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The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave its approval for trials using the popular recreational drug ecstasy to treat individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its associated symptoms. At least 230 patients will take part in the trial, which is funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). MAPS has previously funded several trials looking into the effects of ecstasy, which has already received support from some quarters as a possible treatment for patients suffering from conditions such as autism and psychological disorders.

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Medical ecstasy could be available by 2021

The official name of ecstasy is methylenedioxymethamphetamine, but it’s more commonly known as MDMA. Those working on the trial believe that a successful outcome could lead to the drug being available to the public as soon as 2021.

While there is likely to be concern from the public about the potential use of ecstasy as a medical treatment, this is largely because the drug tends to have a negative image in the media. Before any drug can be launched onto the market, experienced researchers and clinical trial assistants perform rigorous tests and trials to ensure it is effective and safe for widespread use by the public.

Reputable and professional companies such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-trial-assistants/ provide qualified assistants to ensure trials are conducted properly and safely.

Past trials reveal potential of ecstasy to treat PTSD

There will be many rounds of research and trials to complete before MDMA can gain approval for sale on the US medical market, but the potential could be huge if trials are a success. The New York Times, quotes leading PTSD researcher Dr Charles R Marmar (who didn’t take part in the study) by saying that PTSD is extremely difficult to treat and that the new findings will be very useful. Much of the current work is focused on understanding MDMA’s neural mechanisms by administering the drug to patients in controlled conditions and monitoring the effects.

Researchers conducting a previous study into the effects of ecstasy on patients with PTSD concluded that the drug was effective in eliminating symptoms of the condition in 66% of the trial participants. A separate trial concluded that ecstasy improved symptoms in over half (56%) of PTSD patients.