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Researchers: Ecstasy May Damage the Memory

Yahoo News
May 15, 2000

Working Memory Deficits in Current and Previous Users of MDMA ('ecstasy'),
by M. Wareing; J.E. Fisk; P.N. Murphy
British Journal of Psychology Vol 91 (No 2) May 2000, 181-188

LONDON (Reuters) - The recreational drug Ecstasy appears to damage the memory, researchers reported Monday.

"It implies the possibility of long-term effects which may not be reversible,'' the researchers warned in findings published in the British Journal of Psychology.

The research, carried out by a team from the Edge Hill College of Higher Education in Ormskirk, northern England, found that current users and even former users of the drug that is popular with clubbers performed worse in working memory tests than non-users.

The tests, performed under time pressure, involved interpreting visual and audio information and understanding language.

Researcher Dr Philip Murphy said: "One speculative interpretation is that this may be indicative of the abnormal regeneration of nerve fibers in the brain containing Serotin, after initial damage caused by the toxic effects of Ecstasy.''

Serotin is a chemical that enables messages to be passed around the brain.