mdma psychiatry treatmentResearchers have been investigating the therapeutic potential of MDMA in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traditional treatments for PTSD, such as psychotherapy and medication, may not always be effective for everyone, leading researchers to explore alternative therapies. MDMA has shown significant promise in the treatment of PTSD.

Studies Exploring MDMA for PTSD

Below are excerpts from studies that look at how MDMA can assist with PTSD treatment.

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine facilitates fear extinction learning

“These findings suggest that MDMA enhances fear memory extinction through a BDNF-dependent mechanism, and that MDMA may be a useful adjunct to exposure-based therapies for PTSD and other anxiety disorders characterized by altered fear learning.”

Full Study:
Published in: Translational Psychiatry 5, e634
Authors: M. B. Young, R. Andero, K. Ressler, L. Howell
Date: 1 September 2015

MDMA-facilitated cognitive-behavioural conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: an uncontrolled trial

“MDMA holds promise as a facilitator of CBCT to achieve more robust and broad effects on individual and relational functioning in those with PTSD and their partners.”

Full Study:
Published in: European Journal of Psychotraumatology Volume 11
Authors: Candice M. Monson and Anne C. Wagner and Ann T. Mithoefer and Rachel E. Liebman and Allison A. Feduccia and Lisa Jerome and Berra Yazar-Klosinski and Amy Emerson and Rick Doblin and Michael Mithoefer
Date: 7 December 2020

Efficacy of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

“MDMA-assisted psychotherapy appears to be a potentially safe, effective, and durable treatment for individuals with chronic, treatment-refractory PTSD.”

Full Study:
Published in: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry Volume 96
Authors: A. Bahji, Ashleigh Forsyth, D. Groll, E. Hawken
Date: 10 January 2020

Durability of improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy: a prospective long-term follow-up study

“It was promising that we found the majority of these subjects with previously severe PTSD who were unresponsive to existing treatments had symptomatic relief provided by MDMA-assisted psychotherapy that persisted over time, with no subjects reporting harm from participation in the study.”

Full Study:
Published in: Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) Volume 27, Issue 1
Authors: M. Mithoefer, M. Wagner, A. Mithoefer, L. Jerome, Scott F Martin, B. Yazar-Klosinski, Y. Michel, T. Brewerton, R. Doblin
Date: 1 January 2013

MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study

“These data indicate that, compared with manualized therapy with inactive placebo, MDMA-assisted therapy is highly efficacious in individuals with severe PTSD, and treatment is safe and well-tolerated, even in those with comorbidities.”

Full Study:
Published in: Nature Medicine, Volume 27, Pages 1025-1033
Authors: Jennifer M Mitchell, M. Bogenschutz, Alia Lilienstein, C. Harrison, Sarah E. Kleiman, K. Parker-Guilbert, M. Ot’alora G, W. Garas, Casey Paleos, I. Gorman, Christopher R Nicholas, M. Mithoefer, Shannon Carlin, Bruce Poulter, A. Mithoefer, Sylvestre Quevedo, G. Wells, Sukhpreet Klaire, B. A. van der Kolk, Keren Tzarfaty, R. Amiaz, Ray B Worthy, Scott M. Shannon, J. Woolley, C. Marta, Y. Gelfand, Emma Hapke, Simon Amar, Yair Wallach, Randall W. Brown, S. Hamilton, Julie B. Wang, A. Coker, Rebecca Matthews, A. de Boer, B. Yazar-Klosinski, A. Emerson, R. Doblin
Date: 10 May 2021