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Comments on MDMA Neurotoxicity Study
A Prospective Guinea Pig
by H.

Positron emission tomographic evidence of toxic effect of MDMA ('Ecstasy') on brain serotonin neurons in human beings,
by U. D. McCann; Z Szabo; U Scheffel; R.F. Dannals; G. A. Ricaurte
The Lancet Vol 352, Oct 31, 1998, 1437




I thought that I'd give you my opinion on his studies, as I was at one point considering volunteering as a guinea pig.

The problem with Ricaurte's studies is that the people who have used MDMA 40-200 times that he is studying have likely taken all kinds of other drugs too. For example, when I was considering doing this study, they asked me what other drugs I had taken. I went through a fairly big laundry list--alcohol, LSD, psilocybin, ketamine, 2C-B, 2C-T-7, DOB, DMT, DET, DPT, 5-MeO-DMT, AMT, GHB, Cannabis, nitrous oxide, opium, heroin, mescaline, methamphetamine, cocaine, salvinorin A, MDA, MDOH, ibotenic acid/muscimol, MDE, and various others that I can't recall right now (say... perhaps all of these drugs are affecting my memory...). They didn't ask about anything about all of this except for how many times I had taken MDE (only a handful of times), and they *still* accepted me for the study. While I doubt that most people volunteering have taken such a wide variety of drugs, it is very likely that they have taken something other than MDMA *quite a bit*, if they have taken MDMA 40-200 times. Since there is no provision for the possible neurotoxic effects of other drugs that the guinea pig has taken, Ricaurte's studies seem practically worthless to me.

Ideally, Ricaurte should study volunteers who had only taken MDMA. In reality, these sorts of volunteers are nearly impossible to find. I'm sure that Ricaurte is doing the best within the unreasonable restrictions that are placed on this type of a study. What really needs to be done is people who have taken *no* drugs need to have their brains tested, and then be dosed with standard doses of MDMA (40-200 times, or whatever), and their brains need to be studied after each dose until the end of the study (and then for X months/years afterwards). Of course this would require government approval of human testing (as well as big funding); something that would probably be quite hard to arrange.