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Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00254306
First Posted: November 16, 2005
Last Update Posted: July 7, 2011
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by:
Hadassah Medical Organization
  Purpose
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).

Condition
Amphetamine-Related Disorders

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Hadassah Medical Organization:

Enrollment: 18
Study Start Date: January 2006
Study Completion Date: July 2011
Primary Completion Date: July 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Groups/Cohorts
1
ex-"ecstasy" users
2
control subjects

Detailed Description:

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.

  Eligibility

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients from treatment centers for drug abuse. Control subjects will be recruited from the general population.
Criteria

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
  Contacts and Locations
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00254306


Locations
Israel
Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem
Jerusalem, Israel, 91120
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hadassah Medical Organization
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Yodphat Krausz, MD Hadassah Medical Organization
Principal Investigator: Aviv M Weinstein, Ph.D Hadassah Medical Organization
  More Information

Responsible Party: Dr. Aviv Weinstein, Hadassah Medical Organization
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00254306     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 050893-HMO-CTIL
n/q
First Submitted: November 15, 2005
First Posted: November 16, 2005
Last Update Posted: July 7, 2011
Last Verified: July 2011

Keywords provided by Hadassah Medical Organization:
Ecstasy
D2 Dopamine Receptor
IBZM
MDMA

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Amphetamine-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
Hallucinogens
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Adrenergic Agents


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