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Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans

Montgomery, C and Roberts, CA (2021) Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans. Experimental Neurology, 347. ISSN 0014-4886

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3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine generally referred to as MDMA or ‘ecstasy’ is a ring-substituted phenethylamine stimulant which produces powerful empathogenic effects. Use of MDMA remains popular despite prohibition, and potential long-term negative consequences of repeated use. MDMA produces its acute subjective effects primarily by stimulating the release of serotonin via action at the serotonin transporter (SERT). There is evidence that MDMA administration may lead to long lasting neurotoxic effects on serotonin neurons in primates, and reductions in markers of central serotonin axons, and axon terminals in animals. In humans, demonstration of serotonergic neurotoxicity is much more difficult to identify, and much of the research is complicated by confounding issues of polysubstance use, genetic and environmental factors and reliance on self-reports of previous drug use. We do not review the mechanisms for neurotoxicity in detail as they are covered elsewhere in this special issue. There is a large body of literature, however, which has investigated potential cognitive and neurocognitive consequences of repeated MDMA use. Here we review the literature on cognition, and neuroimaging studies that have investigated structural and functional brain changes associated with ecstasy use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1109 Neurosciences, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 14:10
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113888
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15629
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