Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Ecstatic Brain

No one knows exactly why MDMA -- better known as the drug ecstacy -- makes people feel as wonderful as it does, but the short answer is that it floods the brain with the feel-good chemical serotonin. Although MDMA has typically been associated with, well, partying, a team of South Carolina scientists is currently testing the drug as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Convincing the FDA to consider the drug for medical purposes has clearly been an uphill battle, but it looks like it's finally getting somewhere. Learn more about it in an endearing story published in this week's Washington Post magazine, and don't miss the Editor's Note, which reveals the writer's long-standing interest in the subject.