THC induced the opposite effect and the group receiving both drugs did not significantly differ from the controls. In females, MDMA reduced the number of SERT positive fibres and the combination of both drugs counteracted this effect. THC also reduced immunostaining for CB1 receptors in females and this effect was aggravated by the combination with MDMA. Conclusions and ImplicationsAdolescent exposure of rats to THC and/or MDMA induced long-term, sex-dependent neurochemical and glial alterations, and revealed interactions between the two drugs. Linked ArticlesThis article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids 2013. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-6 PMID:24236988

  20. Clinical Pharmacology of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”): The Influence of Gender and Genetics (CYP2D6, COMT, 5-HTT)

    PubMed Central

    O’Mathúna, Brian; Torrens, Marta; Mustata, Cristina; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Langohr, Klaus; Cuyàs, Elisabet; Carbó, Marcel·lí; de la Torre, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    The synthetic psychostimulant MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) acts as an indirect serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine agonist and as a mechanism-based inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 2D6 (CYP2D6). It has been suggested that women are more sensitive to MDMA effects than men but no clinical experimental studies have satisfactorily evaluated the factors contributing to such observations. There are no studies evaluating the influence of genetic polymorphism on the pharmacokinetics (CYP2D6; catechol-O-methyltransferase, COMT) and pharmacological effects of MDMA (serotonin transporter, 5-HTT; COMT). This clinical study was designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and physiological and subjective effects of MDMA considering gender and the genetic polymorphisms of CYP2D6, COMT, and 5-HTT. A total of 27 (12 women) healthy, recreational users of ecstasy were included (all extensive metabolizers for CYP2D6). A single oral weight-adjusted dose of MDMA was administered (1.4 mg/kg, range 75–100 mg) which was similar to recreational doses. None of the women were taking oral contraceptives and the experimental session was performed during the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle. Principal findings show that subjects reached similar MDMA plasma concentrations, and experienced similar positive effects, irrespective of gender or CYP2D6 (not taking into consideration poor or ultra-rapid metabolizers) or COMT genotypes. However, HMMA plasma concentrations were linked to CYP2D6 genotype (higher with two functional alleles). Female subjects displayed more intense physiological (heart rate, and oral temperature) and negative effects (dizziness, sedation, depression, and psychotic symptoms). Genotypes of COMT val158met or 5-HTTLPR with high functionality (val/val or l/*) determined greater cardiovascular effects, and with low functionality (met/* or s/s) negative subjective effects (dizziness, anxiety, sedation). In conclusion, the contribution of

  1. Designer Drug Confusion: A Focus on MDMA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Jerome; Morgan, Patricia A.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the competing definitions and issues surrounding various designer drugs, primarily 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). Offers a rationale for why interest in MDMA, which possesses both stimulant and psychedelic properties, will continue to grow despite the drug's recent illegality and increasing evidence of neurotoxicity.…

  2. Estimation of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) co-consumption in serum samples of drivers positive for amphetamine or ecstasy.

    PubMed

    Lott, S; Musshoff, F; Madea, B

    2012-09-10

    There is no toxicological analysis of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) applied routinely in cases of driving under influence (DUI); therefore the extent of consumption of this drug might be underestimated. Its consumption is described as occurring often concurrently with amphetamine or ecstasy. This study examines 196 serum samples which were collected by police during road side testing for GHB. The samples subject to this study have already been found to be positive for amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and/or 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA). Analysis has been performed by LC/MS/MS in the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. Due to its polarity, chromatographic separation of GHB was achieved by a HILIC column. To differentiate endogenous and exogenous levels of GHB, a cut-off concentration of 4μg/ml was applied. Of the 196 samples, two have been found to be positive for GHB. Of these samples, one sample was also positive for amphetamine and one for MDMA. Whilst other amphetamine derivates were not detected in these samples, both samples were found to be positive for cannabinoids. These results suggest that co-consumption of GHB with amphetamine or ecstasy is relatively low (1%) for the collective of this study.

  3. MDMA-induced neurotoxicity: long-term effects on 5-HT biosynthesis and the influence of ambient temperature.

    PubMed

    O'Shea, Esther; Orio, Laura; Escobedo, Isabel; Sanchez, Veronica; Camarero, Jorge; Green, Alfred Richard; Colado, Maria Isabel

    2006-07-01

    1. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') decreases the 5-HT concentration, [3H]-paroxetine binding and tryptophan hydroxylase activity in rat forebrain, which has been interpreted as indicating 5-HT neurodegeneration. This has been questioned, particularly the 5-HT loss, as MDMA can also inhibit tryptophan hydroxylase. We have now evaluated the validity of these parameters as a reflection of neurotoxicity. 2. Male DA rats were administered MDMA (12.5 mg kg(-1), i.p.) and killed up to 32 weeks later. 5-HT content and [3H]-paroxetine binding were measured in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Parallel groups of treated animals were administered NSD-1015 for determination of in vivo tryptophan hydroxylase activity and 5-HT turnover rate constant. 3. Tissue 5-HT content and [3H]-paroxetine binding were reduced in the cortex (26-53%) and hippocampus (25-74%) at all time points (1, 2, 4, 8 and 32 weeks). Hydroxylase activity was similarly reduced up to 8 weeks, but had recovered at 32 weeks. The striatal 5-HT concentration and [3H]-paroxetine binding recovered by week 4 and hydroxylase activity after week 1. In all regions, the reduction in 5-HT concentration did not result in an altered 5-HT synthesis rate constant. 4. Administering MDMA to animals when housed at 4 degrees C prevented the reduction in [3H]-paroxetine binding and hydroxylase activity observed in rats housed at 22 degrees C, but not the reduction in 5-HT concentration. 5. These data indicate that MDMA produces long-term damage to serotoninergic neurones, but this does not produce a compensatory increase in 5-HT synthesis in remaining terminals. It also highlights the fact that measurement of tissue 5-HT concentration may overestimate neurotoxic damage.

  4. The effects of the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) in some cerebral areas: role of the oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Franzese, Sergio; Capasso, Anna

    2008-04-01

    The purpose of the present review is to examine the effect of the acute administration (20 mg/ Kg, i.p.) of the 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in different cerebral areas of rats to better understand the mechanism underlying the toxicity induced by cellular oxidative stress. For this purpose the biochemical parameters of the antioxidant non-enzymatic cellular defense system have been studied (the reduced Glutathione (GSH), the Glutathione Disulfide (GSSG), the Ascorbic Acid (AA) and malondialdehyde (MDA) which indicates perioxidative damage) in the hippocampus, striate, frontal cortex both in treated animals and in control groups to realize a qualitative-quantitative evaluation of the possible alterations of the neuronal redox state induced by the administration of Ecstasy. The administration of MDMA induced the following variations of the antioxidant non enzymatic defense system: 1. the levels of the AA in the treated animals compared with the control group were increased in the striate, hippocampus and in the frontal cortex both at 3h and 6h. 2. In the striate, also MDA was significantly increased both after 3 h and 6 h, while in the hippocampus and in the frontal cortex the MDA was significantly increased after 6 h. 3. An increase of GSH was also observed after 3 h and 6 h in the hippocampus and in the striate while no significative variation were observed in the frontal cortex of the treated rats. 4. An increase of GSSG was significative in the hippocampus and striate at 3h, while at 6h it was significative only in the striate. In conclusion the results of our study seem to confirm the role of the oxidative stress in the mechanism of neuronal toxicity induced by Ecstasy and leads us to hypothesize a possible role of the antioxidant substances in the therapeutic treatment of the intoxicants by MDMA.

  5. Quantitative mapping shows that serotonin rather than dopamine receptor mRNA expressions are affected after repeated intermittent administration of MDMA in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Kindlundh-Högberg, Anna M S; Svenningsson, Per; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2006-09-01

    Ecstasy, (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxy-metamphetamine (MDMA), is a popular recreational drug among young people. The present study aims to mimic MDMA intake among adolescents at dance clubs, taking repeated doses in the same evening on an intermittent basis. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either 3x1 or 3x5 mg/kg/day (3 h apart) every seventh day during 4 weeks. We used real-time RT-PCR to determine the gene expression of serotonin 5HT1A, 5HT1B, 5HT2A, 5HT2C, 5HT3, 5HT6 receptors and dopamine D1, D2, D3 receptors in seven brain nuclei. The highest dose of MDMA extensively increased the 5HT1B-receptor mRNA in the cortex, caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, and hypothalamus. The 5HT2A-receptor mRNA was reduced at the highest MDMA dose in the cortex. The 5HT2C mRNA was significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner in the cortex and the hypothalamus, as well as the 5HT3-receptor mRNA was in the hypothalamus. The 5HT6 mRNA level was increased in the forebrain cortex and the amygdala. Dopamine receptor mRNAs were only affected in the hypothalamus. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for a unique implication of serotonin rather than dopamine receptor mRNA levels, in response to repeated intermittent MDMA administration. We therefore suggest that serotonin regulated functions also primarily underlie repeated MDMA intake at rave parties.

  6. Narcotic Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Fern, B. J.

    1976-01-01

    This article presents the major features of narcotic addictions, focusing on the role of methadone as a means of controlling or removing the addiction. It concludes with some observations on society's attitude towards addicts, addictions and programs for control of addiction. PMID:21308103

  7. The identification of a chlorinated MDMA.

    PubMed

    Maresova, V; Hampl, J; Chundela, Z; Zrcek, F; Polasek, M; Chadt, J

    2005-01-01

    The abuse of the designer amphetamines such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is increasing throughout the world. They have become popular drugs at all night techno dance parties, and their detection is an important issue. The objective of the presented study was to identify an unknown compound detected by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) in the urine of an illicit drug abuser. The compound was isolated by TLC and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in electron ionization (EI) and positive ion chemical ionization (PICI) mode to elucidate its chemical structure. Based on EI-MS and PICI-MS mass spectral data, the unknown compound was indicated to be a structure similar to MDMA, substituted by a single chlorine atom-a chlorinated MDMA (Cl-MDMA). To confirm the Cl-MDMA structure, the unknown compound was silylated, trifluoroacetylated, acetylated, heptafluorobutyrylated, and analyzed by GC-MS. The position of the chlorine atom cannot be assigned exactly from the mass spectral data presented here; however, we believe that the unknown compound could be 6-Cl-MDMA.

  8. Ecstasy cannot be assumed to be 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA)

    PubMed Central

    Green, AR; King, MV; Shortall, SE; Fone, KCF

    2012-01-01

    LINKED ARTICLES This is a rebuttal by the authors (Green et al., pp. 1523–1536 of this issue) to a commentary by Parrott, pp. 1518–1520 of this issue. To view the article by Green et al. visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01819.x. To view the commentary by Parrott visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01941.x

  9. Predicting Ecstasy Use among Young People at Risk: A Prospective Study of Initially Ecstasy-Naive Subjects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vervaeke, Hylke K.E.; Benschop, Annemieke; Van Den Brink, Wim; Korf, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

    Our aim is to identify predictors of first-time ecstasy use in a prospective study among young people at risk. As part of the multidisciplinary Netherlands XTC Toxicity Study (NeXT), we monitored 188 subjects aged up to 18 years who were ecstasy-naive at baseline but seemed likely to start taking ecstasy in the near future. After an 11- to…

  10. A psycho-economic model of ecstasy consumption and related consequences: a multi-site study with community samples.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Arbi Ben; Scheier, Lawrence M; Inciardi, James A; Copeland, Jan; Cottler, Linda B

    2007-01-01

    Becker and Murphy's (1988) theory of rational behavior suggests that economic factors play an influential role in the decision leading to drug consumption and possibly dependence. Psychological models, on the other hand, emphasize internal regulatory cues that motivate drug use and play a contributory role in dependence. Until now, the confluence of both economic and psychological models has not been tested empirically. The present study used latent-variable structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the influence of both economic (social anomie, unit price, and time spent acquiring drugs) and psychological risk factors (motivation, depression, and sexual risk behaviors) on self-reported ecstasy use. Data were obtained from 612 recreational ecstasy users in the United States and Australia participating in a NIDA-funded epidemiological study examining trends in ecstasy use. The sample was mainly white (61%), male (58%), and young (mean age = 23 yrs [5.25]). All of the hypothesized latent constructs were statistically reliable and correlated in the expected direction. A saturated SEM indicated that monetary and opportunity cost, but not income, significantly predicted ecstasy use. Among the psychological measures, motivational cues were the strongest predictor of both use and dependence. Inclusion of gender, age, race, education, and site variables did not appreciably alter the final model parameters. The implications of incorporating the role of economic factors in shaping a more refined understanding of addiction are discussed. Suggestions for future research and study limitations are also noted.

  11. Ecstasy Exposure & Gender: Examining Components of Verbal Memory Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Price, Jenessa S.; Shear, Paula; Lisdahl, Krista M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Studies have demonstrated verbal memory deficits associated with past year ecstasy use, although specific underlying components of these deficits are less understood. Further, prior research suggests potential gender differences in ecstasy-induced serotonergic changes. Therefore, the current study investigated whether gender moderated the relationship between ecstasy exposure and components of verbal memory after controlling for polydrug use and confounding variables. Method Data were collected from 65 polydrug users with a wide range of ecstasy exposure (ages 18–35; 48 ecstasy and 17 marijuana users; 0–2310 ecstasy tablets). Participants completed a verbal learning and memory task, psychological questionnaires, and a drug use interview. Results Increased past year ecstasy exposure predicted poorer short and long delayed free and cued recalls, retention, and recall discrimination. Male ecstasy users were more susceptible to dose-dependent deficits in retention than female users. Conclusion Past year ecstasy consumption was associated with verbal memory retrieval, retention, and discrimination deficits in a dose-dependent manner in a sample of healthy young adult polydrug users. Male ecstasy users were at particular risk for deficits in retention following a long delay. Gender difference may be reflective of different patterns of polydrug use as well as increased hippocampal sensitivity. Future research examining neuronal correlates of verbal memory deficits in ecstasy users are needed. PMID:25545890

  12. Increased interleukin-1β levels following low dose MDMA induces tolerance against the 5-HT neurotoxicity produced by challenge MDMA

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Preconditioning is a phenomenon by which tolerance develops to injury by previous exposure to a stressor of mild severity. Previous studies have shown that single or repeated low dose MDMA can attenuate 5-HT transporter loss produced by a subsequent neurotoxic dose of the drug. We have explored the mechanism of delayed preconditioning by low dose MDMA. Methods Male Dark Agouti rats were given low dose MDMA (3 mg/kg, i.p.) 96 h before receiving neurotoxic MDMA (12.5 mg/kg, i.p.). IL-1β and IL1ra levels and 5-HT transporter density in frontal cortex were quantified at 1 h, 3 h or 7 days. IL-1β, IL-1ra and IL-1RI were determined between 3 h and 96 h after low dose MDMA. sIL-1RI combined with low dose MDMA or IL-1β were given 96 h before neurotoxic MDMA and toxicity assessed 7 days later. Results Pretreatment with low dose MDMA attenuated both the 5-HT transporter loss and elevated IL-1β levels induced by neurotoxic MDMA while producing an increase in IL-1ra levels. Low dose MDMA produced an increase in IL-1β at 3 h and in IL-1ra at 96 h. sIL-1RI expression was also increased after low dose MDMA. Coadministration of sIL-1RI (3 μg, i.c.v.) prevented the protection against neurotoxic MDMA provided by low dose MDMA. Furthermore, IL-1β (2.5 pg, intracortical) given 96 h before neurotoxic MDMA protected against the 5-HT neurotoxicity produced by the drug, thus mimicking preconditioning. Conclusions These results suggest that IL-1β plays an important role in the development of delayed preconditioning by low dose MDMA. PMID:22114930

  13. Ecstasy and Gateway Drugs: Initiating the Use of Ecstasy and Other Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Lesley W.; Elifson, Kirk W.; Sterk, Claire E.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose The main purposes of this study are to examine if, and to what extent, ecstasy use serves as a gateway to the use of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine and to compare the age of onset of alcohol and marijuana use and subsequent use of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine among young adult ecstasy users. Methods Face-to-face surveys were conducted with 268 young adult ecstasy users in Atlanta, Georgia. Subjects were solicited using the community identification process, including targeted sampling and guided recruitment. Data analysis involved discrete-time, event history analysis. Results Results suggest that the age of onset of ecstasy use influences the initiation of cocaine and methamphetamine for our sample of active ecstasy users. In addition, alcohol and marijuana use precedes the initiation of cocaine and methamphetamine, but only marijuana influences the initiation of heroin. Conclusions The sequential progression of drug use proposed in the gateway literature is not immutable. Researchers must take into account the changing popularity of drugs over time, such as the emergence of ecstasy use, when identifying patterns of drug use onset. PMID:17140814

  14. Long-term neuronal damage and recovery after a single dose of MDMA: expression and distribution of serotonin transporter in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Kirilly, Eszter

    2010-09-01

    "Ecstasy", 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), an amphetamine analogue is one of the most widely used recreational drugs. In spite of the fact that neurotoxic effects of MDMA has been found in several species from rodents to non-human primates, and results increasingly point to damage also in human MDMA users, data about the sensitivity of different brain areas and the recovery after neuronal damage are scarce. Serotonin transporter (5-HTT) mRNA in the raphe nuclei also has not been examined. Humans with genetic predisposition for the slow metabolism of MDMA, the so-called "poor metabolizers" of debrisoquin are at higher risk. Five- 9% of the Caucasian population is considered to carry this phenotype. These studies were carried out in Dark Agouti rats, a special strain that show decreased microsomal CYP2D1 isoenzyme activity, and thus may serve as a model of vulnerable human users. These works were designed to characterize MDMA-induced damage and recovery of the serotonergic system including sleep and morphological changes within 180 days. In our experiments we investigated the 5-HTT mRNA expression in the brainstem and medullary raphe nuclei, 5-HTT immunoreactive (IR) fibre densities in several brain areas, and 16 functional measures of sleep in response to a single dose of +/- MDMA (15mg\\kg). Furthermore, behavioural experiments were performed 21 days after MDMA treatment. We found similar changes in 5-HTT mRNA expression in the examined raphe nuclei, namely transient increases 7 days after MDMA treatment followed by transient decreases at 21 days. Significant (20-40%), widespread reductions in 5-HTT-IR fibre density were detected in most brain areas at 7 and 21 days after MDMA administration. All cortical, but only some brainstem areas were damaged. Parallel to the neuronal damage we observed significant reductions in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency, increased fragmentation of sleep and increases in delta power spectra in non-REM sleep. At 180 days

  15. Hazards associated with the recreational drug 'ecstasy'.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, B

    The amphetamine analogue 'ecstasy' is a popular 'designer' drug and is perceived by its users to be relatively harmless. However, it has been associated with several fatalities through a disorder of thermoregulation, and severe reactions have been reported across many disciplines. This article emphasises the hazardous nature of the drug and highlights the urgency and nature of treatment in the acutely toxic state.

  16. Methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) induce differential cytotoxic effects in bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Rosas-Hernandez, Hector; Cuevas, Elvis; Lantz, Susan M; Rice, Kenner C; Gannon, Brenda M; Fantegrossi, William E; Gonzalez, Carmen; Paule, Merle G; Ali, Syed F

    2016-08-26

    Designer drugs such as synthetic psychostimulants are indicative of a worldwide problem of drug abuse and addiction. In addition to methamphetamine (METH), these drugs include 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and commercial preparations of synthetic cathinones including 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), typically referred to as "bath salts." These psychostimulants exert neurotoxic effects by altering monoamine systems in the brain. Additionally, METH and MDMA adversely affect the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB): there are no current reports on the effects of MDPV on the BBB. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of METH, MDMA and MDPV on bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells (bBMVECs), an accepted in vitro model of the BBB. Confluent bBMVEC monolayers were treated with METH, MDMA and MDPV (0.5mM-2.5mM) for 24h. METH and MDMA increased lactate dehydrogenase release only at the highest concentration (2.5mM), whereas MDPV induced cytotoxicity at all concentrations. MDMA and METH decreased cellular proliferation only at 2.5mM, with similar effects observed after MDPV exposures starting at 1mM. Only MDPV increased reactive oxygen species production at all concentrations tested whereas all 3 drugs increased nitric oxide production. Morphological analysis revealed different patterns of compound-induced cell damage. METH induced vacuole formation at 1mM and disruption of the monolayer at 2.5mM. MDMA induced disruption of the endothelial monolayer from 1mM without vacuolization. On the other hand, MDPV induced monolayer disruption at doses ≥0.5mM without vacuole formation; at 2.5mM, the few remaining cells lacked endothelial morphology. These data suggest that even though these synthetic psychostimulants alter monoaminergic systems, they each induce BBB toxicity by different mechanisms with MDPV being the most toxic.

  17. Gambling Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Loss Surgery? A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Gambling Addiction KidsHealth > For Teens > Gambling Addiction Print A ... So what's the story with gambling? What Is Gambling? Gambling means taking part in any activity or ...

  18. Gambling Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Loss Surgery? A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Gambling Addiction KidsHealth > For Teens > Gambling Addiction A A ... So what's the story with gambling? What Is Gambling? Gambling means taking part in any activity or ...

  19. Ecstasy and methamphetamine elicit action potential bursts via different mechanisms in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Lu, Guan-Ling; Lu, Dah-Yuu; Chuang, Chieh-Min; Yang, Han-Yin; Huang, Shiang-Suo; Chen, Yi-Hung

    2010-01-01

    This study sought to determine the effects of (+) methamphetamine (METH) and its ring-substituted analog (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) on electrophysiological behavior and their relationships to second messenger systems in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. Extracellular application of MDMA at 1mM and METH at 3mM elicited action potential bursts that were not blocked after immersing the neurons in Ca(2+)-free solution. Notably, MDMA- (1mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM), but not by the PKA inhibitors KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM). The PKC activator phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu; 3 microM), but not the PKA activator forskolin (50 microM), facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by MDMA at a lower concentration (0.3mM). In contrast, METH- (3mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM), but not by chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM). Forskolin (50 microM), but not PDBu (3 microM) facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by METH at a lower concentration (1mM). Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), a blocker of the delayed rectifying K(+) current (I(KD)), did not elicit bursts at a concentration of 5mM but did facilitate the induction of action potential bursts elicited by both METH and MDMA. Voltage clamp studies revealed that both METH and MDMA decreased the TEA-sensitive I(KD) of the RP4 neuron. Forskolin (50 microM) or dibutyryl cAMP (1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog, alone did not elicit action potential bursts. However, co-administration with forskolin (50 microM) and TEA (5mM) or co-administration with dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) and TEA (50mM) elicited action potential bursts in the presence of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (20 microM). Similarly, PDBu (10 microM) or phorbol

  20. Illicit use of LSD or psilocybin, but not MDMA or nonpsychedelic drugs, is associated with mystical experiences in a dose-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Lyvers, Michael; Meester, Molly

    2012-01-01

    Psychedelic drugs have long been known to be capable of inducing mystical or transcendental experiences. However, given the common "recreational" nature of much present-day psychedelic use, with typical doses tending to be lower than those commonly taken in the 1960s, the extent to which illicit use of psychedelics today is associated with mystical experiences is not known. Furthermore the mild psychedelic MDMA ("Ecstasy") is more popular today than "full" psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin, and the contribution of illicit MDMA use to mystical experiences is not known. The present study recruited 337 adults from the website and newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), most of whom reported use of a variety of drugs both licit and illicit including psychedelics. Although only a quarter of the sample reported "spiritual" motives for using psychedelics, use of LSD and psilocybin was significantly positively related to scores on two well-known indices of mystical experiences in a dose-related manner, whereas use of MDMA, cannabis, cocaine, opiates and alcohol was not. Results suggest that even in today's context of "recreational" drug use, psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, when taken at higher doses, continue to induce mystical experiences in many users.

  1. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of amphetamine-like drugs: application to the screening of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its synthetic precursors.

    PubMed

    Milhazes, Nuno; Martins, Pedro; Uriarte, Eugenio; Garrido, Jorge; Calheiros, Rita; Marques, M Paula M; Borges, Fernanda

    2007-07-23

    A complete physicochemical characterisation of MDMA and its synthetic precursors MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (piperonal) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-beta-methyl-beta-nitrostyrene was carried out through voltammetric assays and Raman spectroscopy combined with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The former provided important analytical redox data, concluding that the oxidative mechanism of the N-demethylation of MDMA involves the removal of an electron from the amino-nitrogen atom, leading to the formation of a primary amine and an aldehyde. The vibrational spectroscopic experiments enable to afford a rapid and reliable detection of this type of compounds, since they yield characteristic spectral patterns that lead to an unequivocal identification. Moreover, the rational synthesis of the drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") from one of its most relevant precursors 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (MDA), is reported. In addition, several approaches for the N-methylation of MDA, a limiting synthetic step, were attempted and the overall yields compared.

  2. Effects of chronic intracerebroventricular 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) or fluoxetine on the active avoidance test in rats with or without exposure to mild chronic stress.

    PubMed

    León, Laura A; Landeira-Fernandez, Jesus; Cardenas, Fernando P

    2009-12-14

    In despite the similarity of mechanisms of action between both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and MDMA (main compound of "Ecstasy") there are relatively few reports on the effects of the later on animal models of depression. There are many animal models designed to create or to assess depression. Mild chronic stress (MCS) is a procedure designed to create depression. MCS includes the chronic exposure of the animal to several stressors. After that, rats show behavioural changes associated to depression. In the other hand, the active avoidance task (AAT) is an experimental situation in which an animal has to accomplish a particular behaviour in order to avoid the application of a stressor. Animals exhibiting depression fail to acquire avoidance responses as rapidly as normal animals do. In order to assess the effect of MDMA on the acquisition of an active avoidance response, forty-five rats were divided in two groups exposed or not exposed to MCS. Rats also received chronic intracerebroventricular MDMA (0.2microg/microl; 1microl), fluoxetine (2.0microg/microl; 1microl) or saline solution (0.9%; 1microl). Our results showed that the effect of MDMA depends upon the level of stress. MDMA treated animals showed better acquisition (F([2,37])=7.046; P=0.003) and retention (F([2,37])=3.900; P=0.029) of the avoidance response than fluoxetine or saline treated animals when exposed to MCS. This finding suggests that MDMA (and no fluoxetine) was able to change the aversive valence of the stressors maybe enhancing coping strategies. This effect could serve as a protective factor against helplessness and maybe post-traumatic stress.

  3. Analysis of ecstasy in oral fluid by ion mobility spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy after liquid-liquid extraction.

    PubMed

    Armenta, Sergio; Garrigues, Salvador; de la Guardia, Miguel; Brassier, Judit; Alcalà, Manel; Blanco, Marcelo

    2015-03-06

    We developed and evaluated two different strategies for determining abuse drugs based on (i) the analysis of saliva by ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) after thermal desorption and (ii) the joint use of IMS and infrared (IR) spectroscopy after liquid-liquid microextraction (LLME) to enable the sensitivity-enhanced detection and double confirmation of ecstasy (MDMA) abuse. Both strategies proved effective for the intended purpose. Analysing saliva by IMS after thermal desorption, which provides a limit of detection (LOD) of 160μgL(-1), requires adding 0.2M acetic acid to the sample and using the truncated negative second derivative of the ion mobility spectrum. The joint use of IMS and IR spectroscopy after LLME provides an LOD of 11μgL(-1) with the former technique and 800μgL(-1) with the latter, in addition to a limit of confirmation (LOC) of 1.5mgL(-1). Using IMS after thermal desorption simplifies the operational procedure, and using it jointly with IR spectroscopy after LLME allows double confirmation of MDMA abuse with two techniques based on different principles (viz., IMS drift times and IR spectra). Also, it affords on-site analyses, albeit at a lower throughput.

  4. The effect of MDMA on sensitivity to reinforcement rate.

    PubMed

    Lie, Celia; Macaskill, Anne C; Harper, David N

    2016-04-01

    Administration of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) causes memory errors by increasing proactive interference. This might occur because MDMA alters sensitivity to reinforcement. The current 2 experiments investigated this directly by assessing the acute (Experiment 1) and chronic (Experiment 2) effects of MDMA on sensitivity to reinforcement. We presented 5 pairs of concurrent variable interval schedules within each session and calculated sensitivity to reinforcement for 3 acute doses of MDMA. In contrast to the related drug, d-amphetamine, and in spite of producing reductions in response rate, MDMA did not reduce sensitivity to reinforcement rate. Chronic administration of a fixed dose of MDMA following each session reduced response rate but did not affect sensitivity to reinforcement rate. In combination with previous research, these results indicate that related drugs may have different effects on sensitivity to reinforcement and that these effects should be considered when interpreting disruptions to operant task performance caused by drug administration. (PsycINFO Database Record

  5. Maternal MDMA administration in mice leads to neonatal growth delay.

    PubMed

    Kaizaki, Asuka; Tanaka, Sachiko; Yoshida, Takemi; Numazawa, Satoshi

    2014-02-01

    The psychoactive recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is widely abused. The fact that MDMA induces neurotoxic damage in serotonergic nerve endings is well known. However, the effects of MDMA on pregnant and neonatal animals remain unknown. Therefore, we studied the effects of gestational exposure to MDMA on birth, growth, and behavior of pups. Female BALB/c mice were orally administered either water (10 ml/kg) or MDMA (20 mg/10 ml/kg) from gestational day 1 to postnatal day (P) 21. MDMA did not affect the birth rate, but the survival rate of the pups significantly decreased. A significant reduction in body weight gain was observed in pups from MDMA-administered dams during P3-P21. Maternal MDMA treatment caused an attenuated cliff avoidance reaction and decreased motor function in the pups, as determined by the wire hanging test. These results suggest that MDMA treatment during pregnancy and lactation causes growth retardation and dysfunction of motor neurons in mouse pups.

  6. Reduced memory and attention performance in a population-based sample of young adults with a moderate lifetime use of cannabis, ecstasy and alcohol.

    PubMed

    Indlekofer, F; Piechatzek, M; Daamen, M; Glasmacher, C; Lieb, R; Pfister, H; Tucha, O; Lange, K W; Wittchen, H U; Schütz, C G

    2009-07-01

    Regular use of illegal drugs is suspected to cause cognitive impairments. Two substances have received heightened attention: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC or 'cannabis'). Preclinical evidence, as well as human studies examining regular ecstasy consumers, indicated that ecstasy use may have negative effects on learning, verbal memory and complex attentional functions. Cannabis has also been linked to symptoms of inattention and deficits in learning and memory. Most of the published studies in this field of research recruited participants by means of newspaper advertisements or by using word-of-mouth strategies. Because participants were usually aware that their drug use was critical to the research design, this awareness may have caused selection bias or created expectation effects. Focussing on attention and memory, this study aimed to assess cognitive functioning in a community-based representative sample that was derived from a large-scale epidemiological study. Available data concerning drug use history allowed sampling of subjects with varying degrees of lifetime drug experiences. Cognitive functioning was examined in 284 young participants, between 22 and 34 years. In general, their lifetime drug experience was moderate. Participants completed a neuropsychological test battery, including measures for verbal learning, memory and various attentional functions. Linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between cognitive functioning and lifetime experience of drug use. Ecstasy and cannabis use were significantly related to poorer episodic memory function in a dose-related manner. For attentional measures, decrements of small effect sizes were found. Error measures in tonic and phasic alertness tasks, selective attention task and vigilance showed small but significant effects, suggesting a stronger tendency to experience lapses of attention. No indication for differences in

  7. Opioid gene expression changes and post-translational histone modifications at promoter regions in the rat nucleus accumbens after acute and repeated 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) exposure.

    PubMed

    Caputi, Francesca Felicia; Palmisano, Martina; Carboni, Lucia; Candeletti, Sanzio; Romualdi, Patrizia

    2016-12-01

    The recreational drug of abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been shown to produce neurotoxic damage and long-lasting changes in several brain areas. In addition to the involvement of serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems, little information exists about the contribution of nociceptin/orphaninFQ (N/OFQ)-NOP and dynorphin (DYN)-KOP systems in neuronal adaptations evoked by MDMA. Here we investigated the behavioral and molecular effects induced by acute (8mg/kg) or repeated (8mg/kg twice daily for seven days) MDMA exposure. MDMA exposure affected body weight gain and induced hyperlocomotion; this latter effect progressively decreased after repeated administration. Gene expression analysis indicated a down-regulation of the N/OFQ system and an up-regulation of the DYN system in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), highlighting an opposite systems regulation in response to MDMA exposure. Since histone modifications have been strongly associated to the addiction-related maladaptive changes, we examined two permissive (acH3K9 and me3H3K4) and two repressive transcription marks (me3H3K27 and me2H3K9) at the pertinent opioid gene promoter regions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that acute MDMA increased me3H3K4 at the pN/OFQ, pDYN and NOP promoters. Following acute and repeated treatment a significant decrease of acH3K9 at the pN/OFQ promoter was observed, which correlated with gene expression results. Acute treatment caused an acH3K9 increase and a me2H3K9 decrease at the pDYN promoter which matched its mRNA up-regulation. Our data indicate that the activation of the DYNergic stress system together with the inactivation of the N/OFQergic anti-stress system contribute to the neuroadaptive actions of MDMA and offer novel epigenetic information associated with MDMA abuse.

  8. MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) Analogues as Tools to Characterize MDMA-Like Effects: An Approach to Understand Entactogen Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Sáez-Briones, P.; Hernández, A.

    2013-01-01

    Besides stimulants and hallucinogens, whose psychotropic effects are shared by many structurally related molecules exhibiting different efficacies and potencies in humans, the phenylisopropylamine MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, XTC, “Ecstasy”) is the prototypical representative of a separate class of psychotropic substance, able to elicit the so-called entactogenic syndrome in healthy humans. This reversible altered state of consciousness, usually described as an “open mind state”, may have relevant therapeutic applications, both in psychotherapy and as a pharmacological support in many neuropsychiatric disorders with a high rate of treatment failure. Nevertheless, a comprehensive and systematic exploration of the structure-activity relationships associated with entactogenic activity has remained incomplete and controversial, highlighting the possibility that MDMA might represent a pharmacological rarity in the field of psychotropics. As the latter is still an open question, the pharmacological characterization of MDMA analogues remains the logical strategy to attempt the elucidation of the structural requirements needed to elicit typical MDMA-like effects. Intriguingly, almost no experimental evidence supports the existence of actual MDMA analogues that truly resemble the whole pharmacological profile of MDMA, probably due to its complex (and partially not fully understood) mechanism of action that includes a disruption of monoaminergic neurotransmission. The present review presents a brief summary of the pharmacology of MDMA, followed by the evidence accumulated over the years regarding the characterization of classical structurally related MDMA analogues in different models and how this state of the art highlights the need to develop new and better MDMA analogues. PMID:24403876

  9. Accidental ingestion of 'Ecstasy' (3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine).

    PubMed Central

    Bedford Russell, A R; Schwartz, R H; Dawling, S

    1992-01-01

    There is no report of the effects of 'Ecstasy' (3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) poisoning in childhood. The case of a 13 month old boy who ingested one capsule of Ecstasy is reported. Neurological and cardiovascular side effects predominated, which responded well to treatment with a chlormethiazole infusion. PMID:1358033

  10. Campuses and the Club Drug Ecstasy. Infofacts/Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Amy

    2008-01-01

    Although alcohol is the drug that college students use most frequently and in greatest quantity, the designer drug ecstasy has generated both curiosity and concern in recent years. This Fact Sheet offers an overview of ecstasy, possible effects of its use, and implications for institutions of higher education. Although the number of students…

  11. Development of a Multiple-Stage Differential Mobility Analyzer (MDMA)

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Da-Ren; Cheng, Mengdawn

    2007-01-01

    A new DMA column has been designed with the capability of simultaneously extracting monodisperse particles of different sizes in multiple stages. We call this design a multistage DMA, or MDMA. A prototype MDMA has been constructed and experimentally evaluated in this study. The new column enables the fast measurement of particles in a wide size range, while preserving the powerful particle classification function of a DMA. The prototype MDMA has three sampling stages, capable of classifying monodisperse particles of three different sizes simultaneously. The scanning voltage operation of a DMA can be applied to this new column. Each stage of MDMA column covers a fraction of the entire particle size range to be measured. The covered size fractions of two adjacent stages of the MDMA are designed somewhat overlapped. The arrangement leads to the reduction of scanning voltage range and thus the cycling time of the measurement. The modular sampling stage design of the MDMA allows the flexible configuration of desired particle classification lengths and variable number of stages in the MDMA. The design of our MDMA also permits operation at high sheath flow, enabling high-resolution particle size measurement and/or reduction of the lower sizing limit. Using the tandem DMA technique, the performance of the MDMA, i.e., sizing accuracy, resolution, and transmission efficiency, was evaluated at different ratios of aerosol and sheath flowrates. Two aerosol sampling schemes were investigated. One was to extract aerosol flows at an evenly partitioned flowrate at each stage, and the other was to extract aerosol at a rate the same as the polydisperse aerosol flowrate at each stage. We detail the prototype design of the MDMA and the evaluation result on the transfer functions of the MDMA at different particle sizes and operational conditions.

  12. Drug Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to development of drug addiction and dependence. The main factors are: Environment. Environmental factors, including your family's beliefs and attitudes ...

  13. Mood state and brain electric activity in ecstasy users.

    PubMed

    Gamma, A; Frei, E; Lehmann, D; Pascual-Marqui, R D; Hell, D; Vollenweider, F X

    2000-01-17

    Resting EEG during open and closed eyes and subsequent mood ratings were obtained from 15 Ecstasy users and 14 Ecstasy-naive controls. Absolute spectral power on the scalp, and the three-dimensional, intracerebral distribution of neuroelectric activity using low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) were computed. LORETA revealed global increases of theta, alpha 1 and beta 2/3 power during eyes open in Ecstasy users, and spectral analyses revealed a right-posterior increase of alpha 2 power (confirmed by LORETA) and increased beta band activity during open eyes. Ecstasy users had higher levels of state depressiveness, emotional excitability and a trend-level increase in state anxiety. The observed differences may be related to regular exposure to Ecstasy or other illicit drugs, or may be pre-existing.

  14. Central amygdala nicotinic and 5-HT1A receptors mediate the reversal effect of nicotine and MDMA on morphine-induced amnesia.

    PubMed

    Tirgar, F; Rezayof, A; Zarrindast, M-R

    2014-09-26

    The present study was designed to investigate possible involvement of the central amygdala (CeA) nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) and 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT1A) receptors in the reversal effect of nicotine and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) on morphine-induced amnesia. Two guide cannulas were stereotaxically implanted in the CeA regions and a step-through passive avoidance task was used for the assessment of memory retrieval in adult male Wistar rats. Our results indicated that post-training s.c. administration of morphine (3-7-mg/kg) impaired memory retrieval. Pre-test administration of nicotine (0.3- and 0.5-mg/kg, s.c.) reversed morphine-induced amnesia. In addition, pre-test intra-CeA injection of MDMA (1-2-μg/rat) with an ineffective dose of nicotine (0.1-mg/kg, s.c.) improved memory retrieval, suggesting the interactive effect of the drugs on memory formation. It should be noted that that pre-test intra-CeA injection of 2-μg/rat of MDMA by itself produced amnesia. Interestingly, pre-test intra-CeA injection of mecamylamine, a nACh receptor antagonist (1-2-μg/rat) or (S)-WAY 100135 (0.25-1-μg/rat), a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist inhibited the improvement of morphine-induced amnesia which was produced by pre-test co-injection of nicotine and MDMA. Pre-test intra-CeA injection of the same doses of MDMA, mecamylamine or (S)-WAY 100135 by itself had no effect on morphine-induced amnesia. Moreover, pre-test injection of the same doses of mecamylamine or (S)-WAY 100135 into the CeA alone could not change memory retrieval. Taken together, it can be concluded that there is a functional interaction between morphine, nicotine and MDMA via the CeA nicotinic and serotonergic receptor mechanisms in passive avoidance memory retrieval. Moreover, cross state-dependent memory retrieval may have been induced between the drugs and this probably depends on the rewarding effects of the drugs.

  15. MDMA Impairs Response to Water Intake in Healthy Volunteers.

    PubMed

    Baggott, Matthew J; Garrison, Kathleen J; Coyle, Jeremy R; Galloway, Gantt P; Barnes, Allan J; Huestis, Marilyn A; Mendelson, John E

    2016-01-01

    Hyponatremia is a serious complication of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use. We investigated potential mechanisms in two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. In Study 1, healthy drug-experienced volunteers received MDMA or placebo alone and in combination with the alpha-1 adrenergic inverse agonist prazosin, used as a positive control to release antidiuretic hormone (ADH). In Study 2, volunteers received MDMA or placebo followed by standardized water intake. MDMA lowered serum sodium but did not increase ADH or copeptin, although the control prazosin did increase ADH. Water loading reduced serum sodium more after MDMA than after placebo. There was a trend for women to have lower baseline serum sodium than men, but there were no significant interactions with drug condition. Combining studies, MDMA potentiated the ability of water to lower serum sodium. Thus, hyponatremia appears to be a significant risk when hypotonic fluids are consumed during MDMA use. Clinical trials and events where MDMA use is common should anticipate and mitigate this risk.

  16. MDMA Impairs Response to Water Intake in Healthy Volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen J.; Coyle, Jeremy R.; Galloway, Gantt P.; Huestis, Marilyn A.; Mendelson, John E.

    2016-01-01

    Hyponatremia is a serious complication of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use. We investigated potential mechanisms in two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. In Study 1, healthy drug-experienced volunteers received MDMA or placebo alone and in combination with the alpha-1 adrenergic inverse agonist prazosin, used as a positive control to release antidiuretic hormone (ADH). In Study 2, volunteers received MDMA or placebo followed by standardized water intake. MDMA lowered serum sodium but did not increase ADH or copeptin, although the control prazosin did increase ADH. Water loading reduced serum sodium more after MDMA than after placebo. There was a trend for women to have lower baseline serum sodium than men, but there were no significant interactions with drug condition. Combining studies, MDMA potentiated the ability of water to lower serum sodium. Thus, hyponatremia appears to be a significant risk when hypotonic fluids are consumed during MDMA use. Clinical trials and events where MDMA use is common should anticipate and mitigate this risk. PMID:27403159

  17. Elevated BDNF protein level in cortex but not in hippocampus of MDMA-treated Dark Agouti rats: a potential link to the long-term recovery of serotonergic axons.

    PubMed

    Adori, Csaba; Andó, Rómeó D; Ferrington, Linda; Szekeres, Mária; Vas, Szilvia; Kelly, Paul A T; Hunyady, László; Bagdy, György

    2010-07-05

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a widely used recreational drug known to cause selective long-term serotonergic damage. In this study, we examined the pattern of BDNF protein expression 1 day, 3, 8, 12 and 24 weeks after a single 15mg/kg i.p. dose of MDMA to adolescent Dark Agouti rats. In parallel, we measured either tryptophan-hydroxylase immunoreactive (TpH IR) axon density, or [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding in parietal cortex and hippocampus, two brain areas known to have different recovery capacity after MDMA, to test whether BDNF-levels were associated with the long-term recovery of serotonergic fibers after a neurotoxic dose of MDMA. Both TpH IR axon density and [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding were significantly decreased 3 weeks after the treatment in both brain areas but while normalization in both parameters was found in parietal cortex 24 weeks after treatment, significant decreases remained evident in the hippocampus. In the parietal cortex, a significant reduction in BDNF protein levels was found in the acute phase after treatment (1 day), which was followed by a robust increase 8 weeks later and a return to control levels by 12 weeks. In contrast, no significant alteration of BDNF protein level was found in the hippocampus at any time points. This absence of any significant increase in BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus, and the persistence in this region of decreases in TpH IR axon density and [(3)H]-paroxetine-binding, raises the possibility that BDNF has an important role in the long-term recovery of serotonergic axons after MDMA treatment.

  18. Gene expression analysis indicates CB1 receptor upregulation in the hippocampus and neurotoxic effects in the frontal cortex 3 weeks after single-dose MDMA administration in Dark Agouti rats

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") is a widely used recreational drug known to impair cognitive functions on the long-run. Both hippocampal and frontal cortical regions have well established roles in behavior, memory formation and other cognitive tasks and damage of these regions is associated with altered behavior and cognitive functions, impairments frequently described in heavy MDMA users. The aim of this study was to examine the hippocampus, frontal cortex and dorsal raphe of Dark Agouti rats with gene expression arrays (Illumina RatRef bead arrays) looking for possible mechanisms and new candidates contributing to the effects of a single dose of MDMA (15 mg/kg) 3 weeks earlier. Results The number of differentially expressed genes in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and the dorsal raphe were 481, 155, and 15, respectively. Gene set enrichment analysis of the microarray data revealed reduced expression of 'memory’ and 'cognition’, 'dendrite development’ and 'regulation of synaptic plasticity’ gene sets in the hippocampus, parallel to the upregulation of the CB1 cannabinoid- and Epha4, Epha5, Epha6 ephrin receptors. Downregulated gene sets in the frontal cortex were related to protein synthesis, chromatin organization, transmembrane transport processes, while 'dendrite development’, 'regulation of synaptic plasticity’ and 'positive regulation of synapse assembly’ gene sets were upregulated. Changes in the dorsal raphe region were mild and in most cases not significant. Conclusion The present data raise the possibility of new synapse formation/synaptic reorganization in the frontal cortex three weeks after a single neurotoxic dose of MDMA. In contrast, a prolonged depression of new neurite formation in the hippocampus is suggested by the data, which underlines the particular vulnerability of this brain region after the drug treatment. Finally, our results also suggest the substantial contribution of CB1 receptor and

  19. Ethylenedioxy homologs of N-methyl-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (MDMA) and its corresponding cathinone analog methylenedioxymethcathinone: Interactions with transporters for serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

    PubMed

    Del Bello, Fabio; Sakloth, Farhana; Partilla, John S; Baumann, Michael H; Glennon, Richard A

    2015-09-01

    N-Methyl-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (MDMA; 'Ecstasy'; 1) and its β-keto analog methylone (MDMC; 2) are popular drugs of abuse. Little is known about their ring-expanded ethylenedioxy homologs. Here, we prepared N-methyl-(3,4-ethylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (EDMA; 3), both of its optical isomers, and β-keto EDMA (i.e., EDMC; 4) to examine their effects at transporters for serotonin (SERT), dopamine (DAT), and norepinephrine (NET). In general, ring-expansion of the methylenedioxy group led to a several-fold reduction in potency at all three transporters. With respect to EDMA (3), S(+)3 was 6-fold, 50-fold, and 8-fold more potent than its R(-) enantiomer at SERT, DAT, and NET, respectively. Overall, in the absence of a β-carbonyl group, the ethylenedioxy (i.e., 1,4-dioxane) substituent seems better accommodated at SERT than at DAT and NET.

  20. Behavioral and Stereological Analysis of the Effects of Intermittent Feeding Diet on the Orally Administrated MDMA (“ecstasy”) in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahimian, Zeinab; Karimi, Zeinab; Khoshnoud, Mohammad Javad; Namavar, Mohammad Reza; Daraei, Bahram

    2017-01-01

    Background: 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or MDMA (also known as “ecstasy” or “molly”) is a commonly abused drug that affects behavior and can lead to neuronal damage. Intermittent feeding is an effective dietary protocol that promotes neuroprotection and improves behavioral outcomes in animal models of neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we investigated the behavioral and histological outcomes of the effect of intermittent feeding on the orally administered MDMA in mice. Methods: The animals (male albino mice) were divided into four groups: ad libitum (AL), intermittent feeding (IF) (food given every other day), and AL and IF control groups. After five weeks, AL and IF groups were given a single oral dose of 20 or 60mg/kg MDMA. Behavior was assessed with the elevated plus-maze and the open field tests. Each of the treatment groups were then divided in to two groups: AL-AL (AL diet throughout), AL-IF (IF after MDMA administration), IF-IF (IF diet throughout), IF-AL (AL after MDMA administration). The second behavioral assessment was performed on ninth and 12th day after MDMA administration. The brains were then prepared with cresyl fast violet stain for stereology of the CA1 area of hippocampus. Results: The AL groups showed enhanced locomotion and anxiety compared to the IF (p<0.001); however, IF groups showed significantly (p<0.05) more locomotor activity and less anxiety recovery at ninth and 12th days compared to the AL animals. The neuronal numerical density was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the hippocampus in the AL-IF groups compared to the AL-AL. Conclusion: IF regimen can significantly modify various behavioral characteristics induced by MDMA and promotes faster recovery from MDMA’s anxiogenic effects. Additionally, IF regimen had neuroprotective effects on the neurons of the CA1 area of the hippocampus after a single oral dose of MDMA. We believe the results of our study support the need for further research

  1. Calpain- and caspase-mediated alphaII-spectrin and tau proteolysis in rat cerebrocortical neuronal cultures after ecstasy or methamphetamine exposure.

    PubMed

    Warren, Matthew W; Zheng, Wenrong; Kobeissy, Firas H; Cheng Liu, Ming; Hayes, Ronald L; Gold, Mark S; Larner, Stephen F; Wang, Kevin K W

    2007-08-01

    Abuse of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy) and methamphetamine (Meth or Speed) is a growing international problem with an estimated 250 million users of psychoactive drugs worldwide. It is important to demonstrate and understand the mechanism of neurotoxicity so potential prevention and treatment therapies can be designed. In this study rat primary cerebrocortical neuron cultures were challenged with MDMA and Meth (1 or 2 mM) for 24 and 48 h and compared to the excitotoxin N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). The neurotoxicity of these drugs, as assessed by microscopy, lactate dehydrogenase release and immunoblot, was shown to be both dose- and time-dependent. Immunoblot analysis using biomarkers of cell death showed significant proteolysis of both alphaII-spectrin and tau proteins. Breakdown products of alphaII-spectrin (SBDPs) of 150, 145, and 120 kDa and tau breakdown products (TBDPs) of 45, 32, 26, and 14 kDa were observed. The use of the protease inhibitors calpain inhibitor SJA6017 and caspase inhibitors z-VAD-fmk and Z-D-DCB, attenuated drug-induced alphaII-spectrin and tau proteolysis. The calpain inhibitor reduced the calpain-induced breakdown products SBDP145 and TBDP14, but there was an offset increase in the caspase-mediated breakdown products SBDP120 and TBDP45. The caspase inhibitors, on the other hand, decreased SBDP120 and TBDP45. These data suggest that both MDMA and Meth trigger concerted proteolytic attacks of the structural proteins by both calpain and caspase family of proteases. The ability of the protease inhibitors to reduce the damage caused by these drugs suggests that the treatment arsenal could include similar drugs as possible tools to combat the drug-induced neurotoxicity in vivo.

  2. Stereoselective effects of MDMA on inhibition of monoamine uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Steele, T.D.; Nichols, D.E.; Yim, G.K.W.

    1986-03-05

    The R(-)-isomers of hallucinogenic phenylisopropylamines are most active, whereas the S(+)-enantiomers of amphetamine (AMPH) and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are more potent centrally. To determine if MDMA exhibits stereoselective effects at the biochemical level that resemble either those of amphetamine or the potent hallucinogen 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM), the ability of the isomers of MDMA, AMPH and DOM to inhibit uptake of radiolabelled monoamines into synaptosomes was measured. AMPH was more potent than MDMA in inhibiting uptake of /sup 3/H-norepinephrine (NE) into hypothalamic synaptosomes and /sup 3/H-dopamine (DA) into striatal synaptosomes. The S(+)-isomer was more active in each case. MDMA was more potent than AMPH in inhibiting uptake of /sup 3/H-serotonin (5-HT) into hippocampal synaptosomes and exhibited a high degree of stereoselectivity, in favor of the S(+)-isomer. DOM showed only minimal activity in inhibiting uptake of any monoamine (IC/sub 50/ > 10/sup -5/M). These results suggest that MDMA exhibits stereoselective effects similar to those of amphetamine on monoamine uptake inhibition, a parameter that is unrelated to the mechanism of action of the hallucinogen DOM.

  3. Modifiable risk factors of ecstasy use: risk perception, current dependence, perceived control, and depression.

    PubMed

    Leung, Kit Sang; Ben Abdallah, Arbi; Copeland, Jan; Cottler, Linda B

    2010-03-01

    Risk perception, perceived behavioral control of obtaining ecstasy (PBC-obtaining), current ecstasy dependence, and recent depression have been associated with past ecstasy use, however, their utility in predicting ecstasy use has not been demonstrated. This study aimed to determine whether these four modifiable risk factors could predict ecstasy use after controlling for socio-demographic covariates and recent polydrug use. Data from 601 ecstasy users in the National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded TriCity Study of Club Drug Use, Abuse and Dependence were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Participants were interviewed twice within a 2-week period using standardized instruments. Thirteen percent (n = 80) of the participants reported using ecstasy between the two interviews. Low risk perception, high PBC-obtaining (an estimated ecstasy procurement time < 24h), and current ecstasy dependence were statistically associated with ecstasy use between the two interviews. Recent depression was not a significant predictor. Despite not being a target predictor, recent polydrug use was also statistically associated with ecstasy use. The present findings may inform the development of interventions targeting ecstasy users.

  4. Neurochemical binding profiles of novel indole and benzofuran MDMA analogues.

    PubMed

    Shimshoni, Jakob A; Winkler, Ilan; Golan, Ezekiel; Nutt, David

    2017-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in numerous clinical trials. In the present study, we have characterized the neurochemical binding profiles of three MDMA-benzofuran analogues (1-(benzofuran-5-yl)-propan-2-amine, 5-APB; 1-(benzofuran-6-yl)-N-methylpropan-2-amine, 6-MAPB; 1-(benzofuran-5-yl)-N-methylpropan-2-amine, 5-MAPB) and one MDMA-indole analogue (1-(1H-indol-5-yl)-2-methylamino-propan-1-ol, 5-IT). These compounds were screened as potential second-generation anti-PTSD drugs, against a battery of human and non-human receptors, transporters, and enzymes, and their potencies as 5-HT2 receptor agonist and monoamine uptake inhibitors determined. All MDMA analogues displayed high binding affinities for 5-HT2a,b,c and NEα2 receptors, as well as significant 5-HT, DA, and NE uptake inhibition. 5-APB revealed significant agonist activity at the 5-HT2a,b,c receptors, while 6-MAPB, 5-MAPB, and 5-IT exhibited significant agonist activity at the 5-HT2c receptor. There was a lack of correlation between the results of functional uptake and the monoamine transporter binding assay. MDMA analogues emerged as potent and selective monoamine oxidase A inhibitors. Based on 6-MAPB favorable pharmacological profile, it was further subjected to IC50 determination for monoamine transporters. Overall, all MDMA analogues displayed higher monoamine receptor/transporter binding affinities and agonist activity at the 5-HT2a,c receptors as compared to MDMA.

  5. [Heroin addiction].

    PubMed

    Hosztafi, Sándor

    2011-01-01

    Heroin is an illicit, highly addictive drug. It is either the most abused or the most rapidly acting member of opioids. Abusers describe a feeling of a surge of pleasurable sensation, named as "rush" or "high". Repeated administration of high doses of heroin results in the induction of physical dependence. Physical dependence refers to an altered physiological state produced by chronic administration of heroin which necessitates the continued administration of the drug to prevent the appearance of a characteristic syndrome, the opioid withdrawal or abstinence syndrome. Withdrawal symptoms may occur within a few hours after the last administration of heroin. Symptoms of the withdrawal include restlessness, insomnia, drug craving, diarrhea, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with goose bumps, and leg movements. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose of heroin and subside after about a week. At this time, weakness and depression are pronounced and nausea and vomiting are common. Nevertheless, some chronic addicts have shown persistent withdrawal signs for many months or even years. Heroin addiction is considered as a behavioural state of compulsive drug use and a high tendency to relapse after periods of abstinence. It is generally accepted that compulsive use and relapse are typically associated with the status of heroin craving or heroin hunger that are difficult to define but appear to be powerful motivational significance in the addiction process. The route of administering heroin varies largely and may indicate the degree of seriousness of the individual's addiction. Intravenous administration seems to be the predominant method of heroin use, but recently a shift in heroin use pattern has been found, i.e. from injection to sniffing and smoking. Frequent injections coupled with widespread sharing of syringes increase the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis B, C and other blood-borne infectious diseases. Long-term use of heroin

  6. A structured review of reasons for ecstasy use and related behaviours: pointers for future research

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Gjalt-Jorn Ygram; Kok, Gerjo

    2009-01-01

    Background While the health risks of using ecstasy warrant intervention development, a recent meta-analysis of determinants of ecstasy use identified a number of lacunae in the literature. Specifically, no studies were included that address behaviours other than 'using ecstasy' (e.g. 'trying out ecstasy' or 'ceasing ecstasy use'). However, because meta-analyses aim to integrate study results quantitatively, the resulting rigid exclusion criteria cause many studies to be discarded on the basis of their qualitative methodology. Such qualitative studies may nonetheless provide valuable insights to guide future research. To provide an overview of these insights regarding ecstasy use, the current study summarizes and combines what is known from qualitative and exploratory quantitative literature on ecstasy use. Methods The databases PsycINFO and MedLine were searched for publications reporting reasons for ecstasy use and related behaviour, and the results were structured and discussed per behaviour and compared over behaviours. Results Two main categories of reasons were found. The first category comprised reasons to start using ecstasy, use ecstasy, use ecstasy more often, and refrain from ceasing ecstasy use. The second category comprised reasons to refrain from starting to use ecstasy, use less ecstasy, and cease using ecstasy. Reasons for related behaviours within each of these two categories appear to differ, but not as substantially as between the two categories. A large number of reasons that were not yet explored in quantitative research emerged. Conclusion The current summary and combination of exploratory studies yields useful lists of reasons for each behaviour. Before these lists can inform interventions, however, they beg quantitative verification. Also, similarity of determinant configurations of different behaviours can be assessed by addressing determinants of several behaviours in one study. Another important finding is that meta-analytical integration

  7. MDMA, cannabis, and cocaine produce acute dissociative symptoms.

    PubMed

    van Heugten-Van der Kloet, Dalena; Giesbrecht, Timo; van Wel, Janelle; Bosker, Wendy M; Kuypers, Kim P C; Theunissen, Eef L; Spronk, Desirée B; Jan Verkes, Robbert; Merckelbach, Harald; Ramaekers, Johannes G

    2015-08-30

    Some drugs of abuse may produce dissociative symptoms, but this aspect has been understudied. We explored the dissociative potential of three recreational drugs (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cannabis, and cocaine) during intoxication and compared their effects to literature reports of dissociative states in various samples. Two placebo-controlled studies were conducted. In Study 1 (N=16), participants received single doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg of MDMA, and placebo. In Study 2 (N=21), cannabis (THC 300 µg/kg), cocaine (HCl 300 mg), and placebo were administered. Dissociative symptoms as measured with the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS) significantly increased under the influence of MDMA and cannabis. To a lesser extent, this was also true for cocaine. Dissociative symptoms following MDMA and cannabis largely exceeded those observed in schizophrenia patients, were comparable with those observed in Special Forces soldiers undergoing survival training, but were lower compared with ketamine-induced dissociation. Cocaine produced dissociative symptoms that were comparable with those observed in schizophrenia patients, but markedly less than those in Special Forces soldiers and ketamine users. Thus, MDMA and cannabis can produce dissociative symptoms that resemble dissociative pathology. The study of drug induced dissociation is important, because it may shed light on the mechanisms involved in dissociative psychopathology.

  8. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum following ecstasy ingestion and sexual intercourse.

    PubMed

    Stull, B W

    2008-02-01

    Ecstasy is an illegal drug that has become widely used among adolescents and young adults. It is used recreationally for its stimulant and sensory-altering properties. Serious adverse effects are well documented and include arrhythmias, hyperthermia, seizures and long-term neuropsychiatric effects. A handful of previous case reports have recognised a relationship between ecstasy use and spontaneous pneumomediastinum, but an underlying mechanism has been difficult to identify. This report describes a 21-year-old man who presented with chest pain and dysphagia 1 day after using ecstasy. He was subsequently found to have both mediastinal and retropharyngeal emphysema. It is suspected that the underlying aetiology of the findings in this case was sexual intercourse.

  9. Behavioral, thermal and neurochemical effects of acute and chronic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy") self-administration.

    PubMed

    Reveron, Maria Elena; Maier, Esther Y; Duvauchelle, Christine L

    2010-03-05

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular methamphetamine derivative associated with young adults and all-night dance parties. However, the enduring effects of MDMA at voluntary intake levels have not been extensively investigated. In this study, MDMA-influenced behaviors and core temperatures were assessed over the course of 20 daily MDMA self-administration sessions in rats. In vivo microdialysis techniques were used in a subsequent MDMA challenge test session to determine extracellular nucleus accumbens dopamine (NAcc DA) and serotonin (5-HT) levels in MDMA-experienced and naïve animals before and after a self-administered MDMA injection (3.0mg/kg, i.v.). During self-administration sessions, gradual and significant increases in MDMA intake and MDMA-stimulated locomotor activity were observed across sessions. Core temperature significantly decreased during initial MDMA sessions, but was unaltered by the last 10 sessions. In the MDMA challenge test, MDMA-naïve rats showed significantly higher NAcc 5-HT responses compared to MDMA-experienced rats, though MDMA experience did not affect the magnitude of NAcc DA response. The overall findings suggest that changes in MDMA-induced responses over the course of increasing levels of drug exposure may reflect the development of tolerance to a number of MDMA effects.

  10. Neurochemical substrates of the rewarding effects of MDMA: implications for the development of pharmacotherapies to MDMA dependence.

    PubMed

    Roger-Sánchez, Concepción; García-Pardo, María P; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Miñarro, Jose; Aguilar, María A

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, studies with animal models of reward, such as the intracranial self-stimulation, self-administration, and conditioned place preference paradigms, have increased our knowledge on the neurochemical substrates of the rewarding effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA) in rodents. However, pharmacological and neuroimaging studies with human participants are scarce. Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)], dopamine (DA), endocannabinoids, and endogenous opiates are the main neurotransmitter systems involved in the rewarding effects of MDMA in rodents, but other neurotransmitters such as glutamate, acetylcholine, adenosine, and neurotensin are also involved. The most important finding of recent research is the demonstration of differential involvement of specific neurotransmitter receptor subtypes (5-HT2, 5-HT3, DA D1, DA D2, CB1, μ and δ opioid, etc.) and extracellular proteins (DA and 5-HT transporters) in the acquisition, expression, extinction, and reinstatement of MDMA self-administration and conditioned place preference. It is important to extend the research on the effects of different compounds acting on these receptors/transporters in animal models of reward, especially in priming-induced, cue-induced, and stress-induced reinstatement. Increase in knowledge of the neurochemical substrates of the rewarding effects of MDMA may contribute to the design of new pharmacological treatments for individuals who develop MDMA dependence.

  11. Understanding Drug Use and Addiction

    MedlinePlus

    ... Publications » DrugFacts » Understanding Drug Use and Addiction Understanding Drug Use and Addiction Email Facebook Twitter Revised August ... drug addiction and lead productive lives. What Is drug addiction? Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by ...

  12. MDMA: a social drug in a social context

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Matthew G.; de Wit, Harriet

    2014-01-01

    Rationale The drug ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”, “molly”) is thought to produce pro-social effects and enhance social interaction. However, in most laboratory studies to date, the participants have been tested under non-social conditions, which may not simulate the effects the drug produces in more naturalistic social settings. Methods Healthy experienced MDMA users participated in three laboratory sessions in which they received MDMA (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg or placebo; double blind). They were randomly assigned to one of three social conditions, in which they were tested alone (SOL; N=10), in the presence of a research assistant (RAP; N=11) or in the presence of another participant who also received the drug (OPP; N=11). Results As expected, MDMA increased heart rate and blood pressure, and produced positive subjective effects in all three groups. It also increased ratings of attractiveness of another person and increased social interaction in RAP and OPP. The social context affected certain responses to the drug. The effects of MDMA were greater in the OPP condition, compared to the SOL or RAP conditions, on measures of “feel drug”, “dizzy” and on cardiovascular measures. But responses to the drug on other measures, including social behavior, did not differ across the conditions. Conclusions These findings provide some support for the idea that drugs produce greater effects when they are used in the presence of other drug users. However, the influence of the social context was modest, and it remains to be determined whether other variables related to social context would substantially alter the effects of MDMA or other drugs. PMID:25281223

  13. Sex differences in MDMA-induced toxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Soleimani Asl, Sara; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi; Hamedi Shahraki, Soudabeh; Artimani, Tayebeh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that female subjects show exaggerated responses to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) compared with males. The aim of our study was to evaluate sex differences and the role of endogenous gonadal hormones on the effects of MDMA. Fifty-six intact and gonadectomized male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to either MDMA (5 mg/kg) or saline treatment. Learning and memory were assessed using the Morris water maze (MWM). The expression of Bax and Bcl-2 in the hippocampus was detected by Western blotting. Behavioral analysis showed that MDMA led to memory impairment in both male and female rats. The female rats showed more sensitivity to impairment than the males, as assessed using all the memory parameters in the MWM. Ovariectomy attenuated the MDMA-induced memory impairment. By contrast, orchiectomized rats showed more impairment than MDMA-treated intact male rats. Bcl-2 and Bax were down-regulated and up-regulated in MDMA-treated male and female rats, respectively. MDMA treatment in the orchiectomized rats led to upregulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2. Ovariectomy attenuated the MDMA-induced up-regulation of Bax and caused more expression of Bcl-2 compared with what was observed in the MDMA-treated intact female rats. In summary, female rats showed exaggerated responses to the effects of MDMA and this may be explained by endogenous gonadal hormones.

  14. "Partying" hard: party style, motives for and effects of MDMA use at rave parties.

    PubMed

    M ter Bogt, Tom F; Engels, Rutger C M E

    2005-01-01

    This study examines motives for and consequences of MDMA use at different types of dance parties in the Netherlands (2001 and 2002). Participants were 490 visitors of three different types of rave parties, "club/mellow," "trance/mainstream," and "hardcore" (34% female, mean age 22.3 years, 76.5% MDMA users). Partygoers are motivated primarily by the energetic and euphoric effects they expect from MDMA. Quantity of MDMA use is associated with hardcore and trance/mainstream party style, with the motives of euphoria, sexiness, self-insight, and sociability/flirtatiousness (negative), and with gender, educational level (negative), and MDMA use by friends. Women report more (acute) negative effects--depression, confusion, loss of control, suspiciousness, edginess, nausea, dizziness--than men; and in particular, women who are motivated to cope with their problems by using MDMA are at risk. Men's polydrug use and notably their motivation to conform to friends by using MDMA are associated with negative effects.

  15. The Impact of Positive and Negative Ecstasy-Related Information on Ecstasy Use among College Students: Results of a Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Kathryn B.; Caldeira, Kimberly M.; O'Grady, Kevin E.; Wish, Eric D.; Arria, Amelia M.

    2010-01-01

    Aims: To: (1) estimate the proportion of students exposed to specific types of information regarding the positive and negative effects of ecstasy, (2) test models that quantified the relationship between exposure to these messages and subsequent ecstasy use, controlling for peer drug use and sensation-seeking. Methods: As part of the College Life…

  16. Differential Effects of 3, 4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 4-Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone) in Rats Trained to Discriminate MDMA or a d-Amphetamine+MDMA Mixture

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Eric L.; Baker, Lisa E.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Recent reports on the abuse of novel synthetic cathinone derivatives call attention to serious public health risks of these substances. In response to this concern, a growing body of preclinical research has characterized the psychopharmacology of these substances, particularly mephedrone (MEPH) or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), noting their similarities to MDMA and cocaine. Few studies have utilized drug discrimination methodology to characterize the psychopharmacological properties of these substances. Objectives The present study employed a rodent drug discrimination assay to further characterize the stimulus effects of MEPH and MDPV in comparison to MDMA and to a drug mixture comprised of d-amphetamine and MDMA. Methods Eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 1.5 mg/kg 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and eight rats were trained to discriminate a mixture of 1.5 mg/kg MDMA and 0.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine (MDMA+AMPH) from vehicle. Substitution tests were conducted with MDMA, d-amphetamine, MDPV, MEPH, and cocaine. Results Dose response curves generated with MDMA and MEPH were comparable between training groups. In contrast, AMPH, MDPV, and cocaine produced only partial substitution in animals trained to discriminate MDMA but produced full substitution in animals trained to discriminate the MDMA+AMPH mixture. Conclusions These findings indicate MDPV's effects may be more similar to those of traditional psychostimulants, whereas MEPH exerts stimulus effects more similar to those of MDMA. Additional experiments with selective DA and 5-HT receptor antagonists are required to further elucidate specific receptor mechanisms mediating the discriminative stimulus effects of MDPV and mephedrone. PMID:26558618

  17. The Shame of Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Flanagan, Owen

    2013-01-01

    Addiction is a person-level phenomenon that involves twin normative failures. A failure of normal rational effective agency or self-control with respect to the substance; and shame at both this failure, and the failure to live up to the standards for a good life that the addict himself acknowledges and aspires to. Feeling shame for addiction is not a mistake. It is part of the shape of addiction, part of the normal phenomenology of addiction, and often a source of motivation for the addict to heal. Like other recent attempts in the addiction literature to return normative concepts such as “choice” and “responsibility” to their rightful place in understanding and treating addiction, the twin normative failure model is fully compatible with investigation of genetic and neuroscientific causes of addiction. Furthermore, the model does not re-moralize addiction. There can be shame without blame. PMID:24115936

  18. Nonlinear pharmacokinetics of (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its pharmacodynamic consequences in the rat.

    PubMed

    Concheiro, Marta; Baumann, Michael H; Scheidweiler, Karl B; Rothman, Richard B; Marrone, Gina F; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2014-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a widely abused illicit drug that can cause severe and even fatal adverse effects. However, interest remains for its possible clinical applications in posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety treatment. Preclinical studies to determine MDMA's safety are needed. We evaluated MDMA's pharmacokinetics and metabolism in male rats receiving 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg s.c. MDMA, and the associated pharmacodynamic consequences. Blood was collected via jugular catheter at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, and 24 hours, with simultaneous serotonin (5-HT) behavioral syndrome and core temperature monitoring. Plasma specimens were analyzed for MDMA and the metabolites (±)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (HHMA), (±)-4-hydroxy-3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), and (±)-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. After 2.5 mg/kg MDMA, mean MDMA Cmax was 164 ± 47.1 ng/ml, HHMA and HMMA were major metabolites, and <20% of MDMA was metabolized to MDA. After 5- and 10-mg/kg doses, MDMA areas under the curve (AUCs) were 3- and 10-fold greater than those after 2.5 mg/kg; HHMA and HMMA AUC values were relatively constant across doses; and MDA AUC values were greater than dose-proportional. Our data provide decisive in vivo evidence that MDMA and MDA display nonlinear accumulation via metabolic autoinhibition in the rat. Importantly, 5-HT syndrome severity correlated with MDMA concentrations (r = 0.8083; P < 0.0001) and core temperature correlated with MDA concentrations (r = 0.7595; P < 0.0001), suggesting that MDMA's behavioral and hyperthermic effects may involve distinct mechanisms. Given key similarities between MDMA pharmacokinetics in rats and humans, data from rats can be useful when provided at clinically relevant doses.

  19. Development and validation of an LC-MS/MS method after chiral derivatization for the simultaneous stereoselective determination of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and its phase I and II metabolites in human blood plasma.

    PubMed

    Steuer, Andrea E; Schmidhauser, Corina; Liechti, Matthias E; Kraemer, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a racemic drug of abuse and its two enantiomers are known to differ in their dose-response curves. The S-enantiomer was shown to be eliminated at a higher rate than the R-enantiomer. The most likely explanation for this is a stereoselective metabolism also claimed in in vitro studies. Urinary excretion studies showed that the main metabolites in humans are 4-hydroxy 3-methoxymethamphetamine (HMMA) 4-sulfate, HMMA 4-glucuronide and 3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA) 3-sulfate. For stereoselective pharmacokinetic analysis of phase I and phase II metabolites in human blood plasma useful analytical methods are needed. Therefore the aim of the presented study was the development and validation of a stereoselective liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the simultaneous quantification of MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, DHMA, DHMA 3-sulfate, HMMA, HMMA 4-glucuronide, HMMA 4-sulfate, and 4-hydroxy 3-methoxyamphetamine in blood plasma for evaluation of the stereoselective pharmacokinetics in humans. Blood plasma samples were prepared by simple protein precipitation and afterwards all analytes were derivatized using N-(2,4-dinitro-5-fluorophenyl) L-valinamide resulting in the formation of diastereomers which were easily separable on standard reverse phase stationary phases. This simple and fast method was validated according to international guidelines including specificity, recovery, matrix effects, accuracy and precision, stabilities, and limits of quantification. The method proved to be selective, sensitive, accurate and precise for all tested analytes except for DHMA.

  20. Schizophrenia-like disruptions of sensory gating by serotonin receptor stimulation in rats: effect of MDMA, DOI and 8-OH-DPAT.

    PubMed

    Thwaites, Shane J; Gogos, Andrea; Van den Buuse, Maarten

    2013-11-01

    Schizophrenia pathophysiology is associated with alterations in several neurotransmitter systems, particularly dopamine, glutamate and serotonin (5-HT). Schizophrenia patients also have disruptions in sensory gating, a brain information filtering mechanism in response to repeated sensory stimuli. Dopamine and glutamate have been implicated in sensory gating; however, little is known about the contribution of serotonin. We therefore investigated the effects of several psychoactive compounds that alter serotonergic neuronal activity on event-related potentials (ERP) to paired auditory pulses. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with cortical surface electrodes to measure ERPs to 150 presentations of two 85 dB bursts of white noise, 500 ms apart (S1 and S2). Saline-treated animals suppressed the response to S2 to less than 50% of S1. In contrast, treatment with the serotonin releaser, MDMA (ecstasy; 2.0mg/kg), the 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist, DOI (0.5mg/kg), or the 5-HT1A/7 receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT (0.5mg/kg), caused an increase in S2/S1 ratios. Analysis of waveform components suggested that the S2/S1 ratio disruption by MDMA was due to subtle effects on the ERPs to S1 and S2; DOI caused the disruption primarily by reducing the ERP to S1; 8-OH-DPAT-induced disruptions were due to an increase in the ERP to S2. These results show that 5-HT receptor stimulation alters S2/S1 ERP ratios in rats. These results may help to elucidate the sensory gating deficits observed in schizophrenia patients.

  1. Eating attitudes, weight concerns and beliefs about drug effects in women who use ecstasy.

    PubMed

    Curran, H Valerie; Robjant, Katy

    2006-05-01

    The drug ecstasy has appetite suppressant and exercise promoting effects that may appeal to young women who are concerned about weight and body image. This study therefore aimed to determine whether young women who use ecstasy differ from those who do not use this drug in concerns about eating and weight, and in beliefs about how these are affected by recreational drugs. One hundred and thirty young women, all cigarette smokers, were recruited; 73 who used ecstasy were compared with 57 who did not. All were assessed on Garner's (1991) Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-2), body mass index (BMI), depression and beliefs about the effects of different drugs on appetite, exercise and weight. The two groups did not differ on number of cigarettes smoked per day, depression scores, current BMI, lowest achieved BMI or ideal BMI. Ecstasy users had significantly higher scores than controls on four of the 11 sub-scales of the EDI: bulimia, impulse dysregulation, social insecurity and interpersonal distrust. For ecstasy users, scores on all four scales correlated positively with frequency of ecstasy use. However there were no group differences in "drive for thinness" or "body dissatisfaction" which may suggest that differences on other factors are related more to use of club drugs than to any specific eating pathology. Ecstasy users were more likely than controls to agree that ecstasy aids weight loss and that they exercise more when they use drugs. However, our findings indicated that women are not using ecstasy as a deliberate means of weight control.

  2. What’s in a Label? Ecstasy Sellers’ Perceptions of Pill Brands†

    PubMed Central

    Duterte, Micheline; Jacinto, Camille; Sales, Paloma; Murphy, Sheigla

    2009-01-01

    This article presents selected findings from a qualitative study of Ecstasy sellers and their sales practices, knowledge of distribution networks, buyer-seller relationships, and self-reported drug use. In-depth interviews were conducted with 80 men and women who had sold five or more hits of Ecstasy five or more times in the six months prior to the interview. Study participants described their perceptions of the various types of Ecstasy they had distributed or used themselves. The participants had experience with a variety of Ecstasy labels, from the popular “Blue Dolphin” tablets to the powdered form called “Molly.” We tracked pill brand mentions on Ecstasy-related websites to compare with interviewees’ descriptions of Ecstasy brands. This study examines Ecstasy sellers’ ideas about the role of brand names in Ecstasy markets and their relationship to their beliefs about different types of Ecstasy’s purity and quality. We demonstrate that considering Ecstasy branding increases our understanding of buyer and seller relationships. PMID:19455907

  3. Maximising the Highs and Minimising the Lows: Harm Reduction Guidance within Ecstasy Distribution Networks

    PubMed Central

    Duterte, Micheline; Sales, Paloma; Murphy, Sheigla

    2008-01-01

    Background Little is known about how users build and share knowledge concerning the highs and lows of Ecstasy and the role that Ecstasy sellers play in the exchange of this information. Methods These findings are based on a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded project, “An Exploratory Study of Ecstasy Distribution,” conducted between 2003 and 2006. We completed in-depth interviews with 120 men and women in the San Francisco Bay Area who had sold 5 or more doses 5 or more times in the 6 months prior to the interview. The research focused on buyer-seller relationships and the influence of these relationships on users’ health. Results Users constructed harm reduction strategies in attempts to maximise the Ecstasy high and minimise the risks. The social context of Ecstasy use allowed for the exchange of harm reduction information and advice on how to maximise the pleasurable aspects of Ecstasy. Some participants served as “guides” to ensure that their customers had safe and enjoyable experiences while using Ecstasy. Conclusion These findings suggest that Ecstasy sellers are important points of intervention for the dissemination of harm reduction information as friendship networks were the primary link in creating awareness of safer Ecstasy use. PMID:17964771

  4. Molecularly imprinted-solid phase extraction combined with simultaneous derivatization and dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction for selective extraction and preconcentration of methamphetamine and ecstasy from urine samples followed by gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Djozan, Djavanshir; Farajzadeh, Mir Ali; Sorouraddin, Saeed Mohammad; Baheri, Tahmineh

    2012-07-27

    In this study, a developed technique was reported for extraction and pre-concentration of methamphetamine (MAMP) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) from urine samples using molecularly imprinted-solid phase extraction (MISPE) along with simultaneous derivatization and dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (DLLME). Molecularly imprinted microspheres as sorbent in solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure were synthesized using precipitation polymerization with MAMP as the template. Aqueous solution of the target analytes was passed through MAMP-MIP cartridge and the adsorbed analytes were then eluted with methanol. The collected eluate was mixed with butylchloroformate which served as the derivatization reagent as well as the extraction solvent. The mixture was immediately injected into deionized water. After centrifugation, 1 μL of the settled organic phase was injected into gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Various experimental parameters affecting the performance of both of the steps (MISPE and DLLME) were thoroughly investigated. The calibration graphs were linear in the ranges of 10-1500 ng mL(-1) (MAMP) and 50-1500 ng mL(-1) (MDMA), and the detection limits (LODs) were 2 and 18 ng mL(-1), respectively. The relative standard deviations (%RSDs) obtained for six repeated experiments (100 ng mL(-1) of each drug) were 5.1% and 6.8% for MAMP and MDMA, respectively. The relative recoveries obtained for the analytes in human urine samples, spiked with different levels of each drug, were within the range of 80-88%.

  5. The novelty-seeking phenotype modulates the long-lasting effects of adolescent MDMA exposure.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Vaccaro, Sonia; Arenas, M Carmen; Aguilar, María A; Miñarro, José

    2015-03-15

    Exposure to drugs such as ethanol or cocaine during adolescence induces alterations in the central nervous system that are modulated by the novelty-seeking trait. Our aim was to evaluate the influence of this trait on the long-term effects of MDMA administration during adolescence on spontaneous behavior and conditioned rewarding effects in adulthood. Adolescent mice were classified as high or low novelty seekers (HNS or LNS) according to the hole-board test and received either MDMA (0, 10 or 20mg/kg PND 33-42) or saline. Three weeks later, having entered adulthood (PND>68), one set of mice performed the elevated plus maze and social interaction tests, while another set performed the conditioning place preference (CPP) test induced by cocaine-(1mg/kg) or MDMA-(1mg/kg). Only HNS mice treated with MDMA during adolescence acquired CPP in adulthood with a non-effective dose of cocaine or MDMA. Although it did not produce changes in motor activity, exposure to MDMA during adolescence was associated with more aggressive behaviors (threat and attack) and increased social contacts in HNS mice, while an anxiolytic effect was noted in LNS mice pre-treated with the highest dose of MDMA (20mg/kg). Administration of MDMA (10 or 20mg/kg) induced a decrease in DA levels in the striatum in LNS mice only and lower striatal serotonin levels in mice treated with the highest MDMA dose. Our findings show that adolescent MDMA exposure results in higher sensitivity to the conditioned reinforcing properties of MDMA and cocaine in adult HNS mice, which suggests that the relationship between exposure to MDMA in adolescence and a higher probability of substance is a feature of high novelty seekers only.

  6. Dealing with Addiction (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Dealing With Addiction KidsHealth > For Teens > Dealing With Addiction A A ... is even harder. What Are Substance Abuse and Addiction? The difference between substance abuse and addiction is ...

  7. 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (ecstasy) promotes the survival of fetal dopamine neurons in culture.

    PubMed

    Lipton, Jack W; Tolod, Emeline G; Thompson, Valerie B; Pei, Lin; Paumier, Katrina L; Terpstra, Brian T; Lynch, Kaari A; Collier, Timothy J; Sortwell, Caryl E

    2008-10-01

    The current study examined whether modest concentrations of MDMA could increase the survival and/or neurite outgrowth of fetal midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons in vitro since increased DA neurite outgrowth has been previously observed in vivo from prenatal exposure. MDMA concentrations in fetal brain were quantified to determine relevant in vivo concentrations to employ in vitro. A dose response study in vitro demonstrated that MDMA, at concentrations observed in vivo, resulted in increased, DA-specific, neuron survival. Higher doses resulted in non-specific neurotoxicity. MDMA application immediately after culture establishment resulted in greater survival than delayed application, however both were superior to control. MDMA significantly increased the expression of the slc6a3 gene (dopamine transporter; DAT) in culture. Co-application of the DAT reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH) with MDMA attenuated this effect. Progressive reductions in MPH concentrations restored the MDMA-induced survival effect. This suggests that MDMA's action at DAT mediates the survival effect. Neurite density per neuron was unaffected by MDMA in vitro suggesting that MDMA promotes DA neuron survival but not neurite outgrowth in culture. Finally, animals prenatally exposed to MDMA and examined on postnatal day 35 showed an increase in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons in the substantia nigra but not in the ventral tegmental area. These data suggest that during development, MDMA can increase the survival of DA neurons through its action at its transporter. Understanding how MDMA increases DA neuron survival may provide insight into normal DA neuron loss during development.

  8. Direct and indirect cardiovascular actions of cathinone and MDMA in the anaesthetized rat.

    PubMed

    Alsufyani, Hadeel A; Docherty, James R

    2015-07-05

    The stimulants cathinone (from Khat leaves) and methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine (MDMA) produce adrenoceptor mediated tachycardia and vasopressor actions that may be the result of direct receptor stimulation, actions on the noradrenaline transporter, and/or displacement of noradrenaline from nerve terminals. Effects of cathinone or MDMA were compared with those of the indirect sympathomimetic tyramine. Male Wistar rats were anaesthetized with pentobarbitone for blood pressure and heart rate recording. Some rats were sympathectomised by treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine. In the anaesthetised rat, cathinone, MDMA and tyramine (all 0.001-1 mg/kg) produced marked tachycardia, tyramine produced marked pressor responses and MDMA produced small pressor responses. The tachycardia to cathinone and MDMA was almost abolished by propranolol (1mg/kg). Pretreatment with cocaine (1mg/kg) did not significantly affect the tachycardia to cathinone or MDMA, but reduced the response to tyramine. However, in sympathectomised rats, the tachycardia to cathinone or MDMA was markedly attenuated, but the tachycardia to tyramine was only partially reduced. Blood pressure effects of tyramine and MDMA were also markedly attenuated by sympathectomy. The results demonstrate firstly that cocaine may not be the most suitable agent for assessing direct versus indirect agonism in cardiovascular studies. Secondly, the use of chemical sympathectomy achieved the desired goal of demonstrating that cardiac β-adrenoceptor mediated actions of cathinone and MDMA are probably largely indirect.

  9. MDMA Pretreatment Leads to Mild Chronic Unpredictable Stress-induced Impairments in Spatial Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Jacobi I.; Raudensky, Jamie; Tonkiss, John; Yamamoto, Bryan K.

    2009-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a drug of abuse world-wide and a selective serotonin (5-HT) neurotoxin. An important factor in the risk of drug abuse and relapse is stress. Although multiple parallels exist between MDMA abuse and stress including effects on 5-HTergic neurotransmission, few studies have investigated the consequences of combined exposure to MDMA and chronic stress. Therefore, rats were pretreated with MDMA and exposed 7 days later to 10 days of mild chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). MDMA pretreatment was hypothesized to enhance the effects of CUS leading to enhanced 5-HT transporter (SERT) depletion in the hippocampus and increased anxiety and cognitive impairment. While MDMA alone increased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze, CUS alone or in combination with MDMA pretreatment did not increase anxiety-like behavior. In contrast, MDMA pretreatment led to CUS-induced learning impairment in the Morris water maze but not an enhanced depletion of hippocampal SERT protein. These results show that prior exposure to MDMA leads to stress-induced impairments in learning behavior that is not otherwise observed with stress alone and appear unrelated to an enhanced depletion of SERT. PMID:19824774

  10. The external validity of results derived from ecstasy users recruited using purposive sampling strategies.

    PubMed

    Topp, Libby; Barker, Bridget; Degenhardt, Louisa

    2004-01-07

    This study sought to compare the patterns and correlates of 'recent' and 'regular' ecstasy use estimated on the basis of two datasets generated in 2001 in New South Wales, Australia, from a probability and a non-probability sample. The first was the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), a multistage probability sample of the general population; and the second was the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Party Drugs Module, for which regular ecstasy users were recruited using purposive sampling strategies. NDSHS recent ecstasy users (any use in the preceding 12 months) were compared on a range of demographic and drug use variables to NDSHS regular ecstasy users (at least monthly use in the preceding 12 months) and purposively sampled regular ecstasy users (at least monthly use in the preceding 6 months). The demographic characteristics of the three samples were consistent. Among all three, the mean age was approximately 25 years, and a majority (60%) of subjects were male, relatively well-educated, and currently employed or studying. Patterns of ecstasy use were similar among the three samples, although compared to recent users, regular users were likely to report more frequent use of ecstasy. All samples were characterised by extensive polydrug use, although the two samples of regular ecstasy users reported higher rates of other illicit drug use than the sample of recent users. The similarities between the demographic and drug use characteristics of the samples are striking, and suggest that, at least in NSW, purposive sampling that seeks to draw from a wide cross-section of users and to sample a relatively large number of individuals, can give rise to samples of ecstasy users that may be considered sufficiently representative to reasonably warrant the drawing of inferences relating to the entire population. These findings may partially offset concerns that purposive samples of ecstasy users are likely to remain a primary source of ecstasy

  11. [Psychophysiology of sports addiction (exercises addiction)].

    PubMed

    Krivoshchekov, S G; Lushnikov, O N

    2011-01-01

    Addiction is a prevalent and growing concern in all aspects of our modern society. There are considerable concerns for the growing frequency of addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating, and even sex. Though exercise is generally accepted as a positive behaviour that has many benefits associated with enhanced physical and psychological wellbeing, there is an increasing awareness that exercise addiction is becoming a common phenomenon. Theories regarding how exercise can become addictive, and studies of withdrawal from exercise are reviewed. Several physiological mechanisms, including endogenous opioids, catecholamines, functional asymmetry of brain activity and thermoregulation have been implicated in exercise dependence.

  12. In-sample derivatization-solid-phase microextraction of amphetamines and ecstasy related stimulants from water and urine.

    PubMed

    Racamonde, Inés; Rodil, Rosario; Quintana, José Benito; Cela, Rafael

    2013-04-03

    A solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method for the determination of five amphetamine type stimulants (ATSs) in water and urine samples is presented. Analytes were simultaneously derivatized with iso-butyl chloroformate (iBCF) in the aqueous sample while being extracted, improving in this way the extractability of ATSs and permitting their determination by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The SPME procedure was carefully optimized in order to achieve adequate limits of detection (LODs) for environmental concentrations. Hence, different operational parameters were considered: type of SPME coating, ionic strength, basic catalyzer and derivatizing agent amount, extraction time and temperature. The final SPME procedure consists into the extraction of 100mL of sample containing 2 g of dipotassium monohydrogen phosphate trihydrate and 100 μL of iBCF (1:1 in acetonitrile), for 40 min at 60°C with a polydimethylsiloxane-divinylbenzene (PDMS-DVB) fiber. Under these conditions, LODs in wastewater ranged from 0.4 to 2 ng L(-1), relative recoveries in the 84-114% range and relative standard deviations (RSD) lower than 15% were obtained. The application of the method to wastewater and river water samples showed the ecstasy ATS, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), as the most frequently detected, followed by methamphetamine, in concentrations around 20 ng L(-1). Finally, the method was downscaled and also validated with urine samples, proving its good performance with this matrix too: RSD<11%, recoveries in the 98-110% range and LODs lower than 0.1 μg L(-1).

  13. Novel psychopharmacological therapies for psychiatric disorders: psilocybin and MDMA.

    PubMed

    Mithoefer, Michael C; Grob, Charles S; Brewerton, Timothy D

    2016-05-01

    4-phosphorloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (psilocybin) and methylenedioxymethamfetamine (MDMA), best known for their illegal use as psychedelic drugs, are showing promise as therapeutics in a resurgence of clinical research during the past 10 years. Psilocybin is being tested for alcoholism, smoking cessation, and in patients with advanced cancer with anxiety. MDMA is showing encouraging results as a treatment for refractory post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety in autistic adults, and anxiety associated with a life-threatening illness. Both drugs are studied as adjuncts or catalysts to psychotherapy, rather than as stand-alone drug treatments. This model of drug-assisted psychotherapy is a possible alternative to existing pharmacological and psychological treatments in psychiatry. Further research is needed to fully assess the potential of these compounds in the management of these common disorders that are difficult to treat with existing methods.

  14. Sustained Effects of Ecstasy on the Human Brain: A Prospective Neuroimaging Study in Novel Users

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Win, Maartje M. L.; Jager, Gerry; Booij, Jan; Reneman, Liesbeth; Schilt, Thelma; Lavini, Christina; Olabarriaga, Silvia D.; den Heeten, Gerard J.; van den Brink, Wim

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested toxic effects of recreational ecstasy use on the serotonin system of the brain. However, it cannot be excluded that observed differences between users and non-users are the cause rather than the consequence of ecstasy use. As part of the Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) study, we prospectively assessed sustained…

  15. Whats the Rap about Ecstasy? Popular Music Lyrics and Drug Trends among American Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Sarah; Bermudez, Rey; Schensul, Jean

    2006-01-01

    Trends in ecstasy use in America during the past decade were reflected in mainstream, American rap-music lyrics between 1996 and 2003. Drawing on communication and cultural studies theory, this article provides a content analysis of 69 rap songs mentioning the club drug ecstasy. The songs are coded according to whether they contain positive, mixed…

  16. Cocaine enhances the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA in adolescent mice.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, M A; Roger-Sánchez, C; Rodríguez-Arias, M; Miñarro, J

    2015-04-01

    Although the consumption of cocaine is frequent in young users of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), the influence of exposure to cocaine on the rewarding effects of MDMA in adolescents has not been studied. The purpose of the present work was to evaluate the effect of co-administration of cocaine (1 and 10 mg/kg) and a sub-threshold dose of MDMA (1.25 mg/kg) on the acquisition of conditioned place preference (CPP) (experiment 1). In addition, the effect of pre-treatment with cocaine on MDMA-induced CPP was evaluated (experiment 2). Levels of monoamines in striatum, hippocampus and cortex were measured in both experiments. Our hypotheses were that cocaine co-administration or pre-treatment would increase the rewarding effects of MDMA, and that these effects would be related with changes in brain monoamine levels. Our results showed that cocaine potentiated the rewarding effects of MDMA, since a sub-threshold dose of MDMA, which did not induce CPP by itself, induced a significant CPP in adolescent mice when administered along with cocaine during conditioning (experiment 1). Moreover, pre-treatment with cocaine several days before conditioning also increased the rewarding effects of MDMA (experiment 2). No significant changes in the levels of biogenic amines, which correlated with these behavioural effects, were observed. Our results confirm the involvement of the dopaminergic system in MDMA-induced CPP in adolescent mice and suggest that combined consumption with or pre-exposure to cocaine increases the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA, which may enhance the capacity of MDMA to induce dependence.

  17. NARCOTIC DRUG ADDICTION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    YAHRAES, HERBERT; AND OTHERS

    MUCH HAS BEEN LEARNED IN RECENT YEARS ABOUT THE NATURE OF DRUG ADDICTION, THE FACTORS WHICH LEAD A PERSON INTO ADDICTION, AND THE EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BECOME ADDICTED. THIS PAMPHLET SURVEYS THE NEW FINDINGS AND IS INTENDED PRIMARILY FOR (1) THOSE WHO IN THE COURSE OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES COME IN CONTACT WITH ADDICTED…

  18. What Is Addiction?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Drug Use Become Addiction? Addiction Risk Factors Does Addiction Run in Families? Why Is It So Hard to Quit Drugs? Next Español English Español PDF Version Download Treatment & Recovery Information Treatment and Recovery Does Drug Treatment Work? ...

  19. Related Addictive Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buck, Tina; Sales, Amos

    This paper provides an overview of addiction related to substance abuse. It provides basic information, prevalence, diagnostic criteria, assessment tools, and treatment issues for eating disorders, compulsive gambling, sex addictions, and work addictions. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, especially affect adolescents.…

  20. [Recovery from Sexual Addiction].

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Addiction is a disease that can cause an individual to lose his or her life. However, addiction can be considered a form of self medication or survival skill. If affected individuals attend a mutual aid group, individuals with such addiction can share their common experiences and they are willing to will grow along spiritual lines.

  1. Eroticism in group psychotherapy: psychoanalytic reflections on desire, agony, and ecstasy.

    PubMed

    Tylim, Isaac

    2003-10-01

    To fully understand the complexities of eroticism in groups, it may be necessary to review a conceptual differentiation of desire and its allies: agony and ecstasy. This article suggests that psychoanalytic group psychotherapy is made for neither agony nor ecstasy. Sexual excitement maybe; eroticism and desire, yes; agony and ecstasy, no. While agony or ecstasy imply a threat to the survival of the group, eroticism and desire reaffirm its existence. In this manner the group may be converted into a theater where desire may be celebrated, while the threat of being dissolved in the depths or exaltation of agony and ecstasy is elaborated and worked through: "Desire is desire only if it succeeds in postponing something".

  2. Involvement of NMDA glutamate receptors in the acquisition and reinstatement of the conditioned place preference induced by MDMA.

    PubMed

    García-Pardo, Maria P; Escobar-Valero, Carla; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Miñarro, Jose; Aguilar, Maria A

    2015-08-01

    Some 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) users become dependent as a result of chronic consumption. A greater understanding of the neurobiological basis of the rewarding effects of MDMA could contribute to developing effective pharmacotherapies for MDMA-related problems. The present study evaluated the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors (NMDARs) in the acquisition and reinstatement of conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by MDMA. Adolescent male mice were conditioned with 1 or 10 mg/kg MDMA and pretreated with 5 or 10 mg/kg of the NMDAR antagonist memantine during acquisition of conditioning (experiment 1), or before a reinstatement test (experiment 2). In addition, the effects of memantine on acquisition of chocolate-induced CPP and the effects of memantine and MDMA on a passive avoidance task were evaluated. Memantine did not exert any motivational effects, but blocked the acquisition of MDMA-induced CPP. Moreover, following acquisition and extinction of MDMA-induced CPP, memantine did not induce reinstatement but blocked reinstatement of the CPP induced by priming with MDMA. Memantine did not block the CPP induced by chocolate, and it partially reversed the impairing effects of MDMA on memory. Our results demonstrate that NMDARs are involved in acquisition of the conditioned rewarding effects of MDMA and in priming-induced reinstatement of CPP following extinction. Moreover, they suggest the validity of memantine for the treatment of MDMA abuse.

  3. MDMA (Ecstacy): Useful Information for Health Professionals Involved in Drug Education Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elk, Carrie

    1996-01-01

    Provides a brief history of 3,4-ethylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Presents a summation of current findings and implications including MDMA in drug education. Examines typical dosage, effects, user profile, and therapeutic aspects. Calls for increased research to address the lack of formal scientific data regarding the nature and effects of…

  4. MDMA-assisted therapy: A new treatment model for social anxiety in autistic adults.

    PubMed

    Danforth, Alicia L; Struble, Christopher M; Yazar-Klosinski, Berra; Grob, Charles S

    2016-01-04

    The first study of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapy for the treatment of social anxiety in autistic adults commenced in the spring of 2014. The search for psychotherapeutic options for autistic individuals is imperative considering the lack of effective conventional treatments for mental health diagnoses that are common in this population. Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) involving the administration of MDMA in clinical trials have been rare and non-life threatening. To date, MDMA has been administered to over 1133 individuals for research purposes without the occurrence of unexpected drug-related SAEs that require expedited reporting per FDA regulations. Now that safety parameters for limited use of MDMA in clinical settings have been established, a case can be made to further develop MDMA-assisted therapeutic interventions that could support autistic adults in increasing social adaptability among the typically developing population. As in the case with classic hallucinogens and other psychedelic drugs, MDMA catalyzes shifts toward openness and introspection that do not require ongoing administration to achieve lasting benefits. This infrequent dosing mitigates adverse event frequency and improves the risk/benefit ratio of MDMA, which may provide a significant advantage over medications that require daily dosing. Consequently, clinicians could employ new treatment models for social anxiety or similar types of distress administering MDMA on one to several occasions within the context of a supportive and integrative psychotherapy protocol.

  5. Treatment Implications for Young Adult Users of MDMA (3,4-Methylenedyoxymethamphetamine)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dew, Brian J.; Elifson, Kirk W.; Sterk, Claire E.

    2006-01-01

    Young adults' 3,4-methylenedyoxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is a national public health concern. Although research on the epidemiology of MDMA use has increased, inquiry into intervention and treatment is needed. The authors examine results from an epidemiological investigation from a clinical perspective and provide suggestions for clinicians…

  6. Clinically Relevant Pharmacological Strategies That Reverse MDMA-Induced Brain Hyperthermia Potentiated by Social Interaction.

    PubMed

    Kiyatkin, Eugene A; Ren, Suelynn; Wakabayashi, Ken T; Baumann, Michael H; Shaham, Yavin

    2016-01-01

    MDMA-induced hyperthermia is highly variable, unpredictable, and greatly potentiated by the social and environmental conditions of recreational drug use. Current strategies to treat pathological MDMA-induced hyperthermia in humans are palliative and marginally effective, and there are no specific pharmacological treatments to counteract this potentially life-threatening condition. Here, we tested the efficacy of mixed adrenoceptor blockers carvedilol and labetalol, and the atypical antipsychotic clozapine, in reversing MDMA-induced brain and body hyperthermia. We injected rats with a moderate non-toxic dose of MDMA (9 mg/kg) during social interaction, and we administered potential treatment drugs after the development of robust hyperthermia (>2.5 °C), thus mimicking the clinical situation of acute MDMA intoxication. Brain temperature was our primary focus, but we also simultaneously recorded temperatures from the deep temporal muscle and skin, allowing us to determine the basic physiological mechanisms of the treatment drug action. Carvedilol was modestly effective in attenuating MDMA-induced hyperthermia by moderately inhibiting skin vasoconstriction, and labetalol was ineffective. In contrast, clozapine induced a marked and immediate reversal of MDMA-induced hyperthermia via inhibition of brain metabolic activation and blockade of skin vasoconstriction. Our findings suggest that clozapine, and related centrally acting drugs, might be highly effective for reversing MDMA-induced brain and body hyperthermia in emergency clinical situations, with possible life-saving results.

  7. Clinically Relevant Pharmacological Strategies That Reverse MDMA-Induced Brain Hyperthermia Potentiated by Social Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Kiyatkin, Eugene A; Ren, Suelynn; Wakabayashi, Ken T; Baumann, Michael H; Shaham, Yavin

    2016-01-01

    MDMA-induced hyperthermia is highly variable, unpredictable, and greatly potentiated by the social and environmental conditions of recreational drug use. Current strategies to treat pathological MDMA-induced hyperthermia in humans are palliative and marginally effective, and there are no specific pharmacological treatments to counteract this potentially life-threatening condition. Here, we tested the efficacy of mixed adrenoceptor blockers carvedilol and labetalol, and the atypical antipsychotic clozapine, in reversing MDMA-induced brain and body hyperthermia. We injected rats with a moderate non-toxic dose of MDMA (9 mg/kg) during social interaction, and we administered potential treatment drugs after the development of robust hyperthermia (>2.5 °C), thus mimicking the clinical situation of acute MDMA intoxication. Brain temperature was our primary focus, but we also simultaneously recorded temperatures from the deep temporal muscle and skin, allowing us to determine the basic physiological mechanisms of the treatment drug action. Carvedilol was modestly effective in attenuating MDMA-induced hyperthermia by moderately inhibiting skin vasoconstriction, and labetalol was ineffective. In contrast, clozapine induced a marked and immediate reversal of MDMA-induced hyperthermia via inhibition of brain metabolic activation and blockade of skin vasoconstriction. Our findings suggest that clozapine, and related centrally acting drugs, might be highly effective for reversing MDMA-induced brain and body hyperthermia in emergency clinical situations, with possible life-saving results. PMID:26105141

  8. The A2a adenosine receptor modulates the reinforcement efficacy and neurotoxicity of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Medina, Jessica; Ledent, Catherine; Carretón, Olga; Valverde, Olga

    2011-04-01

    Adenosine is an endogenous purine nucleoside that plays a neuromodulatory role in the central nervous system. A2a adenosine receptors have been involved in reward-related processes, inflammatory phenomena and neurotoxicity reactions. In the present study, we investigated the role of A2a adenosine receptors on the acute pharmacological effects, reinforcement and neuroinflammation induced by MDMA administration. First, the acute effects of MDMA on body temperature, locomotor activity and anxiety-like responses were measured in A2a knockout mice and wild-type littermates. Second, MDMA reinforcing properties were evaluated using the intravenous self-administration paradigm. Finally, we assessed striatal astrogliosis and microgliosis as markers of MDMA neurotoxicity. Our results showed that acute MDMA produced a biphasic effect on body temperature and increased locomotor activity and anxiogenic-like responses in both genotypes. However, MDMA reinforcing properties were dramatically affected by the lack of A2a adenosine receptors. Thus, wild-type mice maintained MDMA self-administration under a fixed ratio 1 reinforcement schedule, whereas the operant response appeared completely abolished in A2a knockout mice. In addition, the MDMA neurotoxic regime produced an enhanced inflammatory response in striatum of wild-type mice, revealed by a significant increase in glial expression, whereas such activation was attenuated in mutant mice. This is the first report indicating that A2a adenosine receptors play a key role in reinforcement and neuroinflammation induced by the widely used psychostimulant.

  9. The impact of positive and negative ecstasy-related information on ecstasy use among college students: Results of a longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Kathryn B.; Caldeira, Kimberly M.; O’Grady, Kevin E.; Wish, Eric D.; Arria, Amelia M.

    2008-01-01

    Aims To: 1) estimate the proportion of students exposed to specific types of information regarding the positive and negative effects of ecstasy, 2) test models that quantified the relationship between exposure to these messages and subsequent ecstasy use, controlling for peer drug use and sensation-seeking. Methods As part of the College Life Study, 447 students, ages 17–20, from a university in the mid-Atlantic region of the US completed an in person interview plus three follow-up assessments. Findings Individuals who had heard a greater number of negative messages were significantly more likely to use ecstasy, even controlling for positive messages, prior ecstasy use, peer ecstasy use, perceived harm, sensation-seeking, sex, and race. Some messages were significant at the bivariate level. Conclusions Ecstasy use may have been influenced more by the content of the messages than by the quantity or diversity of messages. Interventions should be designed to address both positive and negative perceptions about a particular drug, rather than focusing exclusively on the negative information. Future evaluations should focus on the effectiveness of multi-pronged sustainable prevention programs in reducing adolescent drug use risk. PMID:21057670

  10. Neural Correlates of the Severity of Cocaine, Heroin, Alcohol, MDMA and Cannabis Use in Polysubstance Abusers: A Resting-PET Brain Metabolism Study

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-López, Laura; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A.; Fernández-Serrano, Maria José; Gómez-Río, Manuel; Rodríguez-Fernández, Antonio; Pérez-García, Miguel; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Functional imaging studies of addiction following protracted abstinence have not been systematically conducted to look at the associations between severity of use of different drugs and brain dysfunction. Findings from such studies may be relevant to implement specific interventions for treatment. The aim of this study was to examine the association between resting-state regional brain metabolism (measured with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) and the severity of use of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, MDMA and cannabis in a sample of polysubstance users with prolonged abstinence from all drugs used. Methods Our sample consisted of 49 polysubstance users enrolled in residential treatment. We conducted correlation analyses between estimates of use of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, MDMA and cannabis and brain metabolism (BM) (using Statistical Parametric Mapping voxel-based (VB) whole-brain analyses). In all correlation analyses conducted for each of the drugs we controlled for the co-abuse of the other drugs used. Results The analysis showed significant negative correlations between severity of heroin, alcohol, MDMA and cannabis use and BM in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and temporal cortex. Alcohol use was further associated with lower metabolism in frontal premotor cortex and putamen, and stimulants use with parietal cortex. Conclusions Duration of use of different drugs negatively correlated with overlapping regions in the DLPFC, whereas severity of cocaine, heroin and alcohol use selectively impact parietal, temporal, and frontal-premotor/basal ganglia regions respectively. The knowledge of these associations could be useful in the clinical practice since different brain alterations have been associated with different patterns of execution that may affect the rehabilitation of these patients. PMID:22768136

  11. Memory and mood during MDMA intoxication, with and without memantine pretreatment.

    PubMed

    de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E B; Theunissen, E L; Kuypers, K P C; Heckman, P; de la Torre, R; Farre, M; Ramaekers, J G

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that single doses of MDMA can affect mood and impair memory in humans. The neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in MDMA-induced memory impairment are not clear. Memantine, an NMDA and alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor antagonist, was able to reverse MDMA-induced memory impairment in rats. This study investigated whether treatment with memantine can prevent MDMA-induced memory impairment in humans. 15 subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo controlled, within-subject design. Subjects received both pre-treatment (placebo/memantine 20 mg) (T1) and treatment (placebo/MDMA 75 mg) (T2) on separate test days. T1 preceded T2 by 120 min. Memory function was assessed 90 min after T2 by means of a Visual Verbal Learning Task, a Prospective Memory Task, the Sternberg Memory Task and the Abstract Visual Pattern Learning Task. Profile of Mood State and psychomotor performance were also assessed to control whether MDMA and memantine interactions would selectively pertain to memory or transfer to other domains as well. MDMA significantly impaired performance in the visual verbal learning task and abstract visual pattern learning task. Pre-treatment with memantine did not prevent MDMA-induced memory impairment in these two tasks. Both positive (vigour, arousal, elation) and negative mood effects (anxiety) were increased by MDMA. The responses were not altered by pretreatment with memantine which had no effect on memory or mood when given alone. These preliminary results suggest that memantine does not reverse MDMA-induced memory impairment and mood in humans. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'.

  12. Effects of repeated treatment with MDMA on working memory and behavioural flexibility in mice.

    PubMed

    Viñals, Xavier; Maldonado, Rafael; Robledo, Patricia

    2013-03-01

    Repeated administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice. However, it is still not clear whether this exposure induces deficits in cognitive processing related to specific subsets of executive functioning. We evaluated the effects of neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic doses of MDMA (0, 3 and 30 mg/kg, twice daily for 4 days) on working memory and attentional set-shifting in mice, and changes in extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) in the striatum. Treatment with MDMA (30 mg/kg) disrupted performance of acquired operant alternation, and this impairment was still apparent 5 days after the last drug administration. Decreased alternation was not related to anhedonia because no differences were observed between groups in the saccharin preference test under similar experimental conditions. Correct responding on delayed alternation was increased 1 day after repeated treatment with MDMA (30 mg/kg), probably because of general behavioural quiescence. Notably, the high dose regimen of MDMA impaired attentional set-shifting related to an increase in total perseveration errors. Finally, basal extracellular levels of DA in the striatum were not modified in mice repeatedly treated with MDMA with respect to controls. However, an acute challenge with MDMA (10 mg/kg) failed to increase DA outflow in mice receiving the highest MDMA dose (30 mg/kg), corroborating a decrease in the functionality of DA transporters. Seven days after this treatment, the effects of MDMA on DA outflow were recovered. These results suggest that repeated neurotoxic doses of MDMA produce lasting impairments in recall of alternation behaviour and reduce cognitive flexibility in mice.

  13. Characterization of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) enantiomers in vitro and in the MPTP-lesioned primate: R-MDMA reduces severity of dyskinesia, whereas S-MDMA extends duration of ON-time.

    PubMed

    Huot, Philippe; Johnston, Tom H; Lewis, Katie D; Koprich, James B; Reyes, M Gabriela; Fox, Susan H; Piggott, Matthew J; Brotchie, Jonathan M

    2011-05-11

    l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) is the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease, but long-term l-DOPA administration is marred by the emergence of motor complications, namely, dyskinesia and a shortening of antiparkinsonian benefit (wearing-OFF). 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is unique in that it exerts antidyskinetic effects and may enhance antiparkinsonian actions of l-DOPA. MDMA is composed of two enantiomers with different pharmacological profiles; here, we describe a novel enantiospecific synthesis of the two enantiomers and expand on the previous characterization of their pharmacology. R-MDMA (rectus-MDMA) is relatively selective for 5-HT(2A) receptors, whereas S-MDMA (sinister-MDMA) inhibits both serotonin (SERT) and dopamine transporters (DAT; SERT/DAT ratio of 10 to 1). R- or S-MDMA (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg, s.c.) was administered in combination with l-DOPA (15 mg/kg, s.c.) to six female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) rendered parkinsonian by MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) administration. Motor disability, including parkinsonism and dyskinesia, and duration of antiparkinsonian benefit (ON-time) were evaluated. After the administration of R-MDMA (3 and 10 mg/kg), the severity of peak-dose dyskinesia was decreased (by 33 and 46%, respectively; p < 0.05); although total ON-time was unchanged (approximately 220 min), the duration of ON-time with disabling dyskinesia was decreased by 90 min when compared to l-DOPA alone (69% reduction; p < 0.05). S-MDMA (1 mg/kg) increased the total ON-time by 88 min compared to l-DOPA alone (34% increase; p < 0.05), though dyskinesia were exacerbated. These data suggest that racemic MDMA exerts simultaneous effects, reducing dyskinesia and extending ON-time, by 5-HT(2A) antagonism and SERT-selective mixed monoamine uptake inhibition, which arise from its R and S enantiomers, respectively.

  14. Thizzin’—Ecstasy use contexts and emergent social meanings

    PubMed Central

    Battle, Robynn S.; Soller, Brian; Brandes, Naomi

    2011-01-01

    The drug “Ecstasy” has been most commonly associated with raves, or electronic music dance events, and attributed with sexual disinhibition. In an ethnographic investigation of drug use among second-generation Southeast Asian youth in Northern California (2003), respondents described little use of or interest in using Ecstasy; yet in a second study, Ecstasy was the fourth most commonly-used substance. This paper investigates the social contexts for this change in use patterns. Respondents were second-generation Southeast Asian youths and young adults between the ages of 15 and 26 who were currently or recently drug-involved. We compared qualitative data from the two studies and found emerging patterns of meaning and context related to the observed change in use patterns. Ecstasy use among co-resident African American youth within the context of the local “hyphy” hip-hop music subculture had influenced Southeast Asian youths’ uptake of the drug, known as “thizz.” Respondents referred to the effects of the drug as “thizzin’,” described as energizing, disinhibiting, numbing, and emotion enhancing. Reported consequences of “thizzin’” included violence and aggression as well as fun, while sexual disinhibition was rarely mentioned. The meanings assigned to drugs, including the effects ascribed to them, may be relative to the social contexts within which users are exposed to and consume drugs. The findings indicate the susceptibility of youths to local trends in drug use, particularly associated with popular cultural movements and music. Second-generation youths may be particularly susceptible relative to the conditions of their immigration and processes of identity formation unique to them. PMID:22025908

  15. Does Addiction Run in Families?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Addiction Run in Families? Does Addiction Run in Families? Listen PDF: EasyToRead_WhatIsAddiction_Final_012017.pdf Addiction ... Español English Español "Heart disease runs in some families. Addiction runs in ours." ©istock.com/ Antonio_Diaz ...

  16. Prospective Memory Deficits in Ecstasy Users: Effects of Longer Ongoing Task Delay Interval

    PubMed Central

    WEINBORN, MICHAEL; WOODS, STEVEN PAUL; NULSEN, CLAIRE; PARK, KATHERINE

    2011-01-01

    Ecstasy use has been associated with neurotoxicity and neurocognitive impairment in a variety of domains, including prospective memory (ProM), which involves the delayed execution of a previously encoded intention in response to a specific cue. The present study adopted the multiprocess theory of ProM to evaluate the hypothesis that ecstasy users would evidence differentially impaired ProM on longer versus shorter ongoing task delays. Ecstasy (n = 31) users, high-risk alcohol users (n = 21) and healthy nonusers (n = 31) completed the short (2-min) and long (15-min) delay ProM scales of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test. Results showed a significant group by ProM delay interaction, such that ecstasy users performed comparably to the comparison groups on short-delay trials, but were impaired on long-delay ProM, particularly for time-based cues. Among the ecstasy users, long-delay ProM was positively associated with risky decision-making, but not with retrospective memory or other aspects of executive functions. These findings suggest that ecstasy users may be particularly susceptible to deficits in strategic target monitoring and maintenance of cue-intention pairings over longer ProM delays. Findings are discussed in the context of their potential everyday functioning (e.g., academic, vocational) and treatment implications for ecstasy users. PMID:22047194

  17. Tri-city Study of Ecstasy Use Problems: A Latent Class Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Scheier, Lawrence M.; Abdallah, Arbi Ben; Inciardi, James A.; Copeland, Jan; Cottler, Linda B.

    2008-01-01

    This study used latent class analysis to examine distinctive subtypes of Ecstasy users based on 24 abuse and dependence symptoms underlying standard DSM-IV criteria. Data came from a three-site, population-based, epidemiological study to examine diagnostic nosology for Ecstasy use. Subject inclusion criteria included lifetime Ecstasy use exceeding five times and once in the past year, with participants ranging in age between 16 to 47 years of age from St. Louis, Miami, U.S. and Sydney, Australia. A satisfactory model typified four latent classes representing clearly differentiated diagnostic clusters including: (1) A group of sub-threshold users endorsing few abuse and dependence symptom (negatives), (2) A group of ‘diagnostic orphans’ who had characteristic features of dependence for a select group of symptoms (mild dependent), (3) a ‘transitional group’ mimicking the orphans with regard to their profile of dependence also but reporting some abuse symptoms (moderate dependent), and (4) a ‘severe dependent’ group with a distinct profile of abuse and dependence symptoms. A multinomial logistic regression model indicated that certain latent classes showed unique associations with external non-diagnostic markers. Controlling for demographic characteristics and lifetime quantity of Ecstasy pill use, criminal behavior and motivational cues for Ecstasy use were the most efficient predictors of cluster membership. This study reinforces the heuristic utility of DSM-IV criteria applied to Ecstasy but with a different collage of symptoms that produced four distinct classes of Ecstasy users. PMID:18674872

  18. A review of addiction.

    PubMed

    Clay, Steven W; Allen, Jason; Parran, Theorore

    2008-07-31

    Addiction to drugs and alcohol is often undiagnosed and untreated. Physicians are often unaware or have negative attitudes regarding these patients, such as the perception that treatment is ineffective. Addiction--psychological dependence with or without tolerance and withdrawal--is essentially compulsive uncontrolled substance use despite physical, psychological, or social consequences. We now have an understanding of the 2 major neurological pathways involved in addiction. First, the mesolimbic dopamine reward pathway, which is essential for survival, can be physically altered by drug abuse to result in uncontrolled cravings. Second, the decision-making prefrontal cortex, which suppresses inappropriate reward response, can also be altered by drug abuse. Thus, accelerated "go" signals and impaired "stop" signals result in uncontrolled use despite severe consequences. Further, addicts can be predisposed to addiction by genetic defects in reward pathway neurotransmission and stress-related developmental brain abnormalities. Relapse to drug use can occur because of stress or cue-related reward pathway stimulation or even by a single drug dose. Individualized treatment of addiction, including pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral interventions, can be as successful as treatment of other chronic diseases. Several pharmaceuticals are available or under study for these disorders. Waiting for the addict to "be ready" for treatment can be dangerous and detoxification alone is often ineffective. The physician's role in treating addiction includes prevention, diagnosis, brief intervention, motivational interviewing, referral, and follow-up care. An understanding of the biological reality of addiction allows physicians to understand addicts as having a brain disease. Further, the reality of effective pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral treatments for addiction allows physicians to be more optimistic in treating addicts. The challenge to the physician is to embrace the

  19. "Addiction Proneness" and Personality in Heroin Addicts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platt, Jerome J.

    1975-01-01

    A carefully controlled comparison of the personality characteristics of heroin addict (n=27) and nonaddict (n=20) offenders was carried out so as to avoid methodological problems associated with earlier studies. (Editor)

  20. Brief interventions to reduce Ecstasy use: a multi-site randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Norberg, Melissa M; Hides, Leanne; Olivier, Jake; Khawar, Laila; McKetin, Rebecca; Copeland, Jan

    2014-11-01

    Studies examining the ability of motivational enhancement therapy (MET) to augment education provision among ecstasy users have produced mixed results and none have examined whether treatment fidelity was related to ecstasy use outcomes. The primary objectives of this multi-site, parallel, two-group randomized controlled trial were to determine if a single-session of MET could instill greater commitment to change and reduce ecstasy use and related problems more so than an education-only intervention and whether MET sessions delivered with higher treatment fidelity are associated with better outcomes. The secondary objective was to assess participants' satisfaction with their assigned interventions. Participants (N=174; Mage=23.62) at two Australian universities were allocated randomly to receive a 15-minute educational session on ecstasy use (n=85) or a 50-minute session of MET that included an educational component (n=89). Primary outcomes were assessed at baseline, and then at 4-, 16-, and 24-weeks postbaseline, while the secondary outcome measure was assessed 4-weeks postbaseline by researchers blind to treatment allocation. Overall, the treatment fidelity was acceptable to good in the MET condition. There were no statistical differences at follow-up between the groups on the primary outcomes of ecstasy use, ecstasy-related problems, and commitment to change. Both intervention groups reported a 50% reduction in their ecstasy use and a 20% reduction in the severity of their ecstasy-related problems at the 24-week follow up. Commitment to change slightly improved for both groups (9%-17%). Despite the lack of between-group statistical differences on primary outcomes, participants who received a single session of MET were slightly more satisfied with their intervention than those who received education only. MI fidelity was not associated with ecstasy use outcomes. Given these findings, future research should focus on examining mechanisms of change. Such work may

  1. Drug addiction. Part III. Pharmacotherapy of addiction.

    PubMed

    Vetulani, J

    2001-01-01

    The last decade brought a considerable progress in pharmacotherapy of addiction. Basing on recently gained knowledge of mechanisms of development of addiction and the physiology of the brain reward system, several therapeutic strategies have evolved. The strategies aimed at targeting the basic mechanisms of addiction rely on the premises that addiction is caused by adaptive changes in the central nervous system and that craving, which is the main cause of relapse, depends on dopaminergic mechanisms and requires high general excitability. The pharmacological approach involves drugs that reduce neuronal adaptability by inhibiting the calcium entry to neurons both through voltage-gated channels (e.g. nimodipine) and NMDA receptors (e.g. memantine), and drugs that stimulate the inhibitory GABAergic system (gamma-vinyl-GABA, baclofen), Particular attention is paid to the compounds that may attenuate dopaminergic hyperactivity, without considerable suppression of tonic activity of dopaminergic neurons (e.g. BP 897, a partial dopamine D3 receptor antagonist). Specific strategies are aimed at interference with the action of particular drugs of addiction. An important group includes the agonistic therapies (known also as substitution or maintenance therapies) in which a long-acting agonist is used in order to reduce the action of the drugs of high addictive potential (e.g. methadone against heroin addiction or vanoxerine (GBR 12909) against psychostimulants). Other specific strategies aimed at reduction of the transport of molecules of addictive substances into the brain: the approaches involve preparation of antibodies that form complexes unable to cross blood-brain barrier or enzymes accelerating the metabolism of the compounds in the blood (e.g. variants of butyrylcholinesterase). A considerable progress has been made in combating the abuse of legal addictive substances, alcohol (naltrexone, acamprosate) and tobacco (bupropion). The prospects for developing effective

  2. Internet Addiction and Other Behavioral Addictions.

    PubMed

    Jorgenson, Alicia Grattan; Hsiao, Ray Chih-Jui; Yen, Cheng-Fang

    2016-07-01

    The Internet is increasingly influential in the lives of adolescents. Although there are many positives, there are also risks related to excessive use and addiction. It is important to recognize clinical signs and symptoms of Internet addiction (compulsive use, withdrawal, tolerance, and adverse consequences), treat comorbid conditions (other substance use disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and hostility), and initiate psychosocial interventions. More research on this topic will help to provide consensus on diagnostic criteria and further clarify optimal management.

  3. Altered energy production, lowered antioxidant potential, and inflammatory processes mediate CNS damage associated with abuse of the psychostimulants MDMA and methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Downey, Luke A; Loftis, Jennifer M

    2014-03-15

    Central nervous system (CNS) damage associated with psychostimulant dependence may be an ongoing, degenerative process with adverse effects on neuropsychiatric function. However, the molecular mechanisms regarding how altered energy regulation affects immune response in the context of substance use disorders are not fully understood. This review summarizes the current evidence regarding the effects of psychostimulant [particularly 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine] exposure on brain energy regulation, immune response, and neuropsychiatric function. Importantly, the neuropsychiatric impairments (e.g., cognitive deficits, depression, and anxiety) that persist following abstinence are associated with poorer treatment outcomes - increased relapse rates, lower treatment retention rates, and reduced daily functioning. Qualifying the molecular changes within the CNS according to the exposure and use patterns of specifically abused substances should inform the development of new therapeutic approaches for addiction treatment.

  4. Non-addictive psychoactive drug use: Implications for behavioral addiction.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Mark D

    2011-12-01

    The newly proposed framework for non-addictive psychoactive substances postulated by Müller & Schumann (M&S) provides an interesting and plausible explanation for non-addictive drug use. However, with specific reference to the relevant behavioral addiction literature, this commentary argues that the model may unexpectedly hold utility not only for non-addictive use of drugs, but also for non-addictive use of other potentially addictive behaviors.

  5. Addiction and will

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Brian

    2013-01-01

    A hypothesis about the neurobiological bases of drive, drive reduction and will in addictive illness is presented. Drive reduction seems to require both SEEKING and gratification. Will is the everyday term for our experience of drives functioning within us. Addictive drugs take over the will by altering neurotransmission in the SEEKING system. As a result of this biological change, psychological defenses are arrayed that allow partial gratification and reduce anxiety about the consequences of drug use. Repeated partial gratification of the addictive drive creates a cathexis to the drug and the drug seller. It also keeps the addicted person in a permanent state of SEEKING. The cathexis to the drug and drug seller creates a difficult situation for psychoanalytic therapists. The actively addicted patient will have one set of feelings for the analyst, and a split off set of feelings for the drug dealer. Addictive neuroses, which feature a split transference, are contrasted with Freud’s concept of transference and narcissistic neuroses. For treatment of an actively addicted patient, the treater must negotiate the split transference. By analyzing the denial system the relationship with the drug dealer ends and the hostility involved in addictive behavior enters the transference where it can be interpreted. Selling drugs that take over the will is a lucrative enterprise. The addictive drug industry, about the size of the oil and gas industry worldwide, produces many patients in need of treatment. The marketers of addictive drugs understand the psychology of inducing initial ingestion of the drugs, and of managing their addicted populations. The neuropsychoanalytic understanding of addiction might be used to create more effective public health interventions to combat this morbid and mortal illness. PMID:24062657

  6. Addiction and will.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Brian

    2013-01-01

    A hypothesis about the neurobiological bases of drive, drive reduction and will in addictive illness is presented. Drive reduction seems to require both SEEKING and gratification. Will is the everyday term for our experience of drives functioning within us. Addictive drugs take over the will by altering neurotransmission in the SEEKING system. As a result of this biological change, psychological defenses are arrayed that allow partial gratification and reduce anxiety about the consequences of drug use. Repeated partial gratification of the addictive drive creates a cathexis to the drug and the drug seller. It also keeps the addicted person in a permanent state of SEEKING. The cathexis to the drug and drug seller creates a difficult situation for psychoanalytic therapists. The actively addicted patient will have one set of feelings for the analyst, and a split off set of feelings for the drug dealer. Addictive neuroses, which feature a split transference, are contrasted with Freud's concept of transference and narcissistic neuroses. For treatment of an actively addicted patient, the treater must negotiate the split transference. By analyzing the denial system the relationship with the drug dealer ends and the hostility involved in addictive behavior enters the transference where it can be interpreted. Selling drugs that take over the will is a lucrative enterprise. The addictive drug industry, about the size of the oil and gas industry worldwide, produces many patients in need of treatment. The marketers of addictive drugs understand the psychology of inducing initial ingestion of the drugs, and of managing their addicted populations. The neuropsychoanalytic understanding of addiction might be used to create more effective public health interventions to combat this morbid and mortal illness.

  7. MDMA administration decreases serotonin but not N-acetylaspartate in the rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Perrine, Shane A.; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Michaels, Mark S.; Hyde, Elisabeth M.; Kuhn, Donald M.; Galloway, Matthew P.

    2010-01-01

    In animals, repeated administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) reduces markers of serotonergic activity and studies show similar serotonergic deficits in human MDMA users. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) at 11.7 Tesla, we measured the metabolic neurochemical profile in intact, discrete tissue punches taken from prefrontal cortex, anterior striatum, and hippocampus of rats administered MDMA (5 mg/kg IP, 4× q 2 h) or saline and euthanized 7 days after the last injection. Monoamine content was measured with HPLC in contralateral punches from striatum and hippocampus to compare the MDMA-induced loss of 5HT innervation with constituents in the 1H-MRS profile. When assessed 7 days after the last MDMA injection, levels of hippocampal and striatal serotonin (5HT) were significantly reduced, consistent with published animal studies. N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels were significantly increased in prefrontal cortex and not affected in anterior striatum or hippocampus; myo-inositol (INS) levels were increased in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus but not anterior striatum. Glutamate levels were increased in prefrontal cortex and decreased in hippocampus, while GABA levels were decreased only in hippocampus. The data suggest that NAA may not reliably reflect MDMA-induced 5HT neurotoxicity. However, the collective pattern of changes in 5HT, INS, glutamate and GABA is consistent with persistent hippocampal neuroadaptations caused by MDMA. PMID:20800616

  8. Effects of MDMA on olfactory memory and reversal learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Hawkey, Andrew; April, L Brooke; Galizio, Mark

    2014-10-01

    The effects of acute and sub-chronic MDMA were assessed using a procedure designed to test rodent working memory capacity: the odor span task (OST). Rats were trained to select an odor that they had not previously encountered within the current session, and the number of odors to remember was incremented up to 24 during the course of each session. In order to separate drug effects on the OST from more general performance impairment, a simple olfactory discrimination was also assessed in each session. In Experiment 1, acute doses of MDMA were administered prior to select sessions. MDMA impaired memory span in a dose-dependent fashion, but impairment was seen only at doses (1.8 and 3.0 mg/kg) that also increased response omissions on both the simple discrimination and the OST. In Experiment 2, a sub-chronic regimen of MDMA (10.0 mg/kg, twice daily over four days) was administered after OST training. There was no evidence of reduced memory span following sub-chronic MDMA, but a temporary increase in omission errors on the OST was observed. In addition, rats exposed to sub-chronic MDMA showed delayed learning when the simple discrimination was reversed. Overall, the disruptive effects of both acute and sub-chronic MDMA appeared to be due to non-mnemonic processes, rather than effects on specific memory functions.

  9. Neural and behavioural changes in male periadolescent mice after prolonged nicotine-MDMA treatment.

    PubMed

    Adeniyi, Philip A; Ishola, Azeez O; Laoye, Babafemi J; Olatunji, Babawale P; Bankole, Oluwamolakun O; Shallie, Philemon D; Ogundele, Olalekan M

    2016-02-01

    The interaction between MDMA and Nicotine affects multiple brain centres and neurotransmitter systems (serotonin, dopamine and glutamate) involved in motor coordination and cognition. In this study, we have elucidated the effect of prolonged (10 days) MDMA, Nicotine and a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment on motor-cognitive neural functions. In addition, we have shown the correlation between the observed behavioural change and neural structural changes induced by these treatments in BALB/c mice. We observed that MDMA (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) induced a decline in motor function, while Nicotine (2 mg/Kg body weight; subcutaneous) improved motor function in male periadolescent mice. In combined treatment, Nicotine reduced the motor function decline observed in MDMA treatment, thus no significant change in motor function for the combined treatment versus the control. Nicotine or MDMA treatment reduced memory function and altered hippocampal structure. Similarly, a combined Nicotine-MDMA treatment reduced memory function when compared with the control. Ultimately, the metabolic and structural changes in these neural systems were seen to vary for the various forms of treatment. It is noteworthy to mention that a combined treatment increased the rate of lipid peroxidation in brain tissue.

  10. Organic impurity profiling of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) synthesised from catechol.

    PubMed

    Heather, Erin; Shimmon, Ronald; McDonagh, Andrew M

    2015-03-01

    This work examines the organic impurity profile of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) that has been synthesised from catechol (1,2-dihydroxybenzene), a common chemical reagent available in industrial quantities. The synthesis of MDMA from catechol proceeded via the common MDMA precursor safrole. Methylenation of catechol yielded 1,3-benzodioxole, which was brominated and then reacted with magnesium allyl bromide to form safrole. Eight organic impurities were identified in the synthetic safrole. Safrole was then converted to 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (MDP2P) using two synthetic methods: Wacker oxidation (Route 1) and an isomerisation/peracid oxidation/acid dehydration method (Route 2). MDMA was then synthesised by reductive amination of MDP2P. Thirteen organic impurities were identified in MDMA synthesised via Route 1 and eleven organic impurities were identified in MDMA synthesised via Route 2. Overall, organic impurities in MDMA prepared from catechol indicated that synthetic safrole was used in the synthesis. The impurities also indicated which of the two synthetic routes was utilised.

  11. Addiction to melodrama.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Robert P

    2011-01-01

    Addiction films have been shaped by the internal demands of a commercial medium. Specifically, melodrama, as a genre, has defined the limits of the visual representation of addiction. Similarly, the process of intermedialization has tended to induce a metamorphosis that shapes disparate narratives with diverse goals into a generic filmic form and substantially alters the meanings of the texts. Ultimately, visual representations shape public perceptions of addiction in meaningful ways, privileging a moralistic understanding of drug addiction that makes a complex issue visually uncomplicated by reinforcing "common sense" ideas of moral failure and redemption.

  12. Hidden addiction: Television

    PubMed Central

    Sussman, Steve; Moran, Meghan B.

    2013-01-01

    Background and aims: The most popular recreational pastime in the U.S. is television viewing. Some researchers have claimed that television may be addictive. We provide a review of the definition, etiology, prevention and treatment of the apparent phenomenon of television addiction. Methods: Selective review. Results: We provide a description of television (TV) addiction, including its negative consequences, assessment and potential etiology, considering neurobiological, cognitive and social/cultural factors. Next, we provide information on its prevention and treatment. Discussion and conclusions: We suggest that television addiction may function similarly to substance abuse disorders but a great deal more research is needed. PMID:25083294

  13. Microglial and astroglial activation by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in mice depends on S(+) enantiomer and is associated with an increase in body temperature and motility.

    PubMed

    Frau, Lucia; Simola, Nicola; Plumitallo, Antonio; Morelli, Micaela

    2013-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating to suggest that 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has neurotoxic and neuroinflammatory properties. MDMA is composed of two enantiomers with different biological activities. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effects of S(+)-MDMA, R(-)-MDMA, and S(+)-MDMA in combination with R(-)-MDMA on microglial and astroglial activation compared with racemic MDMA, by assessment of complement type 3 receptor (CD11b) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the mouse striatum, nucleus accumbens, motor cortex, and substantia nigra. Motor activity and body temperature were also measured, to elucidate the physiological modifications paired with the observed glial changes. Similar to racemic MDMA (4 × 20 mg/kg), S(+)-MDMA (4 × 10 mg/kg) increased both CD11b and GFAP in the striatum, although to a lower degree, whereas R(-)-MDMA (4 × 10 mg/kg) did not induce any significant glial activation. Combined administration of S(+) plus R(-)-MDMA did not induce any further activation compared with S(+)-MDMA. In all other areas, only racemic MDMA was able to slightly activate the microglia, but not the astroglia, whereas enantiomers had no effect, either alone or in combination. Racemic MDMA and S(+)-MDMA similarly increased motor activity and raised body temperature, whereas R(-)-MDMA affected neither body temperature nor motor activity. Interestingly, the increase in body temperature was correlated with glial activation. The results show that no synergism, but only additivity of effects, is caused by the combined administration of S(+)- and R(-)-MDMA, and underline the importance of investigating the biochemical and behavioral properties of the two MDMA enantiomers to understand their relative contribution to the neuroinflammatory and neurotoxic effects of MDMA.

  14. The preclinical pharmacology of mephedrone; not just MDMA by another name

    PubMed Central

    Green, A R; King, M V; Shortall, S E; Fone, K C F

    2014-01-01

    The substituted β-keto amphetamine mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) was banned in the UK in April 2010 but continues to be used recreationally in the UK and elsewhere. Users have compared its psychoactive effects to those of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’). This review critically examines the preclinical data on mephedrone that have appeared over the last 2–3 years and, where relevant, compares the pharmacological effects of mephedrone in experimental animals with those obtained following MDMA administration. Both mephedrone and MDMA enhance locomotor activity and change rectal temperature in rodents. However, both of these responses are of short duration following mephedrone compared with MDMA probably because mephedrone has a short plasma half-life and rapid metabolism. Mephedrone appears to have no pharmacologically active metabolites, unlike MDMA. There is also little evidence that mephedrone induces a neurotoxic decrease in monoamine concentration in rat or mouse brain, again in contrast to MDMA. Mephedrone and MDMA both induce release of dopamine and 5-HT in the brain as shown by in vivo and in vitro studies. The effect on 5-HT release in vivo is more marked with mephedrone even though both drugs have similar affinity for the dopamine and 5-HT transporters in vitro. The profile of action of mephedrone on monoamine receptors and transporters suggests it could have a high abuse liability and several studies have found that mephedrone supports self-administration at a higher rate than MDMA. Overall, current data suggest that mephedrone not only differs from MDMA in its pharmacological profile, behavioural and neurotoxic effects, but also differs from other cathinones. PMID:24654568

  15. Behavioral and neurochemical effects of repeated MDMA administration during late adolescence in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Brittney M.; Shah, Mrudang M.; Cichon, Teri; Tancer, Manuel E.; Galloway, Matthew P.; Thomas, David M.; Perrine, Shane A.

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents and young adults disproportionately abuse 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ‘Ecstasy’); however, since most MDMA research has concentrated on adults, the effects of MDMA on the developing brain remain obscure. Therefore, we evaluated place conditioning to MDMA (or saline) during late adolescence and assessed anxiety-like behavior and monoamine levels during abstinence. Rats were conditioned to associate 5 or 10 mg/kg MDMA or saline with contextual cues over 4 twice-daily sessions. Five days after conditioning, anxiety-like behavior was examined with the open field test and brain tissue was collected to assess serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the dorsal raphe, amygdala, and hippocampus by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). In a separate group of rats, anxiety-like and avoidant behaviors were measured using the light–dark box test under similar experimental conditions. MDMA conditioning caused a place aversion at 10, but not at 5, mg/kg, as well as increased anxiety-like behavior in the open field and avoidant behavior in light–dark box test at the same dose. Additionally, 10 mg/kg MDMA decreased 5-HT in the dorsal raphe, increased 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the amygdala, and did not alter levels in the hippocampus. Overall, we show that repeated high (10 mg/kg), but not low (5 mg/kg), dose MDMA during late adolescence in rats increases anxiety-like and avoidant behaviors, accompanied by region-specific alterations in 5-HT levels during abstinence. These results suggest that MDMA causes a region-specific dysregulation of the serotonin system during adolescence that may contribute to maladaptive behavior. PMID:24121061

  16. Learning, Memory, and Executive Function in New MDMA Users: A 2-Year Follow-Up Study

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Daniel; Tkotz, Simon; Koester, Philip; Becker, Benjamin; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Euphrosyne; Daumann, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is associated with changes in neurocognitive performance. Recent studies in laboratory animals have provided additional support for the neurodegeneration hypothesis. However, results from animal research need to be applied to humans with caution. Moreover, several of the studies that examine MDMA users suffer from methodological shortcomings. Therefore, a prospective cohort study was designed in order to overcome these previous methodological shortcomings and to assess the relationship between the continuing use of MDMA and cognitive performance in incipient MDMA users. It was hypothesized that, depending on the amount of MDMA taken, the continued use of MDMA over a 2-year period would lead to further decreases in cognitive performance, especially in visual paired association learning tasks. Ninety-six subjects were assessed, at the second follow-up assessment: 31 of these were non-users, 55 moderate-users, and 10 heavy-users. Separate repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted for each cognitive domain, including attention and information processing speed, episodic memory, and executive functioning. Furthermore, possible confounders including age, general intelligence, cannabis use, alcohol use, use of other concomitant substances, recent medical treatment, participation in sports, level of nutrition, sleep patterns, and subjective well-being were assessed. The Repeated measures analysis of variance (rANOVA) revealed that a marginally significant change in immediate and delayed recall test performances of visual paired associates learning had taken place within the follow-up period of 2 years. No further deterioration in continuing MDMA-users was observed in the second follow-up period. No significant differences with the other neuropsychological tests were noted. It seems that MDMA use can impair visual paired associates learning in new users. However, the groups differed in their use of concomitant use of

  17. Pleasure and Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Kennett, Jeanette; Matthews, Steve; Snoek, Anke

    2013-01-01

    What is the role and value of pleasure in addiction? Foddy and Savulescu (1) have claimed that substance use is just pleasure-oriented behavior. They describe addiction as “strong appetites toward pleasure” and argue that addicts suffer in significant part because of strong social and moral disapproval of lives dominated by pleasure seeking. But such lives, they claim, can be autonomous and rational. The view they offer is largely in line with the choice model and opposed to a disease model of addiction. Foddy and Savulescu are sceptical of self-reports that emphasize the ill effects of addiction such as loss of family and possessions, or that claim an absence of pleasure after tolerance sets in. Such reports they think are shaped by social stigma which makes available a limited set of socially approved addiction narratives. We will not question the claim that a life devoted to pleasure can be autonomously chosen. Nor do we question the claim that the social stigma attached to the use of certain drugs increases the harm suffered by the user. However our interviews with addicts (as philosophers rather than health professionals or peers) reveal a genuinely ambivalent and complex relationship between addiction, value, and pleasure. Our subjects did not shy away from discussing pleasure and its role in use. But though they usually valued the pleasurable properties of substances, and this played that did not mean that they valued an addictive life. Our interviews distinguished changing attitudes towards drug related pleasures across the course of substance use, including diminishing pleasure from use over time and increasing resentment at the effects of substance use on other valued activities. In this paper we consider the implications of what drug users say about pleasure and value over the course of addiction for models of addiction. PMID:24093020

  18. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis associated with the use of ecstasy

    PubMed Central

    Kayar, Yusuf; Kayar, Nuket Bayram; Gangarapu, Venkatanarayana

    2015-01-01

    Ecstasy is a drug, which causes serious side effects and sometimes it can be lethal. These effects are due to idiosyncratic reactions as a result of various stimulations in adrenergic receptors. Here we present a case of a 36-year-old male patient who was diagnosed with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with the use of ecstasy. Plasmapheresis along with methylprednisolone treatment restores patient condition to normal. PMID:25878432

  19. Internet Addiction among Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sargin, Nurten

    2012-01-01

    Each innovation brings along many risks. One of the risks related with the Internet use is Internet addiction. The aim of this study is to examine Internet addiction in adolescence in terms of gender, Internet access at home and grades. The research design used was survey method. The study population consisted of second stage students attending…

  20. Internet Addiction and Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koc, Mustafa

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the relationships between university students' internet addiction and psychopathology in Turkey. The study was based on data drawn from a national survey of university students in Turkey. 174 university students completed the SCL-90-R scale and Addicted Internet Users Inventory. Results show that students who use internet six…

  1. Addiction: Choice or Compulsion?

    PubMed Central

    Henden, Edmund; Melberg, Hans Olav; Røgeberg, Ole Jørgen

    2013-01-01

    Normative thinking about addiction has traditionally been divided between, on the one hand, a medical model which sees addiction as a disease characterized by compulsive and relapsing drug use over which the addict has little or no control and, on the other, a moral model which sees addiction as a choice characterized by voluntary behavior under the control of the addict. Proponents of the former appeal to evidence showing that regular consumption of drugs causes persistent changes in the brain structures and functions known to be involved in the motivation of behavior. On this evidence, it is often concluded that becoming addicted involves a transition from voluntary, chosen drug use to non-voluntary compulsive drug use. Against this view, proponents of the moral model provide ample evidence that addictive drug use involves voluntary chosen behavior. In this article we argue that although they are right about something, both views are mistaken. We present a third model that neither rules out the view of addictive drug use as compulsive, nor that it involves voluntary chosen behavior. PMID:23966955

  2. Counseling Compulsive Resume Addiction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karp, Marshall J.

    Compulsive Resume Addiction (CRA) is a condition where applicants become dependent on their written credentials to get new employment. It is similar to other addictions in that the person manifests short-term, gratification-seeking behavior with the long term cost in self-esteem and self-confidence. Applicants get stuck in thinking that a better…

  3. [Addictive behavior disorders].

    PubMed

    Masaki, Daiki; Tsuchida, Hideto; Kitabayashi, Yurinosuke; Tani, Naosuke; Fukui, Kenji

    2007-10-01

    "Addiction" used to remind anyone of the use or abuse of chemical substances. In recent years, however, researchers and clinicians have begun to classify other excessive behaviors including gambling, eating shopping and self-injury into the addictive behavior. Above all, pathological gambling and bulimia nervosa patients often make trouble for psychiatrists and psychologists, not only for their family. On the other hand, the neural substrata underlying substance dependence have been revealed. Especially, it is implicated that the mesolimbic neuron plays a crucial role on the reward system. The recent studies suggest that reduced activation of the reward system might be related to the addictive behaviors such as pathological gambling, binge eating and sexual behavior. Further biological researches about the addictive behavior would help our deeper understanding of its disorders. As to the pharmacotherapy, many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in treating the addictive behaviors.

  4. Attitudes about Addiction: A National Study of Addiction Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Broadus, Angela D.; Hartje, Joyce A.; Roget, Nancy A.; Cahoon, Kristy L.; Clinkinbeard, Samantha S.

    2010-01-01

    The following study, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), utilized the "Addiction Belief Inventory" (ABI; Luke, Ribisl, Walton, & Davidson, 2002) to examine addiction attitudes in a national sample of U.S. college/university faculty teaching addiction-specific courses (n = 215). Results suggest that addiction educators view…

  5. [Cocaine - Characteristics and addiction].

    PubMed

    Girczys-Połedniok, Katarzyna; Pudlo, Robert; Jarząb, Magdalena; Szymlak, Agnieszka

    Cocaine use leads to health, social and legal problems. The aim of this paper is to discuss cocaine action, addicts characteristics, use patterns and consequences, as well as addiction treatment methods. A literature review was based on the Medline, PubMed, Polish Medical Bibliography databases and the Silesian Library resources. The Police and Central Statistical Office statistics, as well as the World Health Organization, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the National Office for Combating Drug Addiction reports were used. Cocaine leads to mood improvement, appetite decrease, physical and intellectual activity enhancement, euphoria, inflated self-esteem, social networking ease and increased sexual desire. Cocaine hydrochloride is mainly used intranasaly, but also as intravenous and subcutaneous injections. Cocaine use and first addiction treatment fall in later age compared to other psychoactive substances. There is a high men to women ratio among addicts. There is a relationship between cocaine addiction, the presence of other disorders and genetic predisposition to addiction development. Polish reports indicate higher popularity of cocaine among people with a high economic and social status. Although Poland is a country with the low percentage of cocaine use, its popularity is growing. The consequences of cocaine use concern somatic and mental health problems, socioeconomic and legal conditions. The drug plays a role in crimes and traffic accidents. Because of the risks associated with cocaine use, it has been listed in a register of drugs attached to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction. Addiction treatment includes psychological, pharmacological and harm reduction strategies. Med Pr 2016;67(4):537-544.

  6. Synthetic studies and pharmacological evaluations on the MDMA (“Ecstasy”) antagonist Nantenine

    PubMed Central

    LeGendre, Onica; Pecic, Stevan; Chaudhary, Sandeep; Zimmerman, Sarah M.; Fantegrossi, William E.; Harding, Wayne W.

    2009-01-01

    The naturally occurring aporphine alkaloid nantenine, has been shown to antagonize behavioral and physiological effects of MDMA in mice. We have synthesized (±)-nantenine via an oxidative cyclization reaction with PIFA and evaluated its binding profile against a panel of CNS targets. To begin to understand the importance of the chiral center of nantenine with regards to its capacity to antagonize the effects of MDMA in vivo, (R)- and (S)-nantenine were prepared and evaluated in a food-reinforced operant task in rats. Pretreatment with either nantenine enantiomer (0.3 mg/kg i.p.) completely blocked the behavioral suppression induced upon administration of 3.0 mg/kg MDMA. (±)-Nantenine displayed high affinity and selectivity for the α1A adrenergic receptor among several other receptors suggesting that this α1 subtype may be significantly involved in the anti-MDMA effects of the enantiomers. PMID:19963380

  7. Pseudorotaxane capped mesoporous silica nanoparticles for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) detection in water.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Torres, Beatriz; Pascual, Lluís; Bernardos, Andrea; Marcos, María D; Jeppesen, Jan O; Salinas, Yolanda; Martínez-Máñez, Ramón; Sancenón, Félix

    2017-03-23

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with fluorescein and capped by a pseudorotaxane, formed between a naphthalene derivative and cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) (CBPQT(4+)), were used for the selective and sensitive fluorogenic detection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

  8. Pizotyline effectively attenuates the stimulus effects of N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA).

    PubMed

    Young, Richard; Khorana, Nantaka; Bondareva, Tatiana; Glennon, Richard A

    2005-10-01

    MDMA (N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) produces a discriminative stimulus (DS) effect in animals, but attempts to completely block this action with selective neurotransmitter antagonists have not been very successful. Biochemically, MDMA can increase synaptic levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine that, conceivably, might interact with multiple populations or subpopulations of neurotransmitter receptors. The present study attempted to antagonize the DS effects of MDMA using the nonselective agents clozapine, cyproheptadine, and pizotyline. An extensive and comparative radioligand binding profile was also obtained for the latter two agents. The purported antagonists were administered in combination with the training dose of MDMA to groups of Sprague-Dawley rats trained to discriminate 1.5 mg/kg of MDMA from saline vehicle in a standard two-lever operant paradigm using a VI-15s schedule of reinforcement. Clozapine was without effect at the doses evaluated, and cyproheptadine only partially attenuated MDMA-appropriate responding. In contrast, pizotyline (AD50=2.5 mg/kg), in combination with the MDMA training dose, resulted in a dose related decrease in percent drug-appropriate responding to saline levels. In a separate group of animals trained to discriminate the structurally-related agent N-methyl-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (PMMA) from vehicle, pretreatment with pizotyline also resulted in a substantial decrease in drug-appropriate responding. The results with cyproheptadine and pizotyline in the binding assays confirmed that these agents display high affinity for multiple subpopulations of serotonergic, dopaminergic, adrenergic, histaminergic, and cholinergic receptors. The overall results of the present investigation indicate that pizotyline, which is clinically available in some countries, might be of clinical utility in the treatment of MDMA overdose.

  9. The process addictions and the new ASAM definition of addiction.

    PubMed

    Smith, David E

    2012-01-01

    Addiction is a primary, chronic disease involving brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry; it can lead to relapse, progressive development, and the potential for fatality if not treated. While pathological use of alcohol and, more recently, psychoactive substances have been accepted as addictive diseases, developing brain science has set the stage for inclusion of the process addictions, including food, sex, shopping and gambling problems, in a broader definition of addiction as set forth by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in 2011.

  10. Objective color classification of ecstasy tablets by hyperspectral imaging.

    PubMed

    Edelman, Gerda; Lopatka, Martin; Aalders, Maurice

    2013-07-01

    The general procedure followed in the examination of ecstasy tablets for profiling purposes includes a color description, which depends highly on the observers' perception. This study aims to provide objective quantitative color information using visible hyperspectral imaging. Both self-manufactured and illicit tablets, created with different amounts of known colorants were analyzed. We derived reflectance spectra from hyperspectral images of these tablets, and successfully determined the most likely colorant used in the production of all self-manufactured tablets and four of five illicit tablets studied. Upon classification, the concentration of the colorant was estimated using a photon propagation model and a single reference measurement of a tablet of known concentration. The estimated concentrations showed a high correlation with the actual values (R(2) = 0.9374). The achieved color information, combined with other physical and chemical characteristics, can provide a powerful tool for the comparison of tablet seizures, which may reveal their origin.

  11. Enantioselective degradation of amphetamine-like environmental micropollutants (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and MDA) in urban water.

    PubMed

    Evans, Sian E; Bagnall, John; Kasprzyk-Hordern, Barbara

    2016-08-01

    This paper aims to understand enantioselective transformation of amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) and MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) during wastewater treatment and in receiving waters. In order to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the processes occurring, stereoselective transformation of amphetamine-like compounds was studied, for the first time, in controlled laboratory experiments: receiving water and activated sludge simulating microcosm systems. The results demonstrated that stereoselective degradation, via microbial metabolic processes favouring S-(+)-enantiomer, occurred in all studied amphetamine-based compounds in activated sludge simulating microcosms. R-(-)-enantiomers were not degraded (or their degradation was limited) which proves their more recalcitrant nature. Out of all four amphetamine-like compounds studied, amphetamine was the most susceptible to biodegradation. It was followed by MDMA and methamphetamine. Photochemical processes facilitated degradation of MDMA and methamphetamine but they were not, as expected, stereoselective. Preferential biodegradation of S-(+)-methamphetamine led to the formation of S-(+)-amphetamine. Racemic MDMA was stereoselectively biodegraded by activated sludge which led to its enrichment with R-(-)-enantiomer and formation of S-(+)-MDA. Interestingly, there was only mild stereoselectivity observed during MDMA degradation in rivers. This might be due to different microbial communities utilised during activated sludge treatment and those present in the environment. Kinetic studies confirmed the recalcitrant nature of MDMA.

  12. Neurochemical and neuroanatomic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Virus, R.; Commins, D.; Vosmer, G.; Woolverton, W.; Schuster, C.; Seiden, L.

    1986-03-05

    Rats injected s.c. twice daily for 4 consecutive days with 10,20, or 40 mg/kg MDMA or saline and sacrificed 2 weeks after the last injection showed dose-dependent reductions in serotonin (5-HT) concentrations in hypothalamus, hippocampus (HIP), striatum (STR), somatosensory cortex (SC) and other cortical areas (CTX). 5-HT depletion was maximal in HIP (11.5 +/- 1.7%) and SC (15.3 +/- 3.2%, p<0.001 in both cases) at the 40 mg/kg MDMA dose. Forty mg/kg MDMA also reduced the amounts of dopamine (DA) in STR (78.2 +/- 6.4%, p<0.001) and of norepinephrine (NE) in HIP (74.5 +/- 6.4%, P<0.025) and CTX (77.9 +/- 6.1%, p<0.05). In addition, 20 mg/kg MDMA markedly reduced the number of (/sup 3/H)5-HT uptake sites (V/sub max/ 35.2% of control) without affecting the affinity (K/sub m/) in HIP. Fink-Heimer staining showed that rats injected s.c. twice daily for 2 days with 80 mg/kg MDMA had greater degeneration of nerve terminals in STR (p<0.005) and pyramidal cells in Layer III of SC (p<0.01) than did control rats. These results clearly suggest that repeated exposure to MDMA selectively damages serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system of rats.

  13. Release of (/sup 3/H)-monoamines from superfused rat striatal slices by methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, J.A.; Schmidt, C.J.; Lovenberg, W.

    1986-03-05

    MDMA is a phenylisopropylamine which is reported to have unique behavioral effects in man. Because of its structural similarities to the amphetamines the authors have compared the effects of MDMA and two related amphetamines on the spontaneous release of tritiated dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5HT) from superfused rat striatal slices. At concentrations of 10/sup -7/ - 10/sup -5/M MDMA and the serotonergic neurotoxin, p-chloroamphetamine, were equipotent releasers of (/sup 3/H)5HT being approximately 10x more potent than methamphetamine. However, methamphetamine was the more potent releaser of (/sup 3/H)DA by a factor of approximately 10x. MDMA-induced release of both (/sup 5/H)5HT and (/sup 3/H)DA was Ca/sup 2 +/-independent and inhibited by selective monoamine uptake blockers suggesting a carrier-dependent release mechanism. Synaptosomal uptake experiments with (+)(/sup 3/H)MDMA indicated no specific uptake of the drug further suggesting the effect of uptake blockers may be to inhibit the carrier-mediated export of amines displaced by MDMA.

  14. Epidemiology of MDMA and associated club drugs in the Seattle area.

    PubMed

    Banta-Green, Caleb; Goldbaum, Gary; Kingston, Susan; Golden, Matthew; Harruff, Richard; Logan, Barry K

    2005-01-01

    Club drug use, MDMA in particular, appeared as a growing problem in the Seattle area in the late 1990s. To understand more about the patterns of MDMA use and to evaluate the current state of MDMA use, multiple data sources were examined. The seven data sources utilized included local community-based club drug surveys collected in 2003 at raves, treatment agencies, and gay-oriented bars and sex clubs; school surveys (collected in 2002); mortality data (deaths between 2000 and 2002); data from the sexually transmitted disease clinic (October 2002 to October 2003); focus groups (2003) with men who have sex with men; emergency department drug mentions (1995 to 2002); and drug treatment admissions (1999 to 2003). Taken together, these data indicate moderate levels of MDMA use and relatively low levels of mortality and acute morbidity. However, there are several areas of concern including possible mental health effects and high levels of suspected adulteration of MDMA. Some data point to a relationship between MDMA use and risky behaviors including unprotected sex. Implications for prevention, intervention, and treatment are discussed.

  15. Sex differences in addictive disorders.

    PubMed

    Fattore, Liana; Melis, Miriam; Fadda, Paola; Fratta, Walter

    2014-08-01

    Gender-dependent differences in the rate of initiation and frequency of misuse of addicting drugs have been widely described. Yet, men and women also differ in their propensity to become addicted to other rewarding stimuli (e.g., sex, food) or activities (e.g., gambling, exercising). The goal of the present review is to summarize current evidence for gender differences not only in drug addiction, but also in other forms of addictive behaviours. Thus, we first reviewed studies showing gender-dependent differences in drug addiction, food addiction, compulsive sexual activity, pathological gambling, Internet addiction and physical exercise addiction. Potential risk factors and underlying brain mechanisms are also examined, with particular emphasis given to the role of sex hormones in modulating addictive behaviours. Investigations on factors allowing the pursuit of non-drug rewards to become pathological in men and women are crucial for designing gender-appropriate treatments of both substance and non-substance addictions.

  16. Brain Stimulation in Addiction.

    PubMed

    Salling, Michael C; Martinez, Diana

    2016-11-01

    Localized stimulation of the human brain to treat neuropsychiatric disorders has been in place for over 20 years. Although these methods have been used to a greater extent for mood and movement disorders, recent work has explored brain stimulation methods as potential treatments for addiction. The rationale behind stimulation therapy in addiction involves reestablishing normal brain function in target regions in an effort to dampen addictive behaviors. In this review, we present the rationale and studies investigating brain stimulation in addiction, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. Overall, these studies indicate that brain stimulation has an acute effect on craving for drugs and alcohol, but few studies have investigated the effect of brain stimulation on actual drug and alcohol use or relapse. Stimulation therapies may achieve their effect through direct or indirect modulation of brain regions involved in addiction, either acutely or through plastic changes in neuronal transmission. Although these mechanisms are not well understood, further identification of the underlying neurobiology of addiction and rigorous evaluation of brain stimulation methods has the potential for unlocking an effective, long-term treatment of addiction.

  17. Evaluation of drug incorporation into hair segments and nails by enantiomeric analysis following controlled single MDMA intakes.

    PubMed

    Madry, Milena M; Steuer, Andrea E; Hysek, Cédric M; Liechti, Matthias E; Baumgartner, Markus R; Kraemer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Incorporation rates of the enantiomers of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) into hair and nails were investigated after controlled administration. Fifteen subjects without MDMA use received two doses of 125 mg of MDMA. Hair, nail scrapings, and nail clippings were collected 9-77 days after the last administration (median 20 days). Hair samples were analyzed in segments of 1- to 2-cm length. After chiral derivatization with N-(2,4-dinitro-5-fluorophenyl)-L-valinamide, MDMA and MDA diastereomers were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Highest concentrations in hair segments corresponded to the time of MDMA intake. They ranged from 101 to 3200 pg/mg and 71 to 860 pg/mg for R- and S-MDMA, and from 3.2 to 116 pg/mg and 4.4 to 108 pg/mg for R- and S-MDA, respectively. MDMA and MDA concentrations in nail scrapings and clippings were significantly lower than in hair samples. There was no significant difference between enantiomeric ratios of R/S-MDMA and R/S-MDA in hair and nail samples (medians 2.2-2.4 for MDMA and 0.85-0.95 for MDA). Metabolite ratios of MDA to MDMA were in the same range in hair and nail samples (medians 0.044-0.055). Our study demonstrates that administration of two representative doses of MDMA was detected in the hair segments corresponding to the time of intake based on average hair growth rates. MDMA was detected in all nail samples regardless of time passed after intake. Comparable R/S ratios in hair and nail samples may indicate that incorporation mechanisms into both matrices are comparable.

  18. A 3-lever discrimination procedure reveals differences in the subjective effects of low and high doses of MDMA.

    PubMed

    Harper, David N; Langen, Anna-Lena; Schenk, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Drug discrimination studies have suggested that the subjective effects of low doses of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are readily differentiated from those of d-amphetamine (AMPH) and that the discriminative stimulus properties are mediated by serotonergic and dopaminergic mechanisms, respectively. Previous studies, however, have primarily examined responses to doses that do not produce substantial increases in extracellular dopamine. The present study determined whether doses of MDMA that produce increases in synaptic dopamine would also produce subjective effects that were more like AMPH and were sensitive to pharmacological manipulation of D1-like receptors. A three-lever drug discrimination paradigm was used. Rats were trained to respond on different levers following saline, AMPH (0.5mg/kg, IP) or MDMA (1.5mg/kg, IP) injections. Generalization curves were generated for a range of different doses of both drugs and the effect of the D1-like antagonist, SCH23390 on the discriminative stimulus effects of different doses of MDMA was determined. Rats accurately discriminated MDMA, AMPH and saline. Low doses of MDMA produced almost exclusive responding on the MDMA lever but at doses of 3.0mg/kg MDMA or higher, responding shifted to the AMPH lever. The AMPH response produced by higher doses of MDMA was attenuated by pretreatment with SCH23390. The data suggest that low doses and higher doses of MDMA produce distinct discriminative stimuli. The shift to AMPH-like responding following administration of higher doses of MDMA, and the decrease in this response following administration of SCH23390 suggests a dopaminergic component to the subjective experience of MDMA at higher doses.

  19. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): interindividual differences due to polymorphisms and drug-drug interactions.

    PubMed

    Rietjens, Saskia J; Hondebrink, Laura; Westerink, Remco H S; Meulenbelt, Jan

    2012-11-01

    Clinical outcome following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) intake ranges from mild entactogenic effects to a life-threatening intoxication. Despite ongoing research, the clinically most relevant mechanisms causing acute MDMA-induced adverse effects remain largely unclear. This complicates the triage and treatment of MDMA users needing medical care. The user's genetic profile and interactions resulting from polydrug use are key factors that modulate the individual response to MDMA and influence MDMA pharmacokinetics and dynamics, and thus clinical outcome. Polymorphisms in CYP2D6, resulting in poor metabolism status, as well as co-exposure of MDMA with specific substances (e.g. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)) can increase MDMA plasma levels, but can also decrease the formation of toxic metabolites and subsequent cellular damage. While pre-exposure to e.g. SSRIs can increase MDMA plasma levels, clinical effects (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature) can be reduced, possibly due to a pharmacodynamic interaction at the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT). Pretreatment with inhibitors of the dopamine or norepinephrine reuptake transporter (DAT or NET), 5-HT(2A) or α-β adrenergic receptor antagonists or antipsychotics prior to MDMA exposure can also decrease one or more MDMA-induced physiological and/or subjective effects. Carvedilol, ketanserin and haloperidol can reduce multiple MDMA-induced clinical and neurotoxic effects. Thus besides supportive care, i.e. sedation using benzodiazepines, intravenous hydration, aggressive cooling and correction of electrolytes, it is worthwhile to investigate the usefulness of carvedilol, ketanserin and haloperidol in the treatment of MDMA-intoxicated patients.

  20. MDMA Increases Excitability in the Dentate Gyrus: Role of 5HT2A Receptor Induced PGE2 Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Stuart A.; Huff, Courtney; Chiaia, Nicolas; Gudelsky, Gary A.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.

    2015-01-01

    MDMA is a widely abused psychostimulant which causes release of serotonin in various forebrain regions. Recently, we reported that MDMA increases extracellular glutamate concentrations in the dentate gyrus, via activation of 5HT2A receptors. We examined the role of prostaglandin signaling in mediating the effects of 5HT2A receptor activation on the increases in extracellular glutamate and the subsequent long-term loss of parvalbumin interneurons in the dentate gyrus caused by MDMA. Administration of MDMA into the dentate gyrus of rats increased PGE2 concentrations which was prevented by coadministration of MDL100907, a 5HT2A receptor antagonist. MDMA-induced increases in extracellular glutamate were inhibited by local administration of SC-51089, an inhibitor of the EP1 prostaglandin receptor. Systemic administration of SC-51089 during injections of MDMA prevented the decreases in parvalbumin interneurons observed 10 days later. The loss of parvalbumin immunoreactivity after MDMA exposure coincided with a decrease in paired-pulse inhibition and afterdischarge threshold in the dentate gyrus. These changes were prevented by inhibition of EP1 and 5HT2A receptors during MDMA. Additional experiments revealed an increased susceptibility to kainic acid-induced seizures in MDMA treated rats which could be prevented with SC51089 treatments during MDMA exposure. Overall, these findings suggest that 5HT2A receptors mediate MDMA-induced PGE2 signaling and subsequent increases in glutamate. This signaling mediates parvalbumin cell losses as well as physiologic changes in the dentate gyrus, suggesting that the lack of the inhibition provided by these neurons increases the excitability within the dentate gyrus of MDMA treated rats. PMID:26670377

  1. HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse: Intertwined Epidemics

    MedlinePlus

    ... Trends and Alerts Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Prescription ... Medicine Abuse Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes) Fentanyl Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Marijuana Marijuana as Medicine MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) ...

  2. Identifying Drugs

    MedlinePlus

    ... Flakka (alpha-PVP) Amphetamines Barbiturates Bath Salts Benzodiazepines Cocaine DXM (Dextromethorphan) Ecstasy or MDMA (also known as ... Flakka (alpha-PVP) Amphetamines Barbiturates Bath Salts Benzodiazepines Cocaine DXM (Dextromethorphan) Ecstasy or MDMA (also known as ...

  3. Chronic and acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine ('Ecstasy') administration on the dynorphinergic system in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Di Benedetto, M; D'addario, C; Candeletti, S; Romualdi, P

    2006-01-01

    The prodynorphin system is implicated in the neurochemical mechanism of psychostimulants. Exposure to different drugs of abuse can induce neuroadaptations in the brain and affect opioid gene expression. The present study aims to examine the possibility of a common neurobiological substrate in drug addiction processes. We studied the effects of single and repeated 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine ('Ecstasy') on the gene expression of the opioid precursor prodynorphin, and on the levels of peptide dynorphin A in the rat brain. Acute (8 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine markedly raised, two hours later, prodynorphin mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex, and in the caudate putamen, whereas it decreased gene expression in the ventral tegmental area. Chronic (8 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, twice a day for 7 days) 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine increased prodynorphin mRNA in the nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus and caudate putamen and decreased it in the ventral tegmental area. Dynorphin A levels increased after chronic treatment in the ventral tegmental area and decreased after acute treatment in the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus. These findings confirm the role of the dynorphinergic system in mediating the effects of drugs of abuse, such as 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, in various regions of the rat brain, which may be important sites for the opioidergic mechanisms activated by addictive drugs.

  4. The effect of acutely administered MDMA on subjective and BOLD-fMRI responses to favourite and worst autobiographical memories.

    PubMed

    Carhart-Harris, R L; Wall, M B; Erritzoe, D; Kaelen, M; Ferguson, B; De Meer, I; Tanner, M; Bloomfield, M; Williams, T M; Bolstridge, M; Stewart, L; Morgan, C J; Newbould, R D; Feilding, A; Curran, H V; Nutt, D J

    2014-04-01

    3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine-releaser that is widely used as a recreational drug. Preliminary work has supported the potential of MDMA in psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying its putative efficacy are, however, poorly understood. Psychotherapy for PTSD usually requires that patients revisit traumatic memories, and it has been argued that this is easier to do under MDMA. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the effect of MDMA on recollection of favourite and worst autobiographical memories (AMs). Nineteen participants (five females) with previous experience with MDMA performed a blocked AM recollection (AMR) paradigm after ingestion of 100 mg of MDMA-HCl or ascorbic acid (placebo) in a double-blind, repeated-measures design. Memory cues describing participants' AMs were read by them in the scanner. Favourite memories were rated as significantly more vivid, emotionally intense and positive after MDMA than placebo and worst memories were rated as less negative. Functional MRI data from 17 participants showed robust activations to AMs in regions known to be involved in AMR. There was also a significant effect of memory valence: hippocampal regions showed preferential activations to favourite memories and executive regions to worst memories. MDMA augmented activations to favourite memories in the bilateral fusiform gyrus and somatosensory cortex and attenuated activations to worst memories in the left anterior temporal cortex. These findings are consistent with a positive emotional-bias likely mediated by MDMA's pro-monoaminergic pharmacology.

  5. A commentary on the "eating addiction" versus "food addiction" perspectives on addictive-like food consumption.

    PubMed

    Schulte, Erica M; Potenza, Marc N; Gearhardt, Ashley N

    2016-10-27

    The food addiction construct posits that vulnerable individuals may experience an addictive-like response to certain foods, such as those high in fat and refined carbohydrates. Recently, an alternative model to food addiction was proposed, suggesting that the act of eating may be a behavioral addiction that can trigger an addictive-like response in susceptible individuals. One major rationale for the eating addiction framework is that the assessment of food addiction is based on behavioral indicators, such as consuming greater quantities of food than intended and eating certain foods despite negative consequences. It is also suggested that the lack of investigation into which foods and food attributes (e.g., sugar) may have an addictive potential is evidence that food addiction does not parallel a substance-based addiction and more closely resembles a behavioral addiction. The present paper provides a commentary suggesting that the substance-based, food-addiction framework is more appropriate than the behavioral-addiction, eating-addiction perspective to conceptualize addictive-like food consumption. In order to illustrate this point, this manuscript will discuss behavioral components characteristic of all substance-use disorders, preliminary evidence to suggest that all foods are not equally associated with addictive-like eating, and key differences between the hypothesized eating addiction phenotype and the only existing behavioral addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), gambling disorder. Further, this paper will consider implications of applying an addiction label to food versus eating and suggest future research directions to evaluate whether food addiction is a valid and clinically useful construct.

  6. [Online addictive disease].

    PubMed

    Neuenschwander, Martin

    2014-10-01

    Digital media are indispensable in school, profession, family and leisure time. 1 to 6 % of all users show dsyfunctional ans addictive patterns, first of all in online and "social" media. In Switzerland over 80 % of young people own a smartphone and "pocket internet". Time of interaction with online-media (hours/day), as well as peer group pattern are markers for risk of addiction. Active music making and sports are protective factors. Family physicians are important in early recognition of "internet addictive disease". Care-givers with special experience in this field are often successful in reducing time of harmful interaction with the internet. Internet addictive disease is not yet classified in ICD and DSM-5 lists, even though it is an increasing reality.

  7. Heroin addiction and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Bashore, R A; Ketchum, J S; Staisch, K J; Barrett, C T; Zimmermann, E G

    1981-06-01

    Pregnant heroin addicts tend to be younger than nonaddicted pregnant patients, unmarried or separated from spouses, and a disproportionately large number are members of minority ethnic groups. Heroin addiction during pregnancy is associated with several significant medical and obstetrical complications and may result in both acute and chronic abnormalities in neonates. Malnutrition, venereal disease, hepatitis, pulmonary complications, preeclampsia and third-trimester bleeding are the most common maternal complications, while fetal death, intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity and withdrawal symptoms affect the fetus and neonate. There is controversy about treating addicts with methadone during pregnancy. The findings of studies in animals suggest that there may be a long-lasting drug-induced syndrome, characterized by growth retardation, delayed motor development and behavior abnormalities in offspring of heroin-addicted or methadone-treated mothers.

  8. The Treatment of Addiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapple, P. A. L.

    1970-01-01

    Describes sociological and medical treatment appropriate to young drug experimenters and addicts. Discusses role of teachers, probation officers, school medical services, and general practitioners. Indicates necessity for long treatment period. Considers whether dependence is a disease of delinquent behavior. (AL)

  9. Biological substrates of addiction

    PubMed Central

    Joffe, Max E.; Grueter, Carrie A.

    2014-01-01

    This review is an introduction to addiction, the reward circuitry, and laboratory addiction models. Addiction is a chronic disease hallmarked by a state of compulsive drug seeking that persists despite negative consequences. Most of the advances in addiction research have centered on the canonical and contemporary drugs of abuse, however, addictions to other activities and stimuli also exist. Substances of abuse have the potential to induce long-lasting changes in the brain at the behavioral, circuit and synaptic levels. Addiction-related behavioral changes involve initiation, escalation and obsession to drug seeking and much of the current research is focused on mapping these manifestations to specific neural pathways. Drug abuse is well known to recruit components of the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. In addition, altered function of a wide variety of brain regions is tightly associated with specific manifestations of drug abuse. These regions peripheral to the mesolimbic pathway likely play a role in specific observed comorbidities and endophenotypes that can facilitate, or be caused by, substance abuse. Alterations in synaptic structure, function and connectivity, as well as epigenetic and genetic mechanisms are thought to underlie the pathologies of addiction. In preclinical models, these persistent changes are studied at the levels of molecular pharmacology and biochemistry, ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiology, radiography and behavior. Coordinating research efforts across these disciplines and examining cell type- and circuit-specific phenomena are crucial components for translating preclinical findings to viable medical interventions that effectively treat addiction and related disorders. PMID:24999377

  10. [Neurobiology of addictive behavior].

    PubMed

    Ivlieva, N Iu

    2011-01-01

    Addictive behavior developes after repeated substance use and it typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to the drug use than to other activities. Relapse, the resumption of drug taking after periods of abstinence, remains the major problem for the treatment of addiction. The process of drug addiction shares striking commonalities with neural plasticity associated with natural reward learning and memory and is caused primarily by drug-induced sensitization in the brain mesocorticolimbic systems that attribute incentive salience to reward-associated stimuli. The switch from controlled to compulsive drug seeking represents a transition at the neural level from prefrontal cortical to striatal control. Current neurophysiologic evidence suggests that the development of addiction is to some extent due to neurochemical stimulation of the midbrain dopaminergic system that is traditionally considered as a 'common neural currency' for rewards of most kinds. Addictions are a result of the interplay of multiple genetic and environmental factors. They are characterized by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity as well as polygenicity. Environmental factors are crucial in addiction vulnerability and resistese too.

  11. Is fast food addictive?

    PubMed

    Garber, Andrea K; Lustig, Robert H

    2011-09-01

    Studies of food addiction have focused on highly palatable foods. While fast food falls squarely into that category, it has several other attributes that may increase its salience. This review examines whether the nutrients present in fast food, the characteristics of fast food consumers or the presentation and packaging of fast food may encourage substance dependence, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. The majority of fast food meals are accompanied by a soda, which increases the sugar content 10-fold. Sugar addiction, including tolerance and withdrawal, has been demonstrated in rodents but not humans. Caffeine is a "model" substance of dependence; coffee drinks are driving the recent increase in fast food sales. Limited evidence suggests that the high fat and salt content of fast food may increase addictive potential. Fast food restaurants cluster in poorer neighborhoods and obese adults eat more fast food than those who are normal weight. Obesity is characterized by resistance to insulin, leptin and other hormonal signals that would normally control appetite and limit reward. Neuroimaging studies in obese subjects provide evidence of altered reward and tolerance. Once obese, many individuals meet criteria for psychological dependence. Stress and dieting may sensitize an individual to reward. Finally, fast food advertisements, restaurants and menus all provide environmental cues that may trigger addictive overeating. While the concept of fast food addiction remains to be proven, these findings support the role of fast food as a potentially addictive substance that is most likely to create dependence in vulnerable populations.

  12. MDMA (N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) and its stereoisomers: Similarities and differences in behavioral effects in an automated activity apparatus in mice.

    PubMed

    Young, Richard; Glennon, Richard A

    2008-01-01

    Racemic MDMA (0.3-30 mg/kg), S(+)-MDMA (0.3-30 mg/kg), R(-)-MDMA (0.3-50 mg/kg) and saline vehicle (10 ml/kg) were comprehensively evaluated in fully automated and computer-integrated activity chambers, which were designed for mice, and provided a detailed analysis of the frequency, location, and/or duration of 18 different activities. The results indicated that MDMA and its isomers produced stimulation of motor actions, with S(+)-MDMA and (+/-)-MDMA usually being more potent than R(-)-MDMA in measures such as movement (time, distance, velocity), margin distance, rotation (clockwise and counterclockwise), and retraced activities. Interestingly, racemic MDMA appeared to exert a greater than expected potency and/or an enhanced effect on measures such as movement episodes, center actions (entries and distance), clockwise rotations, and jumps; actions that might be explained by additive or synergistic (i.e. potentiation) effects of the stereoisomers. In other measures, the enantiomers displayed different effects: S(+)-MDMA produced a preference to induce counterclockwise (versus clockwise) rotations, and each isomer exerted a different profile of effect on vertical activities and jumps. Furthermore, each isomer of MDMA appeared to attenuate the effect of its opposite enantiomer on some behaviors; antagonism effects that were surmised from a lack of expected activities by racemic MDMA. S(+)-MDMA (but not R(-)-MDMA), for example, produced an increase in vertical entries (rearing) and a preference to increase counterclockwise (versus clockwise) rotations; (+/-)-MDMA also should have induced such effects but did not. Apparently, R(-)-MDMA, when combined with S(+)-MDMA to form (+/-)-MDMA, prevented the appearance of those increases (from control) in activities. Similarly, R(-)-MDMA (but not S(+)-MDMA) produced increases in episodes (i.e. jumps) and vertical distance that racemic MDMA also should have, but were not, exhibited. Evidently, the presence of S(+)-MDMA in the

  13. Binge Ethanol and MDMA Combination Exacerbates Toxic Cardiac Effects by Inducing Cellular Stress

    PubMed Central

    Navarro-Zaragoza, Javier; Ros-Simó, Clara; Milanés, María-Victoria; Valverde, Olga; Laorden, María-Luisa

    2015-01-01

    Binge drinking is a common pattern of ethanol consumption among young people. Binge drinkers are especially susceptible to brain damage when other substances are co-administered, in particular 3,4 methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The aim of the present work was to study the mechanisms implicated in the adaptive changes observed after administration of these drugs of abuse. So, we have evaluated the cardiac sympathetic activity and the expression and activation of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), after voluntary binge ethanol consumption, alone and in combination with MDMA. Both parameters are markers of stressful situations and they could be modified inducing several alterations in different systems. Adolescent mice received MDMA, ethanol or both (ethanol plus MDMA). Drinking in the dark (DID) procedure was used as a model of binge. Noradrenaline (NA) turnover, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), TH phosphorylated at serine 31 and HSP27 expression and its phosphorylation at serine 82 were evaluated in adolescent mice 48 h, 72 h, and 7 days after treatments in the left ventricle. NA and normetanephrine (NMN) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); TH and HSP27 expression and phosphorylation were measured by quantitative blot immunollabeling using specific antibodies. Ethanol and MDMA co-administration increased NA turnover and TH expression and phosphorylation versus the consumption of each one of these drugs. In parallel with the described modifications in the cardiac sympathetic activity, our results showed that binge ethanol+MDMA exposure is associated with an increase in HSP27 expression and phosphorylation in the left ventricle, supporting the idea that the combination of both drugs exacerbates the cellular stress induced by ethanol or MDMA alone. PMID:26509576

  14. Binge Ethanol and MDMA Combination Exacerbates Toxic Cardiac Effects by Inducing Cellular Stress.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Zaragoza, Javier; Ros-Simó, Clara; Milanés, María-Victoria; Valverde, Olga; Laorden, María-Luisa

    2015-01-01

    Binge drinking is a common pattern of ethanol consumption among young people. Binge drinkers are especially susceptible to brain damage when other substances are co-administered, in particular 3,4 methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The aim of the present work was to study the mechanisms implicated in the adaptive changes observed after administration of these drugs of abuse. So, we have evaluated the cardiac sympathetic activity and the expression and activation of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), after voluntary binge ethanol consumption, alone and in combination with MDMA. Both parameters are markers of stressful situations and they could be modified inducing several alterations in different systems. Adolescent mice received MDMA, ethanol or both (ethanol plus MDMA). Drinking in the dark (DID) procedure was used as a model of binge. Noradrenaline (NA) turnover, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), TH phosphorylated at serine 31 and HSP27 expression and its phosphorylation at serine 82 were evaluated in adolescent mice 48 h, 72 h, and 7 days after treatments in the left ventricle. NA and normetanephrine (NMN) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); TH and HSP27 expression and phosphorylation were measured by quantitative blot immunollabeling using specific antibodies. Ethanol and MDMA co-administration increased NA turnover and TH expression and phosphorylation versus the consumption of each one of these drugs. In parallel with the described modifications in the cardiac sympathetic activity, our results showed that binge ethanol+MDMA exposure is associated with an increase in HSP27 expression and phosphorylation in the left ventricle, supporting the idea that the combination of both drugs exacerbates the cellular stress induced by ethanol or MDMA alone.

  15. Effects of MDMA and related analogs on plasma 5-HT: relevance to 5-HT transporters in blood and brain.

    PubMed

    Yubero-Lahoz, Samanta; Ayestas, Mario A; Blough, Bruce E; Partilla, John S; Rothman, Richard B; de la Torre, Rafael; Baumann, Michael H

    2012-01-15

    (±)-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an illicit drug that evokes transporter-mediated release of serotonin (5-HT) in the brain. 5-HT transporter (SERT) proteins are also expressed in non-neural tissues (e.g., blood), and evidence suggests that MDMA targets platelet SERT to increase plasma 5-HT. Here we tested two hypotheses related to the effects of MDMA on circulating 5-HT. First, to determine if MDMA metabolites might contribute to actions of the drug in vivo, we used in vitro microdialysis in rat blood specimens to examine the effects of MDMA and its metabolites on plasma 5-HT. Second, to determine whether effects of MDMA on plasma 5-HT might be used as an index of central SERT activity, we carried out in vivo microdialysis in blood and brain after intravenous MDMA administration. The in vitro results show that test drugs evoke dose-related increases in plasma 5-HT ranging from two- to sevenfold above baseline, with MDMA and its metabolite, (±)-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), producing the largest effects. The ability of MDMA and related analogs to elevate plasma 5-HT is correlated with their potency as SERT substrates in rat brain synaptosomes. The in vivo results reveal that MDMA causes concurrent increases in extracellular 5-HT in blood and brain, but there are substantial individual differences in responsiveness to the drug. Collectively, our findings indicate that MDMA and its metabolites increase plasma 5-HT by a SERT-dependent mechanism, and suggest the possibility that measures of evoked 5-HT release in blood may reflect central SERT activity.

  16. Enhanced intensity dependence and aggression history indicate previous regular ecstasy use in abstinent polydrug users.

    PubMed

    Wan, Li; Baldridge, Robyn M; Colby, Amanda M; Stanford, Matthew S

    2009-11-13

    Intensity dependence is an electrophysiological measure of intra-individual stability of the augmenting/reducing characteristic of N1/ P2 event-related potential amplitudes in response to stimuli of varying intensities. Abstinent ecstasy users typically show enhanced intensity dependence and higher levels of impulsivity and aggression. Enhanced intensity dependence and high impulsivity and aggression levels may be due to damage in the brain's serotonergic neurons as a result of ecstasy use. The present study investigated whether intensity dependence, impulsivity and aggression history can be used as indicators of previous chronic ecstasy usage. Forty-four abstinent polydrug users (8 women; age 19 to 61 years old) were recruited. All participants were currently residents at a local substance abuse facility receiving treatment and had been free of all drugs for a minimum of 21 days. The study found significantly enhanced intensity dependence of tangential dipole source activity and a history of more aggressive behavior in those who had previously been involved in chronic ecstasy use. Intensity dependence of the tangential dipole source and aggressive behavior history correctly identified 73.3% of those who had been regular ecstasy users and 78.3% of those who had not. Overall, 76.3% of the participants were correctly classified.

  17. The P3 in 'ecstasy' polydrug users during response inhibition and execution.

    PubMed

    Gamma, Alex; Brandeis, Daniel; Brandeis, Ruven; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2005-09-01

    Substance abuse and associated externalizing disorders are characterized by behavioural disinhibition and low impulse control, with reduced neural inhibition postulated to be the common underlying brain mechanism. The P3 component of event-related potentials (ERPs) is a widely used neurophysiological measure thought to reflect inhibitory brain processes, but as yet has not been assessed in ecstasy users. We recorded ERPs evoked by a Continuous Performance Test (CPT) in 16 current ecstasy polydrug users and 17 controls. The CPT included conditions where a prepared motor response had to be executed (Go) or inhibited (NoGo). Both controls and ecstasy users showed normal, robust patterns of P3 anteriorization and delay in the NoGo compared to the Go condition. Ecstasy users had lower P3 amplitudes at midline electrodes and a less anterior location of NoGo P3 peaks. These effects became weaker after statistically controlling for age, educational level and lifetime cannabis use. While lower P3 amplitudes are consistent with higher levels of neural disinhibition in ecstasy polydrug users, the normal switch pattern between response execution and inhibition, and the less anterior location of the NoGo P3, do not indicate disturbed inhibitory brain mechanisms.

  18. Psychological Distress and Drug Use Patterns of Young Adult Ecstasy Users: A Complementary Analysis of Australian Datasets.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, Andrew; Hayatbakhsh, Reza; Alati, Rosa; Legosz, Margot; Burns, Lucy; Kemp, Robert; Wells, Helene; Najman, Jake M

    2013-08-01

    We examine psychological distress (PD) in young adult Ecstasy users in relation to age of initiation and frequency of use of Ecstasy, cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco. Using two Australian community samples, we assess whether different sampling methods produce comparable estimates of these associations. The Natural History Study of Drug Use (NHSDU; N = 339) in 2009 used population sampling and the 2009 Ecstasy and Related Drug Reporting System (EDRS; N = 359) used purposive sampling. Participants, aged 19-23 years, were recurrent Ecstasy users. PD was assessed using Kessler 10 in the EDRS and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale in the NHSDU. In both samples, PD was associated with daily tobacco use and early drug initiation, but not frequent Ecstasy use. One-third smoke tobacco daily. Study limitations and implications are noted.

  19. "Eating addiction", rather than "food addiction", better captures addictive-like eating behavior.

    PubMed

    Hebebrand, Johannes; Albayrak, Özgür; Adan, Roger; Antel, Jochen; Dieguez, Carlos; de Jong, Johannes; Leng, Gareth; Menzies, John; Mercer, Julian G; Murphy, Michelle; van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Dickson, Suzanne L

    2014-11-01

    "Food addiction" has become a focus of interest for researchers attempting to explain certain processes and/or behaviors that may contribute to the development of obesity. Although the scientific discussion on "food addiction" is in its nascent stage, it has potentially important implications for treatment and prevention strategies. As such, it is important to critically reflect on the appropriateness of the term "food addiction", which combines the concepts of "substance-based" and behavioral addiction. The currently available evidence for a substance-based food addiction is poor, partly because systematic clinical and translational studies are still at an early stage. We do however view both animal and existing human data as consistent with the existence of addictive eating behavior. Accordingly, we stress that similar to other behaviors eating can become an addiction in thus predisposed individuals under specific environmental circumstances. Here, we introduce current diagnostic and neurobiological concepts of substance-related and non-substance-related addictive disorders, and highlight the similarities and dissimilarities between addiction and overeating. We conclude that "food addiction" is a misnomer because of the ambiguous connotation of a substance-related phenomenon. We instead propose the term "eating addiction" to underscore the behavioral addiction to eating; future research should attempt to define the diagnostic criteria for an eating addiction, for which DSM-5 now offers an umbrella via the introduction on Non-Substance-Related Disorders within the category Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.

  20. Opiate addiction and cocaine addiction: underlying molecular neurobiology and genetics.

    PubMed

    Kreek, Mary Jeanne; Levran, Orna; Reed, Brian; Schlussman, Stefan D; Zhou, Yan; Butelman, Eduardo R

    2012-10-01

    Addictive diseases, including addiction to heroin, prescription opioids, or cocaine, pose massive personal and public health costs. Addictions are chronic relapsing diseases of the brain caused by drug-induced direct effects and persisting neuroadaptations at the epigenetic, mRNA, neuropeptide, neurotransmitter, or protein levels. These neuroadaptations, which can be specific to drug type, and their resultant behaviors are modified by various internal and external environmental factors, including stress responsivity, addict mindset, and social setting. Specific gene variants, including variants encoding pharmacological target proteins or genes mediating neuroadaptations, also modify vulnerability at particular stages of addiction. Greater understanding of these interacting factors through laboratory-based and translational studies have the potential to optimize early interventions for the therapy of chronic addictive diseases and to reduce the burden of relapse. Here, we review the molecular neurobiology and genetics of opiate addiction, including heroin and prescription opioids, and cocaine addiction.

  1. The Addict in Us all

    PubMed Central

    Dill, Brendan; Holton, Richard

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we contend that the psychology of addiction is similar to the psychology of ordinary, non-addictive temptation in important respects, and explore the ways in which these parallels can illuminate both addiction and ordinary action. The incentive salience account of addiction proposed by Robinson and Berridge (1–3) entails that addictive desires are not in their nature different from many of the desires had by non-addicts; what is different is rather the way that addictive desires are acquired, which in turn affects their strength. We examine these “incentive salience” desires, both in addicts and non-addicts, contrasting them with more cognitive desires. On this account, the self-control challenge faced by addicted agents is not different in kind from that faced by non-addicted agents – though the two may, of course, differ greatly in degree of difficulty. We explore a general model of self-control for both the addict and the non-addict, stressing that self-control may be employed at three different stages, and examining the ways in which it might be strengthened. This helps elucidate a general model of intentional action. PMID:25346699

  2. Treatment of addiction and addiction-related behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Dewey, S.L.; Brodie, J.D.; Ashby, C.R. Jr.

    2000-05-02

    The present invention provides a highly efficient method for treating substance addiction and for changing addiction-related behavior of a primate suffering from substance addiction. The method includes administering to a primate an effective amount of a pharmaceutical composition including gamma vinylGABA. The present invention also provides a method of treatment of nicotine addiction by treating a patient with an effective amount of a composition including gamma vinylGABA.

  3. Treatment of addiction and addiction-related behavior

    DOEpatents

    Dewey, Stephen L.; Brodie, Jonathan D.; Ashby, Jr., Charles R.

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a highly efficient method for treating substance addiction and for changing addiction-related behavior of a primate suffering from substance addiction. The method includes administering to a primate an effective amount of a pharmaceutical composition including gamma vinylGABA. The present invention also provides a method of treatment of nicotine addiction by treating a patient with an effective amount of a composition including gamma vinylGABA.

  4. MDMA for the treatment of mood disorder: all talk no substance?

    PubMed Central

    Titheradge, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Background: Unipolar depression is the third highest contributor to the global burden of disease, yet current pharmacotherapies typically take about 6 weeks to have an effect. A rapid-onset agent is an attractive prospect, not only to alleviate symptoms before first-line antidepressants display therapeutic action, but as a further treatment option in nonresponsive cases. It has been suggested that 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) could play a part in the treatment of depression, either as a rapid-onset pharmacological agent or as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Whilst these hypotheses are in keeping with the monoamine theory of depression and the principles surrounding psychotherapy, explicit experimental evidence of an antidepressant effect of MDMA has rarely been established. Aims: To address the hypothesis surrounding MDMA as a rapid-onset antidepressant by examining pharmacological, psychological and behavioural studies. We consider whether this therapy could be safe by looking at the translation of neurotoxicity data from animals to humans. Method: A literature review of the evidence supporting this hypothesis was performed. Conclusions: The pharmacology of MDMA offers a promising target as a rapid-onset agent and MDMA is currently being investigated for use in psychotherapy in anxiety disorders; translation from these studies for use in depression may be possible. However, experimental evidence and safety analysis are insufficient to confirm or reject this theory at present. PMID:26199721

  5. Baclofen prevents MDMA-induced rise in core body temperature in rats.

    PubMed

    Bexis, Sotiria; Phillis, Benjamin D; Ong, Jennifer; White, Jason M; Irvine, Rodney J

    2004-04-09

    A number of deaths have been attributed to severe hyperthermia resulting from the ingestion of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The mechanisms underlying these events are unclear. In an attempt to further advance our understanding of these mechanism the present study investigated the effects of the selective GABA(A) agonist muscimol and the GABA(B) agonist baclofen on MDMA-induced responses in the rat. Baclofen at 1 and 3 mg/kg and muscimol at 0.3 and 1 mg/kg administered alone had no effect on heart rate, core body temperature or spontaneous locomotor activity as measured by radiotelemetry. MDMA at 15 mg/kg produced a significant increase in heart rate, body temperature and locomotor activity (P < 0.005) which were unaffected by prior treatment with muscimol. In contrast, prior treatment with baclofen (3 mg/kg) resulted in MDMA causing a sustained lowering of body temperature (P < 0.05), with no effect on heart rate and a small transient delay in the increase in locomotor activity. Baclofen pretreatment (3 mg/kg) not only prolonged the time taken for animals to reach a core body temperature of 40 degrees C (P < 0.001), but also reduced the percentage of rats attaining a core body temperature of 40 degrees C. These data suggest that stimulation of GABA(B) receptors may provide a mechanism for the treatment of MDMA-induced hyperthermia.

  6. Evaluation of a rapid oral fluid point-of-care test for MDMA.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Lisa; Jehanli, Ahmed; Hand, Chris; Cooper, Gail; Smith, Robert

    2007-03-01

    Cozart Bioscience Limited has developed novel lateral flow technology that allows the detection of drugs of abuse in biological fluids and suspect powders. This paper describes the application of this technology for the detection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in oral fluid. Samples (N = 370) were obtained from the analytical laboratory at Cozart Bioscience Limited following their routine analysis for drugs of abuse. Oral fluid samples were screened for the presence of MDMA and methamphetamine using the Cozart RapiScan System (CRS) and then confirmed for the presence of amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA, MDEA, and MBDB) by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition to the detection of MDMA and methamphetamine, the CRS cross-reacts with high levels of amphetamine to give a positive result. One hundred and twenty-one samples screened positive using the CRS. Six of these samples were confirmed negative for MDMA and methamphetamine, but contained very high levels of amphetamine. Employing a screening cutoff of 45 ng/mL for the CRS and a confirmation cutoff of 30 ng/mL for GC-MS, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 96.6, 96.8, and 96.8%, respectively. When applying the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommended confirmation cutoff for amphetamines of 50 ng/mL, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy increased marginally to 98.3, 96.9, and 97.3%, respectively.

  7. MDMA stimulus generalization to the 5-HT(1A) serotonin agonist 8-hydroxy-2- (di-n-propylamino)tetralin.

    PubMed

    Glennon, R A; Young, R

    2000-07-01

    The abused substance N-methyl-1-(3, 4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane, or MDMA, serves as a training drug in animals. Because the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist NAN-190 has been shown to partially antagonize the MDMA stimulus, and because NAN-190 binds at several different types of receptors, in the present study we examined other agents (e.g., adrenergic, dopaminergic, sigma) in tests of stimulus generalization and stimulus antagonism to determine their influence on the MDMA stimulus. Each of these agents (i.e., clenbuterol, S(-)propranolol, R(+)SCH-23390, amantadine, NANM) was without effect on MDMA-appropriate responding. The finding that NAN-190 behaves as a 5-HT(1A) partial agonist in some studies prompted examination of the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-OH DPAT and its optical isomers. MDMA-stimulus generalization occurred to racemic 8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.3 mg/kg), R(+)8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.2 mg/kg), and to the 5-HT(1A) receptor partial agonist S(-)8-OH DPAT (ED(50) = 0.4 mg/kg). The results suggest that the MDMA stimulus might possess a 5-HT(1A) component of action. Furthermore, because 8-OH DPAT is known to enhance the stimulus effects of hallucinogens as discriminative stimuli, and because MDMA reportedly enhances the effects of hallucinogenic agents in humans ("flipping," "candy flipping"), this latter MDMA-induced phenomenon might involve a 5-HT(1A) mechanism.

  8. Developing the climate schools: ecstasy module--a universal Internet-based drug prevention program.

    PubMed

    Newton, Nicola C; Teesson, Maree; Newton, Kathyrn L

    2012-01-01

    The Climate Schools: Ecstasy module is a universal harm-minimisation school-based prevention program for adolescents aged 14 to 16 years. The program was developed to address the need for Ecstasy prevention given the increasing use of Ecstasy use among young Australians. The core content of the program is delivered over the Internet using cartoon storylines to engage students, and the teacher-driven activities reinforce the core information. The three-lesson program is embedded within the school health curriculum and is easy to implement with minimal teacher training required. The program was developed in 2010 through extensive collaboration with students (n = 8), teachers (n = 10) and health professionals (n = 10) in Sydney, Australia. This article describes the formative research and process of planning that formed the development of the program and the evidence base underpinning the approach.

  9. Addiction, the Addict, and Career: Considerations for the Employment Counselor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graham, Matthew D.

    2006-01-01

    Employment counselors have been resistant to working with persons in recovery from addiction except under the strictest of criteria. This article examines the relationship between this resistance and the concepts of addiction and addict. Following this is an examination of substance abuse recovery and practical suggestions on incorporating…

  10. Buprenorphine for opioid addiction

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Walter; Mooney, Larissa; Torrington, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist of the µ-receptor, and is used as a daily dose sublingual tablet or filmstrip for managing opioid addiction. In the USA, the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 made buprenorphine the only opioid medication for opioid addiction that can be prescribed in an office-based setting. Owing to its high affinity for the µ-receptor, buprenorphine inhibits the reinforcing effect of exogenous opioids. The ceiling effect of buprenorphine's µ-agonist activity reduces the potential for drug overdose and confers low toxicity even at high doses. Buprenorphine pharmacotherapy has proven to be a treatment approach that supports recovery from addiction while reducing or curtailing the use of opioids. This article examines buprenorphine pharmacotherapy for opioid addiction, focusing on the situation in the USA, and is based on a review of pertinent literature, and the authors’ research and clinical experience. The references in this paper were chosen according to the authors’ judgment of quality and relevance, and with respect to their familiarity and involvement in related research. PMID:24654720

  11. [Addictions and action systems].

    PubMed

    Loonis, E; Apter, M J

    2000-01-01

    Generalizing from some previous analyses of addiction, and introducing the concept of an action system which governs all actions which are focussed on what Brown (1988) calls "hedonic management", we argue that addictions of every kind involve an action system that displays high salience, low variety and low vicariance. Addictions also involve what Apter (1982) calls the "paratelic state". A study was carried out comparing 31 drug addicts with 29 control subjects in terms of action system variables. To measure these variables, we constructed a new instrument, the Activity-System Drawing Test, and also used the Telic Dominance Scale to measure frequency of paratelic states. Dysphoria was measured by means of the BATE (anxiety), IDA-13 (depression), SEI (self-esteem), and TAS-20 (alexithymia) instruments. Strongly significant differences were found between groups for both action system variables and dysphoria, and there were also strong correlations between both groups of variables. This supports the idea that addictions emerge from systemic properties of the action system.

  12. The Dreams of Heroin Addicts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Looney, Maryanne

    1972-01-01

    Few heroin addicts get high'' in their dreams. An exploration of the reasons for this failure provides some clues to the conflicts and other problems that retard an addict's progress in therapy. (Author)

  13. [Positive and negative social representation of ecstasy among consumers in Coimbra (Portugal)].

    PubMed

    Mendes, Fernando J F; Lomba, Lurdes

    2008-01-01

    The positive and negative representations of ecstasy were studied in a sample of 223 young people who consumed ecstasy in the city of Coimbra, recruited using the snowball technique. With regard to negative representations they highlight the harmful effects on the brain, with regard to positive effects they highlight the pleasure associated with dancing. The consumers acknowledge the negative representations but consider the positive representations much more important. Rating of the positive representations does not vary according to frequency of consumption, number of pills consumed or whether or not they are polyconsumers. However, those with more negative representations show less abusive consumption patterns. Implications for prevention are discussed.

  14. Internet Addiction: A Logotherapeutic Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Didelot, Mary J.; Hollingsworth, Lisa; Buckenmeyer, Janet A.

    2012-01-01

    Internet addiction (IA) is both the most rapidly growing addiction and the least understood addiction (Watson, 2005). For counselors, treatment issues surrounding the disease are also growing. At the forefront is the lack of understanding concerning treatment protocol to manage the challenging recovery and maintenance stages after IA behavior has…

  15. Addicts - Everything but Human Beings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldorf, Dan; Reinarman, Craig

    1975-01-01

    Popular theories of drug addiction are detailed and found wanting. Naturalistic studies of addicts in their own environments are reviewed in order to demonstrate that addicts do not fit these theories which are supposed to explain them. A plea is made to pay more attention to these ethnographic studies, if more effective and humane laws and social…

  16. Attitudes of Former Drug Addicts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boudouris, James

    1977-01-01

    Characteristics of addicts (N=222) and their own appraisal of which treatment modality they found most successful based upon their own experiences are of primary importance in prescribing a treatment for the addict. For the long-term addict continually in and out of prisons, perhaps methadone maintenance is the solution. (Author)

  17. Acute and long-term effects of a single dose of MDMA on aggression in Dark Agouti rats.

    PubMed

    Kirilly, Eszter; Benko, Anita; Ferrington, Linda; Ando, Romeo D; Kelly, Paul A T; Bagdy, Gyorgy

    2006-02-01

    MDMA causes selective depletion of serotonergic terminals in experimental animals and the consequent decrease in synaptic 5-HT may, inter alia, increase impulsivity. To study the effects of MDMA upon brain function, the behaviour of male Dark Agouti rats exposed to MDMA (15 mg/kg i.p.), two 5-HT1B agonists (CGS-12066A and CP-94,253, both 5 mg/kg i.p.) or saline were investigated in the resident-intruder test. Studies were performed in drug-naive rats and also in rats exposed to MDMA (15 mg/kg i.p.) 21 d earlier. In parallel experiments the functional neuroanatomy of MDMA effects were assessed using 2-deoxyglucose imaging of local cerebral metabolic rate of glucose utilization (LCMRGlu) and neurotoxicity was assessed by measuring [3H]paroxetine binding. There was no significant difference in aggressive behaviour (biting, boxing, wrestling and their latencies) between drug-naive rats and rats previously exposed to MDMA 21 d earlier, despite reduced social behaviour, decreased LCMRGlu in several brain areas involved in aggression, and reductions in paroxetine binding by 30-60% in the forebrain. CGS-12066A, CP-94,253 and acute MDMA produced marked decreases in aggressive behaviours, especially in biting, boxing and kicking found in drug-naive rats. In animals previously exposed to the drug, acute anti-aggressive effects of MDMA were, in general, preserved as were MDMA-induced increases in LCMRGlu. Our studies provide evidence that in the resident-intruder test, where social isolation is a requirement, aggressive behaviour and acute anti-aggressive effects of MDMA and 5-HT1B receptor agonists remain intact 3 wk after a single dose of the drug despite significant damage to the serotonergic system.

  18. Drug abuse and addiction.

    PubMed

    Nessa, A; Latif, S A; Siddiqui, N I; Hussain, M A; Hossain, M A

    2008-07-01

    Among the social and medical ills of the twentieth century, substance abuse ranks as on one of the most devastating and costly. The drug problem today is a major global concern including Bangladesh. Almost all addictive drugs over stimulate the reward system of the brain, flooding it with the neurotransmitter dopamine. That produces euphoria and that heightened pleasure can be so compelling that the brain wants that feeling back again and again. However repetitive exposure induces widespread adaptive changes in the brain. As a consequence drug use may become compulsive. An estimated 4.7% of the global population aged 15 to 64 or 184 million people, consume illicit drug annually. Heroin use alone is responsible for the epidemic number of new cases of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and drug addicted infant born each year. Department of narcotic control (DNC) in Bangladesh reported in June 2008 that about 5 million drug addicts in the country & addicts spend at least 17 (Seventeen) billion on drugs per year. Among these drug addicts, 91% are young and adolescents population. Heroin is the most widely abused drugs in Bangladesh. For geographical reason like India, Pakistan and Myanmar; Bangladesh is also an important transit root for internationally trafficking of illicit drug. Drug abuse is responsible for decreased job productivity and attendance increased health care costs, and escalations of domestic violence and violent crimes. Drug addiction is a preventable disease. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly drugs work in the brain, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and resume their productive lives. Most countries have legislation designed to criminalize some drugs. To decrease the prevalence of this problem in our setting; increase awareness, promoting additional research on abused and addictive drugs, and exact implementation of existing laws are strongly recommended. We should

  19. Psychostimulant addiction treatment.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Karran A; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L

    2014-12-01

    Treatment of psychostimulant addiction has been a major, and not fully met, challenge. For opioid addiction, there is strong evidence for the effectiveness of several medications. For psychostimulants, there is no corresponding form of agonist maintenance that has met criteria for regulatory approval or generally accepted use. Stimulant-use disorders remain prevalent and can result in both short-term and long-term adverse consequences. The mainstay of treatment remains behavioral interventions. In this paper, we discuss those interventions and some promising candidates in the search for pharmacological interventions. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'.

  20. MDMA & cannabis: a mini-review of cognitive, behavioral, and neurobiological effects of co-consumption.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Sybille

    2011-06-01

    Although the prevalence of co-use of cannabis and 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is very common among polydrug users in western societies, few studies have tested the consequences on behavior, cognition or neurobiology. This review examines 23 articles published between 2002 and 2010 with an explicit focus on the combination, or administration, of MDMA and cannabis or cannabinoid agents. The aim was to provide a short overview on the latest human research concerning cognitive effects of co-consumption of MDMA and cannabis, and a more elaborate picture of the state of knowledge about the interaction of cannabinoid agents and MDMA from animal studies. It was found that recent retrospective studies on cognitive functions in long-term drug abusers point to an additive negative effect on different types of memory, as well as a cannabis-independent decrease in learning and decision-making in MDMA users. Behavioral experiments in rodents and in vitro studies investigating the combined effect of MDMA and cannabinoid agents demonstrate modulator effects of acute co-administration on measures like body temperature, conditioned reinforcement, and presumed neurotoxicity. As neural mechanism underlying these changes, an interaction between the cannabinoid system, especially cannabinoid receptor 1, and the serotonergic and dopaminergic system in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus is suggested. In conclusion, there are few and somewhat contradictory studies examining the effects of co-use of these drugs on cognitive measures like impulsivity, memory and executive functions or underlying neurobiological alterations, and a shortage of animal studies examining long-term effects of chronic co-administration.

  1. MDMA-like behavioral effects of N-substituted piperazines in the mouse

    PubMed Central

    Yarosh, H.L.; Katz, E.B.; Coop, A.; Fantegrossi, W.E.

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have characterized the subjective effects of N-substituted piperazines, but these drugs show potential for abuse in humans, and have often been associated with MDMA (“ecstasy”) in this regard. The aim of the present studies was to test the capacity of N-substituted piperazines to induce a head-twitch response, alter locomotor activity, and induce MDMA-like discriminative stimulus effects in mice. Various doses of l-benzylpiperazine (BZP), 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine (TFMPP), 1-(3-methoxybenzyl) piperazine (m-MeO-BZP) or meta-chlorophenyl piperazine (m-CPP) were administered to mice to determine effects on these behavioral endpoints. BZP, but not its meta-methoxyl analogue, increased locomotor activity in a dose-dependent manner; the phenylpiperazines and m-MeO-BZP only decreased locomotor activity. TFMPP was the only compound active in the head twitch assay, eliciting a moderate head twitch response which was comparable to that previously observed with the MDMA enantiomers. BZP, TFMPP and m-CPP fully substituted in S(+)-MDMA-trained animals, but did not elicit significant drug lever responding in mice trained to discriminate R(−)-MDMA. m-MeO-BZP partially substituted for both training drugs. The present results suggest that BZP has stimulant-like effects, and that TFMPP has hallucinogen-like effects. Their structural analogues, however, do not share these behavioral profiles. Further studies into the relationships between the N-substituted piperazines and MDMA are warranted. PMID:17651790

  2. Assessment of cognitive brain function in ecstasy users and contributions of other drugs of abuse: results from an FMRI study.

    PubMed

    Jager, Gerry; de Win, Maartje M L; van der Tweel, Ingeborg; Schilt, Thelma; Kahn, Rene S; van den Brink, Wim; van Ree, Jan M; Ramsey, Nick F

    2008-01-01

    Heavy ecstasy use has been associated with neurocognitive deficits in various behavioral and brain imaging studies. However, this association is not conclusive owing to the unavoidable confounding factor of polysubstance use. The present study, as part of the Netherlands XTC Toxicity study, investigated specific effects of ecstasy on working memory, attention, and associative memory, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A large sample (n=71) was carefully composed based on variation in the amount and type of drugs that were used. The sample included 33 heavy ecstasy users (mean 322 pills lifetime). Neurocognitive brain function in three domains: working memory, attention, and associative memory, was assessed with performance measures and fMRI. Independent effects of the use of ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and of gender and IQ were assessed and separated by means of multiple regression analyses. Use of ecstasy had no effect on working memory and attention, but drug use was associated with reduced associative memory performance. Multiple regression analysis showed that associative memory performance was affected by amphetamine much more than by ecstasy. Both drugs affected associative memory-related brain activity, but the effects were consistently in opposite directions, suggesting that different mechanisms are at play. This could be related to the different neurotransmitter systems these drugs predominantly act upon, that is, serotonin (ecstasy) vs dopamine (amphetamine) systems.

  3. Role of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular glucose and glycogenolysis in the rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Pachmerhiwala, Rashida; Bhide, Nirmal; Straiko, Megan; Gudelsky, Gary A.

    2010-01-01

    The acute administration of MDMA has been shown to promote glycogenolysis and increase the extracellular concentration of glucose in the striatum. In the present study the role of serotonergic and/or noradrenergic mechanisms in the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular glucose and glycogenolysis was assessed. The relationship of these responses to the hyperthermia produced by MDMA also was examined. The administration of MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) resulted in a significant and sustained increase of 65-100% in the extracellular concentration of glucose in the striatum, as well as in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and a 35% decrease in brain glycogen content. Peripheral blood glucose was modestly increased by 32% after MDMA treatment. Treatment of rats with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly attenuated the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular glucose in the striatum but had no effect on MDMA-induced glycogenolysis or hyperthermia. Treatment with prazosin (1 mg/kg, i.p.) did not alter the glucose or glycogen responses to MDMA but completely suppressed MDMA-induced hyperthermia. Finally, propranolol (3 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly attenuated the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular glucose and glycogenolysis but did not alter MDMA-induced hyperthermia. The present results suggest that MDMA increases extracellular glucose in multiple brain regions, and that this response involves both serotonergic and noradrenergic mechanisms. Furthermore, β-adrenergic and α-adrenergic receptors appear to contribute to MDMA-induced glycogenolysis and hyperthermia, respectively. Finally, hyperthermia, glycogenolysis and elevated extracellular glucose appear to be independent, unrelated responses to acute MDMA administration. PMID:20633550

  4. Religion and addiction.

    PubMed

    Gostečnik, Christian; Cvetek, Mateja; Poljak, Saša; Repič, Tanja; Cvetek, Robert

    2012-12-01

    Religion with its rituals can become an object of addiction, especially when a child while growing up experiences neglect and abuse. It is also very common that such individuals transfer their feelings of anger, rage and sometimes even true hatred to God. Then God becomes the substitute for their displaced vengeance (upon those who abused them as children).

  5. Addicted to Expectations? Conference!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilliland, Mary

    Whether teaching incoming students or training faculty in other disciplines, writing instructors often form unrealistic expectations about goals and skills of students and colleagues, which (like chemical addictions) predictably recur each semester as though they had never occurred before. For effective instruction, it is important that…

  6. Interoception and drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Paulus, Martin P; Stewart, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    The role of interoception and its neural basis with relevance to drug addiction is reviewed. Interoception consists of the receiving, processing, and integrating body-relevant signals with external stimuli to affect ongoing motivated behavior. The insular cortex is the central nervous system hub to process and integrate these signals. Interoception is an important component of several addiction relevant constructs including arousal, attention, stress, reward, and conditioning. Imaging studies with drug-addicted individuals show that the insular cortex is hypo-active during cognitive control processes but hyperactive during cue reactivity and drug-specific, reward-related processes. It is proposed that interoception contributes to drug addiction by incorporating an "embodied" experience of drug uses together with the individual's predicted versus actual internal state to modulate approach or avoidance behavior, i.e. whether to take or not to take drugs. This opens the possibility of two types of interventions. First, one may be able to modulate the embodied experience by enhancing insula reactivity where necessary, e.g. when engaging in drug seeking behavior, or attenuating insula when exposed to drug-relevant cues. Second, one may be able to reduce the urge to act by increasing the frontal control network, i.e. inhibiting the urge to use by employing cognitive training. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'.

  7. Protein Kinases and Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Anna M.; Messing, Robert O.

    2011-01-01

    Although drugs of abuse have different chemical structures and interact with different protein targets, all appear to usurp common neuronal systems that regulate reward and motivation. Addiction is a complex disease that is thought to involve drug-induced changes in synaptic plasticity due to alterations in cell signaling, gene transcription, and protein synthesis. Recent evidence suggests that drugs of abuse interact with and change a common network of signaling pathways that include a subset of specific protein kinases. The best studied of these kinases are reviewed here and include extracellular signal-regulated kinase, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5, protein kinase C, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and Fyn tyrosine kinase. These kinases have been implicated in various aspects of drug addiction including acute drug effects, drug self-administration, withdrawal, reinforcement, sensitization, and tolerance. Identifying protein kinase substrates and signaling pathways that contribute to the addicted state may provide novel approaches for new pharma-cotherapies to treat drug addiction. PMID:18991950

  8. "The Great Unmentionable": Exploring the Pleasures and Benefits of Ecstasy from the Perspectives of Drug Users

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Geoffrey P.; Evans, Kristin

    2008-01-01

    Although legal and illegal drugs have throughout history given pleasure to those who consume them, research in the drug field has ignored this central and fundamental feature. The absence of any discussion of pleasure is striking when one considers the contemporary literature on ecstasy and the dance scene. Pleasure is still missing within much of…

  9. MDMA decreases glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 67-immunoreactive neurons in the hippocampus and increases seizure susceptibility: Role for glutamate.

    PubMed

    Huff, Courtney L; Morano, Rachel L; Herman, James P; Yamamoto, Bryan K; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2016-12-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a unique psychostimulant that continues to be a popular drug of abuse. It has been well documented that MDMA reduces markers of 5-HT axon terminals in rodents, as well as humans. A loss of parvalbumin-immunoreactive (IR) interneurons in the hippocampus following MDMA treatment has only been documented recently. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MDMA reduces glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 67-IR, another biochemical marker of GABA neurons, in the hippocampus and that this reduction in GAD67-IR neurons and an accompanying increase in seizure susceptibility involve glutamate receptor activation. Repeated exposure to MDMA (3×10mg/kg, ip) resulted in a reduction of 37-58% of GAD67-IR cells in the dentate gyrus (DG), CA1, and CA3 regions, as well as an increased susceptibility to kainic acid-induced seizures, both of which persisted for at least 30days following MDMA treatment. Administration of the NMDA antagonist MK-801 or the glutamate transporter type 1 (GLT-1) inducer ceftriaxone prevented both the MDMA-induced loss of GAD67-IR neurons and the increased vulnerability to kainic acid-induced seizures. The MDMA-induced increase in the extracellular concentration of glutamate in the hippocampus was significantly diminished in rats treated with ceftriaxone, thereby implicating a glutamatergic mechanism in the neuroprotective effects of ceftriaxone. In summary, the present findings support a role for increased extracellular glutamate and NMDA receptor activation in the MDMA-induced loss of hippocampal GAD67-IR neurons and the subsequent increased susceptibility to evoked seizures.

  10. MDL72222, a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, blocks MDMA's ability to establish a conditioned place preference.

    PubMed

    Bilsky, E J; Reid, L D

    1991-06-01

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has previously been shown to produce a positive conditioned place preference (CPP) among rats. Here the effects of doses of a specific 5-HT3 antagonist, MDL72222, on MDMA's ability to produce a CPP were assessed. A dose of MDL72222 (0.03 mg/kg) blocked the establishment of a MDMA CPP. These results support the suggestions that compounds affecting the 5-HT3 receptor may be of particular interest in studying the pharmacology of self-administered drugs.

  11. Drug intelligence based on MDMA tablets data: 2. Physical characteristics profiling.

    PubMed

    Marquis, Raymond; Weyermann, Céline; Delaporte, Céline; Esseiva, Pierre; Aalberg, Laura; Besacier, Fabrice; Bozenko, Joseph S; Dahlenburg, Rainer; Kopper, Carola; Zrcek, Frantisek

    2008-06-10

    One of the tasks of the European project entitled "Collaborative Harmonisation of Methods for Profiling of Amphetamine Type Stimulants" (CHAMP) funded by the sixth framework programme of the European Commission was to develop a harmonised methodology for MDMA profiling and the creation of a common database in a drug intelligence perspective. Part I was dedicated to the analysis of organic impurities formed during synthesis in order to investigate traffic tendencies and highlight potential links between samples, whereas this part focuses on physical characteristics of the MDMA tablets. Diameter, thickness, weight and score were demonstrated to be reliable and relevant features in this drug intelligence perspective. Distributions of samples coming from the same post-tabletting batch (post-TB) and samples coming from different post-TB were very well discriminated by using the squared Euclidean or the Manhattan distance on standardised data. Our findings demonstrated the possibility to discriminate between MDMA samples issued from different post-TB and to find out links between samples coming from a same post-TB. Furthermore, the hypothesis that most of the MDMA samples found on the international market come from the same countries was supported.

  12. Chiral separation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) enantiomers using batch chromatography with peak shaving recycling and its effects on oxidative stress status in rat liver.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Tiago C; Bósio, Graziela C; Cassiano, Neila M; Cass, Quezia B; Moreau, Regina L M

    2013-01-25

    This work reports the multimiligram separation of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) enantiomers using batch chromatography with peak shaving recycling. The effect of both enantiomers compared to the racemic mixture was examined on the oxidative stress status of rat liver. The enantiomeric purification was performed using a based cyclodextrin chiral selector and methanol:ammonium acetate buffer (pH 6.0, 100mM) (30:70, v/v) as mobile phase. The average mass rate obtained was 40.0mg/day, providing 45.0mg of the (R)-(-)-MDMA (e.r. 99.0%) and 75.0mg (e.r. 96.0%) of (S)-(+)-MDMA. Racemic MDMA and both enantiomers were administered per orally to Wistar rats and oxidative stress status parameters, as liver total glutathione levels and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in liver were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in hepatic glutathione content in the racemic MDMA and the (R)-(-)-MDMA-treated rats when compared to the control and to (S)-(+)-MDMA. These results demonstrate that the R-enantiomer is the enantiomer that contributes to the depletion of hepatic glutathione induced by the racemic mixture. The high reactivity of the R-enantiomer of MDMA in the liver can also be observed in animals treated with (R)-(-)-MDMA. The production of malondialdehyde (MDA) by (R)-(-)-MDMA was significantly higher when compared to the other treated groups and control.

  13. Effect of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on the toxicokinetics and sedative effects of the drug of abuse, γ-hydroxybutyric acid

    PubMed Central

    Vijay, Nisha; Morris, Marilyn E.

    2014-01-01

    γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is widely abused in combination with other club drugs such as 3,4-methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA). The objectives of this study were to characterize the effects of MDMA on GHB toxicokinetics/toxicodynamics (TK/TD) and evaluate the use of monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) inhibition as a potential treatment strategy for GHB overdose when GHB is abused with MDMA. Rats were administered GHB 400 mg/kg i.v. alone or with MDMA (5 mg/kg i.v). Effects of MDMA and of the monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) inhibitor, L-lactate, on GHB TK and sedative effects were evaluated. The results of this study demonstrated no significant effect of MDMA on GHB TK or TD. GHB plasma concentrations were unchanged, and GHB concentration-effect relationships, based on plasma and brain concentrations and the return to righting reflex (RRR), were similar in the presence and absence of MDMA. L-lactate administration resulted in a significant decrease in the sedative effect (RRR) of GHB when it was co-administered with MDMA. Our results indicate that MDMA does not affect the TK/TD of GHB at the doses used in this study, and MCT inhibition using L-lactate, an effective overdose treatment strategy for GHB alone, is also effective for GHB overdose when GHB is co-ingested with MDMA. PMID:25174723

  14. Treatment of addiction and addiction-related behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Dewey, Stephen L.; Brodie, Jonathan D.; Ashby, Jr., Charles R.

    2004-12-07

    The present invention provides a highly efficient method for treating substance addiction and for changing addiction-related behavior of a mammal suffering from substance addiction. The method includes administering to a mammal an effective amount of gamma vinylGABA or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof. The present invention also provides a method of treatment of cocaine, morphine, heroin, nicotine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or ethanol addiction by treating a mammal with an effective amount of gamma vinylGABA or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof.

  15. [Environment and addictive behaviors].

    PubMed

    Touzeau, Didier; Raynal, Marie-Line

    2012-12-01

    Consumer society creates the emergence of addictive behaviors and environments of the subject "shape" the use of psychoactive substances. The family approach is to search out a guilt of members to understand family dynamics and enable young people to emancipate themselves from the family model. The social environment contributes to the marginalization of drug users "pathologizing" his conduct. Offer help without preconditions and a relationship based on a therapeutic alliance can contribute decisively to the recovery of an addict. The prison is a place of initiation of use and consumption of psychoactive substances despite the offer of specialized treatment. Measures of risk reduction of HCV/HIV infection and alternatives to incarceration should complete it. At workplace, consumption can be considered as a mean of doping to be more "efficient", but also as an attempt to withstand the stresses and changes in working conditions in the context of individualization and a loss of marks related to the new way of organizing work.

  16. [Neuroscientific basic in addiction].

    PubMed

    Johann-Ridinger, Monika

    2014-10-01

    The growing evidence of Neuroscience leads to a better understanding of cerebral processes in cases of acute or chronic intake of psychotropic substances (ps). Predominantly, structures of the "reward system" contributed to the development of addiction. Chronic consumption of ps provides changing in brain equilibrium and leads to adaptations in the brain architecture. In this article, the complex responses of neurons and neuronal networks are presented in cases of chronic intake of ps. The alterations affect the cognitive, emotional and behavioral processings and influence learning and stress regulation. In summary, all cerebral adaptations are integrated in a complex model of biological, psychological and social factors and therefore, addiction arises as a consequence of combination of individual protecting and risk factors.

  17. A Liberal Account of Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Foddy, Bennett; Savulescu, Julian

    2014-01-01

    Philosophers and psychologists have been attracted to two differing accounts of addictive motivation. In this paper, we investigate these two accounts and challenge their mutual claim that addictions compromise a person’s self-control. First, we identify some incompatibilities between this claim of reduced self-control and the available evidence from various disciplines. A critical assessment of the evidence weakens the empirical argument for reduced autonomy. Second, we identify sources of unwarranted normative bias in the popular theories of addiction that introduce systematic errors in interpreting the evidence. By eliminating these errors, we are able to generate a minimal, but correct account, of addiction that presumes addicts to be autonomous in their addictive behavior, absent further evidence to the contrary. Finally, we explore some of the implications of this minimal, correct view. PMID:24659901

  18. [Therapy in heroin addiction].

    PubMed

    Hosztafi, Sáandor; Fürst, Zsuzsanna

    2014-09-01

    Heroin addiction is one of the most devastating and expensive of public health problems. The most effective treatment is opioid replacement therapy. Replacement of heroin, a short-acting euphoriant with methadone or other opioids that have significantly longer duration of action provides a number of therapeutic benefits. Opioid detoxification has a role in both preventing acute withdrawal and maintaining long-term abstinence. Opioid-based detoxification is based on the principle of cross-tolerance, in which one opioid is replaced with another one that is slowly tapered. For the treatment of heroin addicts a wide range of psychosocial and pharmacotherapeutic treatments are available; of these, methadone maintenance therapy has the most evidence of benefit. Methadone maintenance reduces and/or eliminates the use of heroin, reduces the death rate and criminality associated with heroin use, and allows patients to improve their health and social productivity. In addition, enrollment in methadone maintenance has the potential to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases associated with heroin injection, such as hepatitis and HIV. The principal effects of methadone maintenance are to relieve narcotic craving, suppress the abstinence syndrome, and block the euphoric effects associated with heroin. There is growing interest in expanding treatment into primary care, allowing opioid addiction to be managed like other chronic illnesses. Buprenorphine which is a long-acting partial agonist was also approved as pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence. Opioid antagonists can reduce heroin self-administration and opioid craving in detoxified addicts. Naltrexone, which is a long-acting competitive antagonist at the opioid receptors, blocks the subjective and objective responses produced by intravenous opioids. Naltrexone is employed to accelerate opioid detoxification by displacing heroin and as a maintenance agent for detoxified formerly heroin-dependent patients who want to

  19. Treatment of internet addiction.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xui-qin; Li, Meng-chen; Tao, Ran

    2010-10-01

    Internet addiction (IA) is a prevalent, highly comorbid, and significantly impairing disorder. Although many psychotherapeutic approaches and psychotropic medications have been recommended and some of the psychotherapeutic approaches and a few pharmacotherapy strategies have been studied, treatment of IA is generally in its early stages. This article reviews theoretical descriptions of psychotherapy and the effects of psychosocial treatment and pharmacologic treatment. We also outline our own treatment model of IA.

  20. Mitoepigenetics and drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Sadakierska-Chudy, Anna; Frankowska, Małgorzata; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-11-01

    Being the center of energy production in eukaryotic cells, mitochondria are also crucial for various cellular processes including intracellular Ca(2+) signaling and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mitochondria contain their own circular DNA which encodes not only proteins, transfer RNA and ribosomal RNAs but also non-coding RNAs. The most recent line of evidence indicates the presence of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); thus, the level of gene expression - in a way similar to nuclear DNA - can be regulated by direct epigenetic modifications. Up to now, very little data shows the possibility of epigenetic regulation of mtDNA. Mitochondria and mtDNA are particularly important in the nervous system and may participate in the initiation of drug addiction. In fact, some addictive drugs enhance ROS production and generate oxidative stress that in turn alters mitochondrial and nuclear gene expression. This review summarizes recent findings on mitochondrial function, mtDNA copy number and epigenetics in drug addiction.

  1. The association between the negative effects attributed to ecstasy use and measures of cognition and mood among users.

    PubMed

    Fisk, John E; Montgomery, Catharine; Murphy, Philip N

    2009-10-01

    In self reports, abstinent ecstasy/polydrug users claim that they experience certain ongoing affective and psychological changes including elevated anxiety, arousal, and depression. In addition, various aspects of cognition (e.g., everyday memory, reasoning, executive functioning) appear to be affected. The present paper investigated the link between these two psychological sequelae. Ninety-five ecstasy/polydrug users completed tests of reasoning, intelligence, information processing speed, executive functioning, and everyday memory. Affect was measured via a mood adjective checklist. Adverse effects attributed to ecstasy were measured via responses to adjectives reflecting changes in users since they started using the drug. In addition, indicators of sleep quality and daytime sleepiness were obtained. Users attributed a number of adverse effects to ecstasy, namely heightened irritability, depression, paranoia, and deteriorating health. Adverse effects were significantly and negatively correlated with aspects of intelligence, everyday memory, and sleep quality. Length of use of ecstasy use was positively correlated with adverse effects. While many users attribute a number of adverse affects to their use of ecstasy, it remains unclear whether these self-perceptions are a corollary of the psychopharmacological effects of the drug or reflect factors which in fact predate its use.

  2. Alter Ego. Drug and brain--information to prevent. Compared analysis of opinions, knowledge and habits among a multicentric sample of secondary school students about drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, M; Gentile, A; Langiano, E; De Vito, E; La Torre, G; Ricciardi, G

    2006-03-01

    Repression and control have been shown to be inadequate for drug addiction issues. Recent history, however has proved that information is one of the most effective measures against the spread of drugs. The wide range of drug circulation and the need for the spread of correct information on the effects of drugs in man, especially his brain, have led the Center for Scientific Culture Diffusion of Cassino University, to widen the scope of "Alter Ego. Drugs and the brain", a touring educational exhibition, which opened in 1994, by dedicating more attention to socially accepted drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, and to new substances like ecstasy and similar drugs. Concurrently with the Alter Ego touring exhibition, a study was undertaken to obtain information on public awareness of the dangers of psychotropic drug abuse and to assess the effectiveness of the exhibition as an instrument of scientific information about drug addiction among its visitors, during its tour of over 60 Italian towns.

  3. The neurobiology of addictive disorders.

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephen; Peselow, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Addiction is increasingly understood as a neurobiological illness where repetitive substance abuse corrupts the normal circuitry of rewarding and adaptive behaviors causing drug-induced neuroplastic changes. The addictive process can be examined by looking at the biological basis of substance initiation to the progression of substance abuse to dependence to the enduring risk of relapse. Critical neurotransmitters and neurocircuits underlie the pathological changes at each of these stages. Enhanced dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens is part of the common pathway for the positively rewarding aspects of drugs of abuse and for initiation of the addictive process. F-Aminobutyric acid,opioid peptides, serotonin, acetylcholine, the endocannabinoids, and glutamate systems also play a role in the initial addictive process. Dopamine also plays a key role in conditioned responses to drugs of abuse, and addiction is now recognized as a disease of pathological learning and memory. In the path from substance abuse to addiction, the neurochemistry shifts from a dopamine-based behavioral system to a predominantly glutamate-based one marked by dysregulated glutamate transmission from the prefrontal cortex to the nucleus accumbens in relation to drug versus biologically oriented stimuli. This is a core part of the executive dysfunction now understood as one of the hallmark features of addiction that also includes impaired decision making and impulse dysregulation.Understanding the neurobiology of the addictive process allows for a theoretical psychopharmacological approach to treating addictive disorders,one that takes into account biological interventions aimed at particular stages of the illness.

  4. Differential effects of MDMA, cocaine, and cannabis use severity on distinctive components of the executive functions in polysubstance users: a multiple regression analysis.

    PubMed

    Verdejo-García, Antonio J; López-Torrecillas, Francisca; Aguilar de Arcos, Francisco; Pérez-García, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    Executive functioning impairments have been demonstrated following consumption of drugs of abuse. These executive impairments could play an important role on the development of the addictive process and rehabilitation of substance abusers. Recent neuropsychological models of executive functioning assume a multicomponent organization of these processes, suggesting different functions could contribute differentially to performance on executive tasks. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between severity of consumption of different drugs and neuropsychological performance on tasks sensitive to impairment in the executive subprocesses of working memory, response inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and abstract reasoning. Instruments sensitive to impairment in these four components were administered to 38 polysubstance abusers along with a severity of drug consumption interview. Multiple regression analyses were used. Results showed a differential impact of severity of MDMA abuse on working memory and abstract reasoning indices, of cocaine severity on an inhibitory control index and of cannabis on a cognitive flexibility index. Metabolic reorganization of monoamine frontal-subcortical pathways after drug exposure are proposed as possible explanations for these impairments.

  5. Distribution of temperature changes and neurovascular coupling in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,‘ecstasy’) exposure

    PubMed Central

    Coman, Daniel; Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G.; Jiang, Lihong; Hyder, Fahmeed; Behar, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    (+/−)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’) is an abused psychostimulant producing strong monoaminergic stimulation and whole-body hyperthermia. MDMA-induced thermogenesis involves activation of uncoupling proteins (UCP), primarily a type specific to skeletal muscle (UCP-3) and which is absent in brain, although other UCP types are expressed in brain (e.g., thalamus) and might contribute to thermogenesis. Since neuroimaging of brain temperature could provide insights of MDMA action, we measured spatial distributions of systemically-administered MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in rat cortex and subcortex using a novel magnetic resonance method, Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation of Shifts (BIRDS), with an exogenous temperature-sensitive probe (thulium ion and macrocyclic chelate 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetramethyl-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate (DOTMA4−)). The MDMA-induced temperature rise in cortex was greater than in subcortex (1.6±0.4°C vs. 1.3±0.4°C) and occurred more rapidly (2.0±0.2°C/h vs. 1.5±0.2°C/h). MDMA-induced temperature changes and dynamics in cortex and body were correlated, although body temperature exceeded cortex before and after MDMA. Temperature, neuronal activity, and blood flow (CBF) were measured simultaneously in cortex and subcortex (i.e., thalamus) to investigate possible differences of MDMA-induced warming across brain regions. MDMA-induced warming correlated with increases in neuronal activity and blood flow in cortex, suggesting that the normal neurovascular response to increased neural activity was maintained. In contrast to cortex, a biphasic relationship was seen in subcortex (i.e., thalamus), with a decline in CBF as temperature and neural activity rose, transitioning to a rise in CBF for temperature >37°C, suggesting that MDMA affected CBF and neurovascular coupling differently in subcortical regions. Considering that MDMA effects on CBF and heat dissipation (as well as

  6. Contribution of impulsivity and novelty-seeking to the acquisition and maintenance of MDMA self-administration.

    PubMed

    Bird, Judith; Schenk, Susan

    2013-07-01

    It has been suggested that the response to novelty and impulsivity predict the latency to acquisition and maintenance of drug self-administration, respectively. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between these two traits and (1) the latency to acquisition and (2) maintenance (drug-seeking) of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) self -administration. Impulsivity, measured as premature responding on the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), and novelty-seeking, measured as the locomotor response in a novel environment, were measured prior to self-administration. Latency to acquisition was determined as the number of test sessions required to self-administer an initial criterion of 90 infusions of 1.0 mg/kg/infusion, as well as an additional 150 infusions of 0.5 mg/kg/infusion MDMA. For some rats, the ability of MDMA [0, 5.0 or 10.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (IP)] to produce drug-seeking was subsequently measured, and for others, impulsivity was again measured following self-administration. Novelty-seeking was not significantly correlated with either the acquisition or drug-seeking measures of MDMA self-administration. Impulsivity was not significantly correlated with the latency to acquire self-administration of MDMA, but was significantly and positively correlated with the magnitude of MDMA-produced drug-seeking. Furthermore, MDMA self-administration produced a number of notable, but transient, deficits in the 5-CSRTT; there was an increase in omission rate and a delayed increase in premature responses in particular. These findings suggest that impulsivity, but not sensation seeking, might be a risk factor for the development of compulsive drug-seeking following withdrawal from MDMA self-administration.

  7. Effects of MDMA Injections on the Behavior of Socially-Housed Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis).

    PubMed

    Ballesta, Sébastien; Reymond, Gilles; Pozzobon, Matthieu; Duhamel, Jean-René

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methyl amphetamine (MDMA) is one of the few known molecules to increase human and rodent prosocial behaviors. However, this effect has never been assessed on the social behavior of non-human primates. In our study, we subcutaneously injected three different doses of MDMA (1.0, 1.5 or 2.0mg/kg) to a group of three, socially housed, young male long-tailed macaques. More than 200 hours of behavioral data were recorded, during 68 behavioral sessions, by an automatic color-based video device that tracked the 3D positions of each animal and of a toy. This data was then categorized into 5 exclusive behaviors (resting, locomotion, foraging, social contact and object play). In addition, received and given social grooming was manually scored. Results show several significant dose-dependent behavioral effects. At 1.5mg/kg only, MDMA induces a significant increase in social grooming behavior, thus confirming the prosocial effect of MDMA in macaques. Additionally, at 1.5 and 2.0 mg/kg MDMA injection substantially decreases foraging behavior, which is consistent with the known anorexigenic effect of this compound. Furthermore, at 2.0 mg/kg MDMA injection induces an increase in locomotor behavior, which is also in accordance with its known stimulant property. Interestingly, MDMA injected at 1.0mg/kg increases the rate of object play, which might be interpreted as a decrease of the inhibition to manipulate a unique object in presence of others, or, as an increase of the intrinsic motivation to manipulate this object. Together, our results support the effectiveness of MDMA to study the complex neurobiology of primates' social behaviors.

  8. Effects of MDMA Injections on the Behavior of Socially-Housed Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

    PubMed Central

    Ballesta, Sébastien; Reymond, Gilles; Pozzobon, Matthieu; Duhamel, Jean-René

    2016-01-01

    3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methyl amphetamine (MDMA) is one of the few known molecules to increase human and rodent prosocial behaviors. However, this effect has never been assessed on the social behavior of non-human primates. In our study, we subcutaneously injected three different doses of MDMA (1.0, 1.5 or 2.0mg/kg) to a group of three, socially housed, young male long-tailed macaques. More than 200 hours of behavioral data were recorded, during 68 behavioral sessions, by an automatic color-based video device that tracked the 3D positions of each animal and of a toy. This data was then categorized into 5 exclusive behaviors (resting, locomotion, foraging, social contact and object play). In addition, received and given social grooming was manually scored. Results show several significant dose-dependent behavioral effects. At 1.5mg/kg only, MDMA induces a significant increase in social grooming behavior, thus confirming the prosocial effect of MDMA in macaques. Additionally, at 1.5 and 2.0 mg/kg MDMA injection substantially decreases foraging behavior, which is consistent with the known anorexigenic effect of this compound. Furthermore, at 2.0 mg/kg MDMA injection induces an increase in locomotor behavior, which is also in accordance with its known stimulant property. Interestingly, MDMA injected at 1.0mg/kg increases the rate of object play, which might be interpreted as a decrease of the inhibition to manipulate a unique object in presence of others, or, as an increase of the intrinsic motivation to manipulate this object. Together, our results support the effectiveness of MDMA to study the complex neurobiology of primates’ social behaviors. PMID:26840064

  9. Treatment of addiction and addiction-related behavior

    DOEpatents

    Dewey, Stephen L.; Brodie, Jonathan D.; Ashby, Jr., Charles R.

    2005-05-10

    The present invention relates to the use of a composition that increases central nervous system GABA levels in a mammal, for the treatment of addiction to drugs of abuse and modification of behavior associated with addiction to drugs of abuse in said mammal.

  10. [Food addiction - substance use disorder or behavioral addiction?].

    PubMed

    Albayrak, Özgür; Kliewer, Josephine; Föcker, Manuel; Antel, Jochen; Hebebrand, Johannes

    2015-05-01

    This article looks at food addiction as a subject situated between psychiatry, neurobiology, nutritional science, internal medicine, food industry, and public health. Essentially, the question is whether or not individual nutritional components can induce physical dependence, similar to the well-known effects of drugs such as alcohol and cocaine, or whether food addiction is rather a behavioral addiction. The literature describes many overlaps as well as differences of substance-based and non-substance-based addiction in both clinical and neurobiological terms. Until recently it was argued that food addiction appears only in the realms of obesity and eating disorders (e.g., binge-eating disorder, BED). Some studies, however, described the prevalence of food addiction symptoms and diagnoses independent of overweight or that they were in subjects who do not fulfill the criteria for BED. This article sums up the controversial discussion about the phenomenological and neurobiological classification of food addiction. Implications of food addiction for children and adolescents as well as public-health-related issues are also discussed.

  11. Warning against co-administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) with methamphetamine from the perspective of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluations in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Yuki, Fuchigami; Rie, Ikeda; Miki, Kuzushima; Mitsuhiro, Wada; Naotaka, Kuroda; Kenichiro, Nakashima

    2013-04-11

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine often cause serious adverse effects (e.g., rhabdomyolysis, and cardiac disease) following hyperthermia triggered by release of brain monoamines such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, evaluation of brain monoamine concentrations is useful to predict these drugs' risks in human. This study aimed to evaluate risks of co-administration of