Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
Hadassah Medical Organization
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00254306
First received: November 15, 2005
Last updated: July 6, 2011
Last verified: July 2011

November 15, 2005
July 6, 2011
January 2006
July 2011   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00254306 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy
Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

Recreational use of "ecstasy" (MDMA; 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is associated with long-lasting effects on metabolism in the human brain. The investigators propose to investigate whether chronic use of "ecstasy" is associated with impairment in motor skills and function of the dopaminergic system in recreational users of "ecstasy" compared with healthy volunteers. This will be done by scanning control subjects and "ecstasy" users at baseline and after performing on a motorbike riding computer game, while imaging dopamine in vivo with I123-IBZM (a D2 receptor radiotracer), using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

Recreational use of "ecstasy" (MDMA; 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is associated with long-lasting effects on metabolism in the human brain. In particular, there is evidence of long-term damage to the brains' neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT). It is also known that chronic use of Methamphetamine (which is similar in its chemical structure to "ecstasy") is linked to impaired cognitive and motor skills despite recovery of dopamine transporters (DAT). We have investigated whether chronic use of "ecstasy" is causing any impairment in motor skills and function of the dopaminergic system in recreational users of "ecstasy". In our preliminary study, we have scanned control subjects and "ecstasy" users, at baseline and after performing on a motorbike riding computer game while imaging dopamine in vivo with [123I] IBZM (a D2 receptor radiotracer) in Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). We showed:

  1. Lower measures of D2 at baseline in ecstasy users compared with control subjects, that means lower level of dopaminergic activity in "ecstasy" users.
  2. Significant displacement of [123I] IBZM by endogenous dopamine released during the game in healthy subjects unlike "ecstasy" users, that means that recreational users of "ecstasy" release much less natural dopamine.
  3. No difference between the groups in performance (reaction time) on riding the game after a year of recovery.

Our results show preliminary evidence for dopaminergic deficiency in "ecstasy" users, a finding that has not been shown before. However, similar to other drugs of abuse, it is not known whether dopaminergic deficiency is the cause or consequence of the use of "ecstasy". We now propose to proceed to scan more recreational users of "ecstasy" in order to assess whether chronic use of "ecstasy" is associated with deficient dopaminergic neurotransmission in the brain.

Observational
Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
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Non-Probability Sample

Patients from treatment centers for drug abuse. Control subjects will be recruited from the general population.

Amphetamine-Related Disorders
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  • 1
    ex-"ecstasy" users
  • 2
    control subjects
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
 
Completed
18
July 2011
July 2011   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Chronic users of ecstasy, and healthy controls, with no other diseases or drug abuse

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant and breast feeding women
  • Aged below 18
  • Neurological disorders
  • Drug abuse
Both
18 Years to 65 Years
Yes
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Israel
 
NCT00254306
050893-HMO-CTIL, n/q
Yes
Dr. Aviv Weinstein, Hadassah Medical Organization
Hadassah Medical Organization
Not Provided
Principal Investigator: Yodphat Krausz, MD Hadassah Medical Organization
Principal Investigator: Aviv M Weinstein, Ph.D Hadassah Medical Organization
Hadassah Medical Organization
July 2011

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP