How party drugs influence the pattern of brain change
The amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is a very popularrecreational drug among young people, particularly among those involved in electronic music culture.Consumption is a concern because studies conducted in various laboratories have shown that MDMA is apotent neurotoxin in the brain of various animal species. The objective of this review has been to examinethe immediate and long-term effects produced by MDMA in consumers and to analyze the characteristicsand trends of consumption in the school population. Material and methods. The pharmacological actionsand toxicity of ecstasy are reviewed, as well as the consumption patterns of ecstasy in the schoolpopulation. Results. Numerous studies conducted with experimental animals show that MDMA causes along-term loss of serotonergic terminals in the brain of the rat, guinea pig, and monkey. There arefunctional and biochemical data that suggest the existence of neuronal damage in the brain of habitualusers of this drug. Physiological and psychological changes compatible with a decrease in serotonergicfunction also appear in these individuals.
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