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Dr. Ricaurte strikes back & his study retracted


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Za tiste k se vam ne da brat. Takele buče so prodajal lansko leto:



Dr Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, which publishes the journal, went as far as to describe taking ecstasy as playing 'Russian roulette' with brain function.


He added: 'This study showed that even very occasional use can have long-lasting effects on many different brain systems. It sends an important message to young people - don't experiment with your brain.'




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Yesterday, Ricaurte was attempting to put a brave face on the calamity. He is under attack from all sides, and has already been accused of rushing his study into print because Congress was looking at a bill known as the Anti-Rave Act, which would punish club owners who knew that drugs such as ecstasy were being used on their premises.



Največja BUČA:


Ricaurte has denied political bias. He said yesterday that his laboratory made 'a simple human error', color> adding: 'We're scientists, not chemists.' Asked why the vials of liquid were not checked before being used on the animals, he replied: 'We're not chemists. We get hundreds of chemicals here - it's not customary to check them.'

Slika objavljena

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Ja kuko sta empatična in altruistična McCan in Ricaurte:



But both she and Ricaurte emphasized Friday that the retraction had not changed their feelings about the overall danger of taking ecstasy.


``I still wouldn't recommend it to anybody,'' McCann said.




Slika objavljena ...kuko lepo.


Zanimiv reply:



What a dumb-ass response THAT was . . . as if THAT is the actual question being researched, not to mention what is at issue with scheduling drugs. I wouldn't recommend pork grinds to anyone either, but that doesn't mean that they should scheduled.


And who EXACTLY _has_ been recommending MDMA to anybody?



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Pa za to jima je blo treba v poskusih ubit 'primate' s 180mg čistega metamfetamina i.v. v približno 9-ih urah Slika objavljena

Pač 2 opici sta umrle v 9-ih urah od vročinskega udara v kliničnem okolju; pol sta pa nehala k sta vidla, da tud ostalim desetim ne kaže dobr.


Sam sta se zmotila in napisala, da sta dozirala 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine Slika objavljena - motiti se je človeško; NIDA jima je pa v zahvalo plačevala miljone - ker sta pripomogla k zloglasnem RaveAct-u (The act would punish club owners who knew that drugs like Ecstasy were being used at their dance gatherings)

in 'dokazala' kako ubijalska je tabletka ectasyja Slika objavljena



Dr. Ricaurte's laboratory has received millions of dollars from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and has produced several studies concluding that Ecstasy is dangerous. Other scientists accuse him of ignoring their studies showing that typical doses do no permanent damage.







In an interview yesterday, Dr. Ricaurte said he realized his mistake when he could not reproduce his own results by giving the drug to monkeys orally. He then realized that two vials his laboratory bought the same day must have been mislabeled: one contained Ecstasy, the other d-methamphetamine.





Pa, da je to povprečna doza, ki jo rejveri vzamejo na partiju Slika objavljena


Če bi blo temu tako, bi mogl pred klubi kr 'furgonarji' (mrliški vozovi) stat - kr namest reševalnih vozil pa je Slika objavljena



The study, released last Sept. 27, concluded that a dose of Ecstasy a partygoer would take in a single night could lead to symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease.



The study was ridiculed at the time by other scientists working with the drug, who said the primates must have been injected with huge overdoses.



Two of the 10 primates died of heat stroke, they pointed out, and another two were in such distress that they were not given all the doses.



If a typical Ecstasy dose killed 20 percent of those who took it, the critics said, no one would use it recreationally.









O tem bi se dal... zame je 'problem' že izjava, da so/je zamenjal epruvete. Pri takih raziskavah so-morajo bit vedno prisotna večkratmna preverjanja vseh stvari; med drugim tud uporabljenih substanc.


Pri teh stvareh ni 'šlamparije' - tud ni delu sam... sej je mel kolegico in druge kolege.




V 9h i.v. 180mg čiste mete.

Primati so mel približno 20-30kg telesne teže (upam vsaj - mogoč so clo na 'najstniških primatih' sprobaval - al pa takih kukr so rejveri - na shiranih).

Pa primati so bli prej zih 'klin' - se pravi kot če bi dal MDMA ali metamfetamin čisto nevajenemu človeku - ki nikoli v življenju ni niti povohu katerokoli drogo. Se pravi ZERO TOLERANCE!


Npr. za težo primata 20kg = 360mg


Človek 70kg = 1260mg/kg i.v. v 9ih urah



Metabolizem mamo pa s primati bojda približno enak.

Mogoč majo res ti primati (squirrel monkeys), ki jih je pobil Ricaurte 6x hitrejši metabolizem. Babuns pa mogoče 2x hitrejši. Bomo pol dal rezultat na polovico oz. na šest.




Can we extrapolate this animal data to humans?


Yes, although it is only an estimation. One thing to remember is that it's not just a one-to-one correlation by body weight. This is a mistake a lot of people make when they look at these animal studies. They see that in rats it takes very large doses to induce neurotoxic damage. If you look at the studies carefully, however, you see that in non-human primates, it takes much less MDMA per body weight to produce neurotoxic damage. Why is this? The answer has to do with "pharmocokinetics," which basically means how long it takes a drug to be absorbed, metabolized, and eliminated from the body. Think in terms of food. A rat eats way more of its body weight in food each day than a human! This means that rats metabolize and eliminate food much faster than humans, and drugs basically work the same way. Pharmocokinetic considerations are definately related to body weight, but it is not a one-to-one correlation. The equation some researchers use to make pharmocokinetic extrapolations between animals and humans is this:


(body weight human) 0.4 / (body weight animal) 0.4 = extrapolation factor


Without getting into the math, this equation says that most drugs are 10 times more powerful per body weight for humans as they are for rats, 6 times more powerful in humans than in squirrel monkeys, and 2 times more powerful in humans than in rhesus monkeys. While this is only an approximation, it is supported by hyperthermia studies using MDMA, which have been done on both rats and humans. These studies show that MDMA raises the body temperature of rats more when they are given higher doses per body weight (between 5 and 20mg/kg), and that the same rate increase in body temperature is observed in humans at doses 10 times lower per body weight (between .5 and 2mg/kg).





Približno 13 tablet ekstazija i.v. za človeka :2 = 6'5 tbl

:6 = 2'2 tbl


Oralno naj bi to pomenil približno 13 tbl v 9ih urah

oz. 4'4 tbl


Nekak tko, kot če bi dal recmo 'deviškem' 15 letniku prvič 4'4 oz. 13tbl ectasija v 9-ih urah.




Drgač sm slišu že ja - za flešerje k pojejo 20-30 tablet v npr. 30ih urah... ampak... to so HC flešerji in ne 'deviški' mladostniki.




Nekak so to izračuni za MDMA - kako bi to soupadal z metamfetaminom Slika objavljena

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Komentarji na Lycaeum


Lepo povedano:


Ricaurte is to MDMA what Anslinger was to marijuana, in many ways. If you read more about his actual experiments, they're all badly designed, poorly implemented, and give results so vague as to be worthless... Ricuarte is not a researcher, he's a tool of the anti-drug establishment to create "research" to back up their position. color> The whole "MDMA is neurotoxic" crapball owes its widespread acceptance to Ricuarte. I'm glad that at least one of his projects has been expoded as a sham, even if it was an "accident."

Maybe more if his research and other people's derivative research will now be re-examined more carefully and the MDMA neurotoxicity religion can be tucked away in a folder in the cabinet along with LSD chromosome damage and marijuana gateway action.




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By AdamX DanceSafe:


The only known compound which reliably produces a Parkinson-like state is MPP+, the breakdown product of MPTP. This compound is selectively taken up into the neuron via the dopamine transporter where it is oxidized by MAO-B into MPP+ causing the destruction of the dopaminergic neuron. Neither amphetamine or methamphetamine, at any dose, has ever been shown to destroy dopaminergic neurons. Based on this obviously fraudulent study and the contention by Ricaurte et. al. that MDMA does indeed destory dopaminergic neurons, I would be wholly unsuprised if in the near future MPTP adulterated "Ecstasy" pills are found floating around.




Huh! War on drugs res ne pozna meja Slika objavljena


In case of MPTP v tabletkah ectasy-ja:



It should be noted that selegeline, at normal dosages (10mg/day) is at present the only known compound capable of fully blocking MPTP/MPP+ induced dopaminergic neuronal destrution.



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Še nekaj Recaurtjejevih izgovorov:


Neurologists Dr Una McCann, Dr George Ricaurte and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore in the US said their experiment in fact showed nothing surprising.


"Notably, methamphetamine would be expected color> to produce the same pattern of combined ... neurotoxicity as that seen in the animals reported in our paper," they wrote in a letter to the journal.


They found that 60 per cent to 80 per cent of the nerve endings of dopamine-producing neurons in the monkeys were destroyed after just a few doses.


These are the same brain cells destroyed in Parkinson's disease, which starts out with a mild shakiness that progresses to near-paralysis.


The researchers said they became suspicious when they were unable to duplicate their original findings.


They had the original bottles tested and found nothing suspicious but the original ecstasy-labelled bottle had been thrown out.





But "we did have frozen brains from two animals that died shortly after drug treatment," they said.


They analysed the brains and found they contained methamphetamine only.


"Not even trace amounts of MDMA or its metabolite MDA were found in these brains," they said.


They determined the original bottle had been mislabelled.


They noted that the idea remained valid because other studies have shown that ecstasy users can develop Parkinson's disease-like symptoms.




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"This (retraction) shows that Ricaurte is completely overzealous in trying to promote the harmful effects of MDMA, and he has ignored evidence to the contrary," said Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Saratoga, Florida.





Dobre novice:



Doblin is sponsoring the first FDA-approved clinical trial on the potential therapeutic benefits of MDMA. He said he expects to get final approval for the study in the next two weeks.


Because ecstasy creates feelings of euphoria, warmth and empathy, many therapists believe it could have therapeutic uses for people with post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems.




Slika objavljena


Mogoče bodo zdele pustil tud 'opoziciji' uradne raziskave in dognanja uradno zapisali. Ne samo Johns Hopkins Medical School researcher's like Ricaurte in McCann.

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a ni bilo jasno že od začetka, da je Ricarte plačan od vlade, da razširja neumnosti? Zdaj lahko mirno in uremeljeno razširimo sum na vse uradne informacije o škodljivosti nelegalnih drog - prej smo samo sumili. Strokovna javnost my ass.

Ampak to vseeno ne pomeni, da je naslednji petek treba potrojit dozo.

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Hehe... sam mapsu je pa padla sekira v med po temle... Skor use kar je objavljen je v kontekstu 'we told you so!'


Sicer pa je moje mnenje da je Ricaurte sam popil/pojedel ves un MDMA, in da ga je pol hotu zamenjat tko da je kupu tablete, za katere se je iskazal da so u bistvu meth. To so pa te kurbe dilerske k jim gre sam za keš... Tazga človeka da zajebejo Slika objavljena !!!!

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a veste kaj je grozno smesno? da sem se jst kksn let nazaj (al pa mal vec) ukvarjala in pregledvala tele researche glede nevrotoksicnosti MDMA. sem precesala kar precej studij in bila popolnoma frapirana kako so se rezultati "znanstvenih" studij razlikovali. Rezultati so bli od tistih, da je ze ena tabletka lahko usodna in povzroci nepopravljive okvare na mozganih, do tistih, da tud zelo velike kolicine MDMA ne povzrocijo nepopravljivih okvar mozganov. Rezultati so se seveda razlikovali glede na vir financiranja.

Povzetek clanka s komentarjem bo definitivno v nalednjem xpressu in na webu.


In se kratka replika jakeu: v vseh svojih predavanjih in publikacijah nisem nikoli podala statementa, da MDMA nepopravljivo okvarja mozgane. Vedno povem, da to se ni raziskano, ceprav se znanstveniki nevrotoksicnost ekstazija trudijo raziskati in dokazati ze premnogo let.

Poznemu replyju je kriva moja odsotnost s konfe, ki je trajala od srede, ker sem imela bolno dete.

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Na CNNjevem home pageu sem ponesreči odkril najnovejšo objavo Dr. Ricarte-a na temo MDMA in nevrotoksičnost. Cenjeni doktor je namreč znova ubrizgal opice z konjsko dozo MDMAja in 'dokazal' da obstaja povezava med to parkinsonovo boleznijo in to drogo.

O dozi katero je dajal opicam govori že dejstvo da je ena od petih umrla po administraciji, ampak cenjeni doktor zagotavlja da je injecirana količina primerljiva z dozami ki se uživajo na rave partijih (zdej si pa predstavljajte kakšen body count bi mel na partijih če bi vsak peti uživalec MDMA umrl).


Evo tudi tekst:



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Partying with Ecstasy several times a night, a common practice among users of the illegal drug, may damage key neurons in the brain and cause symptoms like that of Parkinson's disease, according to a study in monkeys.


But some researchers were skeptical that the results from the animal studies translate to humans and said such studies discourage research that might lead to medical uses for Ecstasy.


A Johns Hopkins University researcher injected squirrel monkeys and baboons with three shots of Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, three hours apart, mimicking dosages "often used by MDMA users at all-night dance parties." He said the drug caused enduring damage to dopamine-producing neurons in the brains of the animals.


The damage was still evident two weeks to six weeks later, said Dr. George A. Recaurte, the lead author the study appearing this week in the journal Science. But he said it is not clear if the damaged neurons will repair themselves, a key factor in whether Ecstasy could possibly lead to Parkinson's disease.


Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder triggered by the permanent loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells.


"We already know from the literature that brain dopamine declines with age," he said. "A young individual who sustains injury to these dopamine cells and depletes their reserve may be at greater risk of Parkinsonism."


But Julie A. Holland, a psychiatrist on the faculty of the New York University School of Medicine, said earlier studies on humans have failed to show that Ecstasy causes permanent damage to dopamine neurons.


"It is a big leap to extrapolate what he is seeing in these primates and what you expect to see in Parkinson's syndrome," Holland, the author of a book on the risk and recreational use of Ecstasy.


She said Ricaurte's research has helped "demonize" Ecstasy and prevented studies to determine if the drug could be used to treat post traumatic syndrome.


Dr. Alan I. Leshner, former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, however, said the Ricaurte study shows "that even an occasional use of Ecstasy can lead to significant damage to brain systems."


Stephen Kish, a University of Toronto researcher studying Parkinson's disease and Ecstasy, said he analyzed the brain of a deceased habitual Ecstasy user two years ago and found no evidence of dopamine neuron damage.


"Ricaurte's findings do raise a concern that Ecstasy may damage the dopamine neurons and potentially cause Parkinson's," said Kish. But he said the current study "might not translate to humans" and has not proven a clear connection between the drug and the brain disease.


In the study, the animals were given six milligrams for every 2.2 pounds of their weight. One of five monkeys and one of five baboons used in the study died shortly after receiving the shots.


The brains of the surviving animals were examined microscopically and chemically after two to eight weeks. The nerve endings where the dopamine is processed were destroyed, said Ricaurte.


"There hasn't been a single animal that escaped the dopamine (cell) lesions," he said.


Ricaurte said the damage was not enough to cause Parkinson's symptoms, but there is "a clinical concern" that repeated use of Ecstasy will diminish the natural reserve of brain cells and lead to early disease.


Holland said Ricaurte's study in monkeys and baboons does not relate to the experience of human recreational users of Ecstasy.


"The dose that he gave killed 20 percent of the animals immediately," said Holland. "Clearly these animals reacted to the drug differently than humans because not one out of five Ecstasy users drops dead."


Also, she said Ricaurte's study injected Ecstasy, while most human users take the drug orally. Drugs taken orally are less concentrated in the body than drugs that are injected, said Holland.


The NYU psychiatrist said "there is a lot of politics involved" in Ricaurte's study because the government does not want to allow medical research with Ecstasy, even though it has been approved for study by the Food and Drug Administration.


Ricaurte's research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the agency Leshner once headed. Leshner is now chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization that publishes Science, the journal printing Ricaurte's current study on Ecstasy.


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  • 1 month later...

Tragikomična zgodba pa se je odvila na naši nacionalki SLO1 - oddaja tednik - prispevek pripravila Barbara Jerman.


TEDNIK 16.10.2003:


V Tedniku tudi o sintetičnih drogah, ki so žal med mladimi pri nas zelo razširjene, in še malo niso tako nedolžne, kot si uživalci predstavljajo. Najnovejši znanstveni izsledki so pokazali, da lahko že enkratna uporaba povzroči nepopravljivo poškodbo možganov. Z ekstazijem nastaja učno manj sposobna generacija, ki se bo tudi zelo hitro starala.



Slika objavljena


Nadaljevanje TUKAJ


Najbolj se je tukaj osmešila institucija, ki naj bi imela o tem največ znanja (MF) - dotična oseba dr. Mojca KRŽAN, dr. med., docentka: Farmakologija (Medicinska fakulteta, Inštitut za farmakologijo in eksperimentalno toksikologijo, Korytkova 2, Ljubljana, tel.: 54 37 349, E-mail: limpel@ ibmi.mf.uni-lj.si)


Žalostno oz. smešno...

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RTI denies it made mistake that torpedoed results of a $1.3M study color>





RTI International denies it is to blame for an error that led researchers at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center to retract the [mdma study] results of what had been hailed as breakthrough (MDMA)research.


Officials at Johns Hopkins in September were quoted as saying that RTI (Reasearch Triangle Park), which is headed by Victoria Haynes, is responsible for mislabeling a supply of the recreational drug ecstasy, or MDMA, that it supplied to the Baltimore hospital. Researchers say they discovered the drug actually was methamphetamine, commonly known as "speed," which is similar to but distinct from ecstasy.


Johns Hopkins representatives did not return several phone messages left by Triangle Business Journal.

The discovery of the drug mix-up was made a year after Johns Hopkins in September 2002 reported the results of a $1.3 million federally funded study that had concluded that ecstasy causes serious brain damage in monkeys and baboons. The study results were reported in the magazine Science.




A retraction of the study results, also published in Science, stated that "The toxic effects (the researchers) ascribed to ecstasy were caused by a sister drug, methamphetamine."


As for how the mistake happened, the article said, "Both drugs were delivered to the lab on the same day and in identical bottles but the labels were switched." The mistake had occurred because the vials, supplied by RTI International, had been mislabeled, said Dr. George A. Ricaurte, an associate professor of neurology and the lead researcher.


After reviewing its records of the transaction, a spokesman for RTI says the institute discovered "no evidence of labeling error" in its supply of ecstasy to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.




"As a result of Dr. Ricaurte's allegation, we conducted an analysis of records, which reveals no evidence of labeling error on our part," RTI International spokesman Reid Maness said in a written statement.


"We are disappointed that Dr. Ricaurte chose to blame RTI for the circumstances that led him to retract his study. We reject the certainty with which blame is exclusively placed on RTI," Maness' statement said.




Ecstasy, which was discovered in the early 1900s, originally was prescribed to help people lose weight. Research in 1992 discovered that the drug heightens certain sensory responses, including an intensification of the pleasure one enjoys while listening to music.


Such effects have led to ecstasy's current widespread use as a "party drug," especially in bars.


Because of its growing popularity among young adults, researchers have sought to determine any negative side effects that ecstasy might have on those who use the drug. The September 2002 study results by Johns Hopkins were considered a breakthrough in doing that.


In reporting the findings, Ricaurte wrote in Science, "The most troubling implication of our findings is that young adults using ecstasy may be increasing their risk for developing parkinsonism, a condition similar to Parkinson's disease, as they get older."


The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As far as that agency is concerned, how the drugs became mixed up remains a mystery.

color> Beverly Jackson, a spokeswoman for the agency, says there is no dispute that RTI International supplied the drug. Finding out how the error occurred is a "continuing work," she says.


RTI International's Maness says supplying drugs for research studies is a small part of the institute's business. "The only scientists to whom we supply drug materials are those who have grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct research on the health impacts of drug abuse," he says. "No one else can access these materials, and each order has to be validated by NIDA before it is sent to us."


RTI denies it made mistake that torpedoed results of a $1.3M study


By Leo John

Triangle Business Journal








Če povzamem: Še vedno ne vedo kdo je kriv za zamenjavo epruvetk pri tej raziskavi, ki jebila sponzorirana iz strani države za 'borih' 1'3M $ Slika objavljena



Mada f**** saga continue... Slika objavljena

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Zanimivo res kaj se dogaja s tem MDMAjem; že čez 50 let raziskav.


V zadnjih letih na miljone $ državnih sponzorstev... pa je nastal en sam ŠMORN - CARSKI praženec


Slika objavljena



jest vedno bolj summim, da je v 50ih letih, ko je z njim delala poskuse USA vojska, neki blo...



Ker drgač res ne vem, zakaj je tak 'kažin' okrog tega. Zakaj se na vsak način trudijo dokazat nevrotoksičnost (prek trupel, če je treba)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Odličen članek o vseh Dr. Ricaurte-jevih goljufijah pri 'war on drugs'.



Research on Ecstasy Is Clouded by Errors color>


(New York Times - December 2, 2003) In September, the journal Science issued a startling retraction.


Slika objavljena from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than any other investigator of the amphetamine analogs known as designer drugs, club drugs or diet drugs, including MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, and its close relative MDA. color>


He vigorously defends his work, saying much of it has been confirmed by other researchers, and arguing that he is often unfairly attacked by scientists who minimize the dangers of designer drugs because they want to use them in research.


Johns Hopkins stands behind him. "The institution has every confidence in his ability," said Gary Stevenson, a spokesman. Of the primate study, he said Dr. Ricaurte "made an honest mistake, then discovered it and revealed it."


But other scientists, and two human research subjects of Dr. Ricaurte's who came forward after the retraction, say they see a pattern of shaky research supporting alarmist press releases.


It is hard to find impartial observers in the highly politicized debate over illegal drugs. But even three scientists whom Dr. Ricaurte cited in his own defense said that while his high media profile had made him a "whipping boy" for those favoring Ecstasy research, some of his best-known work has nonetheless been "sloppy" or "not as methodologically rigorous as you might want."


Longtime critics are harsher.


"It's hard to trust George," said Dr. Julie Holland, a professor of psychiatry at New York University who has edited a book on Ecstasy and wants to test it in psychotherapy. She accused him of "playing games with his data" to win more federal grants by making the drugs look bad.



Dr. Richard J. Wurtman, a prominent clinician at Harvard and M.I.T. who has clashed with Dr. Ricaurte, accused him of "running a cottage

industry showing that everything under the sun is neurotoxic."



For 20 years, Dr. Ricaurte has produced studies saying the amphetamine analogs may cause the tremors of Parkinsonism, depression and memory and sleep problems. But the consensus among many amphetamine researchers, Dr. Ricaurte included, is that there is no proof thus far that Ecstasy causes permanent human brain damage. In animal studies, very high doses have destroyed serotonin-pathway nerves, which convey pleasure and affect memory and appetite.



Just last month Dr. Stephen J. Kish of the Center for Addiction and

Mental Health in Toronto published a review of all Ecstasy research,

including Dr. Ricaurte's, and concluded that there was no evidence that Ecstasy caused the tremors of Parkinsonism or any other brain damage "with the possible (but as yet unproven) exception of mild memory loss."



Some heavy users have memory problems, but no studies prove the loss is permanent, or that it is caused by Ecstasy rather than other drugs in the mix that virtually all heavy users take.



Ecstasy invented in Germany in 1912 by Merck Pharmaceuticals in its

search for an anti-bleeding drug has been outlawed in the United

States since 1985, a decision that Dr. Ricaurte has taken partial credit for. Since about 1970, when it was called Adam, some psychiatrists had tried giving low doses to trauma victims; in 1985,they stopped, fearing arrest.


Dr. Holland says it relieves anxiety-provoking memories like a

sedative, but as an amphetamine, it does not induce sleep. Patients "want to talk things through."


As a potent painkiller, she said, it also may help the terminally ill.


The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a study in

traumatized crime victims who have failed to respond to antidepressants. A study of rape victims is under way in Spain, and another one in the United States is proposed for depressed patients with terminal cancer.


When Dr. Ricaurte's 2002 primate study was published, his critics said he could not possibly have given "typical recreational doses" if 2 of 10 animals died and two others collapsed of heatstroke.



According to an annual federal survey, almost 10 million Americans have tried Ecstasy. Few have died.

"Those dead animals should have sent up a red flag," said Dr. Charles R. Schuster, a former director of the national drug institute whom Dr. Ricaurte has called a mentor. "The better part of valor would have been to not publish until it was repeated."


Dr. Ricaurte said such arguments "do not hold water," since animal

deaths are common in amphetamine research, and two is too few to compare to human death rates. Dr. Nora Volkow, the new director of the national drug institute, declined to pass judgment on his whole body of work, but called his latest error "crying wolf and losing your credibility." Because of it, she said, she spent a weekend checking the agency's Web page on the dangers of Ecstasy "to make sure it was not overstated."


The agency had already removed all current references to another

well-known study from the site, one from 1998 by Dr. Ricaurte and his wife, Dr. Una McCann. Dr. Volkow described it as using "methodologies that were not optimal."


Pictures from the study PET scans of the brains of Ecstasy users were used on a famous postcard from the drug agency, "Plain

Brain/Brain After Ecstasy." The postcards were distributed to thousands of teenagers and implied that Ecstasy users had shrunken brains with holes in them.


The study had nothing to do with holes, but with serotonin levels,

which Dr. Ricaurte found drastically depleted in 14 subjects who had taken Ecstasy 70 to 400 times.


Dr. Marc Laruelle, a Columbia University PET scan specialist, called

the work so technically flawed that it was "something to put under the rug." He cited a recent German study showing that serotonin decreased only modestly and returned to normal within six weeks. The Hopkins team, he said, presented its data in logarithmically compressed graphs that seemed calculated to mask the fact that it had found impossible results: its 15 "control" subjects had serotonin levels 50 times normal.


Dr. Ricaurte defended the study, saying his recalculation technique was common when results from two groups varied widely, although he said he no longer used it.


Of the photos, Dr. Ricaurte said he had no control over what the

national drug institute did with his work, but he had asked an agency official to fix their "poor quality."


In the 1990's, Dr. Ricaurte was involved in a dispute over the danger of dexfenfluramine, another amphetamine analog sold in Europe as a prescription diet drug.


In 1994, a company founded by Dr. Wurtman, director of clinical

research at the Harvard-M.I.T. health science division, sought F.D.A. permission to market it in the United States.


Dr. Ricaurte released a study saying it caused brain damage; that was immediately disputed by an Environmental Protection Agency study that found it did no permanent harm.


In September 1995, Dr. Mark E. Molliver, a Hopkins colleague who

frequently published with Dr. Ricaurte, presented slides to an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration showing Alzheimer's-like brain tangles.


Dr. Wurtman, who contacted The New York Times after the Science article retraction, said that Dr. Molliver, with Dr. Ricaurte in the audience, misled the committee by implying the damage was done by



In an interview, Dr. Molliver called that "a blatant lie," and asserted that he had clearly said he was showing damage done by similar drugs. Dr. Ricaurte agreed.


But transcripts of a follow-up hearing in November 1995 provided by Dr. Wurtman show that several panelists and the F.D.A.'s expert were

confused and believed that Dr. Molliver had been showing dexfenfluramine damage. Ultimately the drug was not approved.


For a week in 1996, Greg M. was one of Dr. Ricaurte's lab subjects.


At the time, he said, he was using large amounts of Ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, amphetamines and heroin.


After seeing the retraction of the primate study, he contacted The

Times, and persuaded a friend who had accompanied him to call, too.


The two revealed their names and occupations but declined to be fully identified for fear their former drug use would hurt their careers. Greg is a graduate student in chemistry at a leading university. His friend, who said he used to follow Grateful Dead tours selling up to 10,000 doses of LSD a month, now works at a West Coast law firm and is in line for a federal job.


Curious to see if they had damaged their brains, and enticed by a

promise of $100 a day and a free East Coast trip, they enlisted.


Although the two used many drugs, the research assistant who

interviewed them by phone told them what not to admit to her if they wanted to be in the study, Greg said. They were instructed to avoid all drugs for three weeks to avoid tainting the study; Greg says he had used heroin five days earlier.


They and other Ecstasy users flown in from the West Coast took memory tests while still jet-lagged, they said.


Then after lumbar punctures to check serotonin levels, neither was

given the usual night's rest to prevent fierce headaches. They had to carry their backpacks across campus and be wired up for a sleep study, which Greg argued could not reflect normal sleep patterns because they were in pain.


Both had subsequent tests after shots of morphine and a drug, mCPP,

that causes the same eyeball twitching and teeth-grinding as Ecstasy, but none of the euphoria. Then they had PET scans.


Dr. Ricaurte said his research protocols are approved by university

committees. He acknowledged testing sedated or jet-lagged subjects, but argued that he had always noted that limitation in his published papers, and switched to testing in early mornings when jet lag was minimal. Test subjects who get lumbar punctures are warned about headaches, and given rest and painkillers, he said.


To weed out subjects who confound results by using other drugs, Dr.

Ricaurte said, his staff quizzed volunteers and did blood and urine tests. His papers acknowledge that hair tests, which can show many drugs taken even months back, would have been more accurate. (Dr. Laruelle, who does PET scans of Ecstasy users, rejects subjects with hair less than an inch long.)


Told that Greg had used heroin without getting caught, Dr. Ricaurte

said that was "unfortunate." But like all drug researchers, he said it was impossible to find heavy Ecstasy users who used no other drugs. His papers, he said, always warn that poor performance by heavy Ecstasy users may have been caused by other drugs.


His critics say that such fine-print disclaimers are not enough, that all mental tests on multiple-drug users are pointless and cannot be used as evidence that one particular drug damages the brain.


Greg's friend reiterated that he had been badly treated and said he

felt the research was skewed to prove he was brain-damaged.


"Most of the people I used to do drugs with are pretty screwed up," he admitted. "But if Ricaurte's studies are true, Greg and I should both be dead. We ate grams a night of pharma-grade stuff."


Nonetheless, he said: "We're fairly intelligent, rational guys. We had a stretch of three or four years where we really blew ourselves out. But we're still smart and ambitious. Some of their assertions about long-term brain damage are way off."




New York Times

December 2, 2003






Bogi George Ricaurte Slika objavljena


Tkole ga bojo zdele degradiral. Dobu je 10 miljonov $, da bi dokazu keko ubijalska je tabletka MDMA in po vseh goljufijah so ga razkrinkal in totalno razrezal v javnosti; do nedavnega je bil 'best known Ectasy expert in war on drugs' zdej pa velja za navadno 'podlasico' - vladnega plačanca Slika objavljena ...res bogi Slika objavljena




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Zelo zanimivo, kako so se vsi zaceli oglasat komaj sedaj.A prej se nihce ni pritozeval.Sicer pa pravilno da so ga razkrinkali.Hehe pa ni to naklucje da je v studiji sodelovala se njegova zena.Ze tu je vse skupaj malo smrdelo.No sedaj so ga v ameriki ze zigosali, a pri nas se veselo propagirajo njegovo studijo. I've got a hole in my brain. Slika objavljena

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