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The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA)

1: Introduction: long-term effects of ecstasy

Diagram of chemical structure of ecstasy

An effective way of starting a presentation is to present something interesting or provocative. This first image shows sections taken from the neocortex of monkeys that were given ecstasy twice a day for 4 days (control monkeys were given saline). The section on the left, taken from the brain of a control monkey, shows the presence of a lot of serotonin. The middle section shows a section from a monkey two weeks after receiving ecstasy. Point out that most of the serotonin is gone. The section on the right shows a section from a monkey seven years after receiving ecstasy. Point out that although there has been some recovery of serotonin, the brain still has not returned to normal. Indicate that you will discuss this in your talk in more detail. Introduce the purpose of your presentation. Indicate that you will explain how ecstasy interacts with specific targets in the brain and what can happen after repeated or long-term use. Tell the students that you will review how neurons communicate with each other and how ecstasy alters this communication, resulting in changes in mood, behavior, and memory.

This page was last updated January 2007

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NIDA. (2007, January 4). The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/neurobiology-ecstasy-mdma

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