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Ecstasy produces parkinsonian effects in monkeys

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7367.736/c (Published 05 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:736
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Scientists who gave the nightclub drug ecstasy to squirrel monkeys and baboons found evidence that it produced the same brain damage seen in people with Parkinson's disease.

    The researchers, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, found the damage after administering doses similar to those taken by young people during a single, all night “rave” party (Science 2002;297:2260-3). Destruction to nerve endings was seen in cells that secrete dopamine, needed for healthy motor function. This is the first time ecstasy has been shown to have such dopamine effects in primates.

    Dr George Ricaurte, the study's lead author, said that the long term effects in humans of using ecstasy remains …

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