Why do people think that ecstasy use may cause brain damage?
Ecstasy interferes with the neurotransmitter that produces serotonin, the brain chemical that helps to regulate mood, memory, sleep, libido, appetite and temperature. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, based in the USA, ran a high-profile anti-ecstasy campaign suggesting that pill popping caused actual, physical holes in the brain. However it was later revealed that the scans were only looking for serotonin levels and weren’t bona fide ‘brain scans’. While it may have stirred up plenty of furore and confusion in the press about the effects of taking ecstasy on the brain, we’re interested in facts. The problem is that despite years of research on the effects of ecstasy on the brain the findings are still pretty ambiguous. The most consistent results, however, appear to suggest that MDMA, the active chemical in ecstasy, causes slight impairment on tasks of episodic memory and verbal learning.