Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long-term users of ecstasy risk structural brain damage, study suggests

Date:
April 15, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Long term users of the popular recreational drug ecstasy risk structural brain damage, suggests preliminary research.

Long term users of the popular recreational drug ecstasy (MDMA) risk structural brain damage, suggests preliminary research published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Related Articles


Other research has suggested that people who use ecstasy develop significant memory problems, so the Dutch researchers wanted to find out if there was any clinical evidence of structural changes in the brain to back this up.

They focused on the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for long term memory.

They measured the volume of the hippocampus using MRI scans in 10 young men in their mid 20s who were long term users of ecstasy and seven of their healthy peers in their early 20s with no history of ecstasy use.

Although the ecstasy group had used more amphetamine and cocaine than their peers, both sets of young men had used similar amounts of recreational drugs, bar ecstasy, and drank alcohol regularly.

The ecstasy group had not been using on average for more than two months before the start of the study, but had taken an average of 281 ecstasy tablets over the preceding six and a half years.

The MRI scans showed that hippocampal volume in this group was 10.5% smaller than that of their peers, and the overall proportion of grey matter was on average 4.6% lower, after adjusting for total brain volume.

This indicates that the effects of ecstasy may not be restricted to the hippocampus alone, say the authors

"Taken together, these data provide preliminary evidence suggesting that ecstasy users may be prone to incurring hippocampal damage, following chronic use of this drug," they write.

They add that their findings echo those of other researchers who have reported acute swelling and subsequent atrophy of hippocampal tissue in long term ecstasy users.

And they point out: "Hippocampal atrophy is a hallmark for diseases of progressive cognitive impairment in older patients, such as Alzheimer's disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. den Hollander, M. Schouw, P. Groot, H. Huisman, M. Caan, F. Barkhof, L. Reneman. Preliminary evidence of hippocampal damage in chronic users of ecstasy. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2010.228387

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Long-term users of ecstasy risk structural brain damage, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192435.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, April 15). Long-term users of ecstasy risk structural brain damage, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192435.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Long-term users of ecstasy risk structural brain damage, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192435.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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