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MAPTalk-Digest Tuesday, November 28 2006 Volume 06 : Number 141

001 CzarWatch - map and directions Barron - Collier HS
    From: Allan Erickson <>
002 Ecstasy can harm the brains of first-time users
    From: Allan Erickson <>
003 online poll
    From: Rick Steeb <>


Subj: 001 CzarWatch - map and directions Barron - Collier HS
From: Allan Erickson <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 07:20:52 -0800 


Subj: 002 Ecstasy can harm the brains of first-time users
From: Allan Erickson <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 10:23:05 -0800

Ecstasy can harm the brains of first-time users

Researchers have discovered that even a small amount of MDMA, better
known as ecstasy, can be harmful to the brain, according to the first
study to look at the neurotoxic effects of low doses of the
recreational drug in new ecstasy users. The findings were presented
today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North

=93We found a decrease in blood circulation in some areas of the brain 
young adults who just started to use ecstasy,=94 said Maartje de Win,
M.D., radiology resident at the Academic Medical Center at the
University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. =93In addition, we found a

relative decrease in verbal memory performance in ecstasy users
compared to non-users.=94

Ecstasy is an illegal drug that acts as a stimulant and psychedelic. A

2004 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that
450,000 people in the United States age 12 and over had used ecstasy in

the past 30 days. In 2005, NIDA estimated that 5.4 percent of all
American 12th graders had taken the drug at least once.

Ecstasy targets neurons in the brain that use the chemical serotonin to

communicate. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating a number
of mental processes including mood and memory.

Research has shown that long-term or heavy ecstasy use can damage these

neurons and cause depression, anxiety, confusion, difficulty sleeping
and decrease in memory. However, no previous studies have looked at the

effects of low doses of the drug on first-time users.

Dr. de Win and colleagues examined 188 volunteers with no history of
ecstasy use but at high-risk for first-time ecstasy use in the near
future. The examinations included neuroimaging techniques to measure
the integrity of cells and blood flow in different areas of the brain
and various psychological tests. After 18 months, 59 first-time ecstasy

users who had taken six tablets on average and 56 non-users were
re-examined with the same techniques and tests.

The study found that low doses of ecstasy did not severely damage the
serotonergic neurons or affect mood. However, there were indications of

subtle changes in cell architecture and decreased blood flow in some
brain regions, suggesting prolonged effects from the drug, including
some cell damage. In addition, the results showed a decrease in verbal

memory performance among low-dose ecstasy users compared to non-users.

=93We do not know if these effects are transient or permanent,=94 Dr. de

Win said. =93Therefore, we cannot conclude that ecstasy, even in small

doses, is safe for the brain, and people should be informed of this

This research is part of the Netherlands XTC Toxicity (NeXT) study,
which also looks at high-dose ecstasy users and aims to provide
information on long-term effects of ecstasy use in the general

Source: Radiological Society of North America=


Subj: 003 online poll
From: Rick Steeb <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 08:40:51 -0800
=0AWhat percent of local law enforcement time and budget should be spent on
 marijuana law enforcement?=0A=0A4.6%  =0A50 percent  =0A3.4%  =0A25 percen
t =0A14.7% =0A5 percent  =0A77.3% =0Anone=0A=0ATotal Votes: 414=0A=0A=0A


End of MAPTalk-Digest V06 #141

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