Increased visual cortical excitability in ecstasy users: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study

M. Oliveri, G. Calvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To test the presence of abnormalities of visual cortical excitability in people using ecstasy as a recreational drug. Methods: Ecstasy users and control subjects underwent single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the occipital cortex. The phosphene threshold was analysed and compared in the two groups. Results: Phosphene thresholds were significantly lower in ecstasy users compared with control subjects, and were correlated negatively with frequency of ecstasy use. Frequency of use was positively correlated with the presence of visual hallucinations. The phosphene threshold of subjects with hallucinations was significantly lower than that of subjects without hallucinations. Conclusions: The use of ecstasy as a recreational drug is associated with an increased excitability of the visual cortex, possibly linked with massive serotonin release, followed by serotonin depletion, in this cortical area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1136-1138
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Volume74
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Increased visual cortical excitability in ecstasy users: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this