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The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA)

4: What we know about ecstasy

Short-term and long-term effects of ecstasy on the brain

In recent years, there has been a lot of research carried out to understand how ecstasy affects the brain. Scientists have made a lot of progress in identifying how ecstasy changes mood and behavior. Indicate to students that ecstasy has short-term and long-term effects on the brain. The short-term effects of ecstasy include changes in brain chemistry and behavior. The long-term effects include changes in brain structure (based mainly on animal studies) and behavior. Tell them that you will try to illustrate how these changes take place. You could ask students if they have any knowledge of the short-term or long-term effects of ecstasy on the brain. If they volunteer some answers, list them on the board; indicate that you will discuss how some of these effects are produced.

This page was last updated January 2007