A couple hours after taking his first dose of the mind-altering drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, Bessel Van Der Kolk lay down on a couch in the presence of two psychotherapists, put on an eyeshade, and allowed himself to sink into a quiet, hypnotic state.
Van Der Kolk, one of the world's foremost experts on trauma, had agreed to ingest the potent compound, known to generations of recreational illegal drug users by its street names "Ecstasy" or "Molly," because he was the principal investigator in a rigorous 15-site, phase III, clinical trial. The object was to evaluate the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients suffering from extreme Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As such, he'd been told, he was required to have first-hand experience with the drug.
The results from those sessions are striking. Two months after participating in the study, more than two-thirds of those who took MDMA no longer had diagnosable PTSD, investigators report in an article expected to be published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine. The study's sponsors believe those results exceed the threshold of significance needed to prove efficacy—and enough for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they hope, to ... Read More
Sign up with your email to receive news and updates.