Pubdate: Mon, 30 Sep 2002
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2002 Southam Inc.
Author: Domenic Martinello
Note: Headline by newshawk
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


Re: One Night's Ecstasy Use Can Cause Brain Damage, Sept. 27.

Despite the headline, this article, which reported that a study found a 
drastic effect on neurons of monkeys from Ecstasy or MDMA, does not show 
that humans are at risk. Though humans and the primates studied are closely 
related, there is not a great deal of correlation between brain 
structure/function across these different species. To avoid confusion, we 
need to look at the facts.

First, the doses given to the primates were so incredibly high that one in 
five primates died. If 20% of MDMA users died every weekend, we would have 
some basis for equivalence, but recreational MDMA users have only a 
one-in-300,000 chance of death. Recreational MDMA users also do not inject 
the drug. Therefore, the impact of the swallowed form of this drug can not 
be justified through this study. Injection and ingestion cause the drug to 
have completely different effects.

Finally, the study used too small a sample size.

There is an overwhelming amount of conflicting MDMA research out there. As 
a member of the scientific community, I want to encourage research to 
continue, so that we may better understand this drug, instead of conjuring 
up a post-millennium version of reefer madness.

Domenic Martinello, medical student, Reno, Nev.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager