November 7, 2002 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Ecstasy is being hailed as the key to better treatments for the Parkinson's disease, marking a complete turnaround from a few weeks ago when ecstasy was condemned for causing the disease.
posted by semmi (26 comments total)
i could hug you
posted by tsarfan at 8:35 PM on November 7, 2002

ecstasy can dramatically curb the uncontrollable arm and leg movements that plague so many people with Parkinson's

Funny, seeing as how many people use it to "get their groove on".

I love drug science. One thing is for certain, it's never static.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:39 PM on November 7, 2002

So it causes and masks the symptoms. Ok.
posted by xammerboy at 8:48 PM on November 7, 2002

Please note that "patients are being warned against trying MDMA for themselves." Also, I note that they used monkeys, and artificially gave them Parkinson's-like symptoms to test the ecstasy. Awww.
posted by yhbc at 8:53 PM on November 7, 2002

Actually, the article made reference to the fact that the case for ecstasy causing Parkinsons had "far from conclusive proof".

Basically, it's all theory work.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:54 PM on November 7, 2002

Babies should sleep on their tummies.
No wait, on their backs.
Forget that, on their sides.
posted by hobbes at 8:55 PM on November 7, 2002

don't get too excited, guys. this still doesn't change the fact that people that are into ecstacy are boring as hell!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:04 PM on November 7, 2002

ecstasy... the cause of, and solution to, some of life's problems.
posted by madprops at 9:51 PM on November 7, 2002

Why don't they just give some people with Parkinson's some free ecstasy? Maybe there are some people with the disease who use ecstasy already?
posted by ODiV at 11:11 PM on November 7, 2002

There was a similar round of stories a few years back about the possible therapeutic effect of nicotine on Parkinson's. I recall reading that government bias had seriously limited funding to explore the link, although the "blinders" scientists were wearing about nicotine played a role, too.

Re: that earlier, anti-E study - MAPS has posted a pointed critique. Seems that the multiple doses those jokers gave their primate pals actually "killed 20% of the animals (2 out of 10), and possibly would have killed another 20% except for the fact that signs of distress caused the researchers not to administer the third injection." And yet the author had the nerve to state that "individual doses of MDMA administered in this study are lower than those typically used by humans."

Whatever. Here's MAPS' roundup of much less biased ecstasy research, including its now-FDA-approved protocol for studying the therapeutic use of MDMA in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
posted by mediareport at 11:19 PM on November 7, 2002

oh yeah, having some terminally ill disease is looking better and better all the time.

don't get too excited, guys. this still doesn't change the fact that people that are into ecstacy are boring as hell!
someone really cool told you that right?
posted by carfilhiot at 1:01 AM on November 8, 2002

I would love to see a bunch of monkeys rolling. Would they have little monkey glowsticks, little monkey pacifiers...little bottle of monkey water? Maybe some banana-themed monkey techno?

Paul Monkkeyfold....Too classic.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:41 AM on November 8, 2002

A major television station in the UK (I think the BBC) had a documentary a year or so ago about a man suffering from Parkinson's who discovered quite by accident that taking Ecstasy stopped the uncontrollable shakes and loss of motor function which Parkinson's had caused.

There was absolutely no denying the remarkable change which came about the man an hour or so after taking the pill: this person who previously could hardly walk was shown in a gym doing somersaults and flips and cartwheels. Not scientific proof per se but enough to demonstrate that there is something in this claim.
posted by skylar at 2:32 AM on November 8, 2002

this person who previously could hardly walk was shown in a gym doing somersaults and flips and cartwheels

Hey, I saw a TV evangelist do the same thing for some disabled guy.
posted by mischief at 2:57 AM on November 8, 2002

I simply refuse to believe that TV evangelists could be involved in drugs somehow.
posted by vbfg at 5:49 AM on November 8, 2002

someone really cool told you that right?

nope, it was my call, based on weighty observational evidence!
posted by mcsweetie at 6:19 AM on November 8, 2002

I'm (((((ecstatic))))). Except for the nerve damage and depletion of spinal cord (((((fluid))))). zzzz.
posted by hama7 at 6:33 AM on November 8, 2002

Maybe they'll find that cigarettes cure the lung cancer too?

Sounds kinda like how ritalin makes ADD kids chill out and non-ADD kids spaz.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:47 AM on November 8, 2002

Ecstacy enthusiasts - Does the possibility that MDMA has medical benefits help you to justify using it recreationally? Morphine has medical uses, but I don't take that as evidence that it's safe to kick back with some after a hard day at the office.
posted by drobot at 7:51 AM on November 8, 2002

Regardless of its therapeutic effects, it seems like it's really, really hard to find pure MDMA on the street, based on the recent analysis of street drugs from
posted by aeiou at 8:43 AM on November 8, 2002

It is pretty tough to consider and report on health or disease valid, because the reports change so often. How does someone know what is right? I don't think we generally can know, not unless we devote the time and study to understanding the reasoning behind these reports.

Live live simply with moderation in all things and things should turn out pretty well :-)

Share your definiton Quality of Life (what makes your life worthwhile?)
posted by jdhodges at 9:44 AM on November 8, 2002

drobot: you only need to justify it if you consider drug use to be a moral issue. If you don't believe that recreational brain chemistry adjustment is immoral, you can simply balance the risk against the reward.

Medical uses have nothing to do with it. Most any life-saving drug will kill you if taken in sufficient quantity.

aeiou: don't read too much into the long list of fake ecstasy "brands" on that site. People generally don't bother to send their pills off for testing unless they already suspect them to be bogus or at least mixed. Furthermore, people (from what I've seen, at least) generally find a good source and stick with it. Only one pill of each type is listed on's table; that says nothing about their relative availability in the marketplace. I sincerely doubt the people selling these, for example, managed to find many repeat customers...
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2002

Thanks mediareport. Your link gives substance to an otherwise "emotional" issue.
posted by semmi at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2002

Here's the February 2001 BBC report, Ecstasy and Agony, about stuntman Tim Lawrence and the obvious and immediate benefits he got from taking MDMA.
posted by mediareport at 3:07 PM on November 8, 2002

Oh, and you're welcome, semmi. MAPS is a great organization; as I recall, they're also working to legitimize research into the use of ecstasy to help terminally ill people and their families break through the fear and silence that surrounds the idea of looming death.
posted by mediareport at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2002

I would love to see a bunch of monkeys rolling.

It happens, you know. :) Discussed in this thread, which is required reading for hama7 and other kneejerk anti-drug warriors.

Does anyone else think it's funny that conservatives love to use flawed research to scream about the horrible side effects of illegal drugs, but consistently pooh-pooh environmental regulations that target the release of toxic chemicals into our air and water? Sure would be nice to get solid research on both of those things.
posted by mediareport at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2002

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