Long-term users of the street drug ecstasy may be at increased risk of structural brain damage, new research suggests.
Researchers in the Netherlands enlisted 10 men in their mid-20s and seven in their early 20s for the study. The 10 in the mid-20s were long-term users of ecstasy. The other seven men were healthy and had no history of ecstasy use.
Magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs) were used to measure the volume of a part of the brain called the hippocampus, considered to be responsible for long-term memory.
Though the ecstasy group had used more amphetamine and cocaine than the non-ecstasy group, both groups had used similar amounts of recreational drugs and reported they drank alcohol regularly.