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 min. Memory function was assessed 90 min after T2 by means of a Visual Verbal Learning Task, a Prospective Memory Task, the Sternberg Memory Task and the Abstract Visual Pattern Learning Task. Profile of Mood State 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 (vigour, arousal, elation) and negative mood 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. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'.
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- MDMA, Memantine, Acute, Cognition, Mood, ECSTASY MDMA, 3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE MDMA, HEALTHY-VOLUNTEERS, VERBAL MEMORY, 75 MG, PSYCHOMOTOR FUNCTION, DRIVING PERFORMANCE, NICOTINIC RECEPTORS, IMPAIRMENT, PREVENTS