Health: Brain damage found in ecstasy user

Doctors have described how a 26-year-old woman suffered brain damage and had her memory blotted out after taking just half an ecstasy tablet.

Dr Josef Spatt of Vienna's Ludwig Bolzmann Institute for Epilepsy and Neuromuscular Disease said she had a seizure three days after taking the drug and later showed "regressive infantile behaviour and fear". She recovered, but was plagued by memory problems which eventually led to her being admitted to Dr Spatt's clinic. After nine months there was only slight improvement in her memory. Writing in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Dr Spatt said brain scans showed lesions in an area of the brain essential for episodic memory function and known to be where ecstasy causes damage in experiments with laboratory animals.