Tag Archives | MDMA

Scientific Study Reveals That Ecstasy Damages Memory

Via LiveScience:

A study conducted by German scientists has revealed that using the popular party drug Ecstasy (MDMA) can cause deterioration of memory:

Among Ecstasy users, the researchers found a deterioration in a memory task called paired associates learning, in which people memorize pairs of words or objects so that the presentation of one triggers the recall of the other. None of the other cognitive tasks showed significant differences between users and nonusers, Wagner said. The specificity of the deficit suggests damage to the hippocampus, he said, the part of the brain that is crucial for memory formation and recall.

(Another point of interest from the study: it’s apparently difficult to find MDMA users who don’t also smoke marijuana.)

Read More at LiveScience.

 

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How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death

Psychedelic dingbatsThe return of psychedelics to the medical arsenal seems to be well under way. Lauren Slater writes for the New York Times Magazine about Charles Grob, “a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin — an active component of magic mushrooms — to end-stage cancer patients to see if it could reduce their fear of death”:

…When the research was completed in 2008 — (and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry last year) — the results showed that administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths.

Grob’s interest in the power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer.

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The Incredible Krystle Cole Trip

Vice presents the wild trip of Krystle Cole as part of its Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia series:
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested...
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O Magazine Touts The Wonders Of Ecstasy

468019_0b823646bfThe Oprah Magazine comes out in favor of MDMA as a therapeutic wonder drug, attempting to dispel hysterical, ‘rave’-related media cliches (propagated by Oprah herself, among others) along the way. Writer Jessica Winter tried MDMA for the first time for the sake of the article, and describes the enormous personal benefit she gained in the weeks after:

To a layperson, the notion of using a drug like Ecstasy as a therapeutic tool for healing trauma might make as much sense as adding cocaine to a diabetic’s weight loss regimen. Ecstasy was the signature stimulant fueling a worldwide party culture in the 1980s and ’90s, epitomized by massive all-night dance “raves” crammed with blissed-out revelers and pulsating with electronic music at festivals and exurban warehouses across North America and Europe.

Yet MDMA’s beginnings were innocent, even banal. In 1912 it was included as an intermediate chemical in a patent that the German pharmaceutical company Merck filed for an antibleeding medication.

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Using Psychedelics To Treat Depression

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy (MDMA)

It’s been a long struggle, more or less since the days of Timothy Leary and Albert Hofmann in the ’60s, but doctors and scientists are finally being allowed to treat depression with some of the most effective drugs known to them: psychedelics. Anne Harding reports for CNN/Health.com:

Pamela Sakuda, 57, was anxious and depressed. After two years of intensive chemotherapy for late-stage colon cancer, and having outlived her prognosis by several months, she’d finally lost hope. She was living in fear and was worried how her impending death would affect her husband.

Sakuda’s doctor prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t do any good. So, at her wits’ end and feeling that she had nothing to lose, Sakuda volunteered for an experimental depression treatment being studied at UCLA.

In January 2005, with a pair of trained therapists at her side, Sakuda took a pill of psilocybin — a hallucinogen better known as the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.”

It may seem far-fetched that a psychedelic drug associated with muddy hippies at Woodstock would help a cancer patient at a university hospital.

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Can Mind-Altering Drugs have Mental Health Benefits?

From the Telegraph:

New studies are testing whether psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA can treat OCD, post traumatic stress and cancer related anxiety.

On September 19 this year, 12 people gathered in the suburban Hermsdorf district of Berlin for a group psychotherapy session that allegedly involved illegal drugs. A day later, two of the participants were dead and another in a coma. The substances used and exact cause of death have yet to be confirmed. Local newspaper reports have claimed that heroin and MDMA (ecstasy) were taken, but other drugs may have been in circulation.

Garri Rober, the therapist who led the session which included his wife, Elke, is facing possible charges in connection with the deaths and on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs. The other nine participants were released from hospital the next day.

This tragedy, which received international coverage, threatens to derail a fledgling renaissance in legitimate research using psychedelic drugs in the management of common disorders from migraines to obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety associated with life-threatening illness.

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