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

BACKGROUND: The main psychotropic agent of the popular illicit drug ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). In the light of animal studies and examinations of human cerebrospinal fluid, MDMA is suspected of causing neurotoxic lesions to the serotonergic system. AIMS: To postulate a relationship between ecstasy use and lasting alterations to the cerebral glucose metabolic rate.

METHODS: Positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) was performed on seven ecstasy users and seven subjects without any known history of illicit drug use. Data were compared for a limited number of brain regions.

RESULTS: By comparison with the control group, the glucose metabolic uptake of the ecstasy user group was altered within the amygdala, hippocampus and Brodmann's area II. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest the possibility that ecstasy use has lasting effects on central neuronal activity in humans.
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