Research ArticlePSYCHIATRIC DISEASES

Distinct neural mechanisms for the prosocial and rewarding properties of MDMA

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  11 Dec 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 522, eaaw6435
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw6435

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Dissecting MDMA

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug primarily used for recreational purposes. Because of its prosocial effects, MDMA is currently being evaluated for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, the rewarding addictive properties hinder the therapeutic use. Now, Heifets et al. investigated the mechanisms mediating the effects of MDMA in rodents and found that the prosocial and the rewarding effects are mediated by independent mechanisms. The prosocial effects are mediated by activation of the serotoninergic system, whereas the rewarding effect requires the activation of the dopaminergic signaling. The results pave the way for the development of more specific therapeutic intervention with less side effects.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Translational Medicine