What Effects Does Molly (MDMA) Have On The Brain?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on June 21, 2021

Molly (MDMA) significantly affects three neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Molly has also been linked to other brain impairments.

Mental Effects Of Molly

Taking molly affects neurotransmitter levels in the brain, changes blood flow to specific areas and can result in brain damage.

MDMA stimulates the brain, and high levels of neurotransmitters are released and/or not reabsorbed.

After MDMA wears off, the levels of these neurotransmitters plummet, and the brain struggles to restore them back to normal levels.

Neurotransmitters have many responsibilities and roles within the brain. Disrupting them with molly can cause significant, and sometimes permanent, brain damage and impairment.

How Molly Affects Neurotransmitters (Brain Chemical Messengers)

Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that neurons release in the brain to communicate with itself and the rest of the body.

Neurons synthesize, transport, reabsorb, and break down neurotransmitters.

Molly’s Effect On Serotonin

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter most affected by MDMA, with higher levels being released than dopamine and norepinephrine.

Serotonin assists with regulating pain, mood, sleep, and appetite.

Serotonin nerves are significantly damaged in those exposed to molly for just a few days. Even years after taking molly, the number of serotonin neurons may still be lower than average.

Serotonin transporter proteins and serotonin synthesis enzymes have been damaged after binging several doses of MDMA in one day.

People who abuse molly have reported:

  • paranoia
  • depression
  • attention issues
  • memory problems
  • anxiety

Molly’s Effects On Dopamine And Norepinephrine

MDMA affects norepinephrine and dopamine as well, resulting in euphoria, excessive positive emotions, and cognitive issues.


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Excess dopamine has played a key role in developing an addiction.

How Molly Affects Different Areas Of The Brain

After using molly, the hippocampus, amygdala, cingulate, and specific cortices in the brain have lower activity. These areas assist in processing emotions, learning, and memory.

Molly abuse can lead to decreased blood flow to the:

  • thalamus
  • amygdala
  • cingulate
  • somatosensory
  • motor cortices

These areas are involved in motor and sensory functions, emotion formation, and learning.

Treatment For Molly Addiction

Finding treatment services for molly addiction can involve locating an inpatient treatment facility that provides medically supervised detox, along with aftercare services.

Reach out to our qualified staff by calling our helpline today, and let us offer our expertise to find a rehab facility that meets your needs.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on June 21, 2021


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