CNN was the first to report it when federal officials signed off on the study, the first using MDMA.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the results.
GAIL WESTERFIELD IS SHOWING US A TAPE... OF HER THERAPY SESSION, SHE'S UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MDMA.
WESTERFIELD STRUGGLED WITH DEPRESSION ALMOST ALL HER LIFE, AND A SENSE OF BEING "OUT OF IT."
SHE SAYS IT GOES BACK TO A CHILDHOOD ASSAULT... AND LATER, BEING RAPED, IN COLLEGE.
"I mean it's embarrassing to be in your 30's and be afraid to go into your house or to be alone in your house."
SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. BUT NOTHING HELPED HER... UNTIL SHE MET DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER... WHO WAS RESEARCHING MDMA AS A PART OF THERAPY.
MDMA IS BETTER KNOWN BY ITS STREET NAME: ECSTASY. WHEN TAKEN IT CAUSES THE BRAIN TO BE FLOODED WITH NEUROTRANSMITTERS... ESPECIALLY SEROTONIN... AND THAT'S THE KEY TO OUR MOODS AND EMOTIONS. SOME DOCTORS SAY THE WELL-KNOWN EFFECTS... A SENSE OF EUPHORIA, CALM ALERTNESS AND OPENNESS... THAT COULD PROVE USEFUL.. WHEN IT COMES TO THERAPY.
MITHOEFER'S PILOT STUDY INVOLVED 21 PATIENTS. THOSE GETTING MDMA WITH SAW MORE IMPROVEMENT IN THEIR MENTAL WELL-BEING... THAN PATIENTS WHO GOT A PLACEBO.
JUST AS IMPORTANT... THERE WERE NO MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS. SOME ILLICIT ECSTASY USERS RUN INTO PROBLEMS LIKE A RAPID HEART RATE, AND DEPRESSION.
"I'm excited that we got this kind of result, but it's only the first step."
"Did it work?"
"Oh, I'd say absolutely."
"I had re-current dreams ever since I was a little kid, I could be walking through house, lights turn out, and this force would overwhelm me After the MDMA, I fought it once and it never happened again."
FOUR YEARS SINCE THE LAST MDMA SESSION. THE NIGHTMARES ARE GONE.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN, ATLANTA.
Submitted by WDEF News 12 and CNN
November 13, 2008 - 10:53am
***The video can be found at this website since I cannot upload it. If the mods want to help me out on this one again, that would be cool*** http://wdef.com/video/health_news_ecstasy_for_ptsd/11/2008