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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2007 Mar-Apr;29(2):288-300. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

A developmental comparison of the neurobehavioral effects of ecstasy (MDMA).

Author information

1
Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-7710, USA. bpiper@nsm.umass.edu

Abstract

The entactogen +/-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) is a popular recreational drug among college, high school, and, occasionally, middle school students. Preclinical research examining the acute and long-term effects of MDMA has predominately been conducted in reproductively mature subjects but there has been increasing interest in adolescent and in utero exposure. This review examines the acute and long-term responses to MDMA during perinatal, adolescent, and adult periods. The ability of MDMA to alter core body temperature emerges gradually during ontogeny while a reduction in body weight is evident at all ages. Learning and working-memory are also altered independent of the developmental stage of exposure. Current evidence suggests adults are more sensitive to the long-term serotonin depletions following MDMA but younger ages also exhibit substantial and rapid neuroplasticity. Sexually dimorphic MDMA responses have been identified for the acute hyperthermic and motoric effects of MDMA with pubescent males being especially susceptible. Several physiological, behavioral, and neurochemical MDMA issues requiring further study are also outlined.

PMID:
17174068
PMCID:
PMC1896315
DOI:
10.1016/j.ntt.2006.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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