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Developmental outcomes of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)-exposed infants in the UK

Developmental outcomes of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)-exposed infants in the UK

Singer, Lynn T., Moore, Derek G., Min, Meeyoung O., Goodwin, Julia, Turner, John J. D., Fulton, Sarah and Parrott, Andrew C. (2015) Developmental outcomes of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)-exposed infants in the UK. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 30 (4). pp. 290-294. ISSN 0885-6222 (Print), 1099-1077 (Online) (doi:

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This paper aims to review findings from a longitudinal study of prenatal methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) on infant development.

In a prospective, longitudinal cohort design, we followed 28 MDMA‐exposed and 68 non‐MDMA‐exposed infants from birth to 2 years of age. Women recruited voluntarily into a study of recreational drug use during pregnancy were interviewed to obtain type, frequency, and amount of recreational drug use. Their children were followed for a 2‐year period after birth. A large number of drug and environmental covariates were controlled. Infants were seen at 1, 4, 12, 18, and 24 months using standardized normative tests of mental and motor development.

There were no differences between MDMA‐exposed and non‐MDMA‐exposed infants at birth except that MDMA‐exposed infants were more likely to be male. Motor delays were evident in MDMA infants at each age and amount of MDMA exposure predicted motor deficits at 12 months in a dose‐dependent fashion.

Prenatal MDMA exposure is related to fine and gross motor delays in the first 2 years of life. Follow‐up studies are needed to determine long‐term effects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MDMA; ecstasy; methylenedioxymethamphetamine; infant development; prenatal; motor
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Applied Psychology Research Group
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2018 09:15
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT c
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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