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Nuklearmedizin. 1998;37(8):262-7.

[Investigations on the effect of "ecstasy" on cerebral glucose metabolism: an 18-FDG PET study].

[Article in German]

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Kliniken für Nuklearmedizin, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH Aachen, Deutschland.



The aim of the present study was to determine the acute effects of the "Ecstasy" analogue MDE (3, 4-methylendioxyethamphetamine) on the cerebral glucose metabolism (rMRGlu) of healthy volunteers.


In a randomised double-blind trial, 16 healthy volunteers without a history of drug abuse were examined with 18-FDG PET 110-120 minutes after oral administration of 2 mg/kg MDE (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8). Beginning two minutes prior to radiotracer injection, a constant cognitive stimulation was maintained for 32 minutes using a word repetition paradigm in order to ensure constant and comparable mental conditions during cerebral 18-FDG uptake. Individual brain anatomy was represented using T1-weighted 3D flash MRI, followed by manual regionalisation into 108 regions-of-interest and PFT/MRI overlay. Absolute quantification of rMRGlu and comparison of glucose metabolism under MDE versus placebo were performed using Mann-Whitney U-test.


Absolute global MRGlu was not significantly changed under MDE versus placebo (MDE: 41.8 +/- 11.1 mumol/min/100 g, placebo: 50.1 +/- 18.1 mumol/min/100 g, p = 0.298). The normalised regional metabolic data showed a significantly decreased rMRGlu in the bilateral frontal cortex: left frontal posterior (-7.1%, p < 0.05) and right prefrontal superior (-4.6%, p < 0.05). On the other hand, rMRGlu was significantly increased in the bilateral cerebellum (right: +10.1%, p < 0.05; left +7.6%, p < 0.05) and in the right putamen (+6.2%, p < 0.05).


The present study revealed acute neurometabolic changes under the "Ecstasy" analogon MDE indicating a fronto-striato-cerebellar dysbalance with parallels to other psychotropic substances and various endogenous psychoses respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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