• NMDAand alcohol on cognitive functioning, motor functioning, and driving
• Sample came from recreational users (addiction was an exclusion)
• Worried about behavioural outcomes (such as driving accidents), as most research has focused
on the brain
• Placebo- and alcohol-controlled test
• Wanted to compare NMDAeffects with alcohol’s effects, as research on the effects of alcohol on
driving are widespread
PCE: prenatal cocaine exposure.
PTE: prenatal tobacco exposure.
• 13 – 15 years
• Matched pairs
9 : 1 PSYC 471
• Thinner PFC in adolescents with PCE
• Smaller pallidum with alcohol exposure
Cocaine’s mechanism of action: blocks monoamine reuptake transporters.
PCE associated with errors in neural migration, differentiation, proliferation, and maturation; also with
errors in synaptogenesis.
PCE is usually confounded with PTE.
PCE and PTE associated with enlarged thalamus.
• Behavioural correlate: impulsivity
Empathogenic drugs: create social symptoms, such as affiliation and empathy.
o Perceptual disturbances
o Altered perception of colour
• CNS and PNS active
• 5-HT, DA, NE
• Increases net release of each NT
• Huge increase in presynaptic intracellular 5-HT, which is released into the synapse
• Physiological changes: high BP and heart rate
• Pre-psychotic episodes, delirium – fades after drug leaves body
• Symptoms from acute use can last up to a week
Serotonin syndrome: manifestation of acute toxicity. Occurs in the context of excessive serotonin to in
the presynaptic cell and synapse.
• Muscle rigidity
9 : 2 PSYC 471
Mid- to chronic use associated with neurotoxicity, especially in areas/structures associated with
• Still not completely known
Trouble with research is that MDMAis almost always concomitant with use of other drugs (cannabis
and alcohol are the most common).
• Hard to parse what is occurring due to MDMAalone
• Rave environment has its own implications – such as fast music (heart rate), crowds (high body
temperature), and dehydration
• Decreased grey matter concentration (cerebellum), brainstem, part of Broca’s area, part of the
visual association area in long-term polydrug (including MDMA) users
• Memory deficits
• Hippocampal atrophy
Future research: piloting use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on PTSD.
• SR improvement, but no clinician-tested improvements
• This was in treatment-resistant cases; allows individuals to feel better about attending CBT
Need to consider quality of the drug – drugs used in laboratory setting are not the same as those
• Mood disturbances and rebound