MDMA (Ecstasy) as Therapy

As a first year neuroscience graduate student, I am required to take a course in Neuroanatomy. Designed for medical students, this course mixes basic neuroscience ideas with clinically relevant facts. Amusingly the need to maintain some sort of clinical relevancy is often expressed by detailed explanations about how various recreational drugs modulated the brain. In light of today's explanation of how cocaine and MDMA (Ecstacy) affect domapinergic and serotonergic neurons, respectively, I was amused to run into an article about the use of Ecstasy to resolve psychiatric issues. The article makes for interesting reading, explaining the history of MDMA creation and use as a therapeutic tool.

MDMA (Ecstasy) as Therapy

UPDATE 1/13/2010: MDMA, aka Ecstasy, is in FDA-approved trials for use as a treatment for PTSD


Astra Bryant

Astra Bryant is a graduate of the Stanford Neuroscience PhD program in the labs of Drs. Eric Knudsen and John Huguenard. She used in vitro slice electrophysiology to study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms linking cholinergic signaling and gamma oscillations – two processes critical for the control of gaze and attention, which are disrupted in many psychiatric disorders. She is a senior editor and the webmaster of the NeuWrite West Neuroblog