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MDMA could help autistic people with their social anxiety, according to a new study

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Posted in Science on 2nd Oct, 2018 01:39 AM by Alex Muller

Microdosing has become a popular field of research, with more studies coming out showing benefits of taking small quantities of psychedelic drugs. Many effects of taking these drugs have been documented, such as boosting mood, helping emotional balance, improving performance.

 

In a new study, published this month in the journal Psychopharmacology, MDMA (the main component of ecstasy) was shown to be a potential treatment option for autistic people with social anxiety.

 

The small study involved just 12 people, all of whom had autism. Those who were given two sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy reported a greater reduction of social anxiety than those who were given a placebo with the therapy.

 

Researchers from the Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center used the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) to measure the participants' social anxiety. Essentially, it gives you a score for how socially phobic you are (a higher score meaning you are more socially anxious.)

 

Those who took the MDMA saw a reduction of 44.1 points on average, compared to 19.3 in the placebo group.

 

Although the study was small, the researchers are confident of the positive impacts of MDMA on the participants.

 

"What was particularly notable for many of the participants after treatment was their increased self-confidence when interacting in social settings, an endeavor that in the past they had experienced as overwhelming," said Charles Grob, one of the authors of the study.

 

"We hope that our study will help to establish a foundation for future investigations exploring the safety and efficacy of MDMA in the treatment of social anxiety in vulnerable patient populations."


Tags: healthmedicineresearchMDMAmental health

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