A scientific study in New Zealand has completed trials with the goal of proving that tinnitus, a condition characterized by uncontrollable ringing in the ears, can be cured using MDMA, a common rave and party drug.
According to Stuff, researchers began the study almost two years ago with a limited amount of participants who were placed in small groups, one group was administered a placebo while the other was given a small dose of MDMA.
At the start of the trials, University of Auckland postdoctoral fellow Daniel Spiegel said: "The initial idea came from some anecdotal evidence from a research clinic where some participants were quite frank and said that after taking ecstasy their tinnitus went away."
Although many participants who ingested MDMA reported the tinnitus reduced, a number of participants from the placebo group also reported similar sensations.
University of Auckland professor Grant Searchfield, who is leading the research team, said the operation had to move slowly due to the high risk associated with MDMA: "Our goal is to try and find a medication for tinnitus. It can have catastrophic effects. Whether MDMA is it or whether it's a trial for us to identify what is going on in the brain is still an open question."
Participants were only given 30 mg or 70 mg of MDMA, which too low of a dose to feel the drug’s euphoric effects.
Before knowing the next steps to take, Scientists are currently reviewing all the data and brain imaging from the trials, which can take months. More funding is needed if they are to continue.
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here