Podcast 086 – “MDMA for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”


Guest speaker: Michael Mithoefer


Dr. Michael Mitthoefer delivering his 2006 Palenque Norte Lecture at the Burning Man Festival

(Minutes : Seconds into program)

06:19 Michael tells a little about how his study came about and its current status.

08:27 Michael describes the screening, preparation, and flow of the experience for qualified participants.

11:56 “We were able to go back, retroactively, and offer MDMA to everybody that had gotten [only] the placebo so far.”

14:06 “Everybody who’s gotten MDMA has had a significant improvement, either temporarily or sustained. More than half, the majority of people have had a very dramatic and sustained improvement.”

18:35 “This is a pilot study, and we’re not really looking to prove efficacy. We’re looking to prove we can work safely with these subjects, and it has at least has a strong trend toward being effective.”

22:48 A discussion about the neurotoxicity of MDMA.

23:12 “There is still a question about neurotixicity (or at least decreases in some neuro functions) with heavy recreational use. It looks like there probably is some effect, although that is still controversial. . . . It looks like [using MDMA] less than 50 times there is no effect. It is still not known if there is an effect higher than that.”

28:31 “The question is about how sustainable is the effect. It really looks like, for some people, two sessions is enough to really, significantly heal PTSD.”


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Posted in MDMA, Medicine, Mithoefer, Psychedelic Research, PTSD and tagged , , , , .


  1. Those results sound really impressive. I hope you are proceeding to get wider coverage. I find very little is known about these related conditions. Here in Singapore, there is a disunion between the cutting edge tech, and social support in the community. Keep up the good work.

  2. Dear Sir or Madam, may i please begin by saying i am seeking input from anyone in this community. A most important area of research. Im appealling to all of you individually,this line research is usually a very personal and unique journey.

    I am a 40 year old male and i live in Australia .

    The last 30 years or so i have been working on dicovering and better undertanding myself,i have no formal diagnoses other than PTSD but have been told i display symptoms of other disorders namely , ADD, ADHD, Tourette syndrome,ODD,AVPD and possibly autism , i have no formal qualifications , just yet . In my research i have had access to various compounds that include but are not limited to LSD,mescaline,2-cb,2-ci,2-ce,5meo-dmt,5meo-amt,2ct-4,2ct-7.

    My personal research has been more that casual experimentation or partying . I have had serious challenges throughout my life with thoughts,Tics,actions,speach – behavour in general . I have also been prescribed various SSRI and SDRI drugs for certain conditions and disorders. I have owned a flotation tank and had access to EEG machines and neurobiofeedback technologies . I have been involved in a small privately funded group researching biaural tones and other brainwave entrainment methods to induce certain altered states of consciousness . I am currently studying part time an advanced diploma , drug alchohol and mental health counselling, i then wish to further undertake studies in psychology then neurology . My personal interest is is in describing and understanding neuroplasticy .

    Recent exposure to traumatic events, intense close personal contact and interactions with iraqi war casulties and refugees has lead my research interests in to the alkaloids Cathine and Cathinone found in a plant sometimes called Khat and also the compound 3,4 MethyleneDioxyMethCathinone.

    3,4 MethyleneDioxyMethCathinone has been reffered to as “the benzylic ketone analogs of the psychoactive phenylisopropylamine methamphetamine (MA), MCAT, and of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

    These results indicate that beta-keto derivatization of psychoactive phenylalkylamines does not have a major impact on the drugs’ ablility to inhibit serotonin uptake and that phenyl ring substitutions can enhance potency.”

    This compound is not scheduled in australia . I proceeded to obtain pure samples which were checked and inspected by customs authorities and released to me on two seperate occasions then on a subsequent occassion have arrested me with import,possession and trafficking, a set of very serious charges . Own Australian version of Controlled Substance Analogue Act .

    To quote Alexander Shulgin,

    “…Laws are born as concepts, but must be recorded as the written word when finally put into effect. And the exact interpretation of some of those words depends to a considerable extent upon current popular usage and understanding of their meanings. Since there cannot be complete consensus as to some definitions, there will remain a certain degree of ambiguity. I will examine a few examples of recent shifts in the manner in which such ambiguities are being handled, if not exactly resolved.

    Consider the basis for the determination of innocence or guilt of a person who, as a potential defendant, has fallen under official scrutiny because of some accusation. In the past, the accusation had to be stated as a formal complaint, an arrest had to be made, and the task of providing evidence to support the charge was the province of the plaintiff, usually the people.

    In a case where the crime is a felony (one which can be punished by a stay in a Federal prison), guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Doubts are obviously challenges to presented evidence, but for heaven’s sake, what is meant by “reasonable?” It has evolved in legal practice that what this means is that a jury unanimously agrees that no doubt remains in their minds as to an accused person’s guilt. This is the criterion that must be met to convict someone of such a crime.

    However, in the current madness involving drugs and violation of drug laws, it is no longer necessary to convene a jury or—for that matter—to even bring a charge, in order to hurt and punish someone suspected of having been involved in drug-related activity. Only the thinnest of evidence, far short in quantity or quality of what would be necessary to obtain a verdict of “guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt” in a courtroom is now regularly used to “get” the suspected wrongdoer…”

    The only defence i have and is in fact the truth of the matter, is the compounds obtained were intended for personal use and for use in research . not for sale . no harm done .

    My experience with MDMA and MDMC are very similar i believe both compounds definitely require extensive research and clinical trials to understand more deeply their therapeutic effects .

    Please help me to explain to the court the serious nature and importance of my personal research ,i need expert health professionals in a relatively narrow area of expertise to help me, my personal standpoint is that this is a noble and honourable path not a criminal and commercial plan (journey of self discovery and the understanding of my own mind). Any questions please contact me , any input,opinion,assistance,advice,support or otherwise i would be eternally grateful for.

    im feeling quite alone and scared .

    respect and regards

    Leith Aitchison

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