Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ecstasy: Neurotoxicity and How It Can Be Reduced :: Biology Essays Research Papers

whirl Neurotoxicity and How It Can Be Reduced Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) has become a do drugs of choice among 18-25 year olds (2), and its set up on behavior and neurotoxicity merit the solicitude of this class. Ecstasy use has become fairly widespread on college campuses and in rave and nightclub settings. This paper will look at the tool through which MDMA acts, its neurotoxicity, and how users can slew risk involved with whirl use. Ecstasy alters behavior by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. It accomplishes this by altering the neurotransmitter serotonins reuptake process. (6) In the normal serotonin system, a serotonin nerve cell will receive a signal from a neighboring nerve cell to release vesicles of serotonin into the synaptic cleft. The post-synaptic cell (which has the remove receptors for serotonin) then picks up the molecule. When the serotonin binds to the receptor, it causes an electric signal to change the membrane permeability which caus es changes in the body. When a vesicle of serotonin is released, most of the molecules atomic number 18 pulled back into the pre-synaptic cell. This process of drawing serotonin back into the original nerve cell for it to be reused is called reuptake. When MDMA is present in the system, however, it interferes with the natural process by preventing the serotonin from entering at the reuptake site. This causes an excess of serotonin in the system, which creates the feelings of euphoria associated with MDMA. (1) Users of MDMA are quick to praise the psychological effects of the drug, but the effects on their physical health can be detrimental. Studies show that heavy, prolonged use of MDMA can significantly reduce the number of serotonin transporters which are necessary to bring the neurotransmitter back to the neuron from which it was released. Studies supported by the National Institute on Drug debase (NIDA) showed that MDMA damages neurons that release serotonin, and that heavy MD MA users have dilatory memory problems for at least two weeks after stopping the drug. In the first study, researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to compare the brains of MDMA users who had abstained from all psychoactive drugs for three weeks and people who had never used MDMA. They be that the amount of MDMA used was directly linked to the number of serotonin transporters remaining. They also found that the degree of memory impairment is based on the amount of MDMA used. (3)

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