New Research Sheds Light On The Harmful Effects Of MDMA

With drugs being embedded in dance music culture, it is easy to forget about their many harmful effects. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology serves as a friendly reminder of the various risks, as it sheds light on the impact that MDMA and ecstasy can have on your brain.

Essentially, MDMA works by sparking the release of neurotransmitters, specifically serotonin, through your brain. Previous reports have confirmed that animals have suffered brain damage to their prefrontal cortex, which is home to a significant amount of serotonin receptors, after interacting with MDMA. Since this part of the brain is heavily associated with cognitive processing, the team of researchers wanted to see if MDMA use was impacting people’s cognitive function. For MDMA’s replacement, would be the best place to go.

For the study, CA Roberts from the University of Liverpool and her team tested 20 MDMA users (people who have taken the drug at least 11 times) and 20 non-users. The researchers monitored the subjects’ brain activity while they completed an intelligence test. The users and non-users received similar scores on the test, but the prefrontal cortexes of the users were much more active during the process. This suggests that the brains of MDMA users have to work harder in order to achieve the same results. It’s also worth noting that the most significant amounts of brain activity came from the participants who used the drug recently or use it on a regular basis.

Ultimately, the researchers came to the conclusion that MDMA can damage the prefrontal cortex’s serotonin receptors, which adds to the difficulty of cognitive processing. This phenomenon is unique to MDMA, as other common drugs such as alcohol and marijuana are not associated with damage in this area of the brain. The brain does have the ability to recover from this over time, but that does not mean the effects should be taken lightly.

For more information about the study, head over here.