Flutterby™! : MDMA & Parkinsons? Not.

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MDMA & Parkinsons? Not.

2003-09-08 22:38:04.681061+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Via Yet Another Web Log, Controversial ecstasy research used wrong drug. A paper in the September 2002 issue of Science found:

...that three consecutive doses of ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), given to squirrel monkeys and baboons caused profound damage to dopamine-producing neurons in their brains. These are the neurons lost in Parkinson's disease.

Except that they'd actually given the animals amphetamines. The fact that "Two of the 10 died within hours after developing hyperthermia", symptoms not seen in the humans in situations like they were simulating, might possibly have been a clue? And, not to put too fine a point on it, but how, except for buying from a street dealer, do you get those two confused?

[ related topics: Drugs Health Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: MDMA & Parkinsons? Not. made: 2003-09-09 03:43:03.259574+00 by: Diane Reese

... how, except for buying from a street dealer, do you get those two confused?

Well, in this case, two same-sized bottles were received at the lab on the same day from the same supplier, and apparently came mislabeled.

They surely should have done further investigation before publishing, though.

#Comment Re: MDMA & Parkinsons? Not. made: 2003-09-09 15:18:57.334765+00 by: Mars Saxman

Well, good. Now we're back to dehydration and neurotoxicity, both of which are solvable (within the level of risk I'm willing to take, anyway).

#Comment Re: MDMA & Parkinsons? Not. made: 2003-09-09 18:06:36.373294+00 by: meuon

I only take TWO medications (not bad for an old diabetic) - They look radically different, and yet because I am a paranoid sicko, I visually closely check the pills each time I take one, and I am very concious of the residual taste of them in my mouth.. before I swallow either one. Why? Cause accidents happen, I don't need some heart medication getting mixing in with my glucophage.

This is an example of very sloppy work. they should have been checking out http://www.dancesafe.org at least.. but then.. maybe one of the researchers was.. and realized real MDMA is going for $20 to $30 per pill.. or used them themselves...and had to put something back in the bottle. Poor monkeys, a life wasted for bad research is a sad waste.

#Comment Re: MDMA & Parkinsons? Not. made: 2003-09-15 20:53:17.842618+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jon Carroll weighs in:

Ricaurte called the mistake "a simple human error."

"We're scientists, not politicians," he said, and later: "We're not chemists. We get hundreds of chemicals here. It is not customary to check them. "

OK, slow down. Read that again. We get hundreds of chemicals in here, in this scientific laboratory where we analyze the effect of chemicals on primate subjects, and we do not bother to check the chemicals. Nope, we just read the labels, get out the syringes, and hello monkey want some whatever-this-is?