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Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

Information source: Hadassah Medical Organization
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Amphetamine-Related Disorders

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Hadassah Medical Organization

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Yodphat Krausz, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Hadassah Medical Organization
Aviv M Weinstein, Ph.D, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Hadassah Medical Organization

Summary

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).

Clinical Details

Official title: Functional Brain Imaging in Recreational Users of Ecstasy

Study design: Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

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

Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 65 Years. Gender(s): Both.

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

Locations and Contacts

Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem 91120, Israel
Additional Information

Starting date: January 2006
Last updated: July 6, 2011

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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