Efforts by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to legalize prescription MDMA (Ecstasy) appear to have passed a gigantic hurdle earlier this month: MDMA is on track to meet the testing requirements to be a legalized prescription drug, specifically intended to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After analyzing the preliminary results of the latest Phase III study of the effects of MDMA, scientists believe that MDMA represents a potential breakthrough in PTSD treatment. This is huge news because FDA has only approved a few antidepressants to treat PTSD, and about half of patients get no relief from those drugs.

According to analysis by an FDA-coordinated independent data monitoring company (DMC)—which reviewed MAPS’ Phase III data after 60% of the subject completed the study—there is at least a 90% chance that the Phase III testing will yield statistically significant results once all participants have been treated. The results of the study were published last week in Nature Medicine, a prestigious trade journal.

So, how did the study work? Scientists used a randomized, placebo-controlled study with 90 participants suffering from severe PTSD. They found that MDMA significantly reduced PTSD symptoms and functional impairment. Specifically, 67% of patients improved

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