Startling results of one of the most extensive studies regarding the illegal drug Ecstasy shows that MDMA won't harm your brain. The study was published during the second week of February in the journal Addiction and found that 3,4-Methylenedioxyethampetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy) will not effect cognitive function in humans. The study is contrary to the long held beliefs of the illicit drug's harmful effects.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted the $1.8 million dollar study involving 1,500 people. The study found that the frequently used "rave drug" had no effect on the workings of the brain after subjects who were sleep deprived, dehydrated, had previous cognitive damage, and did not suffer from habitual drug or alcohol abuse were eliminated. John Halpern, who led the Harvard Medical School research team, reported to Addiction: "Researchers have known for a long time that earlier studies of ecstasy use had problems that later studies should try to correct. When NIDA decided to fund this project, we saw an opportunity to design a better experiment and advance our knowledge of this drug."
Ecstasy renders users euphoric feelings, an increased sense of intimacy and pleasure, decreased anxiety, and increased energy with side effects including heart palpitations, blurred vision, and the risk of overdose.