MAPS has published a study confirming that MDMA really does work in treating post-traumatic stress disorder:
Participants treated with a combination of MDMA and psychotherapy saw clinically and statistically significant improvements in their PTSD – over 80% of the trial group no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV-TR) following the trial, compared to only 25% of the placebo group. In addition, all three subjects who reported being unable to work due to PTSD were able to return to work following treatment with MDMA.
The trial centred on two eight-hour psychotherapy sessions scheduled about 3-5 weeks apart, where 12 subjects received MDMA, and eight took a placebo. Subjects were also given psychotherapy on a weekly basis before and after each experimental session. A blinded, independent rater tested each subject using a PTSD scale at baseline, and at intervals four days after each session and two months after the second session. The clinical response was significant – 10 of the 12 in the treatment group responded to the treatment compared with just two of the eight in the placebo group. During the trial, the subjects did not experience any drug-related Serious Adverse Events (SAEs), nor any adverse neurocognitive effects or clinically significant blood pressure or temperature increases.
The investigators have now received the go ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a protocol for a three-arm, dose-response design that they expect will result in successful blinding. This new study is for US veterans with war-related PTSD, most from Iraq and Afghanistan and a few from Vietnam.