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Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 'ecstasy': Current perspective and future research prospects.

Parrott, AC, Downey, LA, Roberts, CA, Montgomery, C, Bruno, R and Fox, HC (2017) Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 'ecstasy': Current perspective and future research prospects. Journal of Psychopharmacology. ISSN 0269-8811

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AIMS: The purpose of this article is to debate current understandings about the psychobiological effects of recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'), and recommend theoretically-driven topics for future research. METHODS: Recent empirical findings, especially those from novel topic areas were reviewed. Potential causes for the high variance often found in group findings were also examined. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The first empirical reports into psychobiological and psychiatric aspects from the early 1990s concluded that regular users demonstrated some selective psychobiological deficits, for instance worse declarative memory, or heightened depression. More recent research has covered a far wider range of psychobiological functions, and deficits have emerged in aspects of vision, higher cognitive skill, neurohormonal functioning, and foetal developmental outcomes. However, variance levels are often high, indicating that while some recreational users develop problems, others are less affected. Potential reasons for this high variance are debated. An explanatory model based on multi-factorial causation is then proposed. FUTURE DIRECTIONS: A number of theoretically driven research topics are suggested, in order to empirically investigate the potential causes for these diverse psychobiological deficits. Future neuroimaging studies should study the practical implications of any serotonergic and/or neurohormonal changes, using a wide range of functional measures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Sage Publications
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 11:33
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 11:21
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/0269881117711922
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6813
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