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PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles Sample:

PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles

Introduction

The topic of my interest for the given assessment is the Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA) abuse. I will analyze various peer-reviewed articles from different resources to discuss and gain multiple perspectives on biological psychology.

It is a critical area of research due to the increasing prevalence of MDMA use and the potential negative consequences of its abuse. MDMA, also known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a psychoactive drug commonly used recreationally to produce euphoria and increase social bonding (Montgomery & Roberts, 2022). However, MDMA also has a complex pharmacology that has led to its investigation for various therapeutic applications, including the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.

MDMA acts on the brain’s neurotransmitter systems, particularly the serotonin system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation, sleep, and cognition. MDMA works by inhibiting serotonin reuptake, leading to an accumulation of neurotransmitters in the synapses and an increase in serotonin signaling. This can result in feelings of increased well-being and emotional warmth that are commonly associated with the drug.

The abuse of MDMA can lead to several negative consequences, both in the short and long term. In the short term, MDMA abuse can increase the risk of adverse physical and mental health effects, including dehydration, hyperthermia, and psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression. Long-term abuse of MDMA may lead to more significant and lasting changes in brain structure and function, including decreases in brain volume and impairments in cognitive function. Understanding the neurobiology of MDMA abuse is critical for developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for individuals at risk of developing problems with the drug. It is also vital to inform public health policies and educational efforts aimed at reducing the negative consequences of MDMA abuse.

PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles

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Search Strategies

For the given topic of the Neurobiology of MDMA abuse, some potential keywords to use in a search could include: “MDMA,” “ecstasy,” “3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine,” “neurobiology,” “abuse,” “brain,” “neurotransmitter,” “serotonin,” “dopamine,” “noradrenaline,” “reward,” “arousal,” “dependence,” “toxicity,” “cognitive effects,” “mental health,” “prevention,” “treatment.”

For this research, I utilized specific methods to gather relevant information. Firstly, I conducted a search in the Capella University Library using Boolean operator terms and keywords that met the criteria of the course and assignment. The focus was on medical research and clinical trials for new or effective medications for depression.

To ensure accuracy, I searched for peer-reviewed literature and examined original research papers, clinical trials, and studies carried out by subject-matter experts. Finally, I expanded my search using various databases including Google Scholar, PubMed, and the National Library of Medicine to gather more information on the study issue. Using these databases and the keywords identified should allow for a comprehensive search of the literature on the neurobiology of MDMA abuse.

Article Analysis

Article 1

Sessa, B. (2017). MDMA and PTSD treatment. Neuroscience letters, 649, 176–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2016.07.004Tao,

The research methods used in the article are primarily literature reviews and case studies. The article discusses the results of previous neuroscientific and clinical studies that have examined the use of MDMA as an adjunctive treatment for PTSD, as well as presenting some of the author’s observations and experiences with using the drug in a clinical setting.

The article also cites several studies conducted on the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD, including phase one neurophysiological studies and phase two clinical studies. It is worth noting that the results of these studies may be limited by their small sample sizes and the need for further research to confirm their findings. Overall, the research methods used in this article seem to be focused on examining the existing evidence on the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD and presenting the author’s experiences and observations on the topic.

The article mentions that the use of MDMA as an adjunctive treatment for PTSD is being conducted in a controlled and supervised setting and used in conjunction with specialized psychotherapy support. Additionally, the article mentions that the use of MDMA in a clinical setting does not carry the same risks as the recreational use of the drug and that there have been few neurotoxicity concerns linked to its use in a clinical setting. These statements suggest that the researchers are taking precautions to ensure the safety of their subjects and that the research is being conducted ethically.

Article 2

Parrott, A. C. (2013). Human psychobiology of MDMA or “Ecstasy”: An overview of 25 years of empirical research. Human psychopharmacology: Clinical and experimental, 28(4), 289–307. https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.2318

The research methods used in the article are a literature review and an analysis of existing evidence on the topic of MDMA-drug interactions (MDMA-DIs). The article discusses previous studies’ results, including experimental evidence and documented clinical cases of MDMA-DIs. The authors also provide expert opinions and clinical recommendations based on the available evidence. The research methods used in this article involve reviewing and synthesizing existing knowledge on the topic of MDMA-DIs, rather than conducting new primary research.

The main variables in the research discussed in the article are MDMA and various drugs that may interact with it (both pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse). The article mentions that these drugs may be used in combination with MDMA and that the interactions between these drugs can lead to an increased risk of acute and potentially life-threatening toxicity.

Other variables mentioned in the article include the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic mechanisms of the interactions between MDMA and these drugs, as well as the potential clinical consequences of these interactions. Other potential variables that may be relevant to the research include the sex, gender, race, and genetic makeup of the individuals using the drugs, which may influence the likelihood and severity of MDMA-DIs. The research method suggests that the author has conducted research ethically and safely.

PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles

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Article 3

Costa, G., & Gołembiowska, K. (2022). Neurotoxicity of MDMA: Main effects and mechanisms. Experimental Neurology347(1), 113894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113894

This review provides a summary of recent findings from preclinical and clinical studies on the central effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and the mechanisms involved in its neurotoxicity. The review discusses the varying positive and negative effects of MDMA depending on the dose, frequency, and duration of use. The acute positive effects of low-dose MDMA include euphoria, increased sociability, and relaxation. However, MDMA can also induce untoward effects that vary in severity and manifestation depending on various environmental and pharmacokinetic factors.

The review also discusses the mechanisms of neurotoxicity induced by MDMA. Studies have demonstrated that MDMA interacts with the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporter and the dopamine transporter to stimulate the efflux of serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) from presynaptic vesicles in the caudate-putamen and prefrontal cortex. Different mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and neuroinflammation, have been proposed to be responsible for the neurotoxic effects of MDMA.

The study provides a concise overview of the recent findings on the central effects of MDMA and its neurotoxicity, which may help in the development of preventive and therapeutic measures to address the adverse health effects associated with MDMA use.

Article 4

R., Shokry, I. M., & Callanan, J. J. (2017). Environment influencing serotonin syndrome induced by ecstasy abuse. Annals of forensic research and analysis, 4(1), 1039. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931730/

The research methods used in the article review existing studies and data on the effects of non-drug factors on serotonergic extrasynaptic receptor responsivity and the severity of MDMA-induced serotonin syndrome. The authors have analyzed and synthesized this information to present an overview of the current understanding of this topic.

The key variables in this research are the severity of the serotonin syndrome (mild, moderate, or severe), the levels of extracellular serotonin in the brain, the effect of environmental conditions (non-drug factors) on serotonergic extrasynaptic receptor responsivity, and the effect of MDMA on extrasynaptic receptors in the brain. The author has conducted this research by making sure that all the articles reviewed are relevant and follow all the guidelines so we can say that the study is fulfilling all the ethics and safety concerns.

Article 5

Montgomery, C., & Roberts, C. A. (2022). Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans. Experimental Neurology347(1), 113888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113888

The study suggests that MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is a powerful empathogenic stimulant that continues to be popular despite being illegal and having potential long-term negative consequences. MDMA works by stimulating the release of serotonin through the serotonin transporter (SERT), leading to acute subjective effects. However, there is evidence that MDMA may cause long-lasting neurotoxic effects on serotonin neurons in primates, as well as reductions in markers of central serotonin axons and axon terminals in animals.

PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles

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In humans, it is much more difficult to identify serotonergic neurotoxicity, and the research is complicated by issues such as polysubstance use, genetic and environmental factors, and reliance on self-reports of previous drug use. However, there is a substantial body of literature that has investigated the potential cognitive and neurocognitive consequences of repeated MDMA use.

The study specifically reviews the literature on cognition and neuroimaging studies that have investigated structural and functional brain changes associated with ecstasy use. The results of the review suggest that repeated MDMA use may lead to alterations in a variety of cognitive processes, including attention, working memory, and decision-making. There is also evidence of structural brain changes in regions such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which may be associated with cognitive deficits.

Neuroimaging studies have also identified alterations in brain activity during various cognitive tasks, such as decreased activation in the prefrontal cortex and increased activation in the cerebellum. However, the study acknowledges that the literature on the cognitive and neurocognitive consequences of MDMA use is still limited and that more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of this drug on the brain.

Conclusion

These five articles provide insights into different aspects of MDMA use and its effects. The articles demonstrate that MDMA has potential therapeutic effects for treating PTSD when used in a controlled and supervised setting, and that research on this topic is being conducted ethically. However, MDMA can also have negative effects on the brain, and its interactions with other drugs can be dangerous, indicating the need for caution and proper education about its use. Overall, these articles highlight the importance of further research to better understand the potential risks and benefits of MDMA use, and to develop preventive and therapeutic measures to address its adverse health effects.

PSYC FPX 4310 Assessment 1 Analysis of Articles

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References

Costa, G., & Gołembiowska, K. (2022). Neurotoxicity of MDMA: Main effects and mechanisms. Experimental Neurology347(1), 113894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113894

Montgomery, C., & Roberts, C. A. (2022). Neurological and cognitive alterations induced by MDMA in humans. Experimental Neurology347(1), 113888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113888

Parrott, A. C. (2013). Human psychobiology of MDMA or “Ecstasy”: An overview of 25 years of empirical research. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 28(4), 289–307. https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.2318

 R., Shokry, I. M., & Callanan, J. J. (2017). Environment influencing serotonin syndrome induced by ecstasy abuse. Annals of Forensic Research and Analysis, 4(1), 1039. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931730/

Sessa, B. (2017). MDMA and PTSD treatment. Neuroscience Letters, 649, 176–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2016.07.004Tao,

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