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MDMA Bibliography
A Categorized Collection of Relevant Papers
Compiled Jan 2001

In 2001, MAPS & Erowid completed the first version of a comprehensive collection of over 1,000
scholarly articles published about MDMA. It is available in the Erowid References Vault.

In light of this, the list below is no longer updated; it covers studies up till 2001.

  1. Neurotoxicity
    1. Overviews
    2. Human Studies
    3. Animal Studies
    4. Hyperthermia
  2. Neuroprotection
    1. Antioxidants
    2. SSRIs
    3. Other
  3. Memory & Cognitive Effects
    1. Human Studies
    2. Animal Studies
  1. Pregnancy & Birth Defects
    1. Overviews
    2. Human Studies
    3. Animal Studies
  2. General Pharmacology
  3. General Health
    1. Teeth
    2. Fatalities
  4. Psychotherapy & Therapeutic Uses


See MDMA Neurotoxicity Vault for current discussion.


Is MDMA (`Ecstasy') Neurotoxic in Humans? An Overview of Evidence and of Methodological Problems in Research,
Curran HV
Neuropsychobiology, 2000; 42:34-41
[View Reference]

Is MDMA a Human Neurotoxin? Diverse Views from the Discussants,
Turner JJD, Parrott AC
Neuropsychobiology, 2000; 42:42-48
[View Reference]


Positron emission tomographic evidence of toxic effect of MDMA ('Ecstasy') on brain serotonin neurons in human beings,
McCann UD, Szabo Z, Scheffel U, Dannals RF, Ricaurte GA
Lancet, 1998; 352(9138):1433-7
[View Reference]

Reduced in vivo binding to the serotonin transporter in the cerebral cortex of MDMA ('ecstasy') users,
Semple DM, Ebmeier KP, Glabus MF, O'Carroll RE, Johnstone EC
Br J Psychiatry, 1999; 175:63-9
[View Reference]

Serotonin neurotoxicity after (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy'): a controlled study in humans,
McCann UD, Ridenour A, Shaham Y, Ricaurte GA
Neuropsychopharmacology, 1994; 10(2):129-38
[View Reference]

Aminergic metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid of humans previously exposed to MDMA: preliminary observations,
Ricaurte GA, Finnegan KT, Irwin I, Langston JW
Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1990; 600:699-708; discussion 708-10
[View Reference]

Ecstasy—long-term effects on the human central nervous system revealed by positron emission tomography,
Obrocki J, Buchert R, Vaterlein O, Thomasius R, Beyer W, Schiemann T
Br J Psychiatry, 1999; 175:186-8
[View Reference]

Cognitive performance in (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') users: a controlled study,
McCann UD, Mertl M, Eligulashvili V, Ricaurte GA
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1999; 143(4):417-25
[View Reference]

Monoamine metabolites in the cerebralspinal fluid of recreational users of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'Ecstasy'),
Peroutka SJ, Pascoe N, Faull KF
Research Comm in Subs Abuse, 1987; 8(3-4):125-138
[View Reference]


Altered serotonin innervation patterns in the forebrain of monkeys treated with (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine seven years previously: factors influencing abnormal recovery,
Hatzidimitriou G, McCann UD, Ricaurte GA
J Neurosci, 1999; 19(12):5096-107
[View Reference]

Reorganization of ascending 5-HT axon projections in animals previously exposed to the recreational drug (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy'),
Fischer C, Hatzidimitriou G, Wlos J, Katz J, Ricaurte GA
J Neurosci, 1995; 15(8):5476-85
[View Reference]

(+/-)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine selectively damages central serotonergic neurons in nonhuman primates,
Ricaurte GA, Forno LS, Wilson MA, DeLanney LE, Irwin I, Molliver ME, Langston JW
JAMA, 1988; 260(1):51-5
[View Reference]

MDMA-induced neurotoxicity: parameters of degeneration and recovery of brain serotonin neurons,
Battaglia G, Yeh SY, de Souza EB
Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 1988; 29(2):269-74
[View Reference]

Biochemical and histological evidence that methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) is toxic to neurons in the rat brain,
Commins DL, Vosmer G, Virus RM, Woolverton WL, Schuster CR, Seiden LS
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1987; 241(1):338-45
[View Reference]

Evidence that both intragastric and subcutaneous administration of methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) produce serotonin neurotoxicity in rhesus monkeys,
Kleven MS, Woolverton WL, Seiden LS
Brain Res, 1989; 488(1-2):121-5
[View Reference]

The relationship between the degree of neurodegeneration of rat brain 5-HT nerve terminals and the dose and frequency of administration of MDMA ('ecstasy'),
O'Shea E, Granados R, Esteban B, Colado MI, Green AR
Neuropharmacology, 1998; 37(7):919-26
[View Reference]

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced serotonin deficits are followed by partial recovery over a 52-week period. Part I & Part II,
Sabol KE, Lew R, Richards JB, Vosmer GL, Seiden LS
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1996; 276(2):846-54, 855-65
[View Reference]

A neurotoxic regimen of MDMA suppresses behavioral, thermal and neurochemical responses to subsequent MDMA administration,
Shankaran M, Gudelsky GA
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1999; 147(1):66-72
[View Reference]


Small Changes in Ambient Temperature Cause Large Changes in 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-Induced Serotonin Neurotoxicity and Core Body Temperature in the Rat,
Malberg JE, Seiden LS
J Neurosci, 1998 Jul 1; 18(13):5086-94
[View Reference]

Age-dependent sensitivity of rats to the long-term effects of the serotonergic neurotoxicant (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) correlates with the magnitude of the MDMA-induced thermal response,
Broening HW, Bowyer JF, Slikker W Jr
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1995; 275(1):325-33
[View Reference]

5-HT loss in rat brain following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), p-chloroamphetamine and fenfluramine administration and effects of chlormethiazole and dizocilpine,
Colado MI, Murray TK, Green AR
Br J Pharmacol, 1993; 108(3):583-9
[View Reference]

The spin trap reagent alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butyl nitrone prevents 'ecstasy'-induced neurodegeneration of 5-hydroxytryptamine neurones,
Colado MI, Green AR
Eur J Pharmacol, 1995; 280(3):343-6
[View Reference]



Alpha-lipoic acid prevents 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)-induced neurotoxicity,
Aguirre N, Barrionuevo M, Ramirez MJ, Del Rio J, Lasheras B
Neuroreport, 1999 Nov 26;10(17):3675-80
[View Reference]

Effect of ascorbate and cysteine on the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced depletion of brain serotonin,
Gudelsky GA
J Neural Transm, 1996;103(12):1397-404
[View Reference]

Neurotoxicity of MDMA: neurochemical effects,
Schmidt, C. J. and J. H. Kehne
Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1990; 600:665-80; discussion 680-1
[View Reference]


MDMA-induced neurotoxicity: parameters of degeneration and recovery of brain serotonin neurons,
Battaglia G, Yeh SY, de Souza EB
Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 1988; 29(2):269-74
[View Reference]

Acute Psychological Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') are Attenuated by the Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor Citalopram,
Liechti ME, Baumann C, Gamma A, Vollenweider FX
Neuropsychopharmacology, 2000; 22(5)
[View Reference]

The serotonin uptake inhibitor citalopram reduces acute cardiovascular and vegetative effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ('Ecstasy') in healthy volunteers,
Liechti ME, Vollenweider FX
J Psychopharmacol, 2000;14(3):269-74
[View Reference]

Neurotoxicity of the psychedelic amphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine,
Schmidt, C. J.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1987; 240(1):1-7
[View Reference]

Reversal of the acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine by 5-HT uptake inhibitors,
Schmidt, C. J. and V. L. Taylor
Eur J Pharmacol, 1990; 181(1-2):133-6
[View Reference]

Involvement of the serotonin transporter in the formation of hydroxyl radicals induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine,
Shankaran M, Yamamoto BK, Gudelsky GA
Eur J Pharmacol, 1999 Dec 3;385(2-3):103-10
[View Reference]

Effects of "Ecstasy" blocked by serotonin reuptake inhibitors,
Stein DJ, Rink J
J Clin Psychiatry, 1999 Jul;60(7):485
[View Reference]


CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) transgenic mice show resistance to the lethal effects of methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA),
Cadet JL, Ladenheim B, Baum I, Carlson E, Epstein C
Brain Res, 1994; 655(1-2):259-62
[View Reference]

Superoxide radicals mediate the biochemical effects of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): evidence from using CuZn-superoxide dismutase transgenic mice,
Cadet JL, Ladenheim B, Hirata H, Rothman RB, Ali S, Carlson E, Epstein C, Moran TH
Synapse, 1995; 21(2):169-76
[View Reference]

Overexpression of human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase in transgenic mice attenuates oxidative stress caused by methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy),
Jayanthi S, Ladenheim B, Andrews AM, Cadet JL
Neuroscience, 1999;91(4):1379-87
[View Reference]

In vitro reactivation of rat cortical tryptophan hydroxylase following in vivo inactivation by methylenedioxymethamphetamine,
Stone DM, Hanson GR, Gibb JW
J Neurochem, 1989; 53(2):572-81
[View Reference]

Acute inactivation of tryptophan hydroxylase by amphetamine analogs involves the oxidation of sulfhydryl sites,
Stone DM, Johnson M, Hanson GR, Gibb JW
Eur J Pharmacol, 1989; 172(1):93-7
[View Reference]



Does Ecstasy cause memory deficits? A review of studies of memory function in Ecstasy users,
Gamma A
MAPS Bulletin, 2000 Nov 21; 10(2)
[View Reference]

Ecstasy (MDMA): a review of its possible persistent psychological effects,
Morgan MJ
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 2000 Oct;152(3):230-48
[View Reference]


Impaired cognitive performance in drug free users of recreational ecstasy (MDMA),
Gouzoulis-Mayfrank E, Daumann J, Tuchtenhagen F, Pelz S, Becker S, Kunert HJ, Fimm B, Sass H
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 2000; 68:719-725
[View Reference]

Memory disturbances in 'Ecstasy' users are correlated with an altered brain serotonin neurotransmission,
Reneman L, Booij J, Schmand B, van den Brink W, Gunning B
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 2000; 148(3):322-4
[View Reference]

Cognitive performance in (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') users: a controlled study,
McCann UD, Mertl M, Eligulashvili V, Ricaurte GA
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1999 Apr; 143(4):417-25
[View Reference]

Cognitive performance in recreational users of MDMA of 'ecstasy': evidence for memory deficits,
Parrott AC, Lees A, Garnham NJ, Jones M, Wesnes K
J Psychopharmacol (Oxf), 1998; 12(1):79-83
[View Reference]

Working memory deficits in current and previous users of MDMA ('ecstasy'),
Wareing M, Fisk JE, Murphy PN
Br J Psychol, 2000; 91:181-188
[View Reference]

Memory impairment in abstinent MDMA ('Ecstasy') users,
Bolla KI, McCann UD, Ricaurte GA
Neurology, 1998; 51(6):1532-7
[View Reference]

Memory deficits associated with recreational use of 'ecstasy' (MDMA),
Morgan MJ
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1999; 141(1):30-6
[View Reference]

Cognitive performance amongst recreational users of 'ecstasy',
Rodgers J
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 2000; 151(1):19-24
[View Reference]

Toxic effect of MDMA on brain serotonin neurons,
Klugman A, Hardy S, Baldeweg T, Gruzelier J
Lancet, 1999; 353(9160):1269-70; discussion 1270-1
[View Reference]

Reduced in vivo binding to the serotonin transporter in the cerebral cortex of MDMA ('ecstasy') users,
Semple DM, Ebmeier KP, Glabus MF, O'Carroll RE, Johnstone EC
Br J Psychiatry, 1999; 175:63-9
[View Reference]

Chronic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use: effects on mood and neuropsychological function?,
Krystal JH, Price LH, Opsahl C, Ricaurte GA, Heninger GR
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse, 1992; 18(3):331-41
[View Reference]

MDMA ('ecstasy') consumption in the context of polydrug abuse: a report on 150 patients,
Schifano F, Di Furia L, Forza G, Minicuci N, Bricolo R
Drug Alcohol Depend, 1998; 52(1):85-90
[View Reference]

Ecstasy (MDMA) effects upon mood and cognition: before, during and after a Saturday night dance,
Parrott AC, Lasky J
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1998; 139(3):261-8
[View Reference]


Behavioural analysis of the acute and chronic effects of MDMA treatment in the rat,
Marston HM, Reid ME, Lawrence JA, Olverman HJ, Butcher SP
Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1999 May;144(1):67-76
[View Reference]

Effects of cortical serotonin depletion by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on behavior, before and after additional cholinergic blockade,
Robinson TE, Castenada E, Wishaw IQ
Neuropsychopharmacology, 1993;8(1):77-85
[View Reference]



Does prenatal exposure to ecstasy cause congenital malformations? A prospective follow-up of 92 pregnancies,
McElhatton PR, Bateman DN, Evans C, Pughe KR, Thomas SHL
Br J Clin Pharmacology, 1998; 45:184
[View Reference]

Congenital anomalies after prenatal ecstasy exposure,
McElhatton PR, Bateman DN, Evans C, Pughe KR, Thomas SHL
Lancet, 1999; 354(9188):1441-2
[View Reference]

Prenatal exposure to amphetamines. Risks and adverse outcomes in pregnancy,
Plessinger MA
Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am, 1998; 25(1):119-38
[View Reference]

Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu [Pregnancy Outcome after Ecstasy Use],
van Tonningen-van Driel MM, Garbis-Berkvens JM, Reuvers-Lodewijks WE
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde, 1999; 143(1):27-31
[View Reference]


The role of dopaminergic systems in the perinatal sensitivity to 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity in rats,
Aguirre N, Barrionuevo M, Lasheras B, Del Rio J
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1998; 286(3):1159-65
[View Reference]

Behavioral and developmental effects of two 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) derivatives,
Bronson ME, Barrios-Zambrano L, Jiang W, Clark CR, DeRuiter J, Newland MC
Drug Alcohol Depend, 1994; 36(3):161-6
[View Reference]

A study of the neurotoxic effect of MDMA ('ecstasy') on 5-HT neurones in the brains of mothers and neonates following administration of the drug during pregnancy,
Colado MI, O'Shea E, Granados R, Misra A, Murray TK, Green AR
Br J Pharmacol, 1997; 121(4):827-33
[View Reference]

Behavioral and neurochemical effects of prenatal methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) exposure in rats,
St Omer VE, Ali SF, Holson RR, Duhart HM, Scalzo FM, Slikker W.
Neurotoxicol Teratol, 1991; 13(1):13-20
[View Reference]

Serotonergic modulation of rat pup ultrasonic vocal development: studies with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine,
Winslow JT, Insel TR
J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 1990; 254(1):212-20
[View Reference]


3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy'): pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans,
Steele TD, McCann UD, Ricaurte GA
Addiction, 1994; 89(5):539-51
[View Reference]

The molecular mechanism of 'ecstasy' [3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)]: Serotonin transporters are targets for MDMA-induced serotonin release,
Rudnick G, Wall SC
Proc Natl Acad Sci, 1992; 89:1817-1821
[View Reference]

3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) analogues exhibit differential effects on synaptosomal release of 3H-dopamine and 3H-5-hydroxytryptamine,
McKenna DJ, Guan XM, Shulgin AT
Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 1991; 38(3):505-12
[View Reference]

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced inhibition of neuronal firing in the nucleus accumbens is mediated by both serotonin and dopamine,
Obradovic T, Imel KM, White SR
Neuroscience, 1996; 74(2):469-81
[View Reference]

Ecstasy: towards an understanding of the biochemical basis of the actions of MDMA,
Rattray M
Essays Biochem, 1991; 26:77-87
[View Reference]



The occurrence of toothwear in users of Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine),
Milosevic A, Agrawal N, Redfearn PJ, Mair LH
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol, 1999 Aug; 27(4):283-287
[View Reference]

An association between the regular use of 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (ecstasy) and excessive wear of the teeth,
Redfearn PJ, Agrawal N, Mair LH
Addiction, 1998; 93(5):745-8
[View Reference]


Amphetamine derivative fatalities in South Australia—is "Ecstasy" the culprit?,
Byard RW, Gilbert J, James R, Lokan RJ
Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 1998 Sep; 19(3):261-5
[View Reference]

Ecstasy, 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a fatality associated with coagulopathy and hyperthermia,
Chadwick IS, Curry PD, Linsley A, Freemont AJ, Doran B
J R Soc Med, 1991; 84(6):371
[View Reference]

A fatal overdose with 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine derivatives,
Forrest ARW, Galloway JH, Marsh ID, Strachan GA, Clark JC
Forensic Sci Int, 1994 Jan; 64(1):57-9
[View Reference]

Toxicity and deaths from 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy"),
Henry JA, Jeffreys KJ, Dawling S
Lancet, 1992 Aug 15; 340(8816):384-7
[View Reference]

Pathology of deaths associated with "ecstasy" and "eve" misuse,
Milroy CM, Clark JC, Forrest ARW
J Clin Pathol, 1996; 49(2):149-53
[View Reference]

Five MDMA Related Deaths,
Graeme P. Dowling, MD; Edward T. McDonough III, MD; Robert O. Bost, PhD
JAMA, Mar 27, 1987; 257: 1615-1617
[Full Text]


MDMA Psychotherapy: an Annotated Bibliography,
Stuart R
Master's Thesis Project, 2000 Oct; John F. Kennedy Univ.
[Full Text]

The Therapeutic Use of MDMA,
Greer GR, Tolbert R
Ecstasy: The clinical, pharmacological and neurotoxicological effects of the drug MDMA, 1990; S. J. Peroutka Boston, Kluver Academic Publishers:21-36
[Full Text]

Can drugs be used to enhance the psychotherapeutic process?,
Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB
Am J Psychother, 1986; 40(3):393-404
[Full Text]

Phenomenology and sequelae of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine use,
Liester MB, Grob CS, Bravo GL, Walsh RN
J Nerv Ment Dis, 1992; 180(6):345-52; discussion 353-4
[Full Text]

The new psychotherapy: MDMA and the shadow,
Shulgin A
Eleusis, 1995; 3:3-11
[Full Text]

Is there a case for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the UK? (Editorial),
B Sessa
J Psychopharmacol. 2007;21(2):220-4.
[Full Text]

MDMA, politics and medical research: have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? (Editorial),
B Sessa, DJ Nutt
J Psychopharmacol. 2007;21(8):787-91.
[Full Text]