MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD: Growing evidence for memory effects mediating treatment efficacy

Mesud Sarmanlu, Kim Kuypers, Patrick Vizeli, Timo L. Kvamme*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The application of MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy has in recent years seen a resurgence of clinical, scientific, and public interest in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Clinical trials have shown promising safety and efficacy, but the mechanisms underlying this treatment form remain largely unestablished. This article explores recent preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that the treatment’s efficacy may be influenced by the mnemonic effects of MDMA. We review data on the effects of MDMA on fear extinction and fear reconsolidation and the utility of these processes for PTSD treatment. We corroborate our findings by incorporating research from cognitive psychology and psychopharmacology and offer recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110843
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Volume128
ISSN0278-5846
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • MDMA
  • PTSD
  • memory
  • psychotherapy
  • trauma

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