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Brain Serotonin Synthesis in MDMA.docx

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Queen's University
PSYC 471
Linda Booij

PSYC 471 Brain Serotonin Synthesis in MDMA • Has been used to treat self-esteem and facilitate communication and social phobia • Used clinically as a treatment • Difficult to study because street use can involve vary different dosages (not as controlled as SR amount of alcohol units consumed) • E.g., if you consumed 2 tablets this year, that does not inform the clinician of the dosage • Why are their negative events associated with use? Because of the drug or the quality? • Tradeoff between clean sample (causality) or generalizability Reduced 5-HT transporter binding in MDMAusers. Neurodegeneration hypotheses • Reduces SERT • Reduces 5-HT axons • Hyperinnervation of subcortical brain areas (sprouting) Are these effects permanent? • Animal models suggest no. Serotonin system can recover. • Other study finds partial recovery by 7 days • Not optimal recovery Changes in 5-HT synthesis (Booij et al., under review) • Use of MDMAon 25 occasions (experimental group, polydrug allowed) or never (control) • Cannot use medications regularly • Free of current drugs (even in MDMAsubset) • No mental disorders or family history of depression MDMAusers had higher serotonin concentrations in the raphe nuclei (brainstem), decrease in serotonin concentrations in PFC areas. • More time drug-free associated with higher concentrations in the brainstem • Decrease in serotonin
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