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ECSTASY

A DRUG
by

Sydney Lance

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of ECSTASY

By: Sydney Lance, Seddon Macholz, Natalie Slinger, Ariana Moghbel, and Morgan Pearce Background Ecstasy, or MDMA is a psychoactive drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen. It is mainly used recreationally and very rarely used as a therapeutic drug. Ecstasy mainly is swallowed as a pill but can also come in powder form or be injected. MDMA elicits feelings of euphoria, improved self confidence, greater feelings of compassion and empathy towards others, hyperactivity, intensification of the senses, increased alertness, hallucinations, and greater feeling of endurance and energy. After the drug has cycled through the body (which takes between five to eight hours), the aftermath includes negative short and long term effects. Short term concerns include overheating, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Long term effects include damage to the seratonin transporters in the brain and memory loss. An overdose on Ecstasy can lead to serious psychological and physiological effects leading to sometimes permanent damage or death. Ecstasy is derived from safrole oil (Ocotea cymbarum) which can be found in the roots sassafras trees. A relatively small amount of this oil serves as a base for a large amount of ecstasy. This is then refined through various chemical processes into MDMA. Ecstasy's chemical structure allows it to release serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. Cell Signaling Pathway Type of receptor Basics of signal transduction pathway Specifics of cellular response and organismal response References 1. EMCDDA | Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). (n.d.). EMCDDA | European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — information on drugs and drug addiction in Europe. Retrieved November 5, 2012, from http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/mdma 2. Drugs and Human Performance FACT SHEETS - Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) . (n.d.). Home | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Retrieved November 5, 2012, from www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/job185drugs/methylenedioxymethamphetamine.htm

3. TheDEA.org: Your Brain. (n.d.). Welcome to TheDEA.org. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://thedea.org/yourbrain.html

4. Drugs and Human Performance FACT SHEETS - Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) . (n.d.). Home | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/researc

5. Campbell, N. A., & Reece, J. B. (2008). AP edition Biology (8th ed.). New York: Benjamin/Cummings.

6. MDMA. (n.d.). MDMA. Retrieved November 12, 2005, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDMA#Pharmacology

7. Sustained recreational use of ecstas... [Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22353

8. Huggins, B. (n.d.). Huggins/SJBR. Chemistry CSUS Stanislaus Home Page. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://wwwchem.csustan.edu/chem4400/sjbr/Huggins01.htm

9. "Adenylyl Cyclase." arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2012, from http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/molecules/cyclase.html

10. "ScienceDirect.com - Brain Research - Cellular determinants of reduced adaptability of the aging brain: neurotransmitter utilization and cell signaling responses after MDMA lesions." ScienceDirect.com | Search through over 10 million science, health, medical journal full text articles and books.. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2012, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899300027670 "Correct" vs. "Faulty" mechanisms Normal Function of Mechanism Altered Function of Mechanism on MDMA MDMA acts at the synapse, or area between the dendrites and axons of neurons over which the cells communicate by releasing chemical signals, called neurotransmitters, across the synapse. These neurotransmitters are received by transport proteins on both sides of the synapse. The neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This example exhibits the effect of MDMA on serotonin concentrations, but the same process takes place with norepinehprine and dopamine. SERT (Serotonin Transporter) SERT (Seratonin Transporter) In a normally functioning cell, the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects mood, appetite, and sleep, is used to communicate with another cell across the synapse. After communication is established, the serotonin is reabsorbed by the neuron's SERT protein to use again in the future, demonstrated by the red arrow. As in a normally functioning cell, serotonin is reabsorbed through SERT proteins to use again. However, MDMA soon reacts with SERT. MDMA changes the shape of the SERT protein, preventing reabsorbtion and making it able to function in reverse, moving the serotonin out of the cell instead of reabsorbing for reuse. The serotonin is moved out of the cell, increasing serotonin levels, creating the effects of the drug MDMA as a result of the rising seratonin concentration. Increased serotonin concentration Altered SERT monoamine transporter Reference: 3, 4, images 5 Reference: 6, 7, 8 Reference: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 Current Research In a recent study, ecstasy, also known as MDMA, was administered to mice to determine if ecstasy affected cell signaling through adenylyl cyclase. Adenylyl cyclase is an enzyme that synthesizes cyclic AMP which relays messages. The experiment showed an 80% decrease in dopamine in the mice. The decrease in dopamine is significant because dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter. If there is a decrease in a neurotransmitter, than messages between nerve cells are decreased. References 9, 10 G Protein-Coupled Receptor:
SERT (Serotonin Transporter) Increased levels of serotonin travel along the pathway as usual Serotonin is commonly associated with feelings of happiness so increased levels cause this feeling to be heightened, creating a "high" http://www.thedea.org/MDMAatwork.html Graphics
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