Involvement of Inferior Parietal Lobules in Prospective Memory Impairment during Acute MDMA (Ecstasy) Intoxication: An Event-Related fMRI Study
ABSTRACT Prospective memory refers to the realization of delayed intentions. Several studies have shown that 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) users perform worse on measures of prospective memory as compared to nondrug users. Interpretation of these data may be limited because of polydrug use, psychosocial stressors, and increased psychopathology that have been reported in MDMA users. This study was designed to directly assess the pharmacological effect of MDMA on prospective memory and brain activity in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Twelve recreational MDMA users received MDMA 75 mg and placebo and performed an objective prospective memory task during functional imaging. During prospective memory task performance subjects were engaged in a foreground task that consisted of a simple reaction time to visual stimuli (Go trials) and a prospective task of withholding a response during trials that were part of a dynamic memory set (No go trials). Behavioral data showed that a single dose of MDMA increased prospective memory failures in the No go trials, and that number of prospective memory failures was positively correlated to MDMA concentration in plasma. Functional imaging showed that MDMA decreased BOLD activation during Go trials in the thalamus (left), putamen (left), precuneus (left), and the inferior parietal lobules (bilateral), as compared to placebo. During No go trials, MDMA reduced BOLD deactivation in the inferior parietal lobules (bilateral), as compared to placebo. It is concluded that the loss of deactivation in inferior parietal lobules may account for increments in memory failures observed during MDMA intoxication.
SourceAvailable from: Robin L Carhart-Harris[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The compound 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a potent monoamine releaser that produces an acute euphoria in most individuals. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced-order study, MDMA was orally administered to 25 physically and mentally healthy individuals. Arterial spin labeling and seed-based resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) were used to produce spatial maps displaying changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and RSFC after MDMA administration. Participants underwent two arterial spin labeling and two blood oxygen level-dependent scans in a 90-minute scan session; MDMA and placebo study days were separated by 1 week. Marked increases in positive mood were produced by MDMA. Decreased CBF only was observed after MDMA, and this was localized to the right medial temporal lobe (MTL), thalamus, inferior visual cortex, and the somatosensory cortex. Decreased CBF in the right amygdala and hippocampus correlated with ratings of the intensity of global subjective effects of MDMA. The RSFC results complemented the CBF results, with decreases in RSFC between midline cortical regions, the medial prefrontal cortex, and MTL regions, and increases between the amygdala and hippocampus. There were trend-level correlations between these effects and ratings of intense and positive subjective effects. The MTLs appear to be specifically implicated in the mechanism of action of MDMA, but further work is required to elucidate how the drug's characteristic subjective effects arise from its modulation of spontaneous brain activity.Biological psychiatry 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.12.015 · 9.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One of the most often reported cognitive deficits of acute cannabis administration is an impaired recall of previously learned information. The aim of the present study was to determine whether cannabis-induced memory impairment in humans is mediated via glutamatergic or cholinergic pathways. Fifteen occasional cannabis users participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-way cross-over study. On separate test days, subjects received combinations of pretreatment (placebo, vardenafil 20 mg or rivastigmine 3 mg) and treatment (placebo or 1,376 mg cannabis/kg body weight). Cognitive tests were administered immediately after inhalation of treatment was finished and included measures of memory (visual verbal learning task, prospective memory test, Sternberg memory test), perceptual-motor control (critical tracking task), attention (divided attention task) and motor impulsivity (stop signal task). The results of this study demonstrate that subjects under the influence of cannabis were impaired in all memory tasks, in critical tracking, divided attention and the stop signal task. Pretreatment with rivastigmine attenuated the effect of cannabis on delayed recall and showed a trend towards significance on immediate recall. When cannabis was given in combination with vardenafil, there were no significant interaction effects in any of the tasks. The present data therefore suggest that acetylcholine plays an important role in cannabis-induced memory impairment, whereas similar results for glutamate have not been demonstrated in this study.Psychopharmacology 07/2014; 232(2). DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3667-2 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that single doses of MDMA can affect mood and impair memory in humans. The neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in MDMA-induced memory impairment are not clear. Memantine, an NMDA and alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor antagonist, was able to reverse MDMA-induced memory impairment in rats. This study investigated whether treatment with memantine can prevent MDMA-induced memory impairment in humans. 15 subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo controlled, within-subject design. Subjects received both pre-treatment (placebo/memantine 20 mg) (T1) and treatment (placebo/MDMA 75 mg) (T2) on separate test days. T1 preceded T2 by 120 minutes. Memory function was assessed 90 minutes after T2 by means of a visual verbal learning task, a prospective memory task, the Sternberg memory test and the abstract visual pattern learning task. Profile of Mood State (POMS) and psychomotor performance were also assessed to control whether MDMA and memantine interactions would selectively pertain to memory or transfer to other domains as well. MDMA significantly impaired performance in the visual verbal learning task and abstract visual pattern learning task. Pre-treatment with memantine did not prevent MDMA-induced memory impairment in these two tasks. Both positive (vigor, arousal, elation) and negative effects (anxiety) were increased by MDMA. The responses were not altered by pretreatment with memantine which had no effect on memory or mood when given alone. These preliminary results suggest that memantine does not reverse MDMA-induced memory impairment and mood in humans.Neuropharmacology 03/2014; 87. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.03.008 · 4.82 Impact Factor