1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

Ecstasy impairs memory, study shows

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Lunar Loops
    This piece from The Guardian (UK):

    Ecstasy impairs memory, study shows

    James Randerson, science correspondent
    Tuesday June 5, 2007
    The Guardian
    Ecstasy can cause lasting damage to the human brain, even if the drug is only taken for a short time, according to new research. The memory of ecstasy users who were asked to remember lists of words was impaired, the study found.
    Researchers compared the performance of the subjects before and after they first tried the drug and concluded that even low doses of the drug could have lasting effects on the brain.
    The ideal experiment to investigate the effect of ecstasy on human memory would be to give the drug or a placebo to different participants at random. That would be unethical, so the next best thing would be to test non-drug users first, and then again if they decide to take the drug.
    Research on animals has shown that ecstasy can cause long-lasting damage to neurons involved in processing serotonin, a chemical involved in controlling learning, memory, mood and other functions. In several studies a brain region called the hippocampus which is known to be involved in memory has shown up as being particularly badly affected.
    A team led by Ben Schmand at the University of Amsterdam recruited 188 volunteers who had never tried the drug, but who said they would probably soon do so. The team tested their performance in a battery of psychological exercises, including tests of attention and memory.
    Months later, the team went back to their volunteers and tested 58 who had since taken at least one ecstasy tablet. These subjects were matched against a similar number of controls of a similar age and history of drug use. On average, the subjects who had started to use the drug had taken around three pills in total.
    Despite this low dosage, the researchers found a small but statistically significant drop in the volunteers' ability to remember words. This test involved reciting a list of 15 words and remembering the list 20 minutes later. Their performance in other tests was not hampered. "Our data indicate that low doses of ecstasy are associated with decreased verbal memory function, which is suggestive for ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity," the authors write in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry. "The main underlying factor seems to be a depletion of serotonin in ecstasy users, a depletion that might be reversible. Serotonin is involved in several cognitive functions, but might be especially relevant to learning and memory."

Comments

  1. Nagognog2
    Another study with skewed results. I've studied people who have used pure MDMA and MMDA. None ever exhibited any memory-loss. Quite the opposite in fact. I'll wonder if the list of words might have been in Tibetan. Or Inuit.
  2. Lunar Loops

    Not to mention whether or not what they actually took was MDMA. The article goes on to say the difference in results was small. The difference in results could be due to a whole host of factors (not least the difference in the list of words).
  3. Peace Frog
    Maybe instead of testing on subjects, the scientists should try being their own subjects... Let them see for themselves what the drug really does to them...

    I agree with you too Shroom, who's to say what they took was MDMA? The article does say "Ecstasy", and not MDMA... so it could be any of the methylenedioxy____ chemicals, as well as the fillers associated with Ecstasy in pill form.... so WHO KNOWS what was in the ones that they took...
  4. artik
    Scare tactics instead of education. I love the ignorance of our society.
  5. enquirewithin
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] Cognition in Novice Ecstasy Users With Minimal Exposure to Other Drugs

    [/FONT][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]A Prospective Cohort Study[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/64/6/728[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] Thelma Schilt, MSc; Maartje M. L. de Win, MD, PhD; Maarten Koeter, PhD; Gerry Jager, PhD; Dirk J. Korf, PhD; Wim van den Brink, MD, PhD; Ben Schmand, PhD
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:728-736.[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] Context Ecstasy (street name for [±]-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA]) use has been associated with cognitive deficits, especially in verbal memory. However, owing to the cross-sectional and retrospective nature of currently available studies, questions remain regarding the causal direction and clinical relevance of these findings. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Objective To examine the relationship between Ecstasy use and subsequent cognitive performance. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Design A prospective cohort study in Ecstasy-naive subjects with a high risk for future first Ecstasy use, as part of the Netherlands XTC Toxicity study. The initial examination took place between April 10, 2002, and April 28, 2004; follow-up was within 3 years after the initial examination. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Setting and Participants One hundred eighty-eight healthy Ecstasy-naive volunteers (mean age, 22 years) were recruited. Of these, 58 subjects started using Ecstasy (mean cumulative dose, 3.2 tablets; median cumulative dose, 1.5 tablets). They were compared with 60 persistent Ecstasy-naive subjects matched on age, sex, intelligence, and use of substances other than Ecstasy. Differences in cognition between Ecstasy users and Ecstasy-naive subjects were adjusted for differences in cannabis and other recreational drug use. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Main Outcome Measures Change scores between the initial examination and follow-up on neurocognitive tests measuring attention, working memory, verbal and visual memory, and visuospatial ability. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Results At the initial examination, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the neuropsychological test scores between persistent Ecstasy-naive subjects and future Ecstasy users. However, at follow-up, change scores on immediate and delayed verbal recall and verbal recognition were significantly lower in the group of incident Ecstasy users compared with persistent Ecstasy-naive subjects. There were no significant differences on other test scores. [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Conclusions Our findings suggest that even a first low cumulative dose of Ecstasy is associated with decline in verbal memory. Although the performance of the group of incident Ecstasy users is still within the normal range and the immediate clinical relevance of the observed deficits is limited, long-term negative consequences cannot be excluded. [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] Author Affiliations: Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research (Ms Schilt and Drs Koeter and van den Brink), Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Departments of Psychiatry (Ms Schilt and Drs Koeter and van den Brink), Radiology (Dr de Win), and Neurology (Dr Schmand), Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, the Netherlands (Dr Jager); and Bonger Institute of Criminology (Dr Korf) and Department of Psychology (Dr Schmand), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. [/FONT]
  6. enquirewithin
    The Guardian doesn't mention this qualification. That wouldn't make such a good story.
  7. mouthwater
    Low Doses Of Ecstasy Associated With Decline In Verbal Memory

    Science Daily Even low doses of Ecstasy may be associated with a decline in language-related memory, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

    Ecstasy is an illicit recreational drug popular among young people, according to background information in the article. Research in both humans and animals suggests that the drug can harm the brain. Ecstasy may damage nerve cells that respond to the hormone serotonin, which is involved in mood, thinking, learning and memory.

    Thelma Schilt, M.Sc., of the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues recruited 188 volunteers (average age 22) who had not used Ecstasy but reported that they were likely to try it soon. Within three years of the initial evaluations, which took place between April 2002 and April 2004, 58 individuals began using
    Ecstasy.

    They were compared with 60 individuals who had the same age, sex and intelligence score but who did not use Ecstasy during the follow-up period. All participants took tests that assessed various types of memory--including attention, verbal memory for words and language, and visual memory for images--at the beginning and end of the study. Verbal memory was tested by memorizing a series of 15 words and repeating them immediately and again 20 minutes later.

    "At the initial examination, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the neuropsychological test scores between persistent Ecstasy-naïve subjects and future Ecstasy users," the authors write.


    "However, at follow-up, change scores on immediate and delayed verbal recall and verbal recognition were significantly lower in the group of incident Ecstasy users compared with persistent Ecstasy-naïve subjects. There were no significant differences on other test scores."
    In contrast to other studies, which have suggested that Ecstasy affects women more than men, there was no difference in the drug's effect between the sexes. Overall, test scores remained within the normal range for the general population.

    The fact that Ecstasy appeared to affect only verbal memory points to specific brain areas and chemicals that may be affected by the drug, the authors note. "The main underlying factor seems to be a depletion of serotonin in Ecstasy users, a depletion that might be reversible," they write. "Serotonin is involved in several cognitive functions but might be especially relevant to learning and memory."

    "In conclusion, our data indicate that low doses of Ecstasy are associated with decreased verbal memory function, which is suggestive for Ecstasy-induced neurotoxicity," the authors conclude. "Further research on the long-term effects of Ecstasy as well as on the possibility of additive effects of Ecstasy use on aging of the brain is needed."


    Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:728-736.
  8. Swimster
    Most articles keep saying "ecstacy", in which in definition is supposed to
    have "MDMA" in it, it would be more clear for these articles to simply say
    MDMA. Swim don't think studdies would EVER use street tablets.
  9. Bajeda
    The scientists didn't provide the drugs though. They just took measurements after people went and used them.

    Hence, this study doesn't tell us shit about MDMA because you can't account for all the other crap other there in pills.
  10. Swimster
    oh boy.. swim admittingly skimmed through the posts above.. but man... swim figured the a-holes would of studdied pure MDMA! These are the types of shitty studdies the authorities would love for us to hear eh?:mad:
  11. stoneinfocus
    !. that they didn´t use MDMA is a great flaw, usually you have the dose, given, the drug, where the drugs were bought at or made from, timing, blood levels etc.
    And along with what they´re already telling "a fair test would have been randomized and double blind", the next sentnce includes the things that we all already "know" and expected.

    And even then it wouldn´t be fair, it would have been fair, if it was randomized, double blind and the only thing everybody in the test would know, would be the fact, that it was an experiment about a drug, influencing memory, because everybody and his children already got in mind, that MDMA was bad on their memory and cognitive abilities.
  12. eltimmy
    Ridiculous. Did they control for lifestyle, polydrug use, etc.? No. Then the study is worthless.
  13. stoneinfocus
    Jep, it´s not because it´s to prove the dangers of a drug, it´s complete
    rubbish, under the disguise of scientific medical research...

    And since when is it, that´s unethical admistering pure MDMA in a reasonable amount?

    There´re studies on IGF-1, 600mg Testosterone/week*1year, Melanotan and other experimental, completely new drugs to be approved, which are for sure more likely to exhibit unforseen, even unmanagable reactions, as opposed to MDMA or MDA.

    But to be fair, it´s not given who admistered the drug; the flaw of the bias already incorporated by the media into all involved in the studie´s design is enough to make it more, than worthless.

    Did my english skills worsen this day?
  14. Swimster
    ahh... swim just loves proving the ignorant ***** wrong.:D
  15. Vi3tKid420
    saw some document, said the government lied, its not the ecstasy itself, but the various drugs mixed with it that impairs memory and makes holes inside your head (tweak, speed, ect.)
  16. enquirewithin
    The study's results are only tenative and there are too many variables which are not accounted for. Clearly, the researchers wanted to find that 'ecstasy' damages people.
  17. Broshious
    For polydrug use anyways:

    "Differences in cognition between Ecstasy users and Ecstasy-naive subjects were adjusted for differences in cannabis and other recreational drug use."
  18. INSANEPOOKIE
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!