Even small amounts of the drug ecstasy can affect the brains of people who've never used the illegal drug, says a study by researchers at the University of Amsterdam in Holland.
The researchers took brain scans and did memory tests on 188 people with no history of ecstasy use and repeated the tests 18 months later. They found evidence of decreased blood flow and memory loss in the 59 people who had used ecstasy (an average of six tablets) during those 18 months, BBC News reported.
"We do not know if these effects are transient or permanent," noted lead researcher Maartje de Win. "Therefore, we cannot conclude that ecstasy, even in small doses, is safe for the brain, and people should be informed of this risk."
The study, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, is the first to look at the effects of low doses of ecstasy in first-time users. Previous research has found that long-term or heavy ecstasy use can harm the brain and cause problems such as decreased memory, depression, anxiety and sleep difficulties, BBC News reported. – (HealthDayNews)
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