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The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA)

5: How do we know? Research in animals and humans

Images of monkey, rat and human - how animal research is important

Bring up the importance of animals in research. Research in animals has provided us with a detailed understanding about the actions of ecstasy in the brain. In fact, many of the research findings obtained from animals, such as rats and monkeys, have now been replicated in humans. Indicate to the students that another important aspect of using animals in research is to understand mechanisms for toxicity produced by compounds. ecstasy is a classic example of a drug that produces toxicity (in the brain) and it would be impossible to study this in living humans. In the following set of images, the information highlighting how ecstasy works was obtained from research using animals.

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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