Strengthening the case against functionally significant serotonergic neurotoxicity in human MDMA (ecstasy) users
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Halpern and colleagues  have overcome some of the methodological issues raised previously  concerning their initial pilot study of ecstasy users . Their latest study  found that of 15 neuropsychological tests tapping various cognitive and memory functions reported previously by others to differentiate ecstasy users from controls, only the Revised Strategy Applications Test (RSAT) showed a clear indication of poorer performance in heavy (but not moderate) ecstasy users compared to controls, ecstasy users were selected for low exposure to other illicit drugs and alcohol, whereas in most other studies of this type the influence of potentially confounding associations between the use of ecstasy and other substances could not be ruled out entirely [4-7]. Farther, the non-user controls recruited by Halpern etal. were members of the ’rave’ subculture like the ecstasy users, card the analyses adjusted for demographic and other factors [e.g. attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)] that might have also acted as confounds. For such reasons this may be the most informative retrospective study to date of cognition mid memory in ecstasy users.
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