This study presents follow-up data (17-74 months; n=19) on a trial using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD and found that most participants had maintained their therapeutic benefit over time (similar CAPS scores).
“We report follow-up data evaluating the long-term outcomes for the first completed trial of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Mithoefer et al., 2011). All of the 19 subjects who received MDMA-assisted treatment in the original trial participated in the long-term follow-up (LTFU), with 16 out of 19 completing all of the long-term outcome measures, which were administered from 17 to 74 months after the original study’s final MDMA session (mean = 45.4; SD = 17.3). Our primary outcome measure used was the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Secondary outcome measures were the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Neuroticism Extroversion Openness Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R) Personality Inventory. We also collected a long-term follow-up questionnaire. Results for the 16 CAPS completers showed there were no statistical differences between mean CAPS score at LTFU (mean = 23.7; SD = 22.8) (tmatched = 0.1; df = 15, p = 0.91) and the mean CAPS score previously obtained at Study Exit (mean = 24.6, SD = 18.6). On average, subjects maintained statistically and clinically-significant gains in symptom relief, although two of these subjects did relapse. It was promising that we found the majority of these subjects with previously severe PTSD who were unresponsive to existing treatments had symptomatic relief provided by MDMA-assisted psychotherapy that persisted over time, with no subjects reporting harm from participation in the study.”
Authors: Michael C. Mithoefer, Mark T. Wagner, Ann T. Mithoefer, Lisa Jerome, Scott F. Martin, Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Yvonne Michel, Timothy D. Brewerton & Rick Doblin
This is a follow-up to Mithoefer and colleagues (2011) which describes the original study.
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Durability of improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy: a prospective long-term follow-up study
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Authors associated with this publication with profiles on BlossomMichael Mithoefer
Michael Mithoefer is a psychiatrist and a Clinical Investigator and acting Medical Director of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.
Rick Doblin Ph.D. is the founder of MAPS. His persistent work since 1986 has been one of the main drivers behind why psychedelics (including MDMA) are now coming back to therapy.
Institutes associated with this publicationMAPS
MAPS stands for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, it's the front runner in making psychedelics a legal way to use (and improve) in therapy.
The psychedelics given at which dose and how many timesMDMA 125 mg
Linked Research Papers
Notable research papers that build on or are influenced by this paperThe safety and efficacy of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study
This is the first placebo-controlled study (n=20) to shown the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (MDMA-AT) in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD. Following two MDMA-AT sessions, 83% of participants in the active treatment group didn't qualify for PTSD anymore (CAPS score).
Linked Clinical TrialA Test of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in People With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (n=23) assessed the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy among people with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD, including veterans.