Thursday, December 29, 2011

Clinic Notes: Ecstasy for Autism?

A few anecdotal reports have reported success in treating autism with marijuana. Proper investigational protocols were not followed and the therapist often got in trouble professionally and sometimes legally. Now the rave drug, MDMA better known as ecstasy is being suggested as a treatment for autism because reportedly it increases sociability, communication, and empathy in adult subjects with autism. The reported changes remained long after the drug had worn off. MDMA increases the level of vasopressin, a neurochemical known to mediate sociability, and oxytocin, a hormone that affects love and bonding. So pilot studies are being reviewed and should start soon. Interesting.