Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ecstasy Link To Long-Term Brain Damage

Date:
March 5, 2002
Source:
Adelaide University
Summary:
Disturbing evidence is emerging that the increasingly popular drug ecstasy can be linked to users suffering long-term brain damage. University of Adelaide researchers have found that ecstasy taken on a few occasions could cause severe damage to brain cells, with the potential to cause future memory loss or psychological problems.

Disturbing evidence is emerging that the increasingly popular drug ecstasy can be linked to users suffering long-term brain damage.

University of Adelaide researchers have found that ecstasy taken on a few occasions could cause severe damage to brain cells, with the potential to cause future memory loss or psychological problems.

Dr Rod Irvine, an internationally regarded ecstasy expert from the University's Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, says with 7% of 17-year-olds reporting use of ecstasy, major health problems could be expected in the future.

"For many years it has been known from animal experiments that small doses of ecstasy-even if only taken on only a few occasions-can cause severe damage to certain brain cells," he says. "More recently, evidence has started to accumulate suggesting that this damage may also occur in humans. Brain scans and psychological assessment of ecstasy users has been used to obtain this information.

"If our suspicions are proved correct, it will mean many of our young people will have memory loss or psychological problems in the future."

Dr Irvine's research on brain damage caused by ecstasy shows that the drug seems to work mainly through its effects on one type of brain cell, and even through one molecule in those cells. It also seems likely that the way the body reacts chemically to ecstasy is important in producing adverse effects, as is the surrounding temperature, which can lead to users overheating.

Adelaide's reputation as having the highest per capita death rate from ecstasy in Australia-and perhaps even the world-forms another component of Dr Irvine's research.

Dr Irvine is looking at the shorter-term consequences of ecstasy "overdoses", and has established that the high rate of death is due to a different strain of ecstasy appearing on the Adelaide market in the mid1990s.

"Normal" ecstasy contains the pharmacological ingredient known as MDMA as its main ingredient, but the Adelaide strain often contained no MDMA but rather a more potent chemical known as PMA.

"PMA hasn't been around since the early 1970s when it was responsible for the deaths of several people in Ontario, Canada, and now it's reappeared here in Adelaide," Dr Irvine says. "We don't know where the PMA came from, but we do know that it has been prevalent in Adelaide since the mid 1990s."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Adelaide University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Adelaide University. "Ecstasy Link To Long-Term Brain Damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073608.htm>.
Adelaide University. (2002, March 5). Ecstasy Link To Long-Term Brain Damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073608.htm
Adelaide University. "Ecstasy Link To Long-Term Brain Damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073608.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins