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  1. chillinwill
    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
    http://wdef.com/news/health_news_ecstasy_for_ptsd/11/2008


    ***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

Comments

  1. Shampoo
    As a MAPS employee, SWIM had the privelage of working on this monumental project for the treatment of PTSD with MDMA. With the responsibility of data-entry and session transcription, he was able to get an in depth look at how exactly these sessions unfold, and he was very impressed with the results. The team of doctors, made up of a husband and wife (the mithoefers) is highly skilled and preceptive, and clearly understands the processes involved in therepeutic treatment of anxiety and PTSD-symptoms. SWIM is proud to have worked on this project, and is in full support of its continuation. If all goes as planned, the 1-year followup study will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal sometime in 2009.

    If anyone has any questions about the project, please let me know and I would be happy to answer them or direct you in the direction where an answer could be found.
  2. chillinwill
    Ecstasy Improves Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment, Say Norwegian Researchers

    People who have survived severe trauma such as events during war, torture or sexual assault can experience after-effects, a condition called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms may include anxiety, uncontrolled emotional reactions, nightmares, intrusive memories, sleep and concentration difficulties, evasion of situations that resemble the trauma, and feelings of shame or even amnesia.
    [IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6892&stc=1&d=1231861018[/IMGR]
    For many, the condition fades away with time but for some PTSD is a chronic condition that needs treatment, which typically involves drugs that help with anxiety and depression and/or psychotherapy.

    Psychotherapy usually involves a combination of talk sessions and tasks. In exposure therapy, the focus is to help the patient digest the traumatic event in a safe context. So the patient realizes that the memories of the traumatic event and the situation surrounding it are not dangerous. The patient learns to deal with the traumatic incident as a painful memory, and not as if it will happen again.

    Studies show that exposure therapy can be a very effective treatment of post traumatic disorders. Yet far too many patients receive treatment only with drugs. But anxiety reducing drugs and anti-depressants may work against our efforts and reduce the patient emotional learning, says Pål-Ørjan Johansen, a psychologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

    Along with Teri Krebs, a neurobiologist at the university, he is now exploring what happens when chronic trauma patients are treated with a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacological versions of ecstasy, MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxy-N-methyl-amphetamine). A U.S. study, recently conducted by psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, has shown what the Norwegian group called 'remarkable success' with this combination.

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), also known as Ecstasy

    Mithoefer took 21 people with chronic PTSD, all of whom had been subjected to documented abuse. All had also been through six months of treatment with traditional therapy, in addition to a three-month treatment with drugs. None, however, had shown any improvement from the treatment.

    Under Mithoefer treatment, the patients stopped their usual anxiety-reducing drugs, and began a new treatment with twelve sessions of psychotherapy. During two of these therapy sessions, some patients were given doses of MDMA, while the others were given a placebo (a fake pill).

    Two months after the treatment, 92 percent of MDMA patients had clinically significant improvement in their conditions: They were more open to therapy and were able to process the trauma. They managed to escape from their shells and shame, and to see lifelong patterns of behavior. They were less dispirited, evasive and afraid. In contrast, only 25 percent of the patients in the placebo group showed progress. Everyone in this group was subsequently offered treatment with MDMA, and the results have been good, with no serious or lasting side effects.

    Neuropsychological tests suggested that patients had improved mental ability after treatment. None of MDMA patients continued to take the drug after treatment. But many of them had managed to transform a crippling trauma into "only" a memory -- a painful memory, but still more manageable than before.

    This was a small study, and it must be followed up by more. But the results are promising, both in terms of safety and the effects of treatment. It is also important to stress that this is not about daily medication, but short-term, controlled use," Johansen and Krebs say.

    The Norwegian scientists have investigated both this and a number of other studies, and suggest the following explanation:

    For the first, MDMA contributes to increasing the level of oxytocin in the brain. This hormone stimulates emotions such as connection, proximity and trust. In a therapeutic context, it means that the patient may be better able to open up and have confidence in the therapist.

    "For the second, MDMA increases activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This is an area in the anterior part of the brain that processes fear, lowers stress, and enables us to see events in perspective. This is where decisions are taken and feelings are regulated. Activity here is closely linked to activity in the amygdala, the area of the brain that is the centre for feeling fear. You could say that fear is formed in the amygdala, but is processed in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. While activity in the cortex is increased with MDMA, the drug simultaneously reduces activity in the amygdala. We believe this will help improve the regulation of emotions, allay fears and reduce evasive behaviours in a therapy situation.

    "For the third, MDMA triggers the stress hormones noradrenalin and cortisol. These hormones are necessary to activate the emotional learning that leads to long-term reduction of fear.

    "In summary, we suggest that MDMA is an emotional enhancer that helps the patient feel safer and in control, better able to connect with memories, and more capable of the emotional processing that is needed for improvement.

    By News Staff
    January 10th 2009 12:00 AM
    Scientific Blogging
    http://www.scientificblogging.com/n..._disorder_treatment_say_norwegian_researchers
  3. Sven99
    Wonderfully positive. Shame it got pushed back 20 years by the war on drugs.
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