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'Ecstasy' Addict consumed ~40,000 Pills Over Nine Years (1/26/06)

   Doctors in the UK have reported a case of astonishing 'ecstasy' abuse in a 37 year-old man, who's use had eventually escalated to an estimated 25 pills a day.  After quitting use of the drug, the patient reported still feeling 'high' for several months, followed by a crash that included panic attacks, hallucinations, and paranoia.  He continues to suffer from severe problems with memory and mental focus, which may be permanent.

     A structural MRI (brain scan) didn't reveal any brain damage, but given that amphetamine neurotoxicity would be expected to produce subtle, widely distributed damage the 'normal' MRI result does not mean that serious brain injury hasn't occurred.  (MDMA is part of the amphetamine family, although quite different from common amphetamine or methamphetamine in its subjective effects.)