Altered pain responses in abstinent (±)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users

Una D McCann, Robert R. Edwards, Michael T Smith, Kristen Kelley, Michael Wilson, Francis Sgambati, George Ricaurte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rationale (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular recreational drug that has potential to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in humans. Brain 5-HT neurons play a role in pain modulation, yet little is known about long-term effects of MDMA on pain function. Notably, MDMA users have been shown to have altered sleep, a phenomenon that can lead to altered pain modulation. Objectives This study sought to assess pain processing in MDMA users using objective methods, and explore potential relationships between pain processing and sleep indices. Methods Forty-two abstinent MDMA users and 43 agematched controls participated in a 5-day inpatient study. Outcome measures included standardized measures of pain, sleep polysomnograms, and power spectral measures of the sleep EEG. When differences in psychophysiological measures of pain were found, the relationship between pain and sleep measures was explored. Results MDMA users demonstrated lower pressure pain thresholds, increased cold pain ratings, increased pain ratings during testing of diffuse noxious inhibitory control, and decreased Stage 2 sleep. Numerous significant relationships between sleep and pain measures were identified, but differences in sleep between the two groups were not found to mediate altered pain perception in MDMA users. Conclusions Abstinent MDMA users have altered pain perception and sleep architecture. Although pain and sleep outcomes were related, differences in sleep architecture in MDMA users did not mediate altered pain responses. It remains to be determined whether alterations in pain perception in MDMA users are secondary to neurotoxicity of 5-HT-mediated pain pathways or alterations in other brain processes that modulate pain perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-484
Number of pages10
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume217
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
Pain
Sleep
Pain Perception
Serotonin
Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Control
Brain
Neurons
Pain Threshold
Sleep Stages
Street Drugs

Keywords

  • MDMA
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Pain
  • Power spectra
  • Serotonin
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Altered pain responses in abstinent (±)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users. / McCann, Una D; Edwards, Robert R.; Smith, Michael T; Kelley, Kristen; Wilson, Michael; Sgambati, Francis; Ricaurte, George.

In: Psychopharmacology, Vol. 217, No. 4, 10.2011, p. 475-484.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McCann, Una D ; Edwards, Robert R. ; Smith, Michael T ; Kelley, Kristen ; Wilson, Michael ; Sgambati, Francis ; Ricaurte, George. / Altered pain responses in abstinent (±)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users. In: Psychopharmacology. 2011 ; Vol. 217, No. 4. pp. 475-484.
@article{c2d9bdd9c3004741b478d82a0de344b2,
title = "Altered pain responses in abstinent (±)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, {"}ecstasy{"}) users",
abstract = "Rationale (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular recreational drug that has potential to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in humans. Brain 5-HT neurons play a role in pain modulation, yet little is known about long-term effects of MDMA on pain function. Notably, MDMA users have been shown to have altered sleep, a phenomenon that can lead to altered pain modulation. Objectives This study sought to assess pain processing in MDMA users using objective methods, and explore potential relationships between pain processing and sleep indices. Methods Forty-two abstinent MDMA users and 43 agematched controls participated in a 5-day inpatient study. Outcome measures included standardized measures of pain, sleep polysomnograms, and power spectral measures of the sleep EEG. When differences in psychophysiological measures of pain were found, the relationship between pain and sleep measures was explored. Results MDMA users demonstrated lower pressure pain thresholds, increased cold pain ratings, increased pain ratings during testing of diffuse noxious inhibitory control, and decreased Stage 2 sleep. Numerous significant relationships between sleep and pain measures were identified, but differences in sleep between the two groups were not found to mediate altered pain perception in MDMA users. Conclusions Abstinent MDMA users have altered pain perception and sleep architecture. Although pain and sleep outcomes were related, differences in sleep architecture in MDMA users did not mediate altered pain responses. It remains to be determined whether alterations in pain perception in MDMA users are secondary to neurotoxicity of 5-HT-mediated pain pathways or alterations in other brain processes that modulate pain perception.",
keywords = "MDMA, Neurotoxicity, Pain, Power spectra, Serotonin, Sleep",
author = "McCann, {Una D} and Edwards, {Robert R.} and Smith, {Michael T} and Kristen Kelley and Michael Wilson and Francis Sgambati and George Ricaurte",
year = "2011",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s00213-011-2303-7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "217",
pages = "475--484",
journal = "Psychopharmacology",
issn = "0033-3158",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Altered pain responses in abstinent (±)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") users

AU - McCann, Una D

AU - Edwards, Robert R.

AU - Smith, Michael T

AU - Kelley, Kristen

AU - Wilson, Michael

AU - Sgambati, Francis

AU - Ricaurte, George

PY - 2011/10

Y1 - 2011/10

N2 - Rationale (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular recreational drug that has potential to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in humans. Brain 5-HT neurons play a role in pain modulation, yet little is known about long-term effects of MDMA on pain function. Notably, MDMA users have been shown to have altered sleep, a phenomenon that can lead to altered pain modulation. Objectives This study sought to assess pain processing in MDMA users using objective methods, and explore potential relationships between pain processing and sleep indices. Methods Forty-two abstinent MDMA users and 43 agematched controls participated in a 5-day inpatient study. Outcome measures included standardized measures of pain, sleep polysomnograms, and power spectral measures of the sleep EEG. When differences in psychophysiological measures of pain were found, the relationship between pain and sleep measures was explored. Results MDMA users demonstrated lower pressure pain thresholds, increased cold pain ratings, increased pain ratings during testing of diffuse noxious inhibitory control, and decreased Stage 2 sleep. Numerous significant relationships between sleep and pain measures were identified, but differences in sleep between the two groups were not found to mediate altered pain perception in MDMA users. Conclusions Abstinent MDMA users have altered pain perception and sleep architecture. Although pain and sleep outcomes were related, differences in sleep architecture in MDMA users did not mediate altered pain responses. It remains to be determined whether alterations in pain perception in MDMA users are secondary to neurotoxicity of 5-HT-mediated pain pathways or alterations in other brain processes that modulate pain perception.

AB - Rationale (±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a popular recreational drug that has potential to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in humans. Brain 5-HT neurons play a role in pain modulation, yet little is known about long-term effects of MDMA on pain function. Notably, MDMA users have been shown to have altered sleep, a phenomenon that can lead to altered pain modulation. Objectives This study sought to assess pain processing in MDMA users using objective methods, and explore potential relationships between pain processing and sleep indices. Methods Forty-two abstinent MDMA users and 43 agematched controls participated in a 5-day inpatient study. Outcome measures included standardized measures of pain, sleep polysomnograms, and power spectral measures of the sleep EEG. When differences in psychophysiological measures of pain were found, the relationship between pain and sleep measures was explored. Results MDMA users demonstrated lower pressure pain thresholds, increased cold pain ratings, increased pain ratings during testing of diffuse noxious inhibitory control, and decreased Stage 2 sleep. Numerous significant relationships between sleep and pain measures were identified, but differences in sleep between the two groups were not found to mediate altered pain perception in MDMA users. Conclusions Abstinent MDMA users have altered pain perception and sleep architecture. Although pain and sleep outcomes were related, differences in sleep architecture in MDMA users did not mediate altered pain responses. It remains to be determined whether alterations in pain perception in MDMA users are secondary to neurotoxicity of 5-HT-mediated pain pathways or alterations in other brain processes that modulate pain perception.

KW - MDMA

KW - Neurotoxicity

KW - Pain

KW - Power spectra

KW - Serotonin

KW - Sleep

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82955249229&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82955249229&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00213-011-2303-7

DO - 10.1007/s00213-011-2303-7

M3 - Article

VL - 217

SP - 475

EP - 484

JO - Psychopharmacology

JF - Psychopharmacology

SN - 0033-3158

IS - 4

ER -