Talk:Study claims recreational ecstasy use and depression unrelated

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The source for this story is not one that can be easily checked, and anything written based upon it requires that the author have appropriate credentials. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:49, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the source is good and below abstract is understandable enough for laymen.


Research in laboratory animals has shown that 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) destroys serotonergic axons in the brain at certain doses. Serotonin is known to take part in the regulation of mood in humans. Many researchers have hypothesized that if recreational ecstasy use destroys serotonergic axons, then a corresponding decline in the mood of ecstasy users should be seen. The purpose of the present study was to look at the relationship between recreational ecstasy use and depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II. No significant differences were found between Beck Depression Inventory-II scores of heavy ecstasy ecstasynaive college students. No significant relationships Beck Depression Inventory-II scores and any of use. Most ecstasy users who had been diagnosed disorder reported that being diagnosed preceded their use of ecstasy.

international 14:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

fwiw, this Guardian story[1] also mentions the findings of this work. Doldrums 14:26, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

pov concernsEdit

the may 2006 issue of the journal of psychopharmacology[2] has published a number of articles on the effects (or lack there-) of ecstasy use, at least one of which suggest the possibility of harm from the usage"lifetime use was associated more with psychobiologial problems".

i am concerned that reporting on only one such finding, to the exclusion of others and without providing sufficient background and context (of possible ill-effects of use) is pov. i suggest moving this back to develop and adding some background, perhaps from the wikipedia articles and this "editorial"(?) [3] on the same issue of JoP. Doldrums 14:48, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

You might have a point there. If it is possible to expand the article to make it better just put it in develop and fix it. This is an interesting aspect of POV. international 15:35, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I added a Further Research section to try and balance the POV Andresv 18:05, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
As a biomedical researcher, it disheartens me to see Wikinews trumpeting the latest (provocative) research result the same way the mainstream media does. No single scientific result is to be taken in isolation. This approach reinforces the completely incorrect notion that the general public (or even a scientist) is able to read a single result and establish its importance relative to other knowledge (established theories, models, anecdotes).
At minimum, this article should be de-emphasized (no image box). It's old 'news.' It doesn't need a special focus box, or to be featured: provoking conversation on the matter is mostly damaging (people would confuse legalization debates with hard evidence regarding health effects) And it has way more potential to harm people than science news suggesting something IS harmful. I'm pro-legalization, and pro-recreation, but that doesn't mean this result should be used to convince people ecstacy is safe.NamfFohyr 03:11, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I understand your concerns; nonetheless I believe that different views are expressed in the article. It is pointed out to the reader that this is one study, and that there are a couple of additional studies that are linked. The reader is of course welcome to use Google and form their own opinion. Why would you say that provoking conversation is damaging? Provoking conversation is one of the reasons for writing articles. If we didn’t want conversation provoked, why write? Why report anything. As a biomedical researcher, you know that different results from different sources need to be discussed. This article provokes the audience to research the topic further. Besides, there is enough science news about things being harmful. How about a balanced view for a change? Andresv 17:37, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Excellent comments and linksEdit

Great comments and links, they were really helpful in getting this article going. Thank you for the quick response. Andresv 15:03, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


I don't claim to be a high-up scientist in the lofty echelons of knowledgeville, but I have a question regarding the validity of the claim posed by the experiment. Its methods of information gathering were questionable, I think, because the restrictions of the ethics board would have limited a more objective search for truth; more still, the experiment itself is narrowminded in its coverage of previous contradictory findings and the progression of reason itself. It seems to me as if this experiment isn't trying to prove anything, seeing as it cannot adequately pose any sort of argument against recent theories of drug withdrawal or explain the effects we've seen in the brains of rats and primates after taking ecstacy.

Given this, I think that the problem with this article not only lies in a possibly skewed point-of-view, but also in a dangerously persuasive article suggesting that the drug is not harmful, given one odd experiment of hundreds.

The study claim "recreational ecstasy use", and I find this approach interresting. Usually drugissues are very black/white in comparation to alcoholissues. international 19:04, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


This is one of many studies. Therefore, the conclusions of this can't be considered entirely factual; items like "Although this study seems to falsify the hypothesis that MDMA reduces serotonin levels and doesn't seem to cause measurable damage in context of the testing procedures used," simply aren't factual without someone stating that this study itself is completely factual, which we cannot assume. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 20:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


Good job. Bawolff ☺☻  22:36, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Ecstasy is not a diureticEdit

Ecstasy increases levels of ADH (anti-diuretic hormone), therefore it is an anti-diuretic.

Misinterpretation of reseach report?Edit

I have read the article on the Guillot and Greenway (2006) research report, as well as all of the discussion comments. I see many misinterpretations. A few people commented that the results of this research report stand in contrast to past research findings. Another few people commented that Guillot and Greenway imply that Ecstasy is safe and does not cause harm. This simply is not the case. Guillot and Greenway plainly admit in their introduction that both animal and human research have shown varying levels of serotonin decline due to exposure to MDMA (Ecstasy). This is a fact that is made clear. On the other hand, the evidence specifically pertaining to depressive symptoms potentially caused by Ecstasy use remains unclear. Most past studies related to this topic either have failed to produce significant findings or have used small sample sizes. Another issue is the difference between statistical and clinical significance. In other words, some studies have shown signficantly higher depression scores in Ecstasy users, but are these differences clinically meaningful? For example, when exceptionally healthy drug-free participants are used as comparison groups, it's easy to show that Ecstasy users score higher on tests of depression. On the other hand, when college students were used as a comparison group as in the Guillot and Greenway study, no sigificant difference in depression scores was seen between control participants and Ecstasy users. In fact, Ecstasy users and college students scored nearly the same on the BDI-II on average. This finding is reinforced by past studies of Ecstasy users and college students, which also have shown that both groups score about the same on tests of depression (references for these studies are cited within the Guillot and Greenway paper). Does this mean we should be particularly concerned about levels of depression in college students? Or does this perhaps highlight the notion that obtaining significant differences is partially dependent on what comparison group is used? In addition, all of the studies published thus far that have compared Ecstasy users to polydrug controls (participants matched well on drug use besides Ecstasy) have failed to find significant differences in depression scores, with the exception of two studies (de Win et al., 2004; Lamers et al., 2006). Both of these studies used small sample sizes of approximately 15 Ecstasy users in each group. Smaller sample sizes tend to be less representative of the target population, and they are therefore more prone to inaccuracy. Another point that Guillot and Greenway made that has been passed over without comment is that the phenomenon of depression is more complex than serotonin levels alone. The authors stated that it is possible that Ecstasy use indeed did cause a decline in serotonin functioning in their group of Ecstasy users, but this decline in serotonin functioning, if it did occur, may not have been sufficient to cause an increase in depression. In summary, Guillot and Greenway primarily addressed one specific area of research: the relation of Ecstasy use to depressive symptoms. In regard to that specific area of research, the studies that have been published to date have not provided adequate evidence to suggest that Ecstasy use typically causes depressive symptoms. Furthermore, other illicit drug use and pre-existing differences have not been ruled out as potential explanations. Finally, readers should not assume that Guillot and Greenway are trying to imply that Ecstasy use does not cause any kind of harm just because a relationship specifically between Ecstasy use and depression has not been established. There are plenty of other problems that might be caused by Ecstasy use besides an increase in depressive symptoms. All the authors reasonably can be expected to do is report the findings of their study and relate them to previous findings. It's up to the rest of us to interpret (or misinterpret) the data presented, and part of properly interpreting research is to not overgeneralize or oversimplify information. 00:54, 2 June 2006 (UTC)KeepingItFair


Serotonin is also known as 5-HT, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, not 5-hydroxytryptophan. 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, is a precursor to serotonin. 18:21, 4 June 2006 (UTC)AnEyeForDetails

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