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New research reveals the effects of ecstasy on memory function

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June 24, 2007

June 25, 2007 Research carried out at the University of Hertfordshire (U.K.) has revealed that ecstasy users have significantly impaired memory compared with non-ecstasy users. The research report suggests that the recreational use of ecstasy produces a moderate to large effect on short-term and long-term memory and verbal memory, but not on visual memory. In over three-quarters of ecstasy users, long and short-term verbal memory is below the average of non-ecstasy using controls. Perhaps even more alarming in an era of recreational drug experimentation, the researchers also found that memory impairment was unrelated to the total number of ecstasy tablets consumed.

In a paper entitled Ecstasy (MDMA) and memory function: a meta-analytic update, which will be published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental on Monday 25 June, Professor Keith Laws and Joy Kokkalis from the University’s School of Psychology, analysed memory data from 26 studies involving over 600 ecstasy users.

Dr Laws commented: “To summarise, this meta-analysis confirms that ecstasy users show significantly impaired short-term and long-term memory when compared with non-ecstasy users. The ecstasy users also displayed significantly worse verbal than visual memory. Indeed, their visual memory was relatively normal and seems to be affected more by concurrent cannabis use.”

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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