Why Be Awake? (Re: A Theory of Sleep)

et_al at my-deja.com et_al at my-deja.com
Fri Oct 12 01:04:51 EST 2001

On Fri, 12 Oct 2001 00:09:37 +1000, "John H." <John at faraway.com.au>

>MDMA has been demonstrated to cause extensive damage to serotonin cells. One
>researcher has claimed that 100 uses of the drug is sufficient to cause

A note of caution here, MDMA/Ecstasy can do damage even from the first
dose. See for example:

Colado MI, Granados R, O'Shea E, et al. (1999) 
"The acute effect in rats of 3,4-methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA,
"eve") on body temperature and long term degeneration of 5-HT neurones
in brain: a comparison with MDMA ("ecstasy")."  
Pharmacol Toxicol, vol 84(6):261-6 

Certainly, psych disorders may be triggered by just one tablet.

>and increasing amounts of research point towards PERMANENTLY depleted
>serotonin resulting in mood and cognitive functions, will will probably only
>worsen with age. (Caveat: I have one study on rats that showed substantial
>serotonin recovery one year after loss from MDMA. There may be hope yet for
>all those who thought this was another safe drug but I doubt it.) 

AFAIK, the longest study is:

Hatzidimitriou G, McCann UD, Ricaurte GA. (1999) 
"Altered serotonin innervation patterns in the forebrain of monkeys
treated with (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxy- methamphetamine seven years
previously: factors influencing abnormal recovery."  
J Neurosci , vol 19(12):p 5096-10

which has shown that even after 7 years there is still significant

>Not sure
>of the process that gives rise to this, can only speculate that as serotonin
>metabolism generates super anions, and this together with nitric oxide,
>released under some types of glutamate receptor activation(assuming high
>levels of glu in MDMA and LSD), can give rise to peroxynitrate , which
>nitrates tyrosine H and and generally does a lot of damage to cells.
Yes, there seem to be several factors at play, energy depletion within
the cell can interfere with it's ability to regulate ion balance, and
the ability to repair free radical/oxidation injury etc.  And its not
just 5-HT that gets hypersecreted, but dopamine too.
>After MDMA a person will feel 'washed out' for a few days, no matter how
>much they sleep. I suspect the serotonin is not waiting to be reabsorbed
>into vesicles, but has been lost forever, metabolised and gone. If it were
>just a matter of transport back to vesicles, then a day should be ample.

5-HT hypersecretion also seems to inhibit 5-HT synthesis from

>MDMA probably
>causes a low level but nonetheless deleterious inflammatory reaction. The
>subsequent release of cytokines like il1 and tnf will induce fatigue (hence
>why you feel tired when you get the flu and other viruses) and have been
>demonstrated to inhibit cerebral metabolism; not to mention causing cell

And there is now much work showing that cytokines may be involved in the
triggering of some psych disorderes, particularly anxiety and


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