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Title: Recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 'ecstasy': Current perspective and future research prospects.
Austin Authors: Parrott, Andrew C;Downey, Luke A;Roberts, Carl A;Montgomery, Cathy;Bruno, Raimondo;Fox, Helen C
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
Issue Date: Aug-2017 2017-06-29
Publication information: Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) 2017; 31(8): 959-966
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to debate current understandings about the psychobiological effects of recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'), and recommend theoretically-driven topics for future research. Recent empirical findings, especially those from novel topic areas were reviewed. Potential causes for the high variance often found in group findings were also examined. The first empirical reports into psychobiological and psychiatric aspects from the early 1990s concluded that regular users demonstrated some selective psychobiological deficits, for instance worse declarative memory, or heightened depression. More recent research has covered a far wider range of psychobiological functions, and deficits have emerged in aspects of vision, higher cognitive skill, neurohormonal functioning, and foetal developmental outcomes. However, variance levels are often high, indicating that while some recreational users develop problems, others are less affected. Potential reasons for this high variance are debated. An explanatory model based on multi-factorial causation is then proposed. A number of theoretically driven research topics are suggested, in order to empirically investigate the potential causes for these diverse psychobiological deficits. Future neuroimaging studies should study the practical implications of any serotonergic and/or neurohormonal changes, using a wide range of functional measures.
DOI: 10.1177/0269881117711922
PubMed URL: 28661257
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
central nervous system
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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