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Preliminary evidence of hippocampal dysfunction in adolescent MDMA (“ecstasy”) users: possible r

Preliminary evidence of hippocampal dysfunction in adolescent MDMA (“ecstasy”) users: possible r

  1. ex-junkie
    Jacobsen, L. K., Mencl, W. E., Pugh, K. R., Skudlarski, P., & Krystal, J. H. (2004). Preliminary evidence of hippocampal dysfunction in adolescent MDMA (“ecstasy”) users: possible relationship to neurotoxic effects. Psychopharmacology, 173, 383–390
    doi:10.1007/s00213-003-1679-4.


    Abstract Rationale: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
    (MDMA or ecstasy) is a potent and selective
    serotonin neurotoxin whose use is growing among
    adolescents. Although cognitive deficits among adult
    MDMA users are well documented, little is known of the
    cognitive and brain functional sequelae of MDMA use
    during adolescence. Objective: We tested for evidence of
    cognitive deficits and changes in brain function in a pilot
    sample of adolescent MDMA users, who were compared with adolescent non-users of MDMA. Methods: Selective and divided attention and verbal working memory were examined in six adolescent MDMA users and six nonusers of MDMA who were similar in age, gender, IQ, and other substance use. Brain function was assessed during performance of the working memory task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results: MDMA users had significantly prolonged reaction times during tests of selective and divided attention, and failed to deactivate the left hippocampus normally during high
    verbal working memory load. Conclusions: MDMA use in adolescence may be associated with cognitive impairments and dysfunction of inhibitory circuits within the hippocampus. Further work is urgently needed to delineate the developmental impact and long-term functional and clinical significance of MDMA use during adolescence.