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Oral melatonin as a reducer of the neurotoxic and behavioral aftereffects of MDMA-usage

Nijhoff, BM (2015) Oral melatonin as a reducer of the neurotoxic and behavioral aftereffects of MDMA-usage. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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MDMA is the active compound in XTC. Melatonin, the hormone of the night, is essential in the timing of sleep. Since MDMA causes hyperactivity and long-term sleep disturbances, a connection between MDMA and melatonin is easily made. There is a lack of studies that seek for a direct connection between MDMA and melatonin. It is shown that MDMA-induced long-term effects are degradation of 5-HT neurons, swollen (dysfunctional) 5-HT axons, constant lowering of 5-HT levels and a loss of 5-HT terminals. Long-term dysfunction of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) caused by MDMA is shown in vitro and may be due to this loss of 5-HT terminals. The SCN is shown to re-entrain worse after MDMA-usage, compared to a control. Melatonin is synthesized from 5-HT. This paper therefore makes the assumption that a depletion of melatonin, as a result of the lowered 5-HT levels, may be the case in heavy MDMA-users. Due to its neuroprotective, antioxidative properties, oral melatonin administration may be an effective way to inhibit the 5-HT neurodegeneration caused by MDMA as well. Also, melatonin is shown to have the ability to phase shift the SCN and may therefore reduce the degraded activity of the SCN caused by MDMA.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:03

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